A must-try is the Shiromaru Motaji tonkatsu ramen, made of their signature creamy tonkatsu broth, bouncy hand-pulled noodles, pork loin, bean sprouts and black fungus. Find IPPUDO on Artemis lane in QV—just follow the crowds to this institute of a Japanese restaurant. As far as Japanese restaurants north of Melbourne go, Gogyo is worth a look in. Their signature charred miso ramen dish is like nothing else found here, and their spicier dishes pack some heat (try the karaka-men bowl for a real punch in the tastebuds). Gogyo is owned by IPPUDO, a large chain who have been doing ramen back in Japan for years, so you know you’re in good hands when you order a bowl of the good stuff. This is the Melbourne outpost of the globally-renowned Nobu Japanese restaurant chain.
As with all izakayas, the food menu is designed to pair well with drinks. This playful Taiwanese-Japanese restaurant in South Melbourne (no relation to Fitzroy’s Peko Peko) is a fun eatery that doesn’t take itself or its delicious menu too seriously. There’s an extensive ramen menu at this bar and diner from the man behind Wabi Sabi Salon Japanese Restaurant and Neko Neko, alongside a range of other classic Japanese dishes. Plus, there are plenty of sake-based cocktails and a tight line-up of rare whiskies. Neil Perry’s Japanese diner serves up a unique version of contemporary Japanese cuisine. The room is sleek, the menu – which is very seafood heavy – is fun and the drinks list is too.
We love the “counter culture” concept with sushi featured on occasion, with skillful Executive Chef Kentaro. I then walked in to the most amazing chic cool place in Melbourne. Enjoy the chefs doing their masterful work in the open kitchen. Gaijin Japanese Fusion is a popular affordable Japanese restaurant in South Yarra that is full of soul and character and impresses with its playful top notch cuisine. Next time we might launch into a few numbers in the downstairs karaoke bar. Saké Flinders Lane will be the fifth restaurant in the Saké fold.
Over an 18-year career, Joshua Bedell has crafted signature dishes in Japanese, Chinese and French fusion restaurants across two continents. Nobu traces his professional ambition to the day his older brother took him to a sushi restaurant for the first time. At Shoya, we encompass the regional and traditional flavours of Japan along with contemporary cuisine from the western world.
One of the oldest and most revered Japanese restaurants in Melbourne when it comes to teppanyaki, Teppanyaki Inn has been the one-stop-shop for getting an egg thrown ‘artfully’ at your patiently waiting face bowl since 1975. As the first teppanyaki restaurant to ever open in Australia, they’ve mastered the art of the open grill and you can expect the freshest, most mouth-pleasing nosh this side of the hemisphere. If you’re in the mood for Moreton Bay Bugs and broken fried rice, bookings at Teppanyaki Inn are essential on the weekend as their reputation spreads far and wide across the country. Supernormal is Andrew McConnell’s crown jewel and home to the most famous lobster roll in Melbourne. A charming little Japanese restaurant with a cluttered interior that feels a bit like being in Japan.
Fresh local produce is used whenever possible to bring the strong traditional flavours of Japan straight to your plate. Their omakase menu offers an elegant selection of handcrafted nigiri sushi that effortlessly showcases Minamishima’s expertise and technique. Still relatively new on the scene, Ishizuka has proven a valuable addition for lovers of fine Japanese cuisine, focused on the country’s more traditional dining experience known as kaiseki. Here it’s all Beluga caviar and poached daikon topped with foie gras preceding top-grade Wagyu and perfectly textured tuna, wrapped into a set menu that’ll set you back $235pp, and that’s without the option $120pp wine pairing. Their dinner menu offers a delectable selection of nabe ryori with thinly sliced vegetables and Japanese marbled beef cooked in sukiyaki sauce or a clear broth with a side of sesame and ponzu dipping sauces. If you’re visiting with a group of friends, you can dine at their sushi bar or book their chef’s recommended banquet course that includes sashimi and sushi platters, gyu teriyaki, agedashi tofu, misoshiru and more.
To ensure covid-safe dining practices we offer two sittings on Friday and Saturday nights. Our dining sections cater for all occasions, from a casual catchup, a romantic date, to the most special off occasions. There is a section and table to suit all moods and preferences.
For more of the best Melbourne has to offer, head to our Best Of Guides section. Almost any cuisine you could ever think of is always effortlessly within reach and made by some of the best chefs, both locally and internationally. Best Takeaway Burgers in Melbourne Melbourne’s love affair with burgers shows no signs of slowing down. Here are our favourite spots to get your hands around a good one. There are over 80 sakes at this slick Japanese bar and eatery, which is housed in a former bank. Unlike many izakayas – which can get quite dark – Kumo’s space is light, open and airy.
Peruvian flavours are expertly combined with Japanese cuisine in dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and black cod with miso. A centuries-old culinary artform derived from the ceremonial cooking practices of Zen monasteries, kaiseki is guided by a formal, multi-course structure, with a continually evolving menu that emulates the change of seasons. Relocating to Australia in 2017 to broaden his knowledge of the international culinary landscape, Hitoshi accepted the role of head chef at Melbourne’s two-hatted, refined kaiseki venue, Ishizuka, in June, 2018. Delving into the culinary world at the age of 18, Miyazawa began an apprenticeship with esteemed chef Mamoru Sakamoto, from whom he learned the ancient art of kaiseki cuisine.
Koichi Minamishima got his start here, as did Shigeo Yoshihara and Kentaro Usami . Tokosan is more a casual fun style of Japanese dining, and has opened it’s doors in Melbourne following the huge success of Toko in Surry Hills Sydney. The Prahran and South Yarra “creatives” are giving it the thumbs up. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience this modern stylish Japanese cuisine.
“I am always trying to push forward and have the tendency to be apathetic for the dishes I have created in the past.” With such unrelenting ambition, we’re excited to see what culinary experiences he will bring his guests at Nobu. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, known to the world as Nobu, is the acclaimed and highly influential chef of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants. Nothing says mid-week luxury like the fine indulgence of Champagne from the one of the world’s most iconic Japanese restaurants, Nobu.
There’s an intimacy about Ishizuka as it only serves 16 diners at night. A basement restaurant that is somehow conservative and radical at once. Even before entering the dining room, Ishizuka’s sense of place and occasion come to the fore with a large backlit lantern egg greeting diners, sweeping them in and signalling the narrative about to unfold. The interior is epic but muted, dignified, almost filmic, suffusing the restaurant with texture, tone and a sense of mystery.
In 2009 he started the ownership and chef’s role at the much awarded Tempura Hajime. Andre Bishop has captured the essence of a Tokyo izakaya down to the snacks, staff and Japanese rock’n’roll. The place is no larger than a train carriage, with only bar seating and a few satellites for intimate couples, but this isn’t a bad thing, as it keeps the celebratory atmosphere of the place at a maximum at all times. Bincho Boss is an izakaya with food revolving around the bincho tan – a grill fuelled by premium, dense Japanese charcoal.
One top Australian critic told me this was the best sashimi he had ever tasted in the world. Guests can enjoy dishes that draw on the purity and exacting nature of Japanese food but are uniquely Australian . Melburnians over in north, don’t think for a second that we’ve forgotten about you. You’re a lucky bunch, with DenDeke right in your neighbourhood, just over in Preston.