What better way to showcase a number of Wellington eating experiences to a visiting friend than a progressive dinner?
So Saturday night’s excursion was peanuts and Badgers Piss (truly, I’m not taking it….!) at Bangalore Polo Club, skewers and Japanese beer at Kazu Yakitori Bar, tapas and craft beer at the Hop Garden, and dessert and gewurtz nectar at Ambeli.
Kazu Yakitori (yaki – to grill, tori – chicken) is tucked away upstairs on Couternay Place. From the Japanese greeting to the quirky English translation on signs, to the bandana-wearing chef entertaining with flames and skewers on the bench top grill, it’s a casual and fun place to experience a small slice of Japan.
The staff are respectful and mostly Japanese (chefs only speak/read Japanese), and the revamped menu now appears to offer a greater range of non-skewered dishes as well. Good for us slightly vego personalities who like lots of veges with our meat. Not entirely convinced about the non-Japanese repeat-track music playing on the night though.
The 5 stick combo platters range from traditional all-chicken including hearts (firm but pleasant) and gizzards (crunchy and variably received!), to mixed (beef, tuna, salmon, scallop and vegetables), to spicy, to healthy etc. And for the adventurous, a roulette sushi dish presented like a wheel with one of the 8 pieces having the mother load of wasabi tucked inside. Surprise!
Of appeal for my next foray to Kazu Yakitori are the lotus root chips, tofu and sansai (mountain vegetables) salad and taiyaki sweet dessert pancake (grilled in a fish shape and filled with red bean paste) with green tea ice cream. Open evenings only.
Also in the Kazu stable are the Kazu restaurant on Tory Street, Wasabi sushi (Cuba & James Cook), at Mison in Woodward Lane.