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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The one and only... Taka

Happy Christmas Eve everyone...

Ladies & gentlemen, I present my favourite Japanese restaurant in NZ… Taka! The chef, Yusuke Shiraishi, was originally from Gourmon (another Jap place) but opened his own restaurant in mid 2008. Needless to say, Food King and I are very glad that he did! Apart from new customers who discover Taka, they have heaps of regular customers that patronise this place frequently which also includes my family, heehee. Their food is simply addictive!

Today is Christmas Eve, the 24th of December - a special day for both Food King & I as it is our anniversary. It's a special day for us to celebrate as another year has gone by and our love is still going strong. We've decided to share this special day with our all-time favourite Jap place, Taka.

When Food King visited Taka for the last time in 2009 before he went back to Singapore, we saw a beautiful rainbow just outside Taka and it was so pretty. It made us reflect on how much good fun and lovely memories we've had at Taka.

Upon entering Taka, you’ll be greeted by the friendly waitresses or the chef himself, who regularly comes out to greet customers when it’s not too busy. Authentic Jap paintings and some photos of Japan are hung on the walls for all to see. The peaceful ambience is accompanied with the soothing music played, making it romantic when Food King and I came here. Family & friends agree that Taka is a great place to dine at and I feel that Taka has much to offer.

Megumi is usually there too and she is super friendly & attentive - ensuring that customers are always well taken care of and by making our visits a really enjoyable experience. Look for her if you have any questions about the food or want any recommendations.

Upon entering the restaurant, you'll be greeted by the friendly waitress. They will then show you to your table and present you with your menu. Calling the waitress to order is easy because they are so attentive. They also serve green tea in a cute teapot which I like because you do not have to keep calling them once your cup is empty. They also frequently refill your teapots.

I like Taka’s presentation – they always change the little stand to hold the chopsticks and I find it so cute.

To start off, let’s talk about the Fried Tofu ($6.50).

Deep fried tofu with a sweet-ish sauce that goes really well with rice. The tofu skin is crispy yet the inside is soft and silky. An original dish and Taka does it very well. They give 5 generous servings of tofu pieces. We always finish the sauce with the rice we have!

Mayonnaise Prawn ($15)

Grilled prawns served sizzling on a hot platter and it had such a fragrant smell so that everyone subconsciously leaned towards that dish. I like the taste of the prawns here and the prawns used at Taka are quite large as compared to other places. Fresh & large prawns, ooh! Wait, that’s not the best thing yet. Nope, the best thing is the delicious mixed mayonnaise sauce that comes along with it! The sauce is not overly oily yet tasty enough for you to indulge. Yummy!

Oyster Tempura ($13)

Lightly battered deep fried oysters. Unfortunately, I do not like oysters so I didn’t try this one although it did seem rather tempting because it looked so crispy!

Scampi Sashimi ($20)

Note that these are not prawns; scampi is some species of lobster. The Scampi Sashimi here was very fresh and it tasted really good. The meat is somewhat transparent and upon trying the meat, it had such a sweet taste that came from the scampi. We really enjoyed this, a must have for sashimi lovers! We thought the presentation was rather cute too.

Prawn Tempura ($10)

Mum is a big fan of prawn tempura so it’s one of the dishes we usually order at Jap restaurants. The tempura was delightfully crispy and the prawns were fresh. Succulent prawns coated in batter and deep fried served piping hot – what more could one ask for?

Moving on, let’s look at what Taka serves for lunch. As shown in the picture below, they offer a lunch set ($16.50) and the choices offered are of quite a spread. I like the fact that Taka is flexible and allows customers to order rolled sushi/teriyaki chicken/fried chicken instead of sashimi as not everyone appreciates sashimi. The set lunch also comes with a generous portion of salad, rice and miso soup with the side dish (changes daily) served in a bento box.

Green salad ($3)

This salad is served in the lunch set and I like their dressing! In the menu it states that it’s a special dressing so I probably would not be able to buy the sauce outside, hehe. The greens are fresh and it tastes really yummy.

Teriyaki Chicken Lunch Set ($16.50)

The teriyaki chicken here is pretty popular and is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Thick juicy pieces of chicken are marinated with a delicious teriyaki sauce, mmm. The crispy skin is left on every piece of chicken; Mum insists that it is the best part of the chicken. After tasting the teriyaki chicken here, I am reluctant to try teriyaki chicken anywhere else – not counting my mother’s cooking, of course! They also give a generous portion of chicken.

Miso Soup ($2)

The miso soup is also served in the lunch set and contains dried wakame which adds extra flavour. Nutritionally yummy!

Overview of the set lunch

The side dish served (that day) was crispy fish with a tartar sauce and Japanese seaweed.

They also have a large variety of donburis in the lunch menu. Note that the donburis are only available for lunch. All donburis come with either green salad or miso soup.

Karaagedon ($10)

This is my Mum’s favourite dish at Taka – fried chicken on rice. Although the chicken is deep fried, it’s not overly oily and the batter is nice. Serving the mayo on the chicken adds extra flavour. It’s a must have for Mum! Definitely one of the good fried chicken places to go to in Auckland.

Teriyaki Chicken Don ($10.50)

Teriyaki chicken here is the same as the ones in the lunch and dinner set. Served with drizzles of mayo on top and fresh greens inside.

Katsudon ($10.50)

Since this is one of my all-time favourite dishes at Taka, I think that it should have 4 separate pictures. When I first visited Taka back in 2008, my first meal was the Katsudon and ever since then, I've been hooked! This dish comes steaming hot and the delightful smell of freshly cooked pork/chicken and egg fills your nostrils before it even reaches your table.

