Reviews for Banzai
by Jacky Qiu
14 days ago
The effort is evident - for those whom have sharp tongues and have had a fair bunch of experience with Japanese cuisine, you'll notice the wasabi and the soy sauce are flavoured in-house. Meticulous care like this should be celebrated - and so should the restaurant should it not feel a tad tired. Banzai has enjoyed a fabulous reputation over the years, and you get the feeling the food is a tad aged. The presentation is good, but the execution speaks of a chef whom is tired of cooking the same dishes time and time again. Banzai needs a revival - it's reputation deserves it.
20 days ago
The food is always fresh tasting and delicious-
Highly recommend the miso soup and the spicy avocado prawn salad.
Service is always AMAZING both when dining in or collecting takeaway. Don't be surprised by the chorus of thanks from the kitchen as you walk out the door!
20 days ago
Friends and I thought we'd have Japanese food on dominion road and was recommended Banzai.
The service was very warm and friendly - which I highly recommend and appreciated, and their food presentation is impeccable.
Friends enjoyed the salt and pepper squid and takoyaki, whereas I very much enjoyed the vegetable croquets (small but tasty).
Friends ordered the chicken yakisoba which they found delicious - the chef even came out and apologised and asked if he could remake one of them as he got the order wrong (he forgot to make it spicy).
My sister and I both decided to order the Chicken katsu which does NOT include rice. The chicken was crunchy on the outside and ok on the inside, cooked but a little dry.
I also ordered the salmon and avocado sushi roll, which had a beautiful presentation but that's where it ended. It tasted so fishy (due to the seaweed) which completely over powered the taste of the entire sushi.
For me, most of the food was disappointing in comparison to the praise I've heard about.
by Ishita M. Mendonsa
one month ago
Good service, and lovely sake. However the food was quite average. Apart from the miso soup, I felt like our dinner could be a tad fresher and more flavorful. That being said, I love japanese food and we enjoyed our evening here, and may pop by again at some stage.
one month ago
Food is good.. Some of them are quite tasty ( miso soup and spicy miso soup and potato salad) However, my friend and I both diarrhea after the meal...
one month ago
Saw Banzai on the top 100 cheap eats so thought we'd give it a go! As my partner and I love Asian food were not too hard to please. The place itself is pretty small and we were wedged between two groups of people., this was the only down side to our experience. We were pleasantly surprise by the food though which was well presented and satisfying. Three dishes was enough for dinner for the both of us. Good fresh and flavourful dishes! Would recommend
by Vaidyanathan Balasubramanian
one month ago
Bang on target with their stuff. Amazing sushi and they do deserve to be one of the best in Auckland. Their staff are also friendly whilst providing a clean environment.
by Jessica Chen
2 months ago
Thank you Metro Cheap Eats! This is such a neat little number, one of q few tucked into Dominion Road. Their lemon chilli Udon looked, smelt and tasted heavenly. Perfectly satisfying for the palate and the wallet.
by Amy Webb
2 months ago
I've been meaning to get to Banzai for a while, when we decided we needed affordable Japanese we knew it would be ideal for dinner.
It was great to walk into a restaurant and receive such friendly service. We stared with the edamame and the fried potato. Both were delicious and great to share.
We both ordered bowls of udon, mine with tofu and my friends with chicken. the serving size of these was impressive, so good for $10! I imagine I'll come back here often in winter, such a warm environment.
I was really blown away with the service here, they were so busy but remained calm and seemed to have fun serving everyone. Can't wait to come back!
by Marc Djongianto
2 months ago
Came here today for the second time for lunch and I gotta say I was a little disappointed. After reading all the positive reviews, I was expecting my taste buds to be blown away but I found the food to be average.
Last time we came, we had the melting salmon sushi which was amazing.
Today we ordered the katsu curry and the "babe" sushi roll which described as crispy pork and bbq sauce.
The curry was allright, a bit too chunky for my liking. The miso soup was really tasty which I enjoyed. The salad on the plate was surprisingly bland and flavourless but I guess it serves it's purpose as a refreshing garnish.
