As far as Japanese cuisine is concerned, Melbourne isn't as enamoured with it as, say, Italian or Vietnamese cuisine. After World War II and the Vietnam War, large numbers of people from such countries migrated to Australia. However, Japanese immigration to Australia has been more gradual and steady over time.
It's a testament to the unique appeal of Japanese cuisine that it's still one of Melbourne's most popular dishes. Many high-end restaurants around the world feature expert sushi chefs who put their skills to the test by serving elaborate multi-course meals to their patrons. As a result of this, Melbourne shines most brightly in the mid- to low-price range.
If you're looking for a quick bowl of ramen, an exquisite omakase or kaiseki meal, a raucous yakitori bar, or a boozy underground izakaya filled with sakes and rare whiskies, there's a Japanese restaurant in this neighbourhood that can meet your needs.
The Best 10 Japanese Restaurants Melbourne Has To Offer
Beyond Asia, does any other country have a better grasp on the wide range of culinary traditions found throughout the continent than Australia? Evidence suggests that Australia's Asian cuisine ranks among the best in the world, even if it isn't actually from Asia. The best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne may serve as a good example of this.
Melbourne, the country's second largest city, is locked in a constant competition to Sydney for the title of home to the best Japanese cuisine in Australia. Because the conflict is so overwhelmingly one-sided, it's laughable to say the harbour city deserves anything more than a participation medal at this point. Melbournians have an abundance of dining options to choose from, even if Sydney has some of the best Japanese restaurants in the country.
The following is a list of some of Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants. High-end, special-occasion restaurants to exploratory sketches of conventional methods that show how adaptable these techniques can be are all represented here.
Things like this don't come cheap. If you choose the 15-course omakase menu for $150, Hajime Horiguchi, formerly of Noosa's notable Wasabi, and Minamishima will be your chefs. Your only option is to accept what they've already picked out of the market. No matter what, you won't be disappointed in the outcome.
After a palate-cleanser of smoked and pickled vegetables, it romps through 14 nigiri sushi pieces, all of which feature seafood as their primary ingredient.
You may hear that the rice is the most important part of sushi; at Minamishima, the rice is indeed perfect in temperature and form; however, the proteins are what will have you uttering exclamations of delight. The toro (tuna belly) will be prepared in two ways: raw and seared, both of which will be rich and almost as decadent as foie gras.
Other notable dishes include the smooth buttery bite of the buttery flounder fins and the incredible tenderness of the calamari, which reminded me of cloud noodle soup. I can't get enough of either of these dishes. In addition to scampi with finger lime and frilled Japanese cockles, the menu also includes a variety of other seafood dishes.
This dish of sea perch with uni (sea urchin) and spring onion packs a smoky and umami punch. The next course is a calamari puck that has been minced and served in a fish broth that is both aromatic and flavorful. This course eases the transition into the dessert course.
Japanese sweets aren't really your thing, are they? Your opinion may be swayed by a granita of yuzu on top of the sake jelly, which has been moulded to the bowl for an enjoyable squelch. It's a refreshing, citrus-sweet-and-sour treat that's just what the meal ordered.
In the background, a lit shaped stone wall gently nudges the chefs to the centre of the stage, creating a calm and serene setting. A few non-sushi dishes are available if you choose to dine in the dining room. It is possible to see how the rice is prepared more quickly and with greater precision by sitting at one of the 12 counter seats. That's when it happens. Minamishima is categorised as a "special occasion" by the majority of people. Don't forget to include the "worth it" flag as well!
Kaiseki is the speciality of Ishizuka, a new Japanese restaurant that serves kaiseki cuisine. It's also an rabbit hole, both literally and figuratively, thanks to chef Tomotaka Ishizuka's needlepoint-like work on the dishes served there.
There's no denying that this isn't your typical izakaya. For some reason, when people arrive at the restaurant, they don't hear an enthusiastic chant of "irrashaimase!" to welcome them. Commitment aversion in today's society means that a two-plus-hour, 10-plus-course, $220-a-head repast of miniaturised dishes almost necessitates a session with a therapist. Ishizuka, on the other hand, is well worth the time and money invested in finding it.
Since it's so deserted, the room hidden beneath Bourke Street is spooky. Concrete was used to create the appearance of tree trunks in these columns. The sky is filled with fake foliage. A balloon-sized white fabric lantern made from it divides a section of the bar into two. Chef Ishizuka, who trained in Kyoto, the birthplace of kaiseki, and most recently oversaw operations at the Japanese glamourpuss restaurant Koko at Crown, maintains a calm and relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen. The sincerity and reverence with which the small group of white-jacketed Japanese waiters discusses the various qualities of saké reflect his own attitude perfectly..
