Hidden in a little side road off Queen Street, Kushi is out of sight and easy to miss, if you’re not looking. We only came across this Japanese restaurant by chance, while looking for a quick bite to eat before the NZ Opera. Japanese is one of my most loved cuisine; their use of different seasoning, flavours and cooking techniques brings out the best in the ingredients and we are spoilt for choices when it comes to great Japanese restaurants in Auckland.
We ordered several items from their menu, including one of their happy hour specials where we had two small bottles of cold sake and a serving of gyoza for $20. The pork and vegetable gyoza and kaarage chicken were fresh out from the kitchen, served piping out with a fragrant soy dipping sauce and a side of creamy mayonnaise. The slices of lightly seared rare beef for the tataki had a delicious hint of sesame oil and this, along with the chicken was served with a fresh green salad. The okonomiyaki (aka Japanese savoury pancake) was made up of a combination of shredded cabbage, thin shreds of pork and assorted seafood. This was covered with a generous amount of mayonnaise, bonito flakes and okonomiyaki sauce. Unfortunately, this dish came last and by the time it arrived, we were both full.
There are a few Japanese restaurants that I frequently go to and if Kushi offers better parking, it will be one of them. The food took slightly long to come out from the kitchen despite having only a few customers, but our waitress was attentive, the food tasted great and the restaurant’s decor is charming with areas that offer a more private seating arrangement. It was an overall well-rounded meal, a place worth trying if you’re ever in town!
Date: Thursday 10 October 2013 | Location: 22 Durham Street West, Auckland CBD | Food: Japanese