The "babe" sushi roll was presented beautifully but lacked the BBQ flavour. The crispy pork is the same pork they use for the katsu curry so nothing special about it. And overall I thought it was really dense- too much rice. Probably needed more sauce in the sushi itself or another item in it like avocado or something.
But what they lacked in food, they definitely made up in service. The waiter was friendly and attentive. Keep it up! :)
Overall, an enjoyable experience and would probably be back to try out other items on the menu.
by The Incredible Edible
3 months ago
Went here on Chinese new year and we surprisingly got a table. We expected all the restaurants on Dominion road would be busy. However it is a Japanese restaurant.
The service was ok for Japanese restaurant
The food was presented nicely and the food was good. Check out the photos they speak for themselves
by Will Scalioni
4 months ago
The best japanese food in Auckland. The freshest fish I had in a sushi or nigiri. The food in general is very delicate and rich. Absolutely worth the price.
by Wilson Chau
4 months ago
Good Japanese and affordable don't usually go hand-in-hand. Banzai was the exception and that's why I wanted to try it out. Friends and family have raved about this place and it even features in Metro's Auckland Top 100 cheap eats. We ordered a selection of dishes: salmon teriyaki sushi, raw tuna and avocado roll, unagi and avocado on rice, and the tempura prawns. The chefs have kept the food simple, letting the ingredients and their special condiments standout. While Banzai can't compete with its fine dining equivalents in Auckland CBD, it certainly punches well above its weight for the price range.
If I could suggest an improvement, it would be to serve the donburi/rice dishes in a bowl rather than plate. Eating rice off a plate with chopstick only is a bit of a challenge!
by Rebecca Bennett
5 months ago
Delicious and really well priced Japanese food. I had the spicy chicken udon noodles soup and my partner had pork katsu. We also shared a plate of vege tempura. Everything was really well presented and the katsu was huge, you could definitely share between 2 people. Service was also really lovely and really polite. I'll definitely come back and try the other things on your menu.
by Marina S
8 months ago
Had heard good things about this restaurant for quite a while and finally decided to visit with a friend. Whilst the location is a bit strange (almost drove completely past it) the menu and service completely make up for this. The menu was diverse and we ordered several smaller plates to share - it was hard to decide which was more delicious. The service was fast and friendly, and the staff as a whole seemed to be in a great mood, making this restaurant experience very pleasant overall. A great hidden treasure in Balmoral, would definitely go again!
8 months ago
Always great food, always great service. The yakisoba noodles are delicious. A great place to get dinner before a show at the Capital Cinema
by Tessa Hall
8 months ago
I had the yakiniku chicken and rice dish which was really good! Comes with loads of veges and meat. The octopus balls are also nice. Good, cheap place for takeaway! Would go again.
by Miso Peckish
9 months ago
Top 100 Cheap Eats they say. I guess that is in the eye of the beholder and you definitely need to be in the right frame of mind before you go.
Don't get me wrong, I do love Japanese food whether it be cheap eats or moderately expensive.
I personally did not think it was that nice. More disappointed than anything else. there was very little on the menu that tickled my fancy. I have read reviews were people say this place is good. What is it that makes it so good?
We ordered a number of entrees to share and a yakisoba dish just in case we had not ordered enough.
I could not but notice how much potato and deep fired items there were. Perhaps we just happened to pick all the potato and deep fried dishes unintentionally.
Goyza for example are not your usual panfried/steam goyza but more of a deep fried goyza. Sushi may come with some soy sauce, but it lacked wasabi.
Yakisoba with chicken, I failed to find any chicken..
Okonomiyaki - disguised under all that sauce and mayo.
Check out my website for an indepth review.
by Tina Wu
Jun 26, 2014
Had the dinner here to celebrate my friends birthday. It was my first time trying this place out. Nice, lovely little restaurant and gets busy really fast. The food was good and price were reasonable, staff were friendly. Definitely get the vanilla mochi ice cream for dessert!
by Michael Humphries
Jun 21, 2014
One of my favourite Japanese restaurants. Not many tables but we booked 45mins in advance and had no problem when we arrived. Delicious appetisers. And good selection of mains, all four of us tried something different and were all impressed with our meals.
