You may have heard whispers about a new spot along Ponsonby Road that boasts an array of divine food as well as fabulous atmosphere with deluxe design - well we're here to you to tell you the rumors are true. Co-owner and Executive Chef Yukio Ozeki is not only the legend behind Ebisu and Lucky Lucky Dumplings - we also have him to thank for the newly opened, sanctuary of exquisite - Azabu.
Ozeki is said to be a big fan of Nikkei, which is the fresh Peruvian Japanese combination of flavours currently leaving a lasting impression on the satisfied taste-buds of Aucklanders. Those who have been fortunate enough to experience the delight of Azabu will know first hand of the punchy taste-bud pleasing impact each dish holds within. The menu mixes Nikkei-inspired flavours and modern Japanese to deliver dishes of excitement, excellence and culinary satisfaction.
At one end, the venue hosts a dining space for guests to exclaim over the pioneering combinations of witty flavours; at the other a sake and cocktail bar. The design by Paul Izzard is so well put together it could almost be called sexy. The tidy and sleek fit-out settles with ease on the eye as the low lighting and colour contrasts synchronize to create a calm but comfortable ambience. Each detail compliments another and the use of leather showcases otherwise overlooked attributes.
The service comes with a wide smile and menu recommendations. Of course, there's sushi rolls, assorted shashimi, grilled octopus and chicken karaage but there is also so much more. Whether it's beef tataki with pickled shallot and persimmon, salmon tiradito with passion fruit, coconut cream, leche de tigre and crispy spaghetti squash or crispy pork belly with slaw, hoisin sauce and pancakes; it's all good. We weren't 100% about all of those ingredients but it doesn't matter when with each chew, goodness flows in every direction of the mouth. The team at Azabu have done an outstanding job, go check it out!
Photo by Jono Parker