Above: Dining room at Kazuki's

Dining in Daylesford: Kazuki's

At the north end of Daylesford, we came across what looked to be a colonial-era tavern, except with the word “Kazuki’s” in the windows and a door flanked by delicate Japanese maples. Entering the restaurant, we were immediately struck by a golden carp on a black wall. Owner/chef Kazuki Tsuya hails from Akita in northern Honshu. He firmly adheres to the traditions of his homeland, but enlivens them with fresh Daylesford-area produce and lively experimentation.

We enjoyed a meal that I will long remember: delicate dumplings filled with Moreton Bay bugs — a wonderful small crustacean — in a sake emulsion with rainbow chard; a sublime mix of snapper and scampi with a squid-ink lasagnette and a jamón-inflected sauce Américaine; and to finish, a mango pudding with tapioca pearls and roasted pineapple. Every plate was a miniature work of art.

1 Camp Street. Tel. (61) 3-5348-1218.

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