Tatsumi is a bit of an odd one - but not one to be overlooked. Tucked away in Newmarket's Lumsden Green (home of Archie's) the owners relocated to Auckland after their highly successful Christchurch operation was red-zoned following the earthquakes.
A quote from their website:
"It has been a struggle to figure out how we can match our restaurant to our Auckland customers' needs. Unlike other Izakaya and take away type Japanese restaurants, we suggest customers experience our meals in a three-course style; entree, main, and dessert."
While you might consider it strange for a resturaunt owner to publicly discuss their struggle to connect with customers wants, it it something they have done so brilliantly. With a focus on "European-inspired Japanese fusion style" cuisine, the food is an array of modern-style Japanese offerings with extra flavours and surprises. Seriously, if the owners are worried about Aucklanders not 'getting' their idea of what good Japanese food is, their concerns are unfounded - we get it. And we like it.
If you could boil it down, the essence of Tatsumi would be 'doing it well'. From the food, to the stylishly outfitted location, to the friendly and attentive staff, everything is done well.