Ebisu is my go to for any occasion if I’m downtown. It has a stellar reputation. I’ve been here on first dates; and last dates, valentines dinners, business meetings, birthday lunches and casual drinks. It’s a spacious, elegantly outfitted Japanese restaurant based on the traditional izakaya style of dining (Informal Japanese gastropub fare). While Ebisu is publicised as an informal Japanese restaurant the prices are anything but. A decent lunch for 2 will push you back around $120 not including drinks. My advice would be to order carefully, ask the waitstaff for ideas, and if done properly you’ll be able to taste a good chunk of the flavours on offer without breaking the bank; or on the other hand you could choose one of four customisable Bento Boxes ($25-35) which could include Market fish, Crisp soft shell crab & a 3 piece Salmon Avocado Roll.
This particular time myself and 3 friends decided we needed to treat ourselves after a pushing week. We opted for the Ebisu platter for 4 ($92), Beef Tataki Seared Angus ($22), Tempura battered prawns w/tobiko, chives and nori powder ($24) , Grilled Salmon w/ citrus-white miso mayo ($34) & other local small plates. The sashimi is delicately, deliciously fresh and the gold leaf was a beautiful touch. I’m not a food critic I’m a photographer and while my pallet is experienced it’s not professional. Most of the dishes are out of this world, others like the Tataki could be improved. The thin slices of seared beef felt like sponges that had been sitting in citrus-soy dressing for too long. Still tasty but not like the tataki I’m used to. Despite these hiccups, service has always been pleasant, the food is always exquisitely presented and I will return here time after time even if it’s for a quick Bento Box. In fact it’s still in my top 5 restaurants in Auckland.
Beef Tataki Seared Angus ($22)
Ebisu Platter for 4 – Chef’s selection of the day’s’ best market sashimi, nigiri sushi & maki rolls served on ice with house made pickles & wasabi ($92) for 6 ($140)
Tempura battered prawns w/tobiko, chives and nori powder ($24)
Grilled Salmon w/ citrus-white miso mayo ($34) & Momofuku Buns.
All words and food images Copyright © 2016 David Grr | Interior Photos www.ebisu.co.nz