Jun 01, 2014
One of my Dominion Road favourites. Friendly fast delicious, really well priced excellent food. It was freezing outside and me and a mate wondered in. Two delicious bowls of hot chicken miso soup...best I have ever had. If you haven't been here you got to go. Enjoy! Gets busy though and it's only a small place so choose your times and get in, enjoy, and give the next diners the opportunity to experience it. Honesty good, real good.
by Francesca De Jong
May 28, 2014
Banzai is a brilliant Japanese cuisine option for the Dominion road foodie. With an extensive menu and a great mix of classic and modern Japanese dishes, this is a great lunch or dinner option.
Some of my favourite dishes include the Takoyaki
Octopus bails, Yaki Soba with prawns and Jimme sushi roll with teriyaki eel and avocado.
Banzai is very reasonably priced, and the staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. The decor probably won't win any awards for ambience, but it's a very nice and pleasant place.
May 13, 2014
Banzai is one of our favourite Dominion road eateries. Where a lot of the other choices will leave you feeling a bit heavy around the waist band Banzai makes for a refreshing meal, a particular favourite being the Shogayaki. There's no need to get rice on the side of their dishes, there's easily enough to enjoy with the vegetables and meat alone.
We often eat in at Banzai, the decor is fairly nice and the staff are great. Other menu favourites are the salmon sushi roll, the salt and pepper squid, yakiniku and katsu dishes.
Everything comes out tasting super fresh and in no time at all. I'd highly recommend it!
Apr 09, 2014
Dropped in for lunch on a Sunday. Basic yet cozy. The staff are very polite and friendly. Had the beef tataki which was cooked perfectly. Portion sizes are good too. My friend has a tofu dish which she enjoyed. We got carried away talking and didn't realise it was time for them to close for the afternoon coz the staff weren't pushy to get us out. Good range of drinks too...the plum wine is less expensive than most other places. Overall will recommend Banzai to anyone looking for a nice, affordable Japanese meal.
by Maggie G
Mar 15, 2014
We're spoilt for choice in Balmoral as far as Asian dining is concerned.Before or after a movie at the quaint Capitol Theatre, it's hard to go past New Flavour or Barilla for a quick cheap bite, but at my friends suggestion we walked the block to Banzai and I was very impressed ! There are only 9 or ten tables but the polite and friendly waitress welcomed us in and quickly served us a glass of wine. The list is not extensive but they do $5 corkage or you can choose from several beers or non alcoholic beverages. By contrast the menu is more extensive. There's a list of sushi and sashimi combinations, plenty of appetisers, salads, udon, soups tempura, and all looked super fresh and stunningly presented as is the Japanese hallmark. We decided to eat light so chose the tuna and salmon sashimi-just beautiful,slightly seared and delicious, the fish salad with crispy noodles- a tower of shredded veges, crumbed fish bites and long fried noodles which we could have asked for spicier than mild, and the takoyaki balls- served in a delicious light sauce. I would have liked to choose more but that was so filling! O well we"ll just have to go back! Soon ????
by Anna Nayyar
Jan 11, 2014
This is such an amazing place and already my favourite! The staff are so friendly, the prices are very low for the amazing quality you receive - it looks and tastes amazing!
Must try: Melting Salmon, Yum Yum Prawns, Salmon Tataki and the drink Ramune.
by Julie Alp
Jan 04, 2014
Lovely. The spicy noodle fish salad- best thing I ate in 2013.
by Sweets And Brains
Dec 30, 2013
Our family friends suggested to eat here because they really enjoyed their visit a little while back.
It was just a small restaurant that our big group filled most of the place already. We came in a little late for lunch but we were greeted cheerfully and our orders were taken. There were only two people in the staff so we had to wait a bit for our food, but man the food was worth the wait. The food was beautifully presented and delicious (my favourite is katsu curry). It was great quality and affordable too.
Would definitely come back and try their other dishes.
