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The Best Restaurants Around Australia For Authentic Japanese Cuisine

The Best Restaurants Around Australia For Authentic Japanese Cuisine

International travel is at least starting to feel like a possibility again, but in all likelihood that trip to Japan you had planned (or was that just me?) is probably still a little while away. The solution for those no-holiday blues? Give your tastebuds a little taste of travel instead.

Trying the local cuisine is half the experience away, and that’s especially true when it comes to Japan. The good news? Australia has some absolute gems for authentic Japanese dishes — maybe they’re even worth a little vacay of their ow, am I right?

The Best Sushi

#1 Minamishima, Melbourne


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Sure you can’t go to Japan, but you can enjoy the talents of Chef Koichi Minamishima, who became a young apprentice in a neighbourhood sushiya (sushi restaurant) in Aichi, Nagoya, 30 years ago. Now, he’s the driving force behind this fine-dining experience.

Other top options:

#2 Izakaya Fujiyama, NSW
#3 Shira Nui, VIC
#4 Hosokawa Japanese Restaurant, QLD
#5 Ichirin, WA
#6 Sushi Bar Genki, SA

The Best Sake

#1 Tamura Sake Bar, Melbourne


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Sake (more commonly know as nihonshu in Japan) is not just a one and done liquor. There’s a huge range of flavours, proofs and even different temperatures you can drink it at. This is all something Tamura knows well, with sake, beer and the best music selection sourced right from Japan.

Other top options:

#2 Sake Restaurant, NSW/ VIC / QLD
#3 James Parker Sushi & Sake, WA
#4 Sumi Open Kitchen, QLD
#5 Saké Society, SA

The Best Ramen

#1 Lonely Mouth, Sydney


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Newtown ramen joint Lonely Mouth is doing a bang-up job of filling the ramen-sized hole in our hearts. The best news (for non-meat eaters like me) is that they’re Sydney’s only dedicated 100 percent plant-based ramen bar.

Other top options:

#1 Chaco Ramen, NSW
#2 Shujinko, VIC
#3 Ramen Danbo, QLD
#4 Nao, WA
#5 Shōbōsho, SA

The Best Udon

#1 Hifumiya Udon Noodle House, Perth

Japan’s Kagawa region might be famous for its udon, but in the meantime, you can head to WA’s first Udon noodle house. The name, decor and noodles are modelled off the owner’s home of Kurashiki, Okayama in Japan — the birthplace of udon.

Other top options:

#2 Mappen Udon Bar, NSW
#3 Udon Yasan, VIC
#4 Udonya Tokoton, QLD
#5 Contemporary Japanese Deli, SA

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The Best Soba

#1 Jugemu & Shimbashi, Sydney


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This is actually two restaurants in one, with Japanese pancakes on one side and a man making soba noodles by hand in a tall glass box on the other. In fact, this is the only place making handmade soba in Sydney. That’s probably why they’ve been dubbed the best soba outside of Japan.

Other top options:

#1 Sunset Sabi, NSW
#2 Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar, VIC
#3 Edosei, WA
#4 Top Noodle, QLD
#5 Gyoza Gyoza, SA

The Best Of The Rest

#1 Komeyui, Melbourne

The other thing about Japanese cuisine, besides the obvious fan favourites, is the fun of trying one of their more unique menu items. Like the uni (sea urchin) tasting menu and eel hitsumabushi at this unsung hero.

#2 Cho Cho San, Sydney

This modern, contemporary Japanese restaurant combines Japanese technique with the Aussie dining scene to create some amazing food. Like Japanese omelette with curry sauce, grilled king prawns with kombu butter and matcha tiramisu.

(Lead image: Instagram / @jugemushimbashi)

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