Kazuki’s is by husband and wife team Saori and Kazuki Tsuya, who transported the Euro-Japanese fine diner to Lygon Street from Daylesford in 2018. Choose from two, three, five or seven courses of thoughtfully crafted but punchy Euro-Japanese plates (only five or seven courses on weekends), most of which focus on a single ingredient gently lifted by a few small accompaniments.
There’s a Moreton Bay bug dumpling doused in a buttery sake and ponzu sauce. And lightly cured kingfish with a white soy and buttermilk dressing, crisp fish skin and pomelo. And a just-cooked slab of aged duck with radicchio, blackberry and shiitake. House-made sourdough comes with pitch-black seaweed butter.
Add snacks at $5 a piece. A single raw pipi arrives in the shell, salty with soy and bright with ginger. Chicken liver is piped into a savoury choux, its richness staved off with a plum and umeshu gel. Everything arrives on beautiful charcoal crockery imported from Italy.
The wine, sake and spirits list is 22 pages. A few wines by the glass are $15, but a good selection of the list runs well beyond $200. The list covers mainstream producers and some more adventurous and unexpected drops. There’s also sake served in hand-blown glasses, and a good Japanese whisky section that ranges from Nikka from the Barrel, to an 18-year Yamazaki single malt from Suntory.
The design of the space is a big change for the Tsuyas. The interior of the moody 30-seat room has high ceilings, soft grey-blue tones and gentle lighting; it feels like stepping into a – very zen – friend’s living room.