Where I love to eat: Why Auckland chef Yuki Yamaguchi-Lewin loves Kazuya

Metro Top 50 fine-dining Japanese restaurant Kazuya has plenty of fans – including Yuki Yamaguchi-Lewin, head chef and owner of Ramen Takara in Browns Bay and Ponsonby.

 “Kazuya is the go-to place when I want to treat myself. Chef Kazuya’s creations never cease to blow me away, thanks to his delicate palate and beautiful presentation. What sets it apart is the spirit of omotenashi – a Japanese word for “the art of hospitality”. You can feel it from the moment you step in to the moment you step out. Dine at Kazuya to be immersed in true Japanese hospitality.” 

Why Metro loves Kazuya

What makes it special?
The chef is Japanese, the restaurant has his name, and there’s an aesthetic in the food and the place that feels deeply Japanese, but the culinary tradition is French. Welcome to Auckland’s most singular, and often awe-inspiring, fine dining restaurant.

Behind the scenes
The wine list is enormous, and better than any other enormous wine list in town. The sake list is pretty major, too. The service is impeccable, right down to the white gloves, and yet maître d’ Mojo Horiuchi has an air of such irrepressible cheekiness, it’s also very entertaining. (Actually, that’s the stated mission of the place: “to entertain”.) As for the food, you’re there for a degustation and it’s best to succumb: Kazuya Yamauchi is a wizard and he will conjure, for your pleasure, extraordinary delights.

A favourite dish
Chef’s degustation (it would be pointless to suggest any less).

What it offers
Fixed-price meals / Express lunch / Degustation options / Takes large groups / Craft beer selection


193 Symonds St.


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