Andrew was a Japanese chef for 20 years and Michael had experience in Sydney’s fresh produce markets before they came together in business three years ago to bring Bola Bola Urban Bites to the masses at Eat Street Markets. Picture street food vendors on cobblestone streets of country Japan and the food from bustling izakayas as the inspiration for this market stall. The brothers, however, returned to their origins using the Indonesian word for bowl, ‘bola’, to represent their Japanese street food.
On the menu at Bola Bola Urban Bites are delicacies including takoyaki, chicken karaage, cornflake-crusted chicken karaage and creamy crab croquette. Takoyaki literally translates to ‘octopus fried,’ an appropriate name for this popular dish consisting of fried balls of batter filled with octopus, green onions, ginger and tempura pieces. About the size of a golf ball, they are cooked in batches and served drizzled in savoury sauces similar to okonomiyaki. Bola Bola make its own takoyaki fresh (certainly not using bought frozen products) and even makes its own Australian fusion of this savoury treat with bacon and cheese as well as a mushroom and kimchi version.
Karaage is basically crispy fried chicken but the Japanese recipe produces a tasty, crispy and tender meat. A soy-based marinade sits underneath a very light flour coating which is fried three times at high heat. The brothers serve up traditional karaage but have also developed their own cornflake style which is a little crunchier. Bola Bola Urban Bites’ most popular dish a Eat Street Markets is the creamy crab croquette. This Japanese treat is influenced by French cuisine and is a burst of flavour from the first bite. Stop by the Bola Bola food stall at Eat Street Markets and sample some insanely delicious Japanese treats.