More on: http://sweetsandbrains.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/banzai/
by Kiwi Food Wonders
Dec 02, 2013
Banzai stands out like a beacon of Japanese elegance amidst the chaos that is Asian eateries on Dominion Road. Instead of rough linoleum & tacky plastic interiors, think stylish bamboo & wood tones. Instead of surly waitstaff doing their best to avoid your eyes, insert happy, friendly, helpful staff. But don't take away the flavour, taste or cheap prices. And hold the BYO status. The best of both worlds.
I've visited Banzai on several occasions & have always been impressed. Although the space is small, they make good use of the space & service is always attentive. The seafood is fresh & the presentation of their food is where this place sings - I've seen sushi stacked up on it's end and a towering stack of salad spiked with crispy noodles.
My favourite dish would have to be their Mixed Tataki - the freshest, slightly seared salmon & tuna served with a delicious Japanese dressing.
This place has to be one of my Top 3 cheap & cheerful Japanese eateries.
If you liked this review, check out more like it at: http://kiwifoodwonders.com
Nov 26, 2013
Seriously good Japanese food with unbelievably low prices for the quality you receive. This is a tiny spot on Dominion Rd with only a few tables so I recommend making reservations to avoid the wait. The staff are all very lovely & the chef is a joy to chat with.
I have two words **MELTING SALMON** That's what the dish is called & boy does it deliver by absolutely melting in your mouth. I have had it many times & still can't figure out how they get it like that.
The Mixed Tataki of Salmon & Tuna is also just as tasty. The Salmon is prepared the same as the melting salmon, again simply stunning flavors.
The presentation of their food is something in itself almost like works of art. Order the spicy salmon teriyaki roll & you will see what I mean.
Best Value for money of any Japanese restaurant in the city. I am quickly becoming a regular!
by P L
Sep 21, 2013
Great service- staff were very friendly and food arrived quickly. Perhaps my friend and I chose the wrong dishes for the night- we did not enjoy the food at all and didn't finish our food because it was just not enjoyable.
by Emily Smith
Sep 08, 2013
This is hands down the best Japanese restaurant in Auckland! If you haven't tried their melting salmon dish you haven't lived! Fantastic service, and is BYO also so great on a Friday/Saturday evening.
by Sam Anand
Aug 04, 2013
Very authentic, nicely priced and truly enjoyable...every time irrespective what the choice has been from their menu. Banzai people remember their 'regulars' so well that all I need to do is to get a booking done first and the rest is all taken care off...
The chef 'knows' that I like extra sauce and cashews in my Yakiniku and I don't even need to mention this.
Love their food, service and their hospitality.
by Steve Thomson
Jul 13, 2013
Do not order takeaway sushi from here!
I'm not sure what the eat-in experience is like but we just ordered two sets of 8 salmon and avocado sushi rolls. 11 dollars each so $22.
The piece of salmon in each roll was about 7mm square.
Very disappointed. Will not return.
Jul 13, 2013
Simply Amazing! Great Food and a variety of foods for the entire family. To date this is some of the best Japanese food i have had, very authentic and consistent in flavour. Also very affordable, i wish they would consider expanding the business though, nevertheless , highly recommended.
by Melanie Millman
Jul 03, 2013
We visited last week, the food looked great and the staff very friendly. Will be back to taste more on the menu.
by Stephen Ward
May 12, 2013
This is a family favourite, it's well priced and something Japanese for everyone. We normally get takeaway as it is always busy. The reason it's called Banzai is because it's small (well that's what I think anyway) but if they could get a bigger establishment I'm sure they would pack it out also, can't rate this place highly enough!
by Robin Duff
Apr 20, 2013
Wow! What a place!
Consistently the best Japanese food in the city with excellent prices!
The staff are welcoming and friendly and the prices very reasonable. Parking is not so easy however there is room on the side streets and the effort to get to this restaurant is well rewarded by the quality of the food!!
It is delicious and the presentation, size of the portions and freshness and taste of the food amazing.
You need to be early or book because it is obviously very popular and the locals have let the secret out. You will not be disappointed.
Two visits have not been enough!
by Nikki S.
