Musashi Japanese Restaurant Review – Big tastes in St Heliers

Musashi Japanese is a suburban restaurant with surprisingly friendly service and big-hitting flavour.

In Brief

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Fresh tasty seafood sushi and sashimi, with flavoursome mains. Try the ‘zen’ set pieces.


Some Japanese beer, soft drinks, plum wine and whisky. NZ-dominant wine selection.


Absolutely packed on Sunday evening. Some family dining. Very friendly staff.


We fed three adults to satiation at around $50 per person, including a round of soft drinks.

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‘Zen’ menu with salmon teriaki

Visiting Musashi Japanese Restaurant

When the birthday girl wants Japanese food, and the birthday girl lives in Kohimarama… I had some Googling to do! It’s been a long time since I lived in Mission Bay, and the restaurants have all changed so much. I was lucky to find Musashi.

We were able to book instantly through Google Maps’ booking service, and when I called to confirm early on Sunday afternoon everything had gone smoothly.

When we arrived, an outdoor table had just come free, and the smiling staff were able to turn it around quickly for us. One small inconvenience was that, due to their liquor license, we were unable to drink alcohol outdoors at Musashi on a Sunday evening.

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We had the option of our original indoor table, or to stay outside and stay sober. It was such a lovely evening that we voted to stay out.

While we waited, we spent a few minutes at the boutique wine shop, WineHQ, on the same block. It has a fantastically eclectic, hand-picked selection of wines at reasonable prices. If there’s something that catches your eye, Musashi’s corkage is $5.

The focus of the menu was their ‘zen’ collections which offered several sides along with a main. There were several mains at the base fee, and others at additional $1-$8 range. There was a full page of main options for meat and seafood fans, and a whole other zen collection with another whole page of mains for vegetarians. In addition, there were options for multi-course set menus and individual plates.

Eating Auckland Ate

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Two of our group had zen collections, while the third chose a main and some sides. We were able to healthily subsidise that meal with prawns, snapper, sushi, ngiri, sweet potato, beans and other delicacies from the zen side dishes, while also having a hearty meal.

The raw materials were fresh and flavourful – important when you have sashimi (raw fish) on the table. I ate mostly teriaki, and it was intense but not too sweet (my teriaki bugbear).

Our zen mains were served in a small on-table stove. It was neat and novel when it was lit… but we weren’t sure how to stop it when we were ready! Luckily, serving staff came back to the table before we hurt ourselves.

The stove ensured our food was hot, but also lacked control in cooking time, and my salmon was a bit overdone for my taste. That can’t take away from what a great meal it was, and what great service and value we had.

Musashi has outlets in St Heliers, New Lynn and Milford. We ate at the St Heliers restaurant.

Find Musashi Japanese Restaurant, St Heliers

Easy to find, Musashi St Heliers is in a small suburban shopping block on the corner of Waimarie St and Riddell Road. Free parking is available in the associated carpark and on nearby streets.

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