Reviews for Kushi Japanese Kitchen & Bar
12 days ago
Hands down our favourite restaurant! Have not had any memorable problems dining here and have come back several times since first discovering it. Service is always on point, staff are friendly and attentive. The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere and it is easy to forget you are in the heart of the city when inside. The food is amazing, can't think of anything we've tried and not enjoyed. Favourites are definitely the karage chicken and pork belly dishes. My partner loves getting the deal they do with 2 of their tap beers and a plate of karage chicken, which works out cheaper than buying them separately. Good value for money, not "cheap" but definitely worth spending the money, especially for a special occasion. Very cool to go on a Friday night when they have the Japanese drum performance.
14 days ago
Very disappointing. The sashimi and salmon salad was not fresh at all and not of good quality. Very pricey to boot. The prawn mayonnaise was sweet and prawns cooked to the point it is no longer succulent. Takoyaki average.
by Janine Henderson
15 days ago
After reading other reviews on Zomato we decided to try Kushi. We are avid lovers of Japanese cuisine but get bored with the usual don Buri bowls and karage chicken fare. Kushi offers a step up with some the more harder to find dishes. With a more authentic after work Tokyo bar feel. The unagi was some of the best we've had this side of the equator. Was great to see okonomiyaki on the menu and was an instant favourite. Extremely well balanced and the seafood taste wasn't over powering for someone who's not that into freaky sea tastes. It was brilliant. Service was attentive and for an added bonus onftiday nights offers a short drumming demonstration by a small talented group. Very enjoyable. Great inner city location for a great price. Would definitely make this out local!
by Laura Hooykaas
21 days ago
Mmm nice restaurant setting inside nice bathrooms ... The lunch special - teriyaki chicken was good chicken was cooked to perfection and the sauce used was delicious. The accompanying salad and mayo was very tasty. The steamed rice was also cooked nicely. The pinos gris was from Marlborough it was delicious. The King Prawn and the Butterfly Prawn were not impressive - I especially did not enjoy the Butterfly Prawn which was deep fried heads and all - yuck!!
24 days ago
Really enjoyed this place, despite only being here once. I loved the look of the place. The staff were super nice and the food was awesome! I love the dinner boxes because they come with a of different things that I hadnt tried before such as the salmon sashimi. Can't say I'm a fan of the texture though. Was more than I bargained for! The food that I did like however, was nice.
one month ago
My favourite special occasion dining place. Beautiful decor and ambience... really sets a cosy, but lavish mood. The food is always delicious and beautifully plated. They do mostly fusion food but it is all very well designed and well balanced in flavour. The ingredients are obviously fresh. I have yet to try a dish I don't like! Prices are fair for the quality of the food. Staff are so professional, efficient, and still very courteous.
Service is great, food is great. What's not to love!?
2 months ago
If you are looking for a nice japanese then kushi is the most perfect place that you could go to! Best sashimi in auckland! Very fresh and cut very thick, good size of portion compared to other japanese restaurants where they give you as tiny as they can. Other main dishes are also beautiful and reasonably priced. Would strongly recommend to anyone
by Richard Mozes
2 months ago
We went to divert here last Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised by the venue. The decor was very warm and cosy. The menu on first glance was limited however the quality of the food was outstanding.
We had the Bento dinner box thinking it would be small and light. We were blown away with the size and presentation of the box.
The service was friendly and very attentive. I would gladly recommend the place to people who appreciate quality Japanese food. I'll be back!
by Josh Law
2 months ago
A nice little place. The decor is very a quaint Japanese style. The staff were friendly and the food was well presented. We had a rice type dish and a seafood salad. Absolutely no problems at all with the food. A little pricey but well worth the money.
by Alisha Ophelia
2 months ago
Stunning Japanese food, variety of vegetarian options and attentive service. The secluded booths make you feel like you're the only diners there. The wooden decor transports you to a different place.
by Mun Clair
2 months ago
This place is absolutely stunning! I had the spicy chicken lunch special which came with rice, salad, chicken, sushi, dumpling and miso, such a great deal for only $13. I have nothing to fault about the food, was delicious and very filling. Would definitely return for another meal
by Annie Bananie
2 months ago
Came here for dinner and had higher expectations but overall was still pretty good. Very good service, romantic mood lighting but also good for a after work snack with friends. The eel was a bit tough but the eggplant, tofu and pork belly was really good
3 months ago
Good for Friday lunches..
Lunch menu has good enough variety of dishes and is affordable.
The ambience is nice and the service is always good.
by Maia Churichkova
3 months ago
Lovely restaurant and makes you feel like you're not right in the middle of the city which is nice. Staff are friendly and service is good, as are the prices. Meals are wonderfully presented. I really enjoyed the spicy chicken and the gyoza. Sashimi lovely and fresh.
4 months ago
Kushi is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in the city. It's a good place to meet with groups or friends. I really like the agedashi tofu, sushi and the vegetarian dinner set. The dinner sets are quite generous and generally quite filling. The dinner sets come with tempura, miso soup, fruit, salad and sushi.The customer service is excellent and the staff are generally very friendly and happy to help with making recommendations about what to order.I have been here several times and I have had a positive experience each time I have visited.
