Behind a very discreet entrance on Auckland
's Ponsonby Road eating-and-drinking strip, the slim and stylish interior of Azabu is enlivened only by big-format photos of Tokyo
, which rightly leaves the emphasis on the Japanese-Peruvian-fusion dishes coming from the kitchen. It's known as Nikkei cuisine, and standout examples on Azabu's eclectic menu include a tuna-sashimi tostada with fiery wasabi and jalapeño, and tiger prawns with an ají amarillo
mayonnaise. The Asian influence also extends to the cocktail list (try the Respirado del Fuego caipirinha with chile-infused cachaça, lime, and basil); Wednesdays to Fridays, Azabu offers good-value lunches of donburi
rice bowls and Japanese-style tacos.