213 Symonds Street,
(09) 630 4489
The ViewAuckland Review
We’ve discovered the epicenter of great sushi in Auckland. Around the busy intersection linking Symonds St and Khyber Pass Rd are two unpretentious sushi places that easily overshadow the other spots around town that dot every shopping centre food hall. At both Banzai and Bian, the sushi is wonderfully fresh – it’s often made right before you eat it – and there’s a ‘How Do I Choose?’ array of flavours that might have you wishing your lunch break was half an hour longer. And just to make things a little tougher, there are also good pizza and pasta, kebabs and Thai food just a few doors along.
Bang on the corner of Symonds St and Khyber Pass Rd and decked out in bright red is Banzai Sushi. Banzai also functions as a Japanese restaurant doing Donburi rice bowls and steaming Udon noodles, but the real reason to come is the array of more than 40 different types of sushi. It’s a bit like being offered a free shot at your local ‘Pick and Mix’. Everything goes for around $1.50 to $2 per piece.
Fans of classics like Californian Rolls and Salmon Nigiri are well catered for, but there are also more challenging flavours like fish roe, sashimi calamari, and eel. And if your usual choice doesn’t appear to be available, just wait a few minutes, and another row of fresher-than-fresh sushi will appear from the kitchen.
Banzai’s also one of the only places around town that gets really creative with their sushi flavours. The zingy lemon pepper tuna is worth trying, and on our last visit they were also trialling Butter Chicken sushi. Our verdict? OK, but not a patch on the melt on your tongue tuna or salmon sashimi.
Service is so prompt at Banzai you’ll probably be done in around fifteen minutes. That means you’ve got plenty of time to have a green tea ice cream or a green tea frappucino as well.
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Content updated: 22/12/2014 04:55