TANTO Japanese Dining

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3 reviews
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250 Manukau Road,

(09) 522 2300

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson14/01/2011

Kingsland’s Taiko Japanese restaurant – tucked down near the railway station – is a cool spot for Sapporo beer and sashimi. This new Epsom opening from one of Taiko’s former owners offers a similar buzzy experience, but with a more modern and sleek décor.

Exemplary with accurate descriptions of a few less well-known dishes from the owner, and conscientious follow up from Japanese English-language students conjuring up what they learnt in class that afternoon.

Drinks List
Draught Sapporo and three other Japanese beers, Asian-inspired cocktails, and 18 different wines – pretty good for a corner restaurant in a quiet Auckland neighbourhood.

Larger meals are on offer, but your best strategy is to go izakaya-style and share lots of small plates. Don’t miss the kakuni ($10, slow-cooked pork belly), dondonyaki ($8, savoury pancake), or tonshabu ($9, thin-slice pork with ponzu citrus soy sauce). Super-fresh sashimi ($24) and tempura squid ($9) too.

Most Surprising Dish
Takowasa ($5), a compact plate of zingy wasabi-marinated octopus. This could be where a second Sapporo draught will need to be ordered.

The Bottom Line
Tanto is a good-value Japanese bar and restaurant hidden away in Epsom. Lots of interesting hard-to-find tastes means it’s the kind of place where it’s very easy to become a regular.

A Reason to Return
The opportunity to sit at the bar, chatting to the kitchen staff, and grazing leisurely on a few beers and lots of small plates. Tanto is easily the closest Epsom comes to channeling a night out in Osaka.

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