4 months ago
A bigger range of food compared to the more casual Kushi joint next door, better ambience. The food quality is pretty much the same - but this place is more expensive. Overall, a neat little place to catch up with friends or a date. Decent.
by Dallace Wulf
4 months ago
Love this place. My favourite is the spicy chicken don. I tried the sushi but it's not to my taste, when I had it t was quite warm. Lovely service and I love the way that the restaurant is decorated. Gives a real authentic feel. Will definitely be back
by Sarah Huynh
4 months ago
Came with my boyfriend to this place, the setting of the restaurant is very nice and it had a nice atmosphere. We had their lunch specials which were really cheap considering the portion. I had the Ton Katsu, it had way too much sauce and was too over powering. However, would definitely come back again to try other things.
4 months ago
I found this place with my friend and absolutely loved the food! I had a prawn and rice meal with homemade mayo which was mouthwatering. Also the layout of the restaurant is awesome and the staff were lovely.
by Zoe Huang
5 months ago
We had lunch there. We ordered two lunch special. One teriyaki chicken and one teriyaki beef. 13.95 each. I prefer the beef one as the chicken is a little bit dry. We waited about 15 mins for our food. Quite a lot of people have lunch over there. Overall the experience was not bad.
by Alysha B
5 months ago
Kushi has a beautiful atmosphere and friendly staff. The food here is not too bad of a price. My friend and I shared a gyoza hotpot which was supposedly big enough for 2 people all though we added some udon noodles which was 3 dollars extra there was not too much there at least, to fill our bellies. I would still go here again as the food we had was still quite nice and it is always good to have lovely service :)
5 months ago
Kushi is one of those places that just looks awesome and has great ambiance. You get a really good vibe as soon as you walk in. This place is perfect for a group gathering or couples. Comparing it to other Japanese places I have been to, kushi is good, don't get me wrong but nothing over average. The dishes are well presented and tasty but they were missing kick to me keep me coming back. My favourite dish out of the ones were ordered was the agedashi tofu. The Japanese lemonade was also pretty good! A little pricey compared to some other Asian places nearby. The lunch menu looked really good and pretty good value so would recommend visiting for lunch.
by Michael Chen
5 months ago
Friendly staff and aesthetically pleasant place to dine. Food came quickly and was an overall good dining experience. Slightly pricey for the food but it was made up by the overall good vibes the restaurant design gave off.
by Angelica Santos
5 months ago
Went here for dinner on a Saturday night. Love the ambiance and the Japanese feel. The servers are very nice and welcoming. The food however, abit overpriced and average. I ordered a salmon dinner bento box and I would say it was alright. The portions were smaller than I expected. Maybe it's because I have been to a lot of Japanese restaurants and this was quite average for me.... But all in all cute Japanese place and very fancy :)
6 months ago
Kushi is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants! As soon as you step through the door, you are transported into a beautiful restaurant with a chill but slightly romantic feel. Dim lighting all across, with candles lit on each table, and a few green plants here and there to liven up the place.
Been here many times for dinner, and again tonight. It was an early dinner at around 540pm, so our food came out extremely fast.
Mine was the teriyaki chicken dinner set and my boyfriend had the unagi dinner set. The thing that makes Kushi's dinner sets better than the rest is that they bring out a mini sashimi and sushi entree set before your main dinner set is presented on the table. Definitely great value for money!
Badically, this is one of the best Japanese places in the Auckland CBD. I would highly recommend the dinner sets, but if you want to order a la carte style, I'm pretty sure everything is just as good!
by Maung Maung Oo
6 months ago
Friendly & attentive staff, quick service, delicious food,. Shabu-Shabu hot pot is worth a try. Teriyaki Sets were amazing & went with Sapparo beer.
They will give you $4 discount on parking. So don't park your car at Wilson. Try parking across the street.
6 months ago
Hands down the best Japanese restaurant I've been to so far! Came here for dinner with family seeing that it had such great reviews and it really did match up to my expectations. We ordered sukiyaki, unagi, okonomiyaki, salmon rice box which came with some hella great sashimi (maybe we were just super hungry but I swear it melted in our mouths) the interior design of the place is quite nice too! Has an authentic feel to it! Definitely recommended :)
by Aj Maglaqui
6 months ago
Loved this place! One of my favourite Japanese restaurants, the staff were friendly! And the food is amazing! exceeded expectations, the set out is nice and I would definitely come back again, service was quick and food tasted really good :)
by Diana Moore
6 months ago
I love this place! The atmosphere is great any time of the day. Food is excellent and service is superb! If you go on a Friday about 7.30pm you will see a spectacular show of Drummers that come in for about 15 minutes. It is amazing and its free.
Be sure to ask for a table that has a good view.
When I am in the city in the evening, this is my favourite place to go.
by Summerlee Fataoui Schick
6 months ago
This place is beautifully presented. Lovely atmosphere, great waiters/waitresses and really yummy food! Not badly priced as well for the inner CBD. Would revisit
6 months ago
Good lunch special menu.. Good Ambience and the food was great too. I ordered marinated beef. Lunch special menu comes with miso soup, 2 pieces of sushi, small bowl of rise, salad, spring roll along with the beef. It's very similar to Bento box but had a different touch to it.
