Metro Top 50 Restaurants 2017: Azabu

For the latest review, see the 2018 review of Azabu.

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Smart Dining—Nikkei/Japanese

Now here’s somewhere fun. Enter through a heavy, subtly signposted door into a sleek, inky world humming with party-vibes music. There’s a catwalk-length row of near-touching tables, mushroom lighting and glossy, statement photo frames leaning along the main wall. The fact they’re not precisely hung epitomises the relaxed atmosphere here despite the formal design. The eatery itself is inspired by the cultural developments that occurred in Peru following mass Japanese migration from the late 1800s. The resulting cuisine, Nikkei, is Azabu’s focus, which means tataki tostadas, tiradito and scotch fillet with chimichurri, executed with finesse and an appreciation for texture. Executive chef and co-owner Yukio Ozeki draws on his years of experience in New Zealand and Japan; he honed his formidable sushi skills at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.

A favourite dish
Lamb chuleta: spiced lamb cutlets with smoky aubergine and coriander purée.

What it offers
Shared-plate options / Good for vegetarians / Free-range chicken and/or pork / Bar / Craft beer selection

Hours—L Wed-Sun; D 7 days
Seats—80 (plus 26 in bar area)
Chef—Yukio Ozeki

26 Ponsonby Rd
Ph 320-5292