Feb 16, 2013
This place is fantastic. I've been to Dominion Road lots of times to eat at places like Tusk Thai and Barilla Dumplings, but after reading the reviews here I decided to give this place a try. I wasn't disappointed!
The restaurant itself is quite small with modest decor, but is comfortable and has a friendly atmosphere. My partner and I ordered a mixed sashimi rice set, unagi rice set and a salmon and avocado sushi. Although the portion sizes are smaller than some other Japanese places I've been to, such as Renkon, Daikoku and Mentatz, everything was fresh, affordable and delicious so I can't complain. The meals were also unexpectedly and beautifully presented. Additionally, the customer service was excellent - the waitress was patient, friendly and prompt, and we were given a warm thank you and goodbye on leaving the restaurant. I would definitely come back here again!
by Mike Irvine
Jan 21, 2013
Went to Banzai for the first time. Was blown away by the entire experience! I then realised 'Master Chef' Michael Meredith had featured Banzai on NZ Herald!
No wonder... Highly recommended.
by Aiko N
Jan 08, 2013
The best Japanese restaurant in Auckland for sure! The food is authentic and beautifully presented by chef, Kazu. The service is always lovely and at a very very affordable price! My favourite dish is yum yum prawns!! Make sure you book in advance as this place is getting very popular!
by Sonya Simpson
Dec 21, 2012
We love banzai Japanese. The service is wonderful, the food is amazing & the atmosphere is lovely & unpretentious. Try the melting salmon. Yum! In fact try as much as you can. I almost regret writing this review as I'm worried that the place might get so popular that we won't get a table! Seriously superb. We have been many times and are never disappointed.
by Hailey Tran
Dec 18, 2012
Decided to give this one a go after reading all the good feedback. Loved the food we had tonight plus the excellent service. We had mixed sashimi, Beba and Yakiudon, the serving were big enough that we got some left to take home. Will definitely be back for more. Thank you Banzai team!
by David Boshier
Nov 16, 2012
Not sure why we have not been here before. The food is fantastic and well priced. By the time we left, I think we had eaten our way through the complete menu and they were all winners.
Great to go to a Japanese restaurant where you don't eat in the half dark.
Well worth traveling to.
by Tony Ma
Oct 19, 2012
Home made restaurant quality food. It is the environment and staff that gives it the bonus stars.
Wait time: 3.5/5
Food Quality and taste: 5/5
Price Range: $60pp
by Kepa Tairua
Oct 17, 2012
After having a look at The Food Store's menu prices, we decided to cancel our booking for tonight and look elsewhere. My wife decided she wanted Japanese, so we checked MenuMania and decided we had to try this out.
Wow, we were just blown away by Banzai. Amazing food, the staff are so friendly and welcoming, and the space is lovely and small so it feels like you're a special customer :)
Between myself, my wife and my mum, we shared gyoza, edamame, and yum yum prawns. All amazing! I have no idea what they put in the yum yum sauce, but it is as advertised... "yum yum!"
Then for the mains, we basically shared everything again We had the spicy chicken miso soup with soba, the yaki soba with prawns, a tunacado roll and a samocado roll.
The miso with soba was so good that I basically took it over. The noodles themselves were just delicious, add in the miso and the chicken, the heat of the chili oil was just right... amazing.
I also took over the tuna and salmon sushi. I love sushi, and only recently have been introduced to tuna sashimi, and the tuna used in the roll just melted in your mouth. One thing I'd recommend is not trying the sauce they dot on the side as it is just mustard and ketchup.
I really enjoyed the little bit of yaki soba I was able to try as well.
Do not try parking in the little parking lot there, though. Way too small, and too hard to try to get out. Just park the next street down and take a little walk. It's really not that far and it's just peace of mind.
I think from now on all my restaurant experiences will be compared to this. The bar has been raised.
by John Todd-Lambie
Sep 06, 2012
What a find, great food, great prices and exceptional staff
Not having been a fan Of Japanese food i am now a convert i am currently eating there 4 days per week , the only problem is you have to go early to get a seat
Great flavours and the master chef will cater to your wishes, leave it to him and he will surprise you
So no more good reviews otherwise we will never get in the door
Well done to them all
by Allison Crene
Jul 02, 2012
My favorite restaurant by far and by the looks of the other reviews its everyone else favorite too!
