104D Customs St West, Viaduct, Auckland City
Delightful and interesting best sums up our dinner experience at Industry Zen. From the traditional, yet edgy décor, to the artistic presentation of the food, our evening at this central city Japanese restaurant was very entertaining.
The menu has something for everyone, so we decided to pick several smaller dishes for a shared dining experience. According to the menu, “Whatever the place, knowing nature’s ways, ingredients are used to their best in dishes of Japanese Soul”. I was glad we were all sharing, or there would have been some major food envy going on.
I started my meal with a flavoursome bowl of miso soup, and warm, salty Edamame beans. The silky Agedashi Tofu (one of my favourite dishes) had a wonderfully crunchy textured batter and garnished with bonito flakes.
The meat eaters at the table enjoyed the yum yum prawns, which can out on a little burner, so you could cook your prawns to perfection, and the home made crab shuy-mai (crab dumplings).
Even the steamed seasonal vegetables were cooked to perfection, hidden in a wooden box.
My favourite morsel of the meal was the tofu croquettes, served on a selection of tasty sauces.
The food is beautifully presented, artfully laid out with wooden skewers, balancing dishes and unusual platters. At times it felt like a shame to actually eat the food that was served.
The wait staff were very gracious and friendly, although I’m not sure what their Madonna like head sets were in aid of (efficiency maybe).
A theatrical twist to the evening occurred just as we were about to leave. The sound of drums called us to attention, and everyone was silent as a screen lifted to show a glass window to the kitchen with all the chefs lined up.
I’ve been told that my next visit should be for lunch, when the food is brought out in intricate holders such as carriages and bridges. Should be interesting!
In a nutshell: An interesting and tasty Japanese dining experience.