Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar

Our rating 

User rating 

3 reviews
Venue Image
460A New North Road,
Kingsland
Auckland,


(09) 815 0610

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byBrett Atkinson24/08/2008

4 out of 5 stars

On yet another monsoonal Auckland Saturday night, we approach Taiko just as a few green-jerseyed Manawatu rugby fans are eyeing up the Japanese bar and restaurant. They’re also under the weather in a different sense, and eventually weave around the corner to a few more drinks at the Kinsgslander pub. I shouldn’t have worried actually, because our prior reservation with Taiko has secured the last table in this buzzy spot.

I reckon there are two approaches when eating Japanese food. Either you order a bento box and get an array of teriyaki, sushi and sashimi, or you dive into the accompanying menu of smaller plates, and treat the whole experience a bit like Asian tapas. Taiko’s menu is nicely wide-ranging, so we take the small plate route.

Despite being full, service from both the wait staff and the kitchen is excellent - in fact, almost a bit too fast - and we’re soon trying a few dishes you definitely won’t find at the your local St Pierres Westfield outlet. A 700ml handle of Sapporo draft beer ($11) and a crisp Lake Hayes chardonnay ($10) ideally partner the different tastes. Five other Japanese beers, sake, and other well-priced Kiwi boutique wines are also available.

We kick off with Super Giant Squid ($8), actually whole baby squid filled with a delicately spicy peri-peri sauce. The warning “Caution: filling may be hot” is very apt, but they’re deliciously moreish. Prawn yakitori ($11) are good value with five skewers packed with prawns, and pork and chive gyoza (dumplings $7) are light without a hint of greasiness.

The most unusual dish of the night is Takowasabi, ($5) raw diced octopus in a zingy wasabi sauce. The octopus is not as tender as other places around town like Parnell’s Gion, but the wasabi fire in the dish has me seriously considering a second huge beer. We keep up the octopus theme with Takoyaki ($9). Octopus dumplings are a favourite Japanese street food and Taiko’s Auckland versions are light and fluffy. In between the small plates, a large platter of sashimi ($26) provides contrast, with the highlights being the salmon and a single, tender scallop.

We really should be full, but the very capable waitress convinces us to try Taiko’s home-made ice cream ($7). Carol’s Green Tea flavour is more successful than my quirky wasabi and ginger variant, but on a night where we’ve dived into other idiosyncratic Japanese tastes, I’m glad I tried it.

Next time at Taiko we’re going to come back with a larger group, or park ourselves as a couple at the funky bar and try even more flavours off the wide-ranging menu.

And remember, if it’s a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably want to book.

Taiko Japanese Restaurant & Bar has been reviewed by 3 users
 

Most Read Today

image
01 South Africa - Rugby Team Profile

South Africa Team Profile - All You Need To Know A...

image
02 Pete Berg Interview

Actor-director Pete Berg talks about his alien the...

image
03 The Railway Man Interview

Director, writer and producer of The Railway Man t...

image
04 The Mortal Instruments Cast Interview

The cast of epic action-fantasy The Mortal Instrum...

image
05 Where Do We Go Now? Interview

Filmmaker and actor Nadine Labaki talks about her ...

Content updated: 28/03/2017 15:27

Restaurant Reviews

Get Onboard

Make It A Date

Connect

Latest Restaurants User Reviews

  • Daikoku Botany
    I don't normally like to write negative things on public forums b...

    JohnnyAstro on 19/03/2017 @ 12:00 p.m.
  • Sages Indian Restaurant
    Mind blowing!!! It was amazing feel not only the decoration but a...

    steveteile on 14/03/2017 @ 9:38 p.m.
  • Etxeberria
    We went to this fantastic new (pop-up - though I understand it wi...

    eat2enjoy on 9/03/2017 @ 9:56 a.m.
  • Number 5 Restaurant
    Experienced the five course degustation at Number 5 last week, an...

    LisaS_LocalHero on 2/03/2017 @ 1:01 p.m.
  • The Junction Eatery
    Wow - what a find! Just returned from a delicious brunch at the n...

    dreadlockrasta on 26/02/2017 @ 10:26 a.m.
Hitwise Award Winner