Overall good food; will go back
Just a note : Even though the restaurant wasn't busy it took more than 10 minutes to take the order.
7 months ago
Been here twice now- so far so good. Its the usual japanese sake beer food joint in a western fine dining set up. Had the large sashimi mix, takowasabi, takoyaki, dumplings, beef tataki, tuna tataki, karaage chicken and tofu. All were decent proportions and was shared between about ten people. Almost everything was good and enjoyed by all, except I wouldn't recommend the dumplings or tofu - they are ordinary. The rice bubbles coating for the karaage is a nice touch though.
Only downer was we were having a birthday here and was told there was a 15% dc over the phone when making a booking. No one told us u had to be a member prior until the bill arrived. Maybe some clearer info next time.
7 months ago
I came here with two friends last December. Still remember the staff at Kushi were very attentive，friendly and helpful. So a big 5 star for customer service. Among all the dishes we had that night，Karrage chicken was my favourite. The chicken was coated with rice bubble that tasted divine. Besides that，the presentation was also a strong point.
The least favoured dish was our hot pot( can't remember the name), but when it arrived, the soup base tasted rather average and the portion was poor. Not worth the money at all, having said that, taking into account of the good service, private dine atmosphere and perfectly fried Karrage chicken, I'd like to give a high rate. Will come next time to try other things on menu and perhaps enjoy a Friday night drum show.
8 months ago
My regular go-to for Japanese. Love their dinner boxes! Great service everytime, generous portions and very tasty. Would definitely recommend!
by Kai Finder
9 months ago
Japanese food and service at its best. Large Karaage chicken pieces like I've never had before. Crunchy with rice bubble coating. Dishes are beautifully presented and reasonable prices.
9 months ago
This is going to sound daft but I've eaten here quite a few times but didn't quite realise how good it is until I came here on my own. This is because this is where my friends and I usually go before we go to a show in the CBD so I'm usually here with friends and we talk and laugh a lot and you kind of eat your food without really savouring it because before you know it you have to gobble down the last bits of your meal because you've lost track of time and you've got to rush to get to the show on time. Anyway, the food IS good, service is warm and cheery, decor and loos are soothing and tasteful. It was just me and my book for dinner and they sat me at one of the booths which are really cosy. I ordered the scotch fillet set and the house sake. Really good value for the set at $28.95. It came with miso soup, rice, sushi, sashimi, tempura, a small prawn and vege dish cooked in soy sauce and butter, salad and some fruit. Everything was fresh, except for the slices of tinned pineapple with the fresh fruit - a bit odd but not unpleasant. The tempura included a tempura prawn which was great considering the very reasonable price. The scotch fillet was cooked on the teppan and perfectly smokey and rare. I found the teppan sauce to be too sweet for my taste, to the point where I would ask for it on the side next time. I was very full at the end and even if I hadn't had my trusty Entertainment Book voucher it still would have been very good value.
The izakaya and small dishes that I've had here before are well executed too. The only way Kushi would be perfect would be if they had some of the 'variety' cuts like chicken cartilage or hearts or beef tongue.
They offer well priced drink/snack combos too.
10 months ago
Kushi, surprisingly a relatively unknown eatery, is definitely a contender for best Japanese in this city. Consistently serving an array of delicious dishes for more than reasonable prices (under $60 for all this), there's not much they do wrong. My favourite pick is Kushi's karaage chicken (top left). It's concurrently moist, crunchy, flavoursome and creative; who else fries their chicken with rice bubbles? The restaurant's interior is a cool wooden-themed Asian abode while staff are always on friendly level 10. It's a tad dark and eerily never full, but if you go on a Friday night, you might just score yourself a free Japanese drum show with yah meal.
For more reviews around Auckland follow adl_taste_akl on Instagram!
by Kirsten Chan
10 months ago
Kushi is the best Japanese restaurant I have ever been to and I always come back here with family and friends for a good meal, which is the Teriyaki Chicken Kushi Plate! The service is amazing and the atmosphere and environment of this place is spot on! If you love Japanese food, this is the place to go to! ^_^
10 months ago
We come here often and love the service and food. Slightly on the pricey end, but worth the visit anyway. Fresh and yummy dishes with top-notch customer service.
by Oisin O'Reilly
Nov 26, 2014
Came here for dinner on a rainy weekday. It wasn't really filled with people, although it was dinner time. We were enthusiastically greeted by the many FOH attendants and even those behind the bar. We were led to a very cosy booth. They have heaps of these here and it's a great place to dine, with the added privacy of the enclosed booth.
We ordered a few mains to share. They included the Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), Kaarage chicken, and beef steak, and soft-shelled crab. The food arrived fairly quickly. We really enjoyed the chicken and the Okonomiyaki. I highly recommend those two dishes. The portion was fairly big, great value for money.We decided to get dessert of banana fritters and some ice cream. They were both delightful as well. Would definitely come back here in the future to try more of their food and possibly their wide range of Japanese beer/sake in store.
by Life As A Mutt
Oct 14, 2014
Tucked down one of Auckland CBD's many unassuming alleys, Kushi might just be one of the cities hidden dining delights. Well, maybe not.
