Having not been to Kazu in a number of years, we decided give this place another visit. Kazu is a Japanese Izakaya styled restaurant boasting both normal table seating, counter seating and Tatami seating.
Kazu belongs to the Kazu Group which now boasts a number of different eateries that are mostly located in Wellington and one in Auckland. The eateries range from Izakaya styled restaurant to sushi and yakitori. Kazu has been around since 2002 and is the flagship restaurant for the Kazu Group.
We did not make any reservations, but managed to get a table for two at the counter.
The menu has changed significantly since I was last here a few years ago. A smaller menu boasting less traditional Japanese items which are now catered more towards the local tastebuds. Items included Hot Pot, Teppan, Sushi, Salads, Sashimi and small entree dishes.
Age Dashi Tofu – 3 large chunks of deep fried tofu. with this pretty decoration of deep fried lotus root with a spring onion. Was delicious, however I found the sauce to be a bit too oily. the tofu had been sitting in the sauce for some time which meant it was no longer piping hot nor crunchy.
Beef Tataki Sashimi – was quite nice.. nicely seared on the outside and rare in the inside.
Special of the day, Fried snapper with tartare sauce and Worcester sauce – crumbed small pieces of fish. nothing to rave on about. had no Japanese influence what so ever in the flavour.
Rainbow Sushi – Fresh salmon, tuna, scallop and young yellow tail on avocado, surimi and cucumber roll. Looked quite impressive. With a boom of sushi stores in Wellington, serving sizes has grown in terms of rice quantity. These however were of the right proportion – not to much rice.
Scallops Kamameshi Rice – Fresh scallops, Japanese “Shiitake” mushroom, Vege and rice cooked in a traditional iron pot. The hotpot took 18 minutes to cook under a tea light. which was on a timer. it looked impressive at first.
However when digging in, the rice was under cooked, very dry. as if there was not enough liquid to cook the rice. Two large scallops, a small prawn and small chopped shitake with finely chopped sweet potato (first I have ever seen Japanese rice with sweet potato) it lacked seasoning, and had a burnt taste to it.
I do not think I will be coming back here in a rush. we were not well serviced. as our empty dishes stacked up which I had to put else where to make room for the new dishes arriving.
Location: 13 Tory St, Te Aro, Wellington