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Published February 12th 2013
Luxurious Japanese cuisine in country Victoria
Daylesford has always been known for its vast array of cafes and restaurants. The local cuisine includes pub meals, Chinese, Thai, Indian, gourmet and vegan. However as of 2011, the small town said hello to its very first Japanese restaurant.
Chef Kazuki and his wife Saori envisioned their restaurant as a place for people to enjoy gourmet food in a casual and relaxed environment. Kazuki's fuses modern decor and artworks with splashes of traditional Japan. Lanterns sway from the ceiling and beautiful paintings grace the walls. Quirky collections of sake bottles can be found, artfully arranged around the rooms.
The menu is seasonal, and inspired by the owners' Japanese heritage. There is a prix fixe menu on Saturdays, with two courses for $60 or three for $75. The seasonal tasting menu starts at $80 for five courses or $100 for seven.
The regular menu includes goat's cheese tortellini (delicious), spatchcock, pork belly and snapper. Entrees include oysters, quail, beef tataki and dumplings. Mains average at around $30 and entrees at $15. Side dishes such as potato croquettes and miso eggplant can be purchased for $7.50.
I recommend the tortellini. The rich goat's cheese was perfectly complimented by the sweetness of the vegetables.
Kazuki's also offer kid's options such as fish and chips and spaghetti.
The deserts at Kazuki's are a mixture of both modern and traditional recipes. The creme brulee with orange sorbet was delicious, as was the sticky rice with roasted pineapple, mango and pistachio. All deserts are $15.
If you're feeling hungry, on the last Sunday of each month Kizuki's offer a rustic Japanese banquet. For $70 per person, the menu includes hand rolled sushi, dumplings, vegetable pancakes, Japanese curry and blueberry ice-cream.
As well as the food, the drinks menu is very impressive. Plum or lime sake can be purchased for $10 and Japanese beers range from $8.50 to $16. I recommend the elderflower soda which is $7 or $12 with your choice of spirit (a light spirit like vodka is best).
Kazuki's is just what the owners aspired for it to be. Luxurious dining in a lovely, relaxed environment. Bookings are essential.