Undoubtedly the star attraction at Kushi is the weekly drum performance. Every Friday night at 7:30 pm, several traditional Japanese drummers perform a short routine. It’s incredibly impassioned and definitely contagious. The first time after watching it, I became sharply enlivened and energised. Definitely worth seeing at least once! However as memorable as the drum performances are, the same can’t be said about the rest of the experience at Kushi.
Unfortunately around 7-8 pm, the service becomes awful due to overburdened staff. On occasions we've waited twenty minutes for service, and I ended up having to leave my seat and intercept a waiter to place our order. This isn't unusual either, the service is consistently bad each time we've visited around this time. By 9 pm the restaurant is its usual quiet self and service is once again acceptable. So if your intent is to watch the drum performance, AND eat promptly, you may struggle.
The food at Kushi is a mostly enjoyable, though nothing spectacular. The sushi is the best part of the menu, with a medium sashimi/sushi platter of fifteen pieces priced under $32. The fish is fresh, the rice delicate and the portions generous. The bento box and tempura are also worth eating. The tempura batter was light and crispy and the bento box was filling. However not everything on the menu is brilliant, such as the horribly greasy yakisoba which is mostly comprised of cabbage. It was a dish that would have comfortably sat in a grimy, poor quality Chinese restaurant, but stuck out sorely in this relatively up market Japanese restaurant. The rest of the menu, such as yakitori or salmon teriyaki is decidedly average.
Although we enjoyed our Friday night meals at Kushi, we eventually grew tired of the poor service. At our last visit, we left after fifteen minutes of getting no attention from the staff. The menu is reasonable, though not worth visiting for, when there are better Japanese restaurants nearby.
Kushi offers a unique weekly performance which is worth visiting and an enjoyable, though forgettable menu. Just keep in mind that your Friday night meal will come at the cost of laggardly service.
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by Genie @ BunnyEatsDesign
Sep 24, 2014
Tucked away in a random spot in the city and unexpectedly lovely, Kushi is a beautiful wooden space with intimate booths and tables.
Serving decent Japanese food right in the heart of the city, Izakaya style food, and a little bit of fusion. They have a very well thought out drinks and snack combo menu worth trying and I can see this being popular with the lunch and afterwork drinks crowd. A great place for Japanese food lovers and adventurous eaters, though there are plenty of safe options. Some vegetarian options, but most bento sets come with sashimi so check with your waiter. Special dietary requirements are not marked on menu.
We dined during Auckland restaurant month and had their 2 course special for $25. A selection of edamame, sashimi and the chef’s choice of 4 bites to start, followed by your choice of main – options include teriyaki chicken, butterfly prawn, spicy chicken, spicy salmon, fish katsu or crispy tofu. Served with tempura, rice and fruit.
We loved the chef’s choice of starters. A nice selection of different things that was fun to discover and eat. The sashimi was lovely and the meatball very good.
While the starters were great, the mains are only OK. I found all the mains we ordered were very sweet. The prawns were unexpectedly sweet and fruity. It tasted like a dessert. Not unpleasant, just unusual when you’re expecting a main. Great presentation though, we didn’t expect this level of presentation for a $25. Avoid if you don’t like Japanese food. or seafood Most bento sets come with sashimi and ours came with raw octopus so if you are picky about raw seafood, please check with your waiter.
The service was friendly but absent which was disappointing. After we got our first drinks order, there were no more drinks orders and no one checked up on us during our meal. One drink was forgotten completely but there was no one to tell. Water was never topped up during our meal, but after our table was cleared we were about to leave.
I would recommend this place for a cheap, casual lunch or dinner. Due to the lack of drinks service, this might not be a good place for special occasions or to impress...though they have a (very confusing reward) system for birthday parties.
by Pol's Pot
Sep 20, 2014
Ok. So it might be Korean owned but who cares:It's hard to tell. Effective decor and efficent Japanese staff creates an authentic atmosphere. Stick an overly enthusiastic Japanese drum show into the mix (Friday evenings only) and you have the makings of a memorable evening. Generous cuts of sashimi, well-rolled sushi and zingy tataki made up for the rather insipid gyoza. Salt and pepper chicken yakatori and crisp Asahi also hit the mark.
by Eli A
Aug 20, 2014
I have been visiting with Kushi almost since it started, and I keep going back, and taking friends and family with me. Everyone I have brought here loved the food, and said they are coming back. Service is great usually, and the prices are excellent. Love the drumming and the decor :-)
Aug 13, 2014
I love Kushi, a little hidden gem in the CBD. I have only ever been for lunch and it has been delicious. The lunch specials are good value for money with generous portions. I recommend the Yakiniku Bento. The service here is great and the staff are very friendly.
Aug 08, 2014
Kushi has nice food but nothing special, nice atmosphere though. Good Chicken Karaage but I wouldn't recommend their Okonomiyaki, it's a bit bland.
Aug 07, 2014
If you are looking for the best Japanese lunch venue, then look no further! It's always a complete pleasure to eat here, and the quick fire lunch menu is great! I usually go for the Fish Katsu, see photo. Friday evenings they have an impressive drumming routine, phone first in case it is cancelled. Make sure you say hi to the irrepressible Lucy, and don't forget to get a loyalty card, the points add up very quickly! One of the best things about this restaurant is the seriously authentic interior and the very comfy booths...!
