IZAKAI, an exciting new bar and eatery is opening soon in Tauranga’s Bayfair Shopping Centre. IZAKAI brings a blend of traditional Japanese food with a New Zealand Māori influence to the multimillion-dollar development. IZAKAI’s doors will open sometime in late May.

Liam Millard, IZAKAI’s owner and general manager, said, “Our name combines izakaya and kai to make the connection between Japanese and Kiwi cuisine.” Traditionally, a Japanese izakaya is an intimate space with a long bar that serves food and drink. This time, classic izakaya will receive a twist with traditional Māori ingredients, history and culture. IZAKAI will feature an open kitchen so that customers will be able to sit at the bar and watch the chefs should they choose.

With sustainability inherent in the core of IZAKAI, the menu has been designed around sharing and creating familiar Japanese-style dishes with New Zealand native herbs and ingredients.

The interior décor has been conceived by leading hospitality design firm Walker Mitchell. The designs will incorporate various natural textures of wood and stone to give a quintessential New Zealand feel.

Steve Ellingford, Bayfair centre manager, said, “IZAKAI will be a tremendous addition to the centre’s new dining offer, and its focus on sustainability is completely in line with everything we are striving to achieve as a retail owner and a responsible community leader. IZAKAI is just one out of seven new eateries opening at the end of May. We can’t wait to see what locals and visitors have to say about Bayfair’s new dining scene.”