There’s something about Japanese food. The focus on freshness and simple flavours, the mastery of craft and how good you feel afterwards (no junk food hangovers!). There’s no denying it, Japanese cuisine is a real crowd pleaser and, unsurprisingly, a go-to meal for many. It’s no surprise Australia’s love affair with Japanese food is alive and kicking. We’re obsessed with clean and healthy living and the number of excellent Japanese restaurants and takeaways is growing week by week.
Luckily, for us and overseas visitors alike, there are some fantastic Japanese spots dotted around our fine country. If you’re obsessed with sushi, sashimi and sake, then this is the guide for you! Here are five of the best places to enjoy Japanese food on your travels Down Under!
1. Ten Japanese Restaurant, Gold Coast
Arguably the most upmarket sushi experience in Queensland, Broadbeach’s Ten Japanese Restaurant offers sumptuous sushi, teppanyaki and kaiseki in a decadent, architecturally designed setting. The Gold Coast has a fantastic reputation for dining and Ten has helped step that up an extra notch. You’ll love the Japanese-style truffle omelette and the melt-in-the-mouth kurobuta pork belly! It’s little surprise that Ten has won numerous awards and is there to stay in Broadbeach.
2. Ramen Lab, Perth
For some of the very best, wholesome ramen, you’ll have to venture west to Perth City and Mt Lawley for an experience at Ramen Lab. If you’re inexperienced in Japanese cuisine, ramen is a broth-based dish, filled with fresh noodles, vegetables, meat and fish. It’s basically a bowlful of goodness. You’ll love the flakes of smoked fish and octopus balls cooked in the warm, tingly broth.
3. Minamishima, Melbourne
The brainchild of head chef, Koichi Minamishima, his eponymous Japanese restaurant in Richmond, Melbourne really captures the imagination. It’s not just your typical Japanese dining experience; what’s great is that you can put your experience in the palm of Koichi’s hands by booking the omakase – or the ‘chef’s choice’ – which gives you a taste of all that’s good about Japanese seafood. From scampi to scallops and eel to sea urchin, it’s a delectable meal worth every dollar.
4. Sokyo, Sydney
Sydney’s ultimate Japanese dining offering can be found in The Star, offering the perfect blend of traditional Japanese flavours with innovative methods. Sokyo’s sashimi platter is deliciously fresh here, as is the Toro with blended fiery wasabi. That’s not to mention to hefty cocktail and sake menu – perfect for sharing a special night with a special someone.
5. Ocha, Melbourne
This place has been going for almost a quarter of a century and from its modest beginnings in a small 30-seater restaurant, Ocha has expanded into one of the best, artisanal Japanese restaurants in Victoria. Aside from traditional Japanese flavours, Ocha nods heavily towards the new-age of Japanese cuisine with imaginative touches to authentic ingredients such as miso, wasabi and kombu.
For a winning combo of freshness and bold flavours, there really is no competition for Japanese food at the moment and this refined cuisine is very much here to stay in Australia.
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.