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EBISU

[Pictures: David Straight]

Such is the pace of development at Britomart – where, lucky you, half a dozen restaurants have opened in the past year or so – that Ebisu is already something of a classic. When it first opened in March, we liked it, a lot. Though if we’re honest, we did wonder quite why you would go back often, rather than to one of the many very good – and cheaper – izakaya around town. The food was good, but it wasn’t, at first, a quantum leap.

That didn’t last long at all. There’s the room, of course – all leather caramel, dark wood and exposed brick and concrete. There’s a nice wine list. And there’s the food, which has gone from being good to outstanding.

The menu comes from Yukio Ozeki, formerly of Kura: think classics, intelligently tweaked. The Ebisu no osashimi ($29.50) is a plate of sashimi, which comes a creamy ginger and sesame dressing. It is heaven, even for sashimi purists. The soft shell crab no karaage ($16.50) is also heaven. Then there’s steak ($35): a terrific piece of Wakanui blue scotch, seared beautifully then sliced and served with three Japanese sauces, which is a standout. We are also enormously fond of the agedashi tofu ($13.50) and the hotate to shiitake (seared scallops, $19). It’s fast become one of our favourites. SFG 

HOURS Lunch, Monday to Friday, from 12pm. Dinner, Monday to Sunday from 5pm.

CONTACT DETAILS 116 Quay St, City, ph 300-5271. www.ebisu.co.nz

IMPORTANT DETAILS No bookings for dinner, so be prepared to eat early or wait because it’s busy. Always.

SUSTAINABILITY In a perfect world, we’d like to see tuna disappear from sashimi menus, but they’ll leave it off if you ask.

4 Comments

  1. Soft shell crab.Yeeees. You are so right about it being “classic with a twist.” Agedashi tofu includes enoki mushrooms, smoked salt with edamame, soy butter (I’ve tried this at home and it is excellent!)…brilliant.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Permalink
  2. Genie wrote:

    Your Ebisu web link goes to David’s website.

    Nice write up by the way. I love the minimal decor too.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink
  3. sarah wrote:

    first time here just after it opened it was empty but service and food was great….really great. the next time, a few months later it was jammed at the bar, making eating less fun, and the maitre de was horrible. kept telling us she couldn’t do stuff ( like bring our food all at the same time , or leave off an ingredient on top of this dish, or basically give us and decent service) because it was very busy, very rudely. ended having a very uncomfortable show down with her at the table, her in almost a fit of rage. AND the food was so so average. never went back. have since heard a lot of bad stories.

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
  4. Charlotte wrote:

    Our first time there last night, a tuesday. Loved the atmosphere, cosily lit. Food was fantastic, lovely service. Can’t wait to go back.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

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