Azuki is owned by couple Shunsuke Hashimoto and Yumi Ota. They are making Japanese-European baked goods for Newtowners.
Hashimoto has been baking for 18 years. He starts with traditional European baking techniques and incorporates Japanese flavours, such as green tea and black sesame.
Hashimoto oversees the menu and bakes the savoury breads himself. There’s a black-sesame and charcoal sourdough, and a yuzu-and-bacon infused pain d’Epi (a French baguette that is cut in such a way that resembles a wheat stalk) that is wonderfully meaty, chewy and the right kind of oily. There are also rich, flaky sausage rolls packed with chicken-teriyaki or wasabi-beef filling, and croissants made with cultured butter.
Together with pastry chef Ota, Hashimoto has crafted his take on the classics, such as a decadent black-sesame tiramisu, a matcha tart with white chocolate custard cream, and a yuzu cheesecake with candied lemon. There are also traditional Japanese dishes such as Hokkaido cheese tarts.
The interiors are clean and simple; handmade pine benches made by a friend of the couple lend a Japanese touch. Seating lines the front window looking onto Enmore Road, and coffee is from Frankie’s.