Sushi is less a food than it is a highly codified artform. There are dozens of subtle variables in every piece, including the types of rice and vinegar used, the wrapping material, the rolling or stacking method, the variety of fish and the way it's cut. It's no wonder it can take decades to become a sushi master.
If you’re a fan of sushi or Japanese cuisine in general, then the chances are that you have heard about a sushi train restaurant before. Also known as conveyor belt sushi, sushi trains are an iconic Japanese experience that everyone has to try at least once in their lives.
However, you don’t need to travel to Japan as we’ve created a list of where to find Melbourne’s best sushi train restaurants.
But if you’ve never been to a sushi train restaurant before, then here is some information to cover the basics:
17 Restaurants for the Best Sushi in Melbourne
You can’t beat the best Melbourne sushi. Honestly, outside of Japan, the Victorian capital is a shoo-in for the top selection, but then again, we’re a little biased.
Food that’s so simple yet satisfying and healthy, many view sushi as a godsend upon the West, and they couldn’t be any more correct.
And with sushi restaurants now adopting a vegan and vegetarian-friendly menu, there’s no excuse for anyone to miss out on this delicacy.
Here is a list of the best sushi Melbourne has to offer.
Minamishima is everything it says it is, and possibly more. When stepping through the doors, you’ll immediately realise that this is the best sushi restaurant in Melbourne. Why? The style of sushi is omakase– meaning you leave it up to the chef.
Minamishima features an impressive 15 types of sushi, with extras – various starters and desserts pad the meal. This is essentially a Japanese sushi degustation.
- Address: 4 Lord St, Richmond VIC 3121
- Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 6-10 pm
Wakenbo is a petite Japanese eatery that’s reminiscent of Tokyo. The restaurant employs Japanese vegetables and herbs grown from its garden, and you’ll find more than just sushi on the menu.
Expect miso and coconut milk braised rabbit with marrow ravioli, seared scallop and preserved lemon, smoked duck breast with duck neck chorizo, fried duck cartilage, fish wing hotpot with roe and the list goes on and on. But for a special sushi platter, order their kaiseki.
- Address: 69 Victoria St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
- Trading Hours: Wed-Sun 6-10 pm
Without a doubt, Suzuran is a godsend. As one of the leading purveyors of the finest sashimi and sushi restaurant in Melbourne, it also sells Japanese groceries. So, whether you’re cooking up a Japanese feast or a simple meal, you will find a range of Japanese ingredients.
Suzuran’s sushi bar uses only the freshest fish and top quality ingredients. The adept chefs take great pride in preparing the best sushi and sashimi for clientele. There’s also complimentary vegetarian meals and platters.
- Address: 1025-1027 Burke Rd, Camberwell VIC 3124
- Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 10 am-6 pm, Sun 10 am-3:30 pm
In the renowned food haven of Carlisle Street in Balaclava, you’ll find MR. RYU. The restaurant’s ethos of drawing people together through food and culture comes through its menu.
For a start, try the spicy tan-tan ramen with a creamy and nutty broth, sesame chilli that’s accompanied with customary soft boiled egg, mustard leaf, and nori. Or for sushi, ask for the coconut kingfish sashimi that comes with red Nam Jim, jalapeno, kaffir lime leaf and coriander.
- Address: 294 Carlisle St, Balaclava VIC 3183
- Trading Hours: Mon-Sun 4-9 pm
Hinoki Japanese Pantry
In the heart of Fitzroy, Melbourne, there’s Hinoki, a local Japanese grocery and sushi gem. The eatery purveys a selection of authentic Japanese ingredients, snacks, drinks and pantry basics.
The ingredients are even sought after by chefs and gourmet home cooks. This is one of the best sashimi and sushi restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD; think Nigri packs, Hoso Maki packs, Nose Maki packs and many other sushi platters await to be devoured.
- Address: 279 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
- Trading Hours: Tue-Sat 10 am-6 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm
One of the best-kept secrets in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is Tokui Sushi. Whether you’re in a hurry to grab a quick bite or seeking a seat inside to devour a delicious meal painstakingly, they have you covered.