Jul 16, 2014
Ive been there couple of times with friend. The atmosphere was good, and the staff are very friendly, feel relax in this restaurant! sashimi always quite fresh, the cooking way of karaage is quite special and nice.The special experience for me was a drum show during the meal. Was shocked for their awesome performance. Should have asked more friends to come to see the show later on! it's worth to come to enjoy the nice food in a Japanese culture based atmosphere. Highly recommend Japanese restaurant in city centre.
by Georgie @ Georgieats
Jul 10, 2014
Kushi is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in town. I have taken various friends here on many occasions and each time has been great!
I especially enjoy coming in for lunch as they have a $11.95 special – you choose between chicken, fish or tofu and it comes served with rice, vegetables, sushi and miso soup. It is a cheap and tasty meal and very delicious!
I also love Kushi because they serve one of my favourite foods, Takoyaki. And they do it well. Takoyaki is a ball shaped Japanese snack with an octopus filling inside. I think it has a great flavour, a mix between sweet and savoury.
I will keep coming back to Kushi because the food is always yummy and the staff are very friendly which makes the experience even better.
Jun 05, 2014
Went there last night with my gf. From outside it looks very norm but ones you step in, it surprises you. It was a great atmodphere, lighting, music, furniture - whoa, we totally felt for a moment that we were in Japan.
Service was very friendly but what more amazed us was the food. Wow, was the word to describe it. Nicely priced, very affordable and ticks all the right boxes if you wanna give urself and friends a nice treat.
Its kind of hidden treasure but from what we witnessed I'll highly recommened Kushi as a great place and value for money. :-)
by Gina Des Baux
May 18, 2014
Went here for the first time last night after reading lots of good reviews for it on here. We booked in for 6.30 but were running late so I rung about 20 mins before to push our booking to 6.45 which was no problem at all. Got there and was really taken by the awesome interior design! The restaurant had a really nice atmosphere and loved that we were seated in a booth that is quite private from other diners. The food was excellent, everything tasted incredibly fresh including all of the seafood. I went there expecting smaller sized dishes but was surprised at how much food we actually got. My partner and I both ordered 3 dishes each and weren't able to finish everything. They also had some great dinner deals going. Service was friendly and polite and food was served efficiently. Would definitely recommend especially if you are looking for somewhere to go as a couple.
May 13, 2014
Kushi is one of my favourite lunch destinations when I want something that is filling but on the cheap side. For $12 they do an amazing lunch deal including your choice of a meat - beef yakiniku, teriyaki chicken, spicy chicken, chicken katsu or tofu plus a bowl of miso, rice, cabbage salad, sauteed veges, 2 x pieces of sushi and a potato croquette.
The food is all delicious and leaves you feeling pretty damn satisfied.
The space itself is really nice and simple - it's quite a large space so there's no getting squished up to other diners and usually it's pretty quiet at lunch so you can be served fairly quickly.
Long may that last however, I get the impression that it's becoming more popular and booking may be necessary for lunch in the future.
by Mike Ashby
Apr 24, 2014
Been here a couple of times now, and starting to get the hang of the menu.
Food is delicious, exotic and beautifully presented. It has the added advantage of being pretty healthy in terms of ingredients and preparation. The staff are friendly and helpful, and speed of service was reasonable.
We've ordered a lot of dishes over our visits, and never had a bad experience. The environment is classy, and even better, you can get a table on a Friday night. The drums are an added feature.
Will definitely be back.
by John K
Apr 22, 2014
The food and service is great. I have brought my friends three times and my family once to this restaurant, all of whom were first visitors. Expectantly they all loved the food and the atmosphere. Of the four visits, I used the entertainment vouchers which they accepted without any hassle. Although the discounts did not apply to food that were already on special, this was understandable as they were quite heavily discounted. I would definitely recommend this place!
by Asian Fan
Apr 05, 2014
Nice restaurant.. Great atmosphere. Sushi, salami, sashimi are very nice! But bento,,, hmmm not so good.. Too many deep fried stuffs, very greasy. I couldn't finish the meal cuz everything was full of oil.. Deep fired, tempura veg , mayo sauce, donkatsu, prawn tempura @@ OMG too much! If you wanna give that much oily stuffs, I think you should serve some hot tea with it.. Like Chinese dim sum.. The price was quite high but good enough for the quality meal and service. I wouldn't say the service was bad, but the staff actually took my order wrong, I orders scott filet dish, not bento set, but he got bento for us, which is a lot more expensive. We didn't realise that until we come to pay for the meal. I didn't want to make him in trouble so we didn't say anything about it. Would it be a good idea to train the staffs to repeat and confirm the order before passing to the kitchen?
