We were in two minds about whether to add Nishiki to Cheap Eats. It’s definitely not expensive but the question of whether you feel full after $20 worth of food is debatable depending on who you are. I certainly did last night but my husband said he could have eaten more. He did add that he wasn’t sure whether that was because he was hungry or just that the flavours were so good.

Either way, it’s pretty inexpensive so here goes. I’ll start by saying this is not the place to go if you are looking for serenity. It’s loud and rowdy and fun. There’s an open kitchen and the chefs shout “Welcome!” loudly in Japanese every time someone comes in the door. This is commonplace in Japan in restaurants and shops and if you’ve ever been there you’ll know what I’m talking about.

But on to the food.

We loved the Imo-Mochi ($5) which is a combination of mochi (ground rice) and potato fried with a slightly sweet sauce on top. The texture is creamy and slightly elastic at the same time and the taste is a wonderful mix salty of sweet. Hard to understand unless you’ve eaten mochi.

The Ebi Hotate Mayo ($10) was also outstanding. Scallops and prawns with grilled japanese mayo. Sounds bizarre, but trust me it works. Guilt drove us to add some veges but the Seaweed Salad ($9) was only average. Good sesame dressing but the iceberg was a bit chunky for my liking. We also had the Mushroom Nikuzume ($8.50) which is flat mushrooms stuffed with seasoned chicken mince. Very tasty and full of flavour with the soy in the chicken mixture.

We finished up with the Ika Maruyaki ($13) which was grilled squid served with a soy based sauce with a nob of ginger on top. You have to stir the ginger into the sauce and squeeze the lemon for the full taste experience.

On previous visits we have also enjoyed the Benaisu Misocheese (a divine combination of miso, cheese and eggplant), The Geso Age (deep fried squid with wasabi mayonaise), the sushi, the sashimi, the tempura – well actually most things on the enormous menu and have never been disappointed. We’ve had a hen’s night, a birthday and numerous family occasions and go back time and time again for fun food – especially for big groups.

Location: 100 Wellington Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland Central
Phone: (09) 376-7104
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday6.00pm-11.00pm (Kitchen closes at 10); Closed Monday
Licenced :Yes + BYO
Takeaways: No
Credit Cards: Yes
Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes.
Prices: As low as $4 for skewers and as high as $35 for a big plate of sashimi. Most things fall into the $8 – $14 category but this is not a place you would really buy an indvidual dish for yourself. It’s very much to share.
Bathrooms: Fine
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
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