Expect to be served superb sushi rolls, but be sure to have cash on hand when there. The sushi rolls are huge, taste great and come at just over $2. Their Tamago, spicy tuna and cucumber, avocado and unagi sushi rolls are unforgettable.
- Address: 260 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-6:30 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-6 pm
Kenzan Japanese Restaurant
Sushi bar, tatami room, and awarded One Chef Hat — it doesn’t get any better than Kenzan. Lunch and dinners are a traditional affair at this eatery, from sushi and sashimi staples to sukiyaki that is served amongst Japanese aesthetics with attentive service.
The eatery has a 12 seat sushi bar, a private room as well as the main restaurant. Chirashi, sukiyaki, unagi, Tempura and sushi are among the many menu items of this stalwart.
- Address: Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Trading Hours: Mon-Wed 6-10 pm, Thu-Fri 12-2:15 pm, 6-10 pm, Sat 6-10 pm
Things at Bincho Boss are done a bit differently. This modern Japanese restaurant cooks on a kimono grill and allows guests to taste popular Japanese dishes with a European undercurrent.
Relish drunken tofu noodles, sushi, yakitori, tempura and many hot and soft drinks. You will be amazed by the perfect mix of East and West cuisines, fast and attentive service and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Address: 383-385 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Trading Hours: Mon-Sat 12-2:30 pm, 5-9 pm
At Kisumé, you can experience three types of quality dining; the sushi counter, the Chablis bar, and the Chef’s Table. This restaurant draws on the art of Japanese cuisine while infusing it with Australian zests.
Discover dishes both familiar and unknown, drawing on a vein of local produce from land and sea. You can relish scallop nigiri, beef tenderloin, spicy tuna, beef tartare, kingfish sashimi all in the luxurious seating area with a new atmosphere.
- Address: 175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Trading Hours: Thu-Sat 12-2:30 pm, 5-10 pm
Tsukiji is still one of the best places in Melbourne to enjoy Japanese seafood and sushi. Order salmon sashimi, fried salmon and scallops at Tsukiji when there. This eatery is renowned for its deft chefs, good service and friendly ambience.
When ordering, consider Bento Box: Sashimi, Chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki or sushi bento. And when done, binge on the Mochi dessert— that’s a red bean rice ball. An experience that can’t be missed.
- Address: 237 High St, Prahran VIC 3181
- Trading Hours: Mon-Tue 11:30 am-4 pm, 6-9 pm, Thu-Sun 11:30 am-4 pm, 6-9 pm
Komeyui Japanese Restaurant
Do you want a sleek space for a classy traditional Japanese menu with à la carte? Then Komeyui is your spot. Many people reserve a spot in this restaurant to order their seven-course sushi omakase.
The à la carte menu includes sushi and sashimi and larger dishes such as hitsumabushi. A grilled eel rice bowl served with green-tea broth. The Komeyui Shokado Bento Box is the crowning glory, featuring sashimi, spicy tempura tuna, nori crunch, miso-marinated black cod, rice and miso soup.
- Address: 181 Ferrars St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
- Trading Hours: Tue-Thu 5:30-10 pm, Fri-Sun 11:30-3 pm, 5:30-10 pm
Shira Nui is a Japanese restaurant with an open kitchen crafting sushi, sashimi delicacies and noodles. An authentic savour of sushi has price-point value for a quick lunch or a special occasion dinner.
Get a seat at the sushi bar and watch the chefs in action, creating favourite sashimi specials of delicious salad, miso and super fresh sashimi of Kingfish, tuna and salmon. These menu options are the most delectable.
- Address: 247 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley VIC 3150
- Trading Hours: Tue-Thu 12-2 pm, Fri-Sat 12-2 pm, 6-8 pm
Wabi Sabi Salon
Sashimi & bento boxes in a chill setting with traditional woodsy decor & a green alfresco setting. The Wabi-Sabi Salon is a pescatarian and vegetarian-forward eatery.
Word of advice: order the vegan ramen or prawn dashi ramen, brewed with prawn heads, with 20 secret herbs and spices. It’ll hit the spot. Or try some warm sake from the expanded drinks menu and a plate of teishoku, a sort of Japanese set-menu deal.
- Address: 94 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
- Trading Hours: Mon-Thu 12-9:30 pm, Fri-Sat 12-10 pm
Saké Restaurant and Bar
Saké Restaurant & Bar blends traditional Japanese cuisine with novel flavours. This award-winning eatery offers a terrific dining experience on a selection of classic and bespoke dishes made from tip-top produce.
The menu of super-fresh seafood is sliced and diced by sushi masters into delicate sashimi, artful sushi, intricate starters and main courses. So, no matter what seafood you’re after, you can’t go wrong with Saké.
- Address: 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Surprisingly, Nobu is a sushi restaurant in Melbourne that is part of an empire of Japanese culinary excellence. You’ll find this place in all corners of the globe. Anticipate Peruvian tastes that are mingled with old-age Japanese cuisine.
The result? Avant-garde food. Tiradito is among the signature dishes, a Peruvian dish of marinated fish sliced paper-thin. The speciality is their sushi cups filled with sweet prawn, roe, caviar, uni and freshly grated wasabi.
- Address: Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Gaijin Japanese Fusion
Gaijin Japanese Fusion offers a refreshing contemporary Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist from traditional Japanese sushi. At Gaijin, enjoy the miso, soup, spicy salmon sushi and sashimi, or delve into the Tasmanian, Spider vs Dragon and Baked Dynamite rolls.
And if you’re up for a light dish, it has a Cheesy Gyoza, Gaijin Special Salmon Salad, Salmon Tartare, Crispy Soft Shell Crab. This restaurant is a great example of fusion and an outstanding dessert.
- Address: 135 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
- Trading Hours: Mon-Sat 5:30-10 pm
Sakura Kaiten Sushi
When at Sakura Kaiten Sushi, you’ll get nothing less than the best of the classics: mixed sushi and sashimi plates with salmon, tuna and kingfish; and the grilled snapper with basil nigiri. The sushi menu consists of an unprecedented 15 packs, which have all your seafood favourites.
Their sashimi menu is also king-tier. But the nigiri sushi is something else; it comes with grilled yellowtail with miso sauce and fluke fin with wasabi.
Following the great success of Sakura Kaiten Sushi, sister restaurant Sakura Kaiten Sushi II manages to carve out its unique personality with quirky influences from Dragon Ball Z and, of course, an incredibly delicious sushi train experience.
The character and charm of Sakura Kaiten Sushi II can be seen and felt from the moment you walk through their doors, from the giant artwork that takes up their entire back wall to the large showcase of Dragon Ball Z paraphernalia. Their sashimi menu features grilled and fresh salmon, tuna, yellowtail, snapper and scallops, with some unique items including their yellowtail with jalapeno sashimi.
Dashi tofu, takoyaki and grilled eel nigiri are just a few of their crowd favourites. Also offering options for takeaway pick up, you can enjoy unique items, including their jellyfish salad, fried oysters, crab croquette, scampi sashimi and grilled snapper with basil sauce.
- Address: 282 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Trading Hours: Mon 5-9:30 pm, Tue-Wed 11:30-9:30 pm, Thu-Fri 11:30-10 pm, Sat 12-9 pm, Sun 12-9 pm
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants
A sushi train restaurant consists of a conveyor belt that stretches throughout the restaurant and passes each table. Plates full of various kinds of delicious sushi and other Japanese delicacies circle the restaurant, with customers simply reaching over and grabbing the plate they desire when it comes around to them.
Unless you are in a traditional sushi restaurant in Japan, no one will judge you according to how you eat your sushi. However, if you want to eat sushi with the correct etiquette, here’s what you need to know:
- Eating sushi with your hands is fine – but only eat sashimi with chopsticks.
- Pick up the rice part with your fingers and only dip the top part into your soy sauce. If the rice soaks up too much soy sauce, then it will overpower the overall taste.
- Never mix wasabi directly into your soy sauce dish. It must be kept separate.
- Sushi must always be eaten in one bite.
- Ginger is not to be eaten with sushi. It is meant to be eaten afterwards and used as a palate cleanser.
- Do not pass a piece of food to someone using chopsticks. Always pass them the plate instead.