They give a generous portion of pork fillets with a crispy skin on top and the meat is tender. The pork here is cooked long enough, which ensures that the meat is not too hard. The egg is not over-done and is served with lots of thinly sliced onions. They do give plenty of rice which is more than enough for one person. Underneath all the yummy goodness is lots of a sweet-ish sauce that really complements the pork and rice.

This is also Food King's favourite dish at Taka and he really misses it. Highly enjoyable and extremely mouthwatering. Well done, Yusuke!

Miso Katsudon ($10.50)

This is a unique dish as it is breaded chicken/pork cutlets with a miso paste. We tried the breaded chicken and Food King enjoyed the chicken with the sauce although he prefers the Katsudon.

Seafood Don ($15)

Dad ordered this for lunch; he wanted to try something new. We were impressed by the variety of raw fish given for this donburi. The sashimi was fresh and it was enjoyable.

Moving on to other items, here is their Beef Teriyaki ($13)

One of our first ever dishes at Taka - it's the same sauce as the Chicken Teriyaki, so there's nothing much to comment on except the meat. The beef & chicken are both equally tasty.

Fried Chicken ($8)

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. Scrumptious!

Tempura Roll ($11)

Rolled sushi with deep fried tempura bits, cucumber and mayo. Served with a tempura dipping sauce as well but I prefer it without the sauce - it tastes good on it's own! I like the crunchy tempura bits inside the sushi.

California Roll ($10.50)

There is a good selection of sushi rolls and our favourite sushi dish is the California Roll! Crabmeat, cucumeber, mayo and avacado tightly wrapped in seaweed and rice. The chef adds sesame seeds on the rice which brings out its distinctive flavour. They're not stingy with the servings either. Everyone we've brought to Taka loves this dish and it's certainly one of my favourites too.
Food King firmly insists that this is one of the best california rolls he's ever tasted and he hopes that Yusuke would move to Singapore and open a restaurant there, haha.

Beef Tataki ($12)

Presenting my addiction at Taka... The Beef Tataki! The beef is seared on the outside and left rare on the inside. Served with a tasty sauce and Taka calls this their special sauce. Ahhh, if only I knew how to make it! The thinly sliced beef with a well-prepared sauce goes really well with rice. This has been the best tasting beef tataki I've ever had so far. It's a must have!

Tuna Tataki ($13)

The tuna tataki is prepared the same way as the beef tataki except that the tuna is not so thinly sliced. Tastewise I prefer the Beef Tataki.

Here are a few of the dinner boxes that they have:

Sashimi & Teriyaki Chicken Dinner Set ($24.50)

Fresh sashimi -Yum!

I would say that the mussel is one of Taka's unique dishes. Not sure how they prepare it but the mussel has a delightful creamy mayo sauce with a hint of miso and wine. I think it's the same sauce they use for the Mayo Prawns.

Same set but with a different side dish

You get Salmon & Avacado Rolls instead

Good portions of rice & miso

They also serve Teriyaki Chicken Dinner Set ($18) and it seems to be a pretty popular dish as once when we were dining there, I heard Megumi taking a phone order of 10 teriyaki chicken dinner sets!

Unagi Dinner Set ($21.50)

Grilled eel with special sauce and it comes with riso, miso soup & salad

Tempura & Teriyaki Chicken Dinner Set ($24.50)

This is Food King's favourite dinner box. He's not a fan of sashimi so he's happy that he can get crispy tempura instead. Love the teriyaki chicken with the savoury sauce.

We love the food <3>

They also have desserts there - that is, if you still have the stomach space... We're usually too full, hehe.

Green Tea Ice Cream ($3)

Banana Tempura ($6.50)

Deep fried banana served piping hot inside the crispy tempura with vanilla ice-cream. Great to have this on a cold winter's day.

Service is fantastic - the waitresses are extremely attentive and efficient and they serve with smiles on their faces. With a comfortable atmosphere and waitresses who make you feel at ease, Taka is a great place to have a night out for great Jap food! They have reasonable prices and great portions, which make it easier on students plus it's an added incentive to go there :P

The waitresses at Taka always suits your needs; during summer they will open the doors so that the there's a breeze and during winter when customers arrive with their bomber jackets, they'll be sure to turn on the heaters and accommodate you.

Taka is a hidden gem in Auckland, be sure to try this place when you have the time!

Here's a picture of Megumi & Yusuke.

Here's a message from Food King & I:

Thank you so much for your kind hospitality and warm gestures. We have truly enjoyed dining at Taka and we sincerely look forward to coming back whenever we can. We hope that you have a great holiday in Japan and Merry Christmas!!


The word above is pronounced as "ying" in mandarin. It means hawk or falcon in Japanese Kanji, and "eagle" in old Korean Hanja. Although we use different words for them in English, they are seen as the same general type of bird in Asian languages.
(Information is retrieved from

We hope that they will soar like an hawk and business will be successful for a long time to come!!!

Taka Japanese Restaurant

2 Bishop Browne Place
(Unit 2B)
East Tamaki
Manukau City

Phone: (09) 2734234

Opening hours:
Tues - Sun 11.30am to 2pm and 5.30pm to 9pm


Anonymous said...

Hey, the food looks GREAT! How I wish that I can taste some of their food. Anyway good post!

Jas said...

Your anniversary is on 24th dec?! Eh so sweet.

Sarah said...

Hello idiotic foodie baboon! Sms me fucking soon k? MWAH