Mar 26, 2014
Having lost my cheap/cheerful go-to Japanese place in Lorne street to development (IMHO - ruined), I needed to find a replacement for a catch-up lunch. I read the reviews on this site and gave Kushi a well placed punt. The entrance and address doesn't lend much to Kushi's business but it's a winner. A Japanese version of the TARDIS, Kushi opens into a groovy but traditional interior with lots of booths and a very chillaxed group of people enjoying their lunch. In a previous review of an establishment further down town I mentioned the bearded geek-chic of the self-selected group of punters. This gaff is full of the well groomed and mid-priced suited members of the local chambers - not so much as a 'tache let alone unsuitable stubble here. Luckily the, undoubtably world-shaking and confidential, conversations were all conducted sotto voce and therefore the ambiance was as far from the braying of a Ponsonby eatery as Putin is from the truth. It did seem that most of the lunchers were enjoying the $9.95 lunch combo which looked great; lone diners had a chic wooden bar to eat at. We, as gastronomes, dived into the menu and shared a full priced 'lunch' of unagi and accompaniments - sushi, miso etc. We beefed it up with gyoza, seaweed salad, octopus nigiri, an additional miso and the indispensable takoyaki. I judge a Japanese restaurant on their tofu agedashi but it wasn't available as an add on - I would suggest it is as one of the set meals includes it. If that and ikura appeared on the menu, this would be my perfect place in the city. The staff were great, we had Lake Chalice s/b which is perfect with the food and were delighted when we left. The lovely lady who took the payment was slightly surprised at our bill which suggests that, at lunch at least, it's a cheap place underused.
by Char & Ricky Pundog
Mar 06, 2014
Go there for a lot of work lunches, the food is always good and served quickly. Staff are great and make us feel really welcome every time my work crew visits. The $10 lunch special is a good option especially if you order the spicy chicken.
by Chai Ang
Dec 09, 2013
So much space/seating in this restaurant. It's secretly tucked in the middle of the city, with really good Japanese cuisine and the awesome beer tower selection, I'm surprised this restaurant isn't always packed. Having brought a large group of people to have dinner here (on short notice as well) they accommodated well and the service was very friendly and fun. With a loyalty card service as well, it definitely makes me feel rewarded every time I visit (even though I feel great already for the food). Don't forget they also do takeaways! - a takeaway Kushi is right next to the main restaurant.
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
Dec 07, 2013
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!
If you like this review, please check out my dining blog -http://mydiningjourney.wordpress.com for more!
by Where's The Food?
Dec 06, 2013
This cosy restaurant combines tasty Teppanyaki dishes and an amazing ambiance to deliver a fantastic dining experience. I was initially unsure about the fact that I would end up celebrating my birthday at a generic Japanese restaurant but the staff at Kushi were welcoming and the perfectly cooked salmon steak and scotch fillet left us completely satisfied. The dinner set portions are generous so be sure to take a few friends with you to get the best value for your dollar. Modestly priced, this gem offers the best bang for your buck and I was pleasantly surprised when the chef came out and sang the birthday song, ukulele in hand. Their wide range of premium sake ensured that we left with our bellies full, of scrumptious food and liquor. Overall, this was a meal I will not forget, and definitely be back for more.
by C.c. Lee
Nov 07, 2013
Cut above the rest, does towers of beer too in case the nearby BlueStone Room is overcrowded. Good place for a big group to have dinner with beers after. Service is attentive, courteous, and efficient!
by Kate Smith
Oct 01, 2013
I had a delicious dinner out with my bestie at Kushi on a Saturday night.
The waitresses were really friendly and offered my friend so many alternatives when her fav wine wasn't available.
The food was delicious - especially the agedashi tofu... so flavoursome and a hint of something I couldn't quite put my finger on, but very tasty.
Great location in the center of the city with really reasonable parking just opposite.
An all round great dining experience!
by Liz Winstone
Oct 01, 2013
Delicious Japanese food, in a really great setting.
We loved the option of booth-seating - because it makes it really private - we actually couldn't see any other diners from our secluded space. Loved it!
We bought a variety of different dishes and shared them. The standout delicious things for me included the sweet potato tempura dipped in delicious sauce; the beautiful green spinach with 'goma' (I had to look it up on my phone to find out what goma was) which was very yummy; and my perennial favourite Agedashi Tofu (a super thin layer of something a little crisp, not quite a batter, not quite tempura...) on the outside; with a bit of spring onion and some flakey pieces of mystery-something on the top; and of course the silky tofu, flavoured by the salty delicious sauce that the pieces were sitting in.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Teriyaki Salmon Set. Everything delicious and fresh and it should be.
Service at Kushi was very good, once we were seated. Room for improvement, could be that somehow this restaurant needs to find a way for kitchen / front of house team to be made instantly aware when people have arrived through the door... so they can shout out that cool Japanese greeting that some places do (maybe mirrors or cameras could fix the problem that staff can't see people walking in around the corner?). When I walked in, staff were busy elsewhere, and I felt very lost ... it took a full 3 minutes of standing about feeling out-of-place for someone to come and welcome me!
Once seated, our two waitresses were exceptional, and really provided outstanding service.
Thank you! It was a really lovely evening.
