Grilled Octopus

Azabu Ponsonby and Mission Bay unveil delicious new menus, and it’s giving us every reason to book a table now

Since opening on Ponsonby Road, Azabu has established itself as one of Auckland’s most consistently popular and universally beloved dining spots. Sought out for its signature blend of Japanese and Peruvian flavours and dishes that highlight fresh ingredients, Azabu hits the mark every time we visit (and trust us when we say, we have certainly visited a lot). A few years ago, its popularity grew even further when Azabu expanded its reach into Mission Bay, opening in the historic Mission House site adjacent to the beach. And while the two outposts are similar, they boast their own unique vibes and distinct menus, both things that have continued to cement their status as two of this city’s busiest dining destinations. Now, both Azabu Ponsonby and Azabu Mission Bay are unveiling delicious new menus for the season ahead, and we couldn’t be more excited to book a table.

Left: Yakiniku  Right: Charred Corn Salad

Shaking up the menus that we all know and love are a raft of tantalising dishes that play into Azabu’s slightly lighter take on Japanese cuisine, dreamt up and perfected by Azabu’s talented chefs and designed for summer’s long, warm days and nights. Across both venues, fresh additions include a 250g grain-fed sirloin Yakiniku, served with Tokyo onions, wasabi and spring onion, as well as a particularly delicious, premium Carrera wagyu (a grade 8-9) that is served with caramelised onion waft, garlic chips and wasabi.

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There are also a few new sushi rolls, including a Piri Piri Tuna Roll with spicy piri piri sauce and tempura crumb and a Spider Roll with soft-shell crab, cucumber kimchi and sichimi pepper.

Spider Roll

Perfect for those who seek out fresh seafood in summer, the new Omakase Nigiri offering comprises a chef’s selection of fresh market fish finished with mouthwatering Japanese flair, while a raft of delectable and delicate tiradito and ceviche dishes are set to serve up a flavour sensation, including a Lychee Ceviche with rocoto ponzu, sesame, wakame, avocado and shichimi lotus chip, and an Aji Amarillo Coconut Ceviche with white fish, pineapple, green pepper, red onion, aji amarillo, coconut cream, chilli and lime.

New sides include a delicious Charred Corn Salad with red onion, coriander and soy lime dressing and a Grilled Satsumaimo, which sees sweet potato grilled and served with sweet soy, kewpie mayo, spring onion and sesame.

Left: Grilled Octopus  Right: Lychee Ceviche

Of course, Azabu’s new dishes are best when enjoyed with an ice-cold Asahi, a satiating cocktail or a sake, whether you’re cosily nestled in Azabu Ponsonby’s atmospheric dining room, or enjoying the sun in Azabu Mission Bay’s beachside courtyard.

And if all of this wasn’t enough, Azabu Mission Bay will also be extending its hours from the 23rd of October to accommodate early-week, long lunches that make the most of the spring and summer weather.

So, even if you’ve enjoyed Azabu’s famous hospitality recently, we suggest getting some friends together and booking a table at either Azabu’s Ponsonby or Mission Bay venues to experience its delightful new dishes for yourself. Delivering an early indication that we’re in for a long, convivial summer of tasty lunches and dinners, Azabu has certainly set the bar high, but we wouldn’t expect anything less.


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