[Photographs: David Straight]
The food is nothing short of extraordinary, wave upon wave of it, coming out in tiny servings and brought to you by deferential waiters wearing white gloves. The place is tiny and dark, though the outside is completely white, and there are large booths so you can’t hear anyone else’s conversation. It is the perfect temperature. The service is deferential and efficient, as well as knowledgeable. They cater for special diets by making it sound like it’s their fault for having had dairy or gluten on the menu in the first place, and rework every dish so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. It is, in short, everything you want a Japanese restaurant to be.
Back to the food for a minute. There is an extraordinary “caprese” but we won’t spoil it. The signature “texture” is the highlight – 30 different types of vegetables, from tiny shavings of baby beetroot to exquisite mustard greens to perfectly cooked broccoli, with a myriad of tiny amounts of dressing, so each and every mouthful is different and yet still perfect. If you go soon, you might catch the ratatouille of summer vegetables, each piece perfectly cooked and topped with cream: it works. Ora King salmon confit: perfectly balanced, exquisitely treated. A paradise prawn with a scallop, with a creamy mushroom sauce was a highlight recently: each piece perfect, and strangely harmonious. Desserts are a triumph.
All this can be yours as part of a five-course menu or seven-course tasting menu that cost just $65 or $85 – there’s an a la carte menu, but why would you bother? This is some of the best cooking in town, at some of the most reasonable prices. Book now. SFG
HOURS Lunch, Thursday & Friday, 12 to 4pm. Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to late.
ADDRESS 193 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace, ph 377-8537. kazuya.co.nz
IMPORTANT DETAILS The nine-course degustation ($125) is only available by ordering in advance.