Jul 20, 2013
Food and setting very nice but the service very lacking. I made a booking for lunchtime midweek for 9 and had to ask twice for enough menus for for everyone and twice for someone to take a drink order. Although food and ambience was nice, the service left a LOT to be desired.
by Arnz Watt
Jul 10, 2013
The food, service and setting is amazing. Best Japanese in Auckland. Lunch service is great, quite fast and definitely value for money. My favourite for lunch is the spicy chicken. The dinner menu is awesome, so many great choices and everything is delicious. The staff there really make you feel welcome and are very attentive. The loyalty card is great too!
by Stace Mills
Jul 10, 2013
Kushi is our fav Japanese Restaurant ever! The atmosphere and people are fantastic and the food is always amazing! And the pricing is very reasonable! We love coming in often for a delicious meal. Would highly recommend this place!
by Graham Brown
Jul 05, 2013
This was another amazing find in Auckland. Out of all of the Japanese restaurants that I searched through I'm glad that I chose Kushi.
From the young lady welcoming me to their restaurant, the experience was a good one. The 25 piece sashimi was A) huge and B) beautiful, not only in presentation but taste.
The waiter was very attentive and also asked whether I wanted my sake re-heating once my main came out.
Overall a very nice, well presented restaurant and yes, I will certainly go there again. They also have some very good offers on - especially if there are two people sharing meals.
by Josie Amon
Jun 05, 2013
Delicious Japanese food, great ambience, good prices and if you are lucky you get an amazing drum performance. Oh yes, great service as well. Been there at least 10 times this year so far.
It is convenient that it is just across the road from where I live.
by Anna Butcher
Jun 05, 2013
Absolutely love this place! Is one of my favorite places in the city for lunch, and an amazing Japanese place! Service is fantastic - the staff are so friendly & the decor is great. Would definitely recommend it to others & quite regularly have!
by Aileen Cheng
Jun 05, 2013
Delicious Japanese food. Lovely friendly service. Conveniently located in Auckland CBD. Affordable prices especially at lunch time. Great atmosphere for group dinners or romantic date dinners. A really fun surprise drumming performance at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights I think. Really awesome discounted birthday special thank you.
I have been twice for lunch with 1 other person and dinner with 1 person and a group dinner with 10 people.
Jun 05, 2013
-Nice Staff and service
-We got great deals on my wife's and friends birthday
-Parking deal as well
-Great food! Shabu shabu is the best!
But karaage chicken has a modern twist with rice puffs, would prefer without it and some the crispy fried skin.
Recommend to all!
by Carine Claudepierre
Apr 15, 2013
I highly recommend this place that we discovered with my husband few month ago (almost when they opened the place). First the atmosphere of the restaurant is beautiful, brand new, a bit dark and intimate to have a dinner as a couple. Then, the food is awesome really different to other Japanese restaurants. I hate going to a restaurant which does not surprise me ! Here you will be amazed by the different way they prepare dishes. Our favourite dishes are the chicken Karaage (crusty breadcrumb with puffy rice I guess and nice tartare sauce to go with it, camembert skewer and beef tataki. Finally, the team is really polite, smiling and will do anything to make your dinner perfect.
by Kiki Benton
Mar 28, 2013
One of the best Japanese restaurants I have been to in Auckland. Modern interior and very helpful staff.
Fantastic food and service!
They do a brilliant karage chicken with rice bubbles!
by Tony Ma
Mar 12, 2013
Large sliecs of Sashimi, if you are a sashimi fan, do try the large sashimi plater :)
Went yesterday and they also had live drum band playing which was very entertaining to watch while dining.
The tatakis here are really nice, whether it be beef or tuna. Really refreshing taste.
Wait time: 4/5
Food Quality and taste: 4/5
Price range: $40+ pp
by Felicity Williams
Feb 08, 2013
Happen to be looking for a place to dine one dec night, quite late on saturday evening,and stumbled across Kushi, we were starving so we just walked and they seated us pretty much straight away which was great, they were very friendly and quick on their feet. they took our orders and food came shortly after, presentation wise was 5stars, and the flavours were all there too. very much enjoyed our meals(bento boxes) they were a little pricier than some other Japanese restaurants we have been too, but the it was a bonus because we got 50% off my husbands meal, if it is the week of your birthday you can get 50% off your main.woohoo for us. the decor is fantastic and the toilets were spotless and so so nice, lighting and decor 2thumbs up. the music so so fantastic too, we asked where we could get our hands on those tracks it was so good.
the only down for me personally was that it was a little too dark in there, maybe they dimmed the lights down that night for some reason, but other than that, its a wonderful place to dine. 4.5 stars from me.:-)
by Kat M
Jan 30, 2013
Kushi has AMAZING lunch specials! Such great value for money - you get sooooo much food. We've visited a few times and always leave feeling full and satisfied!
by Frankie Kaleta
Jan 04, 2013
Another fantastic Japanese restaurant!
Service was flawless, I was warmly welcomed and served promptly. Food came out at excellent speed, and everything was delicious!
The atmosphere itself is very authentic, with excellent decor.
Great place to take someone to get there first taste of Japanese cuisine because everyone is so friendly and helpful, not to mention very clean.
