Cuisine - Good Food Guide - - Auckland -

An unas­sum­ing hid­den gem, Kazuya is tucked be­hind a plain white shopfront on Sy­monds St. But once you’re in­side, Kazuya sur­prises at all lev­els – serene am­bi­ence, gra­cious ser­vice and the at­ten­tion chefowner Kazuya Ya­mauchi (above) pays to the finest de­tail. His in­no­va­tive dishes are based on the Ja­panese aes­thetic, but in­cor­po­rate clas­sic French in­flu­ences. De­gus­ta­tion menus of five, seven or more cour­ses of­fer a de­light­fully bal­anced se­ries of com­posed dishes that sur­prise at ev­ery bite. The sig­na­ture dish of more than 30 “tex­tured” veg­eta­bles shows Ya­mauchi’s great skill at tex­ture and flavour, and his unique meth­ods of cook­ing pro­tein yield per­fectly cooked meat and fish that re­tain ev­ery ounce of flavour – think Wakanui beef with Ja­panese taro, choy sum and black gar­lic, or Cam­bridge duck with leek gratin and beet­root. Round­ing it all off is an ex­ten­sive wine and sake list. 193 Sy­monds St, Eden Ter­race, ph: 09-377 8537, kazuya.co.nz Lunch Fri, din­ner Tues-sat; de­gus­ta­tion menus $80-$165 IN BRIEF Fine din­ing that sur­prises and de­lights at ev­ery turn

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