I know that is not really a good look when you're paying $110 a head for a seven-course degustation to be laid before you, dish by exquisite dish, by a woman wearing white gloves so as not to leave fingerprints on the cutlery. This is particularly true when she comes from Japan, a country with an exquisitely refined sense of etiquette. But we made sure we did it when she was out of sight. And, to be fair, when you're served food this good, it doesn't do to have any going back to the kitchen.
Kazuya, which just notched up five years in its spare, chocolate-and-cream room behind frosted glass in upper Symonds St, is named for its chef Kazuya Yamauchi, who is, I suspect, nowhere near as well-known as he ought to be. He learnt his craft at the fabled Tokyo restaurant Acquapazza, which, as its name suggests (it means crazy water and it's the Italian name for a herby broth fish is poached in) is Italian.