I can't fault this place at all. Wonderful experience!
by Wilma Burich
Dec 13, 2012
What a surprise when I walked in. Fab decor, great service, good music. I agree could be one of Auckland's better Japanese restaurants. Waited a little longer than expected for my 2nd drink but hey I got to write this review in between.
by Allan Fong
Dec 03, 2012
Very good, food is great. Portions are slightly small but it is expected.
by Kelly Wu
Nov 18, 2012
It was proved to be a very satisfactory night we spent in the japanese restaurant. The atmosphere is terrific and the staff is very friendly. The food we ordered is among the best quality we had in various jap restaurants. Overall good value for the money spent, would come back again!
by Courtney Griffiths
Nov 01, 2012
A girlfriend and I went here with a deal voucher. We were early for our table but they let us come in anyway. Service was great, very helpful especially helping us pick some different things to the usual. Food was awesome, super filing and fresh! The atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming too. Although I have heard about the drummers we didn't see any, owell always next time!
Definately will be returning again!
Oct 02, 2012
Tried this place with deal voucher. The food was very very good, but customer service a bit average.
Aug 21, 2012
Lovely atmosphere and food :)
by Maria Pitkanen
Aug 14, 2012
Good atmosphere, good food. Went there a while back with a deal voucher, staff were very friendly and attentive. I could not find a lot of vegetarian options on the dinner menu so they let me order from the lunch menu as well. Would definitely go back.
by Lou Tui
Jul 25, 2012
Saw this restaurant in the north shore times and decided to try it out. It definitely was not a waste of our time. was impressed with the bubbly staff and how they were attentive. Have been twice now for dinner and will look forward to attending again. The prices were what we expected. The drumming performance was a lovely surprise not what we expected but enjoying and was just as enjoying again the second time round. Love and recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves Japanese food or just looking to try something different. Keep up the amazing work guys!<3
by Marinka S
Apr 12, 2012
Food is typical Japanese and yes there are no surprises about it. It is what you expect and deserve to get. The prices are ok as well taking the fact that is CBD restaurant. We were there three times already and will keep coming back. First time we were there it was day after they opened and I tell you the staff and service was implacable and personal.
We just love this place, simple, nice, consistent !!! Way to go guys.
Apr 02, 2012
Stumbled across this while looking for somewhere to eat (was originally going to BBQ King - then we saw this place). An amazing decor, lovely staff members - all so vibrant and lively. Bit disappointing they're actually Korean, but the food still tasted pretty good. A bit over-priced for the amount of food you get during their dinner session. It's worth a try as the food isn't too bad and the atmosphere and staff are great ^^
shockingly it's been 2 years since my first review of this restaurant. I came here on the weekend with my boyfriend and his mum before work and thankfully it wasnt too busy and had room for a last minute booking (we already got rejected from Nishiki because they only had seats available at 8~830pm). staff are very friendly and helpful - our waitress suggested a really good bottle of sake to try and recommended to have it warm. My only irk with the service is that once you've gotten your meals, staff vanish until you get up to go look for them - whether it's to ask for water refills or a takeaway box.
I decided to get the Teriyaki Salmon dinner set as it seemed the most value for money whereas the boyfriend and mum opted for one of the dinner specials (prawns with beer), scotch fillet steak and other bits and pieces. i loved the dinner set, the salmon was the best part, not too saucey or sweet like most places make them. The fried fish and veges are more of a filler than anything else, the taste was average and very dry. the side salad was great, perfect amount of dressing ! the seaweed salad just reminds me of the frozen ones you get in supermarkets that have a bit too much oily texture - thankfully there wasnt much of that on my plate. the steak was good, although the prawn twisters were crappy frozen ones defrosted and deep fried - to a certain extent there was an expectation for it to have been hand made instore and not factory produced.
by Kevin Sharrock
Jan 18, 2012
I suggest you go here to have a lunch or diner. They made my wife, daughter feel special. the service and food was excellent. the decore outstanding. After just coming back from a holiday in Tokyo I felt I was there for the day - well done
Jan 12, 2012
Food was exceptional, and we were greeted warmly when we arrived. We had a deal voucher and unlike some other restaurants we have eaten with vouchers before this was not a problem for them and we were still treated well. Only complaint was with the waiting service, very slow to get any drinks and no follow up for drinks service. We ended up going up to the bar ourselves. If they can sort the service out then this will be a 5 star ... some of the best Japanese food I have eaten in NZ.
by Ben Sheehan
Jan 12, 2012
Visited on a relatively quiet Friday night and ordered a variety from the menu. The food came out relatively quickly - I was a big fan of the teriyaki chicken and tempura - beautiful and crispy. The salads were delicious, albiet slightly overdressed. I guess the one complaint I had was with the service - while the waiters were very polite, drinks service was very slow and they weren't attentive - we had to visit the bar on more than one occasion to order more drinks. I think with some fine tuning this could be one of the best Japanese places in town.
by Alex Middlemiss
Jan 02, 2012
We stumbled across Kushi on our way to CityLife hotel on New Years Eve, when we walked in we were greeted warmly straight away and asked if we had a reservation - by looking at their book they were going to have a busy night yet they found us a unreserved table and promptly brought our drinks and food came out within 15 minutes of placing our order
The rear tuna was amazing! as was the noodle dish we had and my friend had the chicken which looked as though it had cripsy noodles inside the deep fried batter - he loved. Could have done dessert as well as they looked very good but we were in a hurry.
Great $$ wise also. Good wine list as well
I will be going back again as I am a huge fan of Nishiki in Freemans Bay and this restaurant gives it a good run for its money.
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