Juicy, tasty and arriving at your table on a sizzling hot plate, there are times in my life when I just can't cope unless I've had my fill of traditional chicken katsu from the magic that is Industry Zen. This is my favourite Japanese restaurant in Auckland, not only for its chicken, but also for the theatre that comes with a night out here. The Taiko drummers are simply amazing!
For something a little bit different, this is a Japanese-style tapas restaurant that has a focus on quality and freshness, as well as just the right amount of theatre and presentation. In fact, the presentation of the food at Industry Zen is second-to-none, not to mention the cute, quirkiness of the restaurant. And with a tabletop charcoal grill, they can also create a pretty amazing at-table experience. The dishes are also well-priced, meaning it’s an affordable night out. If you had to choose just one thing on the menu, opt for the sashimi boat ($18), which features clever takes on tuna, salmon, kingfish, scallops and many more examples of fresh kaimoana.
I love the theatre of Industry Zen in the evening when the Taiko drums come out and everyone stops eating to enjoy the show. And the fact that this homage to Japanese cuisine never, ever puts a foot wrong when it comes to quality and freshness keeps me coming back to this cosy establishment in the Viaduct Basin. Sashimi is one of my top three favourite foods and they do a great lunch boat for just $18.