Konnichiwa! Bookmark This Guide to Melbourne’s Must-Visit Japanese Restaurants

Explore the Best of Japanese Cuisine in Melbourne’s Culinary Scene! From the bustling streets of the CBD to the quaint corners of the suburbs, Melbourne boasts an array of Japanