The best Japanese restaurants in Porto

Raw fish and exotic dishes with uncommon flavours. We bring you the best Japanese restaurants in Porto
© João Saramago No Shiko o universo da comida japonesa vai muito além do sushi
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The best Japanese restaurants in Porto are few in number, but they make a fine set, according to our food critics. Whether you want a steaming bowl of ramen noodles or super-fresh sushi, you’ll find them on our list.

As usual, each place was visited anonymously by one of our reviewers, posing as ordinary guests, at least once. With this hard fieldwork done, we’ve selected the best choices.

The best Japanese restaurants in Porto

Namban Oporto Kitchen Café - Sopa
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Japanese

Namban Oporto Kitchen Café

icon-location-pin Baixa

Miguel Cunha and Sako Arao used to have a place – also located in the Galerias Lumière – where they sold takeaway meals; it was so tiny they couldn’t have tables. They closed down that micro-restaurant and opened the only slightly larger Namban Oporto Kitchen Café. The lunch menu costs €8.50 and includes soup, a vegetarian, meat or fish main course, three side dishes, onigiri (a Japanese rice ball) and flavoured water. But if you make this a daily habit, you won’t get bored – the dishes keep changing. Besides, there is always a dessert of the day, including the typical Japanese anmitsu (coconut cream and strawberry jelly), blue bean paste and green tea granita.

Time Out tips:

– The restaurant only sits six people.

– Make a reservation – they only serve 30 meals per day.

– Outside mealtimes, teas, craft beers and cocktails with Japanese liquors are served.

 

Shiko - Prato
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Japanese

Shiko

icon-location-pin Batalha

In food, as in life, it’s all about the company you keep. If the food is really good, the company will seem even better. That’s what happens at Shiko, in Batalha, where dishes are conceived for sharing, from yakisoba noodles to okonomiyaki, a pancake of sorts stuffed with shellfish. In the kitchen of this small restaurant – and we mean small – is sushi maker Ruy Leão, who proves that a good Japanese eatery always brings something new to a city, even one with plenty of Japanese restaurants.

Time Out tips:

– One of the signature dishes is marinated mackerel; try it, you won’t regret it.

– It’s important that you make a reservation – the restaurant is both small and popular.

– It’s inspired by Japanese izakayas, bars conceived as post-work hangouts.

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Terra
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Japanese

Terra

icon-location-pin Foz

Can a restaurant with good Japanese food have a non-Japanese name? Sure it can. Terra (Portuguese for ‘earth’) is split into two floors with completely separate concepts. If you’re handy with chopsticks and like good sushi, stay downstairs. Here, patrons sit before the sushi maker, and can observe him prepare the fish. Or you can go upstairs, where more Mediterranean-style fare is served. If you took our advice from last year (didn’t you?) and tried the lobster cream and the sweet egg pastry, you will love the new lobster risotto, recently added to the menu.

Time Out tips:

– New additions to the menu: a 12-piece gunkan sushi set and tuna tartar at the restaurant.

– If you want to impress someone, this is it: one of the city’s most beautiful restaurants.

– Order the chocolate cake: it’s unmissable.

Wish Restaurant & Sushi
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Japanese

Wish Restaurant & Sushi

icon-location-pin Foz

Wish Restaurant & Sushi, in Foz, is led by chef António Vieira, formerly of Shis (which was damaged by the ocean in January 2014). The first reason to go there is that the chef brought some of the classics from his previous restaurant, such as the caramel fondant. This and other dishes go along with new creations such as presa ibérica pork with chestnut crumbs, mushrooms, rocket and patatas bravas, in addition to sushi dishes. The sushi served is traditional with hints of fusion cuisine, and is prepared by sushi maker Miguel Fragoso, also formerly of Shis. As for wines, there are over 200 bottles, with options for every price range.

Time Out tips:

– The name refers to the chef’s strong desire to own a restaurant in Foz.

– The restaurant remains open between mealtimes, and that means you can snack your afternoon away.

– There is a private room for 14 people which you can reserve.

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