ADDRESS:   90 Federal St, Auckland CBD
MAINS:   $17.90 – $49.40
CONTACT:   09 363 6278
SCORE:   16.5 / 20

Let’s start where we finished – with dessert. The choko no pudyingu is one of the best endings to a meal that we have ever had. This chocolate and hazelnut soufflé comes gift-wrapped in a traditional Japanese cedar-wood box. Cooked to order, it oozes with a rich, molten filling and is served with plum wine ice cream. Nic Watt’s beautifully elegant Japanese restaurant does Korean/Kiwi fusion with aplomb. The long dining room accommodates large and small groups, with a private dining option at the rear. The generous menu is executed with artful precision, and dishes like the kankokufu kohitsuji – grilled south Waikato lamb cutlets paired with homemade gochujang – are knock-your-socks-off flavour combinations. Deep wine and sake lists complete the memorable meal deal.

IN BRIEF: Japanese robata restaurant and bar, bar none