Kazuki Japanese Restaurant, Daylesford
On my last day in Daylesford, we visited a Japanese restaurant called “Kazuki”. I didn’t have the intention to write about it initially. But I was told that this is probably one of the best restaurants in the area. So we made a U-turn back to the house to grab my camera. The restaurant lighting isn’t the best, this is the most grainy set of photos I ever took omg. But still, I just wanna blog about it!
Born in Akita, Japan, owner-chef Kazuki Tsuya arrived in Daylesford in 2007. He started this restaurant in 2011, which was Daylesford first Japanese restaurant back then. Kazuki and his wife Saori envisioned their restaurant as a place for people to enjoy gourmet food in a casual and relaxed environment.
Upon entering, we were greeted by the modern decor and artworks with splashes of traditional Japan. Many sake bottles can be found, artfully arranged around the rooms. What makes the food here stand out is the blend of Japanese flavours with local Australian produce and western techniques. You can either enjoy 2 course menu at $60, 3 course menu at $80, 4 course menu at $100, traditional tasting menu $115 or vegetarian tasting menu $105.
We started our dinner with their warm homemade bread with seaweed butter, very creative. Beef Tataki is a wonderful Japanese method of preparing fillet beef where the meat is lightly seared, marinated, sliced thinly similar to sashimi. Kazuki’s version is paired with beef tataki with anchovy, radish, potato and yuzu. The savoury flavours of the seared beef in Kazuki make this a refreshing starter.
The waitress specifically recommended Yasai no moraiwase, which is a seasonal salad with more than 20 different vegetables, leaves and flowers from their garden. Pretty presentation and well executed.
My main course – duck done two ways – is execellent. Tender duck breast with paired withfoie gras, spiced pumpkin and rolls of braised leg. The natural duck flavours definitely shine through.
Desserts at Kazuki has a mixture of both modern and traditional recipes. One popular choice was lemon verbena creme brulee with cardamom and genji. Or you can go for their sticky black rice with gyuhi, ice cream and mango.
Perhaps because I was told that this is one of the best restaurants in town, my expectation of Kazuki was raised high up and my dinner, unfortunately, didn’t meet my expectations. I welcome the idea of combining French culinary with Japanese flavours, but I thought the flavours can be done better. On a positive note, serves here is good and we had an enjoyable night.
Address: 1 Camp Street Daylesford Victoria, Australia
Tel: (+61) 3 5348 1218
Lunch from Friday to Monday 12 noon; Dinner from Thursday to Monday 6 pm. Tuesday & Wednesday Closed