Each plate has a set colour, shape and pattern, corresponding to how much it will cost. The restaurant will have a list nearby that will explain how much each plate will be. At the end of your meal, the staff will count how many plates you have stacked and will calculate the bill for you.
Minamishima is the best place for sushi in Melbourne’s CBD. Other top sushi spots include WaKenbo and Mr Ryu.
Sakura Kaiten Sushi is the best sushi train restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD.
Discover Melbourne’s Best Sushi Train Restaurants
Sushi trains are the best way to get heaps of sashimi, maki and other Japanese dishes in your belly as quickly as possible. Grab a seat and get ready for a game of targeting the perfect plate as it makes its way down the track and towards your seat.
Sushi Jiro, Melbourne CBD
With nine locations across Melbourne, Sushi Jiro could easily be considered the mecca of sushi train restaurants in Melbourne. No matter which location you choose to dine at, you will always be greeted by friendly and attentive staff in a warm and vibrant atmosphere.
What sets Sushi Jiro apart from other sushi trains is that their menu caters to a wide range of customers, offering vegan, gourmet, healthy, premium and chef’s special options. Featuring a menu that has been carefully crafted by their experienced master Japanese chefs, you can enjoy traditional sushi such as gunkan, uramaki, nigiri, maki, temaki and sashimi.
A signature dish we highly recommend is their nori taco, exclusive to Sushi Jiro. It features a deep-fried taco shell made from seaweed and is filled with sushi rice and ingredients such as roe, avocado slices, lettuce and fresh salmon sashimi.
You can dine at their sushi train section or choose from their takeaway options too. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, you can also use the provided iPad to choose items that are made to order as well!
Tetsujin, Melbourne CBD
Located on Level 4 inside the Emporium, Tetsujin features a bar area, Japanese BBQ and one of the best sushi train experiences in Melbourne. The interior décor is inspired by Japanese train stations, with white subway tiles lining the walls and bright neon rings hanging down from rails attached to the ceiling.
In the centre of Tetsujin is where their trained chefs prepare a range of mouthwatering sushi and ensure each plate contains fresh sushi and isn’t making too many trips around the conveyor belt. Their menu offers a wide selection to choose from, including sashimi, vegetarian, meat and seafood options.
Apart from sushi, you can also choose from their Japanese BBQ menus such as wagyu scotch steak slices, succulent pork belly, Angus rump strips, seafood salads and many more. The cocktails at Tetsujin are also out of this world, with their Final Fantasy, Sakura and Kanagawa Tsunami cocktails being an absolute must-try!
Ganbare Kaz Kaiten Sushi, Windsor
Located on Chapel St is Ganbare Kaz Kaiten Sushi, a popular sushi spot that has even been featured on Masterchef Australia. Their trained and skilled staff stop at nothing to ensure that each guest is greeted with a warm reception, enjoys their time dining, and leaves happy with a full stomach.
Ganbare Kaz Kaiten Sushi features a rustic, brick interior, with an eclectic mixture of Japanese paintings and cooking utensils adorning the inside walls. The sushi train runs along the main section of the restaurant, where customers can grab a seat and wait for their favourite plate of sushi to come to them.
Their menu offers lots of sushi options to choose from, such as gunkan, nigiri and aburi, including fillings like crab, prawn, crispy kara-age chicken and fresh salmon. They have noodle and salad options available as well, but remember to arrive on an empty stomach!
Sushi Hotaru, Melbourne CBD
Situated inside the MidCity Arcade, Sushi Hotaru is not only one of Melbourne’s best sushi trains but is also one of the most affordable. And once you have stepped inside, sat down and tried a few items on their impressive menu, it’s easy to see why they have earned a place on our list.
Sushi Hotaru features a minimalist style, with ceiling lights above their sushi train reflecting the dark hardwood timber interior creating a cosy dining atmosphere. Their menu offers a huge selection of sushi with ingredients such as eel, scallops, kingfish, wagyu beef, salmon, prawn garage, squid, tuna, octopus, soft shell crab and much more.
Their menu also offers an extensive range of sashimi, noodles and dessert, so there is something for everyone. Even though this sushi train restaurant may be smaller when compared to other sushi trains on our list, Sushi Hotaru is still definitely worth a visit when you’re in the CBD.