Dining out
Comments 5

5. Tanuki Sushi and Sake Bar

In celebration of Auckland Restaurant Month, I will be posting 31 quick-fire reviews on 31 restaurants and cafes in the Auckland CBD and city fringe.

Tofu Tuesday is on hiatus this month but in its place I present this delicious Tofu Steak!



Tanuki with his proud cojones.

The atmosphere is…
Alive and well. Cosy wooden dining room with plenty of cute Japanese decorations. A tanuki is native Japanese racoon dog that is popular in Japanese folklore. The fellow is well known for his rather large family jewels. Spot them on the various tanuki idols around the restaurant. Most people might not notice, but well, I did!

Come here for…
Japanese plates to share, Japanese beer and/or sake. Basically Japanese tapas (food to eat with drinks).

The most interesting thing on the menu…

  • Deep fried cheese sticks – with fresh pineapple and sesame sauce
  • Takowasa – raw octopus with wasabi

Unexpectedly wonderful…

  • Broccoli – in sesame and mayo sauce
  • Tofu steak

I would come back to try…

  • Sake
  • Soft shell crab

Catering to…
Omnis and Vegetarians. Some of their best dishes are vegetarian. Gluten free may struggle due to use of soy sauce and batter (tempura).

Expect to spend…
$30-$50 per person

The service is…
Outstanding. Orders taken quickly. Food and drinks delivered before you have a chance to wonder where they are. Extra items ordered without fuss (and committed to memory).

Avoid if…
You don’t like Japanese food. You don’t like sitting close to other diners as this place is pretty cozy.

Tanuki Sushi and Sake Bar
319 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
Open every day except Monday

tanuki-1 tanuki-2 tanuki-3 tanuki-4 tanuki-5


  1. That all looks pretty fantastic! I always passed those tanuki sculptures in Japanese restaurants without much though until I saw the Studio Ghibli movie Pom Poko. Have you seen it? The things those animals do with their family jewels…

    • Yes, I LOVED Pom Poko. I think I need to watch it again though. It’s been too long. I blame the movie for the fact I always check that the tanuki sculptures have their family jewels.

      I saw a Studio Ghibli documentary last night called “The Kingdom of Dreams an Madness”. Very insightful how passionate and modest the Studio Ghibli (and Miyazaki-san) is.

      • Every time I think about that movie, I think: “Scrotum ‘Chutes!!!!”

        You’re lucky to have caught the documentary so early! It hasn’t shown in the States yet!

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