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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

PRICE RANGE
$5 - $80
CUISINES
Japanese
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly
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meals, features, about
Reviews (34)
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Reviewed 13 March 2023 via mobile

We just had the most tastiest experience at Sakura. Every course was a delight. Authentic food in an authentic atmosphere.

Date of visit: March 2023
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Reviewed 18 February 2023 via mobile

Eccentric but awesome dining evening!! We booked the day before, online over Facebook, explaining that one of our diners was soy intolerant (but still loved Japanese food.) The owner was cool about it and we organised to be there at 6pm. We arrived at the...venu, just a doorway with an unassuming sign between two shops. This instantly reminded me of some of the places we ate when we were in Japan in 09. Walking upstairs it opens up to a two table dining room with a small kitchen at one end. The decor is quirky, with Japanese memorabilia adorning the walls and mismatched Japanese cutlery on the table. There is a Japanese cooking gameshow on the TV in the corner. The elderly Japanese cook greets you from behind the kitchen and motions for you to sit. Since we are the only table to book, Ochiai San is all the staff tonight. There is no menu. We sat down and ordered some Asahi super dry and prepared ourselves. Degustation/ omakase style, heaps of small plates with delicious Japanese food start appearing. The chef was quiet at first, busy behind the grilles, but warmed up with jokes and banter as the night went on. Food was fresh and delicious, made from whatever could be sourced locally and turned into savory creations. 12 different "dishes" served over about 10 plates ranging from Japanese pickles to brothy soups to dumplings to wagyu beef to choco-nanas. All very tasty. I don't normally like degustation style dining but I was happily full at the end of it all. After dinner Ochiai San came and chatted with us about all sorts of stuff, Japanese dining etiquette, what we liked about the meal, took goofy photos with us with some pre prepared photo frames, he really does feel like he runs the place because he genuinely loves cooking. Really great experience, looking forward to going back there again.More

Date of visit: February 2023
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Reviewed 10 September 2022 via mobile

Arrived to an untidy dining room and initially ignored by the chef/owner? Filthy tables. Worst Japanese food I’ve ever had. HUGELY OVERPRICED. Absolutely REVOLTING

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed 19 February 2021

Had been really looking forward to dinner here. However the Chef was very rude and grumpy to us on arrival. He appeared to be having a bad night. Restaurant was unclean - floor dirty and needed a good scrub. A patch of mould on table...cloth. Several of the water glasses on table were unclean. Outside on veranda completely in disarray. Inside of restaurant cluttered and untidy. I never complain about restaurants but this was a real shock and such a let down compared to other local establishments. I expected better from a restaurant operating in Level 2 having just re-opened after an auckland wide COVID lockdown. No extra cleaning or sanitising appeared to have been done.More

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed 19 February 2021 via mobile

Horrible experience, very rude chef and made to feel very uncomfortable. Will not be returning. Wouldn't recommend

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed 2 February 2020

I took my daughter to watch some classic motorbike racing at Pukekohe and stumbled across this restaurant in Tripadvisor. We thought we would give it a go. We are very glad we did. Quite unusual set up. Just two large tables but as it was...Sunday lunch and very quiet we only had to share the table with another family. The restaurant feels a bit more like someone’s house as there is a lot of Japanese memorabilia and there was Japanese TV playing in the background. The owner and chef was very friendly and struck up a conversation with us and the other guests. The menu was very limited for lunch - just three noodle dishes and some gyoza. However the gyoza were the best I’ve had (including in Japan) and the tonkastsu ramen was also lovely. They even have a proper Japanese toilet (with heated seat!) A great place with just major downside - it is about 40 mins drive from where we live. However we will be making an effort to go back for dinner to try the chef’s recommendation.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 14 October 2018 via mobile

If you want to experience Japanese cuisine but don’t want to fly all the way to Japan, this place is a must. My wife is Japanese and we go here whenever she is homesick. As with any intercultural experience, be prepared for something different and...you won’t be disappointed. Japanese homes typically eat a variety of different dishes rather than one ‘main’. This way, you can experience a wide selection of delicious foods, with a balance of umami, salty, and sweet across the dishes. The decor and host all add to the authentic Japanese experience.More

Date of visit: October 2018
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 24 December 2017