Only compliant is that they don't have a lot of parking outside....but that is not there fault!
LOVE YOU BANZAI!!!!
by Lucia Goode
Jun 03, 2012
I love the staff here! So friendly and welcoming. I've known about this place for quite a while, these days it is good to book your table because it is a small space that fills up very quickly. You get great food here for really decent prices. The karage chicken is crunchy and crisp on the outside but still so juicy and tender. The fish salad is also one of my favorites, especially if you like a bit of chili heat.
May 26, 2012
I would say this is the best Japanese restaurant in Auckland that I have been to. The food is always beautiful, and the prices are very reasonable. The garlic udon noodles and the pork katsu are personal favourites. The staff are always very polite and yell out thank you when you leave, which is very cute. The only one downside would be that the food does not come out at the same time, which can make for awkward dining sometimes. It is busy, so I would recommend bookings!
by Courtney Griffiths
May 23, 2012
WOW!!! WHAT A GEM! Absolutely awesome food, presented BEAUTIFULLY, awesome service and fantastic value!!
There was 3 of us and we each had a entree, a main each and shared a tempura, along with 3 wines and 2 orange juices and a miso and it worked out $34 each!! We all practically rolled out haha! Cant get better than that I say and I will be going back any chance I get!!!
Nov 22, 2011
What a great find!
In amongst a few disappointing dining outings this week, Banzai was a welcome relief.
Friendly service, deliciously fresh and tasty food, well-priced and extensive menu.
Perhaps not the most exciting of restaurant decors but the food more than makes up for anything else and we will certainly be back...soon!
Aug 28, 2011
Great food & service as well as inexpensive. Whats not to love? Book as it is very busy particularly toward the end of the week. Dishes are served European style with the entrees first followed by the mains, although you can certainly share plates if you wish. The Yum Yum prawns are my favourite followed by any of the teriyaki dishes. The towers of tempura sushi are also something to see, but bring a big appetite for these!
Jun 25, 2011
The food was simply fantastic I cant wait to go back again and try some of the other dishes.
Some of the best Japanese food I have ever eaten and that includes Japan,
I have a new favourite Japanese restaurant.
by Celeste Bowden
Jun 11, 2011
This has to be the best value Japanese in Auckland. Fantastic dishes, at great prices.
This restaurant is a hidden gem, but word is getting out, so be sure to make a booking in advance. To view a recent blog I posted on this restaurant (including photos of some of our meal) visit http://celestereviews.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/get-your-banzai-on/
Nov 03, 2010
This place rocks! The food is amazing, tastes authentic, the quantities are plentiful, the menu is extensive and everything in it is delicious (I should know, since I've tasted just about everything on the menu), and it is soo cheap!
I've been lunching and dining at Banzai for over a year now, and even though sometimes they can take ages because the kitchen is tiny and only 2 people can cook at one time, I keep coming back because the food is consistantly great and the service is super friendly.
If I had to recommend 3 dishes? The Chicken Miso Udon Soup (yum), The salmon and tuna Sashimi (really fresh), and the Beef Yakiniku (I swear that sauce is like liquid heaven!.
Sep 18, 2010
I had lunch here and found it so great, I had to sign up to write a review!
Aside from great pricing and yummy food, I witnessed the most amazing service I've seen in a long time. The waitress ran out with 2x takeaway misos to chase down a takeout customer who'd left about 2 mins earlier - she obviously found him, as she ran back 3 - 4 mins later empty handed, and straight in to grab a pad and take an order.
I'm definitely coming back here!
Aug 17, 2010
If you have fussy friends who are a little bit picky and aren't huge fans of Asian, plus one being an extreme vegan, come here.
Other than being extremely well priced, the food is great (and about as close to authentic Japanese as you can get in this city), the service is awesome and it makes your day when you leave and all the staff scream THANK YOU! Lovely. I hope to return here very soon.
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