5 Love It
Save it

The best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne

Hungry for the city's finest Japanese joints? Dig in, brothers and sisters

Photograph: Graham Denholm

"Fashion changes, but style endures". Coco Chanel could have been talking about Japanese food, which will ever be en vogue thanks to its goddamn deliciousness. Say "konnichiwa" to the city's finest places to enjoy sushi, sashimi, sake and so much more. Whether you want to dip into a cosy inn-style café or hobnob with the glitterati, you'll find what you're looking for here. We can also point you in the direction of Melbourne's best ramen shops, dumplings and cocktail bars.

Best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne

1

Kappo

Kappo is an omakase (chef's selection) restaurant and Time Out Melbourne's Restaurant of the Year 2015. Choose from five, seven or nine courses, but commit yourself to the cause for at least two hours.

Read more
Melbourne
2

Minamishima

Minamishima might just be serving Melbourne's best sushi. Former Kenzan sushi master Koichi Minamishima will guide you through the set menu; sommelier Randolph Cheung (ex-Flower Drum) will keep the saké flowing.

Read more
Richmond
3

Izakaya Den

Descend below street level for this taste of Tokyo that pays equal attention to its dishes and drinks. The corridor-like space is adorned with an extensive range of saké and beer, and food from the open kitchen arrives quickly. 

Read more
Melbourne
Advertising
4

Kenzan

This Melbourne institute for Japanese cuisine has a menu that spans classics and more contemporary small plates. There’s something special about watching your food being prepared by sushi connoisseurs.

Read more
Melbourne
5

Shoya

Spread over six levels, this monolith of a restaurant covers everything that makes Japanese food great. From relaxed yakiniku (grilled meat cooked on a smokeless barbecue) to modern fine dining and even a karaoke bar, Shoya showcases Japanese culture. 

Read more
Melbourne
6

Hihou

Press the buzzer and you’ll be collected at the door and escorted into this shrine to grace and decorum. Match delicious bar nibbles with updated classic cocktails: try the Negro-kan (Negroni) with plum-infused gin, Umeshu (plum wine) and Campari.

Read more
Melbourne
Advertising
7

Hinoki Japanese Pantry

If fluorescent sweets and pocky sticks make your heart beat faster, this sleek supermarket is for you. The accompanying sushi bar means serious business. Pre-made lunch packs are available, but most fish is sliced on demand for those dining in.

Read more
Fitzroy
8

Nobu

More than a little bit glamorous, Nobu’s Melbourne incarnation ups the exclusivity at Crown Casino. Here, Japanese cuisine meets Peruvian flavours – one visit and you'll see why chef Nobu Matsuhisa is world-famous.

Read more
Southbank
9

Saké Restaurant and Bar

Perched underneath Hamer Hall, Saké is decorated with polished concrete and pops of colour. The menu is innovative and experimental – dishes constantly evolve with the seasons. Drinks are swift: shochu and saké are the headline acts (combine the two for a Japanese Martini). 

Read more
Southbank
Advertising
10

Wabi Sabi Salon

We love Wabi Sabi Salon's styling, which nods to Japanese street-food shacks and rural seaside villages. The food is cheap without sacrificing taste, and there’s plenty of choice for vegans and vegetarians. 

Read more
Collingwood
11

Cibi

With a focus on quality organic ingredients, this café offers an honest and endearing approach to food. Offering a mix of Japanese and Western breakfast and lunch options, the Japanese breakfast plate (weekends only) is where this humble gem really shines.

Read more
Collingwood
12

Kobe Jones

Kobe Jones, right by the Yarra River, combines Japanese flavours and Californian flair. The menu is designed for grazing, with all plates made to be shared. Staff are knowledgeable and attentive, and most dietary requirements are catered to.

Read more
Docklands
Advertising
13

Aka Siro

This homey restaurant specialises in teishoku (main plus rice, miso soup and salad) served for lunch every day of the week. Aka Siro stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays for sake, beer and izakaya snacks. 

Read more
Collingwood

More of Melbourne's best meals

The best restaurants in Melbourne

Too many restaurants, not enough time. Cut the fat with our guide to the best places to eat in Melbourne right now.

Read more
By: Time Out editors

Comments

0 comments