Don't be fooled by the entrance (upstairs between a butchers and Dominos pizza) you are about to enter a different world. If you like formality, an extensive wine list and menu, then this is not the place for you! If you want to eat beautifully...prepared food in what could be taken for the family kitchen and dining room. Are happy to just eat what is put in front of you, and go with the flow, you will love this place. We took our own wine as the drinks menu is small, if you drink beer you will be fine. The restaurant was 'booked out'.... there were six diners, our party of four and another couple. Mr Masa is your host, chef, waiter and entertainer. He welcomed us, he feed us, he entertained us. There is no menu, the food is fresh, locally grown and Masa cooks whatever is available on the day. For return visits you can request something and he will do his best to source it for you. We had about 10 courses, small plates of food ranging from fish, to wagu beef, to carrot and ginger salad, and everything in between. We finished off with green tea ice cream (made by his wife). It was an 'experience' not just going out to dinner. Will we go back? Definitely, and we will take more friends with us next time.More

Date of visit: December 2017
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed 11 September 2017

We booked for six adults and enjoyed the unique experience of being served by Masa, a master chef in traditional Japanese cuisine. You actually sit in his kitchen around large timber tables and he serves each course of freshly prepared Wagu beef, prawns, raw salmon...and tuna along with beautifully presented vegetable dishes of all kinds. We ate between 8 and ten courses - all delicious and wonderfully prepared for the decerning pallet. Don't be put off by the doorway and stairs leading up to Masa's kitchen but be prepared for a delectable taste experience and to be entertained by Masa himself. He caters for a maximum of 26 guests and lucky for us there were 8 in total so we had fun and interaction as the Chef chopped, sliced and prepared each exotic dish for us. Phone booking is essential and he asked if we had any preference - we had none - just looking forward to the unique experience and he did not disappoint. We will definitely be back again. The Chef also serves the food himself - much to our delight we learned about each wonderful plate he delivered.More

Date of visit: September 2017
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 August 2017

From the hard to find entrance to kicking the candle jars on the narrow floor in the hallway have to say it was interesting. Seating for a large group is more about jamming people in than creating an experience. the food was lovely but takes...a very long time so don't go there if you are in any hurry. Wait staff very different and drinks very expensive and they don't have very much in stock of what is on their list, so definitely take your own. Overall a good experience but will probably not go back.More

Date of visit: August 2017
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Reviewed 31 July 2017

You enter Sakura with some trepidation. You struggle to find the entrance, eventually locating it next to a Dominos Pizza outlet. The outside looks, well, seedy. You wonder if you have made a mistake. You haven't. You go in. It's like walking into someone's lounge....It's cosy. It's warm on a cold winter's night.You are welcomed. The music is Louis Armstrong. It's perfect. The place is well, quirky, as is your welcoming host. Even the lavatories are slightly odd although very clean ; one has some interesting technological enhancements (so I was told ) another had a putting set on hand. Then the food begins. In our case 13 courses over a period of 4 hours. All were beautifully served, authentic and made the most of fresh local produce. It's hard to pick a favourite, but the sashimi was perfect, the crumbed fried mushroom (with cream cheese?) superb. The beef course exquisite. Throughout the host interacts with the guests in an unusual but memorable way. I can't wait to go back.More

Date of visit: July 2017
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 24 June 2017 via mobile

This place is great for functions, you can pretty much book the whole place for parties of 10 and more. The chef, a local man, is very talented and the dishes are amazing. The beef eye fillet and crumbed king prawns are delish. You basically...get a variety of dishes ranging from 12-16 dishes of what the chef wants to cook with the local produce available. True Japanese and a great hidden gem.More

Date of visit: June 2017
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 13 November 2016

From the time we arrived Master Masa looked after us and ensure we had a fantastic experience. Sukura has a very cosy feel and you quickly forget you are sitting in a restaurant and feel something akin to being a welcome guest in someones home....This is definitely not the place to go for starched tablecloths and silver spoons but the food is top notch and we were treated to a wide range of dish's. With 16 courses at a very reasonable price it was some of the best Japanese food we have ever had. Thanks for looking after us. We are looking forward to our next visitMore

Date of visit: November 2016
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile

Food was good. But this was our third visit, last two had been great with awesome interaction with the chef. This time it felt like he didn't want to engage and was disinterested in our group. Last time we had a great time, it appears...he was having an off night.More

Date of visit: September 2016
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 25 July 2016 via mobile

Arrived chef was still setting up table. He was very rude, had no staff just himself and the food was very average! Restaurant was fully booked but only had 4 pax including myself and partner. Expected a lot more for the $

Date of visit: July 2016
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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JAPANESE KITCHEN SAKURA, Pukekohe - Restaurant Reviews, Phone Number & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese Kitchen SAKURA

Yes, Japanese Kitchen SAKURA offers takeaway services.

Yes, Japanese Kitchen SAKURA offers delivery services.

Japanese Kitchen SAKURA is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5