Toto's Pizza House is located to the north of Universal Café and to the south of Toto's Pizzeria. The tomato sauce oligarchies are wooing us now that we've arrived in the heart of Italy. Kazuki's has finally arrived in this empire of carbs and cheese. Indeed, it has relocated from Daylesford to Victoria's capital city, defying the trend of estate residents moving to the city's CBD.
Because Saori Tsuya and Kazuki had previously operated their business in the countryside for seven years, why move it back into the city? Sakana, a more casual Japanese restaurant in Daylesford, has taken over their old daytime location, but it's still worth a visit.) Our task does not require us to delve into the raging minds of these individuals; rather, we must judge their deeds. Fortunately.. Kazuki's, as well as Lygon Street as a whole, appears to be on the rise.
In every way, it's a logical continuation of the Daylesford mothership. In an effort to simplify things to an almost Zen level, the Design Office overhauled the site. Greyish blue paint covers the walls, which are completely empty. Creates a peaceful atmosphere thanks to the yellow-gold soft carpet. Two enormous paper lanterns and a procession of ceramics add a touch of Japanese flair, despite the fact that there are only a few exceptions to this rule.
Aesthetically speaking, these plates share the same level of attention to detail. Chef Kazuki-san, the restaurant's head chef, is still in the kitchen, but has moved to the dining room. When it comes to kitchen duties, Anthony Hammel has taken on the majority of the responsibility. When it comes to food, Anthony's philosophy is heavily influenced by Mark Best, a chef who served as a mentor. Using chicory to garnish an aged duck breast with shiitakes, radicchio, and black garlic is a nod to the "make it all count" ethos because of its bitter flavour. This is due to the "make it all count" mentality.
Kazuki's offers a five-course meal for $130 or a seven-course meal for $160 per person, depending on the preferences of the guests. No matter how many appetisers you order, we recommend that you order the 5-course option. With their oceanic heft and ginger-and-soy undertones.
Instead of icing sugar, plum dust is used to decorate a rich profiterole, which is topped with a thick plum and umeshu jam parfait. Filling the profiterole with a sour/sweet flavour is a perfect match for the profiterole. The combination of this dish.
A thin layer of sake-soaked salmon roe and taramasalata covers the nori crisp. An additional layer of roundness is added by this. There is only one flaw in this otherwise perfect Japanese restaurant's appetiser lineup: house-made furikake, which is sprinkled over grilled duck hearts.
Komeyui Japanese Restaurant
If you try to recommend this restaurant to someone who is not familiar with Japanese cuisine, you will feel a twinge of protectiveness from Japanese food enthusiasts. This is because Komeyui is less well known among the general public. There are not many seats available, but the sushi is of high quality at a reasonable price and is expertly prepared. Additionally, the sea urchin and sake tastings have a dedicated following.
The variety of dishes that can be made with Japanese ingredients is incredible. On one end, you have hand rolls that cost two dollars each, and on the other, you have perfectly crafted mouthfuls of art that cost seventy-five dollars. Given that it is nearly impossible to locate and contains only a dozen seats, Hajime is unquestionably located at the extreme end of the spectrum. This is a real tempura house, and the quality of these magical morsels is like the difference between line-caught bluefin tuna and the fish John West rejects when compared to some of the Japanese food that is available in Melbourne.
Upon entering, you are escorted in a calm manner through the waiting room, where you are then seated at a bar that is semi-hexagonal in shape. You have the option of purchasing either the tempura set or the tempura sushi set for $75 or $85 respectively. This is the point where your choices come to an end, with the exception of an impressive list of sake and a good selection of wine, but don't worry; you're in hands that are far more capable than your own.
To begin, you are served sashimi that is impeccable in every way, complete with authentic wasabi and kingfish, tuna, and prawns that are rock solid and as fresh as can be. The following step involves the preparation of a dipping station for you, complete with bowls of salt, lemon juice, and soy broth, each of which you will use to immerse a ball of grated radish.
After that, an assortment of tempura consisting of smoked eel, scallops filled with creamy urchin roe, prawns, and asparagus is presented piece by piece with the instructions "lemon only" or "dip please." Finally, the chef prepares the main course of sushi. To watch his hands move with the speed and precision that he does is like watching a combination of brain surgery and martial arts.
Diners are stunned into silence as they watch perfect nigiri being assembled in a matter of seconds, then flambéed with a torch and basted in lemon. When you sit there, you get the impression that you're an ungainly rhinoceros because the skill is so sublime, and the service is so gentle and efficient. This is something that cannot be avoided, so make an effort to act civilly and just enjoy yourself.
If you're planning to eat on Flinders Lane, make a game plan ahead of time because you may have to wait for a table. It's especially the case for Supernormal, which has grown into one of those restaurants where patrons are eager to wait hours to be seated after seven years in business. Is it still worth it to wait in line at this Asian-inspired McConnell restaurant? Definitely.
