Tanoshi is nestled in the heart of Queenstown, New Zealand. No, you probably aren’t lost! If you are following Google Maps to get there, trust the directions. The small Japanese restaurant is located off of the busy roads of Queenstown on a side alley.
Tanoshi is known for their authentic Japanese cuisine. Their menu is limited, but each item is perfected. You are going to be conflicted with figuring out what you want to eat. How do you know what to choose?! I recommend trying a couple different dishes! Portion size varies depending on what you order, but most of the dishes are on the smaller end. I went for lunch and got Tan Tan Men- a spicy minced pork and sesame noddle soup, along with other appetizers. Yes, the spicy noodle soup did have a kick to it, which I would recommend pairing with their Speight’s Cider for a cool down.
Tanoshi offers a fun and intimate dining experience from start to finish. The staff that work there are very nice, and willing to answer any questions you may have about the menu. When you walk in, you are in straight view of the small kitchen and limited staff that work there. To keep the quaint dining experience, there are only a few booths to sit at which feel secluded from other parties sitting behind you. In the rare event that you are able to walk in without making a reservation, there is bar seating that provides a front row view of the preparation of your food right in front of your eyes. With being such a small restaurant, I was surprised by the fast pace at which the food came out.
There is a reason you need to make a reservation 1-2 weeks before coming in. Having lived in Tokyo, Japan years ago, I would say that Tanoshi’s food is comparable to what you get in the homeland. Tanoshi is what I would consider a hidden gem. Since the small Japanese restaurant is tucked away from the overcrowded and loud streets of Queenstown, it is not a restaurant you would just walk across. It was through recommendations and highly rated reviews that I was able to find this place.
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