Japakiwi fusion cuisine delights: a visit to Mr Tanaka’s

The Good magazine team checked out “Japakiwi” restaurant Mr Tanaka’s in Ellerslie last week and we’ll be back for sure!

Mr Tanaka’s is relatively new – it opened just before the first COVID-19 lockdown – and has survived two lockdowns which is no mean feat for a new business.

We’re glad they survived as the food and atmosphere of this Japanese-Kiwi fusion restaurant guarantees a good time.

A mouthwatering example of this is the Molten Chocolate Pudding with Matcha Tea Ice Cream, and Coconut Creme Brulee with Spicy BBQ Pineapple and Black Sesame Gelato. We’d come back just for these!

If you’re counting calories in the lead up to Christmas the Sashimi plate of raw hand-caught fish and the Temaki Rolls ticks that box.

The whole menu is super yum! We also recommend the Eggplant with miso, ginger and sesame; Bacon Wrapped Prawns; and Seasonal Vegetable Gyoza for starters!

Multi award-winning culinary veteran Sean Marshall has designed a menu to create a light hearted, cross continental gustatory experience. Marshall offers curated flavours to encapsulate the gastronomic best of two island nations.

“Japanese cuisine is well known for its nuanced complexity the world knows and loves. Mr Tanaka’s honours that, but intentionally adds a playful symbiosis with local flavours to create a bespoke Japakiwi experience to delight the senses,” says Marshall.

And if you are gluten-free Mr Tanaka is the place for you! Thirty-one of the 34 dishes on offer are gluten-free and prepared with precision to avoid any cross-contamination for the most sensitive of guests.

There are vegan options on the menu too, including a vegan beer.

The decor mimics Kyoto’ s bustling alleyway izakayas where patrons enjoy afterwork food and drinks in standing room only. There’s also an abundance of seating and the walls and floors are made from recycled pallets which we also think is great.


Mr Tanaka’s, 120 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland

Opening Hours:

Open 7 days

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