Some changes have been made since we first opened our doors in 2013. After 5:30 p.m., reservations can be made for tables of up to six people. First-come, first-served will be the rule of the day. Second, Supernormal is no longer solely influenced by Tokyo; it now draws from the cultures of Seoul, Hong Kong, and Shanghai as well. Thirdly, you can have your favourite dishes, such as the lobster roll, chicken dumplings, Szechuan lamb, and even the peanut butter parfait, delivered right to your door.
What hasn't changed is the frenetic energy of the place; the team works like a well-oiled machine with military precision, and they appear happy to be taking better care of hundreds of people at the same time. The team's makeup, on the other hand, has shifted. No karaoke room? It's still well-lit, uncluttered, and warmed by pink neon, but it's a shame. Private parties can use it right now.
Two dishes that have never been taken off the menu are the New England lobster roll and the duck leg bao (and have followed McConnell from Golden Fields). Tonkatsu sandwiches (available only for lunch) and O'Connor slow cooked brisket and leek buns (served with a vinegary spring onion and fermented chilli sauce) are two of the many new items on the menu. Served with a black vinegar, spring onion, and fermented chilli sauce, these buns are a must-try. Newcomers can be argued to be superior to veterans in terms of skill and experience.
As soon as the 2019 Good Food Guide's two-hat award was announced, Tomotaka Ishizuka, the chef and former owner of Ishizuka, walked away. If you're looking for a hidden gem, this is probably it. After 16 years of serving customers and making a profit of $235, Ishizuka decided to close his secret kaiseki (degustation) restaurant. He moved up the street to a small, neon-lit shopfront and opened an izakaya serving dishes cooked on a grill called a bincho tan, which uses Japanese charcoal of the highest quality.
The goal at Bincho Boss is the same as it is at the vast majority of izakayas: to consume copious amounts of alcohol while simultaneously indulging in delectable snacks that go well with the booze. At all times, even if you're not in front of the counter, you'll be sat on barstools, so you can eat with your hands and drink from the same cup.
Drinks like the Matcha Highball, which combines cinnamon whisky with regular whisky, green tea, and soda to create a drink that is sweet, bitter, and fiery, are traditional cocktails that have been given a Japanese twist in Japan. It's also worth noting the Mandarin Sakegroni, which is a citrus-flavored Negroni with sake but no bitterness. These high-quality sakes, which are made from rice polished to 60% and 50% of its original size, can be purchased in single servings, pours of 300 mL, or 720 mL bottles and can be consumed by one person, two people or a large group.
We won't tell you what size is best for you, and we won't judge you for it. All of the wines in this collection pay homage to Australia's rich winemaking history while also embracing more modern techniques. At around $70, they are the ideal price point to avoid going over budget. The fried category of the menu (which includes everything) comes with a frosted handle of 400 millilitres, and Asahi Black are available on tap.
The off-Lygon precinct of Queensberry Street is home to this Japanese grill restaurant. Located next door to Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie, it was opened by Jinwook Park, the chef behind Tuan Tuan. The establishment is a welcome addition to a neighbourhood that is seeing an increase in the number of dining options.
If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, making the trip to Shira Nui, which is located a half-hour drive outside of the city, is absolutely worthwhile. Specials on sashimi and nigiri, served with miso and salads, are available during lunchtime. In that case, you can either split a platter with some friends or order something off the sushi menu. Make a reservation as soon as possible by giving them a call.
Ima Project Café
The Ima Project Café on a Carlton street corner is credited with reviving the smashed avocado trend. If you're eating sushi, you'll often find nori paste (made by simmering down seaweed with soy sauce) and furikake on top of your rice, both of which are traditional Japanese toppings. Despite this, Ima tops the avocado with furikake and then spreads nori paste over the whole thing. As a result, a breakfast dish that is distinctly different from any other version of the milky toast topper found in Melbourne.
Traditional Japanese soy sauce and sugar sauce-drizzled porridge and immiso-infused tomato baked eggs are two examples of Japanese takes on traditional breakfast fare. The restaurant's signature green tea is served with both dishes. You can also get a fish and rice breakfast set, which is a traditional Japanese breakfast. It's important to note, however, that Ima is doing more than just revolutionising Melbourne's breakfast scene. Before noon, you can order curry rice or a katsu burger because options for lunch start to become available at eleven a.m.
A burger with ebi katsu, breaded prawn, appears on the specials display. Taru taru sauce is drizzled over a generous portion of the Cobb Lane's breaded, buttermilk-battered prawns. Hard-boiled eggs give this Japanese tartare sauce more body than its western counterpart. The brioche buns from Cobb Lane are sweet and crumbly.
The prawns in this burger are soft and crisp, so you won't need serviettes to dry off your oil-slickened fingers after eating it. The burger is deceptively light. It comes with deep-fried prawn heads, which you can eat as is. In a salt-spiked mouthful, the shell dissolves into a crunchy and brittle crunch. To comply with Imno-waste a's policy, this is done.
