Tanuki’s Cave has legendary status in Auckland. Located down under Queen Street it has a bunker-like quality making it a cosy haven for tasty bites and your choice of Asahi, Sapporo or sake. Their yakitori (skewers, cooked over charcoal) comes 2 sticks per order making it perfect for intimate dinners. They have vegetarian and safe options like chicken, steak and pork belly as well as hearts, liver, giblets and tongue for the more adventurous. If you get a chance, try the chicken hearts! The Koala and I celebrated one of our wedding anniversaries at Tanuki’s Cave…meat on sticks and flowing booze for two. It was perfect.
A tanuki is a Japanese racoon dog and has significant meaning in Japanese folklore. A great dinner and movie paring for Tanuki’s Cave would be Pom Poko, an animation about Tanuki’s and their magical testicles. Yes, you read that correctly, I said testicles. Did I mention it’s a kid’s movie?
Takehiro Ito is the is the Head Chef at Tanuki’s Cave and below are his answers to the tasty questions I cooked up for your enjoyment.
Describe your restaurant’s food:
Traditional, creative, Japanese.
What is your restaurant’s signature dish?
Our simple yakitori chicken.
Name your favourite comfort food:
What did you have for breakfast?
What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten this week?
What is an underrated ingredient?
What are 3 sources of inspiration to you?
Yakitori sauce, mince, and our famous spinach salad dressing.
I still haven’t tried Tanuki’s Cave or Kura yet, so will definitely be bookmarking them after reading your article! Thanks for a great post!
Mmmm. I’ve only been to Tanuki’s Cave once but I realllllly need to go back!
Tanuki’s is one of my absolute favourite places to go in Auckland!
Ahh Tanuki’s!! I feel homesick… Ken Yakatori on K’Rd was always my favourite but Tanuki’s is a very close second.
Oh yes, Ken Yakitori is great! I love their scallops wrapped in bacon…how can you go wrong with that right?