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The best Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong

How to satisfy your Japanese food craving when you can’t fly there

Fontaine Cheng
Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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Hongkongers have, and always will have, a major soft spot for Japanese cuisine. Back when we could, many of us would fly for food and search for the very best in Japan. From sushi to teppanyaki and yakitori to yakiniku, and more, the list of Japanese food options in Hong Kong is incredibly wide and varied. And since we can't travel to Japan as easily as we used to, here’s where you can get a taste of Japan right here in Hong Kong.

RECOMMENDED: Not feeling Japanese food? Check out this list on where to find the best Korean food instead.

Hong Kong’s best Japanese restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Named after a mountain in Kanagawa, Japan, Afuri (a ramen shop from Tokyo which opened in Hong Kong in January 2020) is a popular noodle bar where patrons happily queue up for a bowl of yuzu shio ramen. It’s the most popular item on the menu and if you’ve tried it, then you’ll already know why. Supple and bouncy homemade wheat noodles are placed in an intensely flavoured chicken broth, brightened by the citrusy flavour and aroma of yuzu. The smell alone will transport you to the middle of Ebisu in Tokyo, where the first Afuri shop opened.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lan Kwai Fong

This 60s Tokyo-inspired teppanyaki features three teppan grills to sit around so you can enjoy the show of chefs skillfully grilling your food. Dressed in plush purple and gold ochre furnishings, the restaurant is pretty lavish and offers a menu filled with top-quality meat and seafood. There are a la carte options, but it’s worth considering the set menus in which the teppan spiny lobster in coral butter and A5 Kagoshima Wagyu tenderloin are must-tries. After the main meal, you can move into the dessert and whisky lounge and enjoy an after-dinner tipple complemented by sweet treats.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Soho

This modern izakaya is a great watering hole made for late-night eating and drinking. Their signature dishes such as the drunken clams, crispy caramel butter corn and the yaki udon with snow crab always hit the spot and is probably why the menu doesn’t change too much. In typical izakaya fashion, quality whisky highballs are the tipple of choice with cool and relaxed vibes to enjoy simply after a long day’s work.

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Wan Chai

With sister restaurant Wagyumafia next door, you know quality beef is on the cards at Mashi no Mashi. Their whole wheat noodles are served tsukemen-style, separate from the broth, to be dipped at your leisure. Along with the slab of top-notch beef are noodles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, nori, and half a soft-boiled egg. The broth is made with Wagyu bone stock brewed over 24 hours and enriched with dashi, delivering a rich and savoury sauce worth a slurp or two. Mashi No Mashi also offers their limited edition Wagyujiro Dry noodles on the last Saturday every month, but you need to get VIP passes to secure a seat so make sure you check out their Instagram to see when the next one is

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Causeway Bay

Frozen salmon sashimi and imitation crab rolls – ain’t nobody got time for that! We know you’re dying to go to Japan, but there’s really no reason, or need, to succumb to that because good sushi is here in Hong Kong. Take Sushi Gin, for example, which offers omakase at three different price points: kumo $1,680; shou $1,880; gin $2,280, which is not bad considering the quality of the sushi. Be sure to grab a seat at the long bar and take in the atmosphere, along with every piece to fix that sushi craving.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Yuen Long

Bringing a taste of Japan to the New Territories and Kowloon, Sushi Man in Yuen Long or Whampoa offers omakase at a pretty decent price. Must-tries include one of Sushi Man’s main showcases, the uni cup. Filled generously with the caramel custard of the sea and topped with fresh prawns, this is a seafood lover’s wet dream. Plus, the rest of the courses in the omakase are equally good, making Sushi Man well worth the trip.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Central
  • price 4 of 4

The first and only Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong to receive three Michelin stars since 2014, Sushi Shikon does one thing only: omakase. And they do it exceptionally well. Every element requires precision, right down to the fish slicing, rice forming, sushi rolling and plating skills which are always on point. Make sure you take your photos quickly though as it’s recommended that you enjoy each piece within 30 seconds of it being served to really appreciate the intended flavour, texture and temperature of the sushi. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

As the first branch of Osaka's two-Michelin starred Japanese restaurant Sushiyoshi outside Japan, Sushiyoshi in Hong Kong has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it does. Chef-owner Nakanoue Hiroki is known for bringing modern and western techniques to his Japanese cooking and traditions, as evidenced by many of his dishes including a uni and cheese gougère, an akagai nigiri which uses yam and egg yolk instead of rice, a uni with caviar and creamy scrambled egg, and much more. For a full taste of what chef Hiroki has designed, it’s worth trying the omakase menu which will take you on a unique and exciting sushi journey to remember.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Central

This LA-born Japanese restaurant in Tai Kwun is one of those restaurants that you recommend to friends and then they thank you profusely for. The omakase, which focuses on nigiri with some kaiseki (Haute Japanese cuisine) style dishes, is excellently prepared and served with a West-coast style of service that feels more laid back than other hush-hush sushi restaurants in town. It’s a winning combination that'll make you want to come back for more.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

Imported from Tokyo, Toritama is a yakitori joint that offers some real Japanese flavour. The tsukune, which is the chicken meatball skewer, is garnered as one of the best in Hong Kong and their wide-ranging menu offers some lesser-known chicken cuts such as achilles tendon, knee gristle, calf muscle, oesophagus and much more. They also offer an extensive list of sake to wash it all down with.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Causeway Bay

Japanese noodle lovers that know their udon from their ramen, probably know all about Mitaseimenjo and tsukemen already. A Japanese restaurant chain that made its Hong Kong debut back in 2015, this restaurant is still a favourite among Japanese comfort food enthusiasts. Their signature tsukemen is made up of their thick homemade noodles, which when served cold, is beautifully al dente and bouncy, and best slurped quickly after dipping it in the rich pork bone-based fish broth.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Lan Kwai Fong

This buzzy little izakaya offers great vibes as a side to the good food and is a place that really feels like you’ve been transported to Japan. You’ll find lots of seafood on the menu and, depending on the catch of the day, fresh fish grilled on the robatayaki. There are also some other great Japanese izakaya-style dishes such as sukiyaki, grilled onigiri, uni and salmon roe macaroni gratin, and more to try.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Jordan

You may have heard of high-speed sushi, but have you tried 'bullet train' Japanese BBQ? Well, you can, kinda, thanks to the restaurant and Japanese BBQ grill Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro in Jordan. The restaurant offers unlimited Wagyu set menus – yes, that's right, you can keep eating meat for 120 minutes – with 'Shinkansen bullet trains' bringing food from the kitchen to your table. But the free-flow doesn't end there. You can also choose the all-you-can-eat and drink option which offers unlimited salad, drinks and desserts including over 40 different types of some really great Japanese ice creams and ice bars. To see it with your own eyes, watch our  First Look video on Time Out Hong Kong's IGTV.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheung Wan

Another venue by Wagyu specialists Wagyumafia, Yakinikumafia offers a slightly more affordable way to indulge in Japan's famous Ozaki beef and allows customers to grill the meat themselves on special smokeless grills at every booth and table. The beef is definitely what you're here for, but the collagen-packed wagyu bone broth, koshihikari rice, barbecue sauce, pickles and daikon, really make it stand out.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheung Wan

As one of Hong Kong's coolest izakaya/yakitori joints, Yardbird attracts the young, hip and hypebeast-y crowd with ease. Not that the food isn't reason enough, as the grilled skewers here are really quite something. Focusing on the chicken, the skewers are expertly grilled over traditional Binchotan, adding that gloriously smoky and deliciously charred flavour to the thigh, wing, neck, liver, tail and skin.

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