In addition to the sticky koshihikari rice and pickled vegetables and miso soup that are part of the traditional Japanese lunch set, each day brings a new protein main dish to the table. While we were in the area, we had the opportunity to sample some korokke (also known as croquettes), which are made with ground beef and mashed potatoes and encased in panko breadcrumbs.
This dish's syrupy tonkatsu sauce and onsen egg are excellent ways to leave a sweet taste in your mouth after eating the chicken.
Some of the best Japanese restaurants in the country can be found in Melbourne. Even though Australia's Asian cuisine isn't actually from Asia, evidence suggests that it ranks among the best in the world. The ten best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne are listed below. Japanese kaiseki cuisine is served at Ishizuka, an up-and-coming restaurant in Tokyo. The food prepared by chef Tomotaka Ishizuka is needlepoint-style.
Many consider Minamishima to be a "special occasion" destination. With Kazuki's arrival, this empire of carbs and cheese has finally had a competition. It has moved from Daylesford to Melbourne's central business district. Kyoto, the birthplace of kaiseki, was the training ground for Chef Ishizuka. When the waiters talk about saké, they do so with the same sincerity and reverence that he does. There is still a chef in the kitchen, but Kazuki-san has relocated to the dining area.
Regardless of how many appetisers you order, we recommend the 5-course option. There aren't many seats, but the sushi is excellent and reasonably priced. Hajime is the furthest thing from the middle. When compared to some of the Japanese food available in Melbourne, the quality of these magical morsels is like the difference between line-caught bluefin tuna and the fish John West rejects. With just 12 seats, it is nearly impossible to find.
The menu has changed, but the pulsating energy of the establishment has not. Reservations for tables of six people can be made after 5:30 p.m. The rule of the day is first-come, first-served. In the same building as Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie, you'll find the Japanese grill restaurant Torissong. Melbourne's smashed avocado craze was revived by the Ima Project.
Furikake and nori paste are added to the milky toast topper at the cafe. Burgers, croquettes, and other protein-rich main dishes are on the menu almost every day.
- Evidence suggests that Australia's Asian cuisine ranks among the best in the world, even if it isn't actually from Asia.
- The best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne may serve as a good example of this.
- Melbourne, the country's second largest city, is locked in a constant competition to Sydney for the title of home to the best Japanese cuisine in Australia.
- In addition to scampi with finger lime and frilled Japanese cockles, the menu also includes a variety of other seafood dishes.
- A few non-sushi dishes are available if you choose to dine in the dining room.
- Minamishima is categorised as a "special occasion" by the majority of people.
- Indeed, it has relocated from Daylesford to Victoria's capital city, defying the trend of estate residents moving to the city's CBD.Because Saori Tsuya and Kazuki had previously operated their business in the countryside for seven years, why move it back into the city?
- Fortunately.. Kazuki's, as well as Lygon Street as a whole, appears to be on the rise.
- Chef Kazuki-san, the restaurant's head chef, is still in the kitchen, but has moved to the dining room.
- Kazuki's offers a five-course meal for $130 or a seven-course meal for $160 per person, depending on the preferences of the guests.
- The variety of dishes that can be made with Japanese ingredients is incredible.
- Given that it is nearly impossible to locate and contains only a dozen seats, Hajime is unquestionably located at the extreme end of the spectrum.
- After 5:30 p.m., reservations can be made for tables of up to six people.
- The goal at Bincho Boss is the same as it is at the vast majority of izakayas: to consume copious amounts of alcohol while simultaneously indulging in delectable snacks that go well with the booze.
- If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, making the trip to Shira Nui, which is located a half-hour drive outside of the city, is absolutely worthwhile.
- The Ima Project Café on a Carlton street corner is credited with reviving the smashed avocado trend.
- You can also get a fish and rice breakfast set, which is a traditional Japanese breakfast.
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants
First, at a nice restaurant, it is considered rude to rub or scrape your chopsticks together as this implies that you think their chopsticks are cheap or of poor quality. When not using your chopsticks, you should lay them on the “Hashi Oki” or chopstick rest.
These traditionally elegant and secluded private rooms are ideal for business meetings, special occasions, or times when privacy is a necessity. Decorated with unique Japanese flower arrangements (“Ikebana”), scrolls, and artwork, these Tatami rooms offer a luxurious dining experience.
Take a gastronomically unique adventure when you indulge in these must-try Japanese favourites.
Seiza involves sitting down on the floor and not on a chair. In traditional Japanese architecture, floors in various rooms designed for comfort have tatami floors.
The most common seating arrangement you can find in Japan is counter seating. It's known as “kaunta seki” (カウンター席) in Japanese. You'll find counter seats in various types of restaurants.