Azabu Ponsonby

Restaurants key icon.
Restaurants key icon.

Monday5:00 – 10:00 pm.

Tuesday5:00 – 10:00 pm.

Wednesday5:00 – 10:00 pm.

Thursday12:00 – 10:00 pm.

Friday12:00 – 10:00 pm.

Saturday4:00 – 10:00 pm.

Sunday5:00 – 10:00 pm.

26 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

09 320 5292

Azabu has long been considered a mainstay in Auckland's culinary scene, for good reason. With locations in Ponsonby and Mission Bay, Azabu celebrates the exciting fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours - known as Nikkei cuisine. Both locations draw inspiration from traditional Japanese izakayas, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that's perfect for unwinding after a long day. Imagine enjoying delicious food in a cosy setting, where you can relax and savour the unique blend of flavours with a cold beer or sake in hand.

Nikkei cuisine is intended to be approachable, featuring fresh flavours and something to appeal to everyone’s palette. Rooted in Peru's Japanese community, Nikkei cuisine brings a unique and authentic twist to the table. At Azabu, sharing is the way to go, as dishes arrive when they are ready, ensuring a constant rotation of delightful flavours on your table. Savour the best of both worlds with classic Japanese dishes like sashimi, sushi, gyoza, and tempura, harmoniously combined with Peruvian favourites such as tostadas and ceviche.

The idea behind the menu at Azabu Mission Bay is not to reinvent Nikkei cuisine but rather interpret it through Executive Chef Darren Johnson’s own creative process. He wants to bring a point of difference by infusing his own inventive touch into this delightful fusion. Embracing tradition while exploring newer versions of Nikkei dishes, Chef Darren constantly pushes the boundaries, experimenting with modern Japanese flavours and innovative cooking techniques.

Interestingly, Chef Darren's journey has come full circle at Azabu. Previously, while taking a break from the kitchen, he worked as a project manager for a commercial kitchen company and played a crucial role in installing the Mission Bay kitchen. Little did he imagine that one day he would find himself working in that very kitchen as Azabu’s chef. It's safe to say that fate had a hand in this, and it's fortunate that he did such an outstanding job!

Recently, Azabu Mission Bay introduced a Japanese Robata grill, which has opened up exciting new possibilities for the team. Among the favourites on the menu are traditional yakitori and chicken tsukune (Japanese chicken meatball) skewers, along with the crowd-pleasing miso salmon. While both locations share similar menus, they have their unique personalities, influenced by the vibrant team members who bring each place to life.

So, whether you visit Ponsonby or beach front Mission Bay, expect tradition and innovation to merge and create a memorable dining experience for every palate.

Words by Nicole Mudgway & Photography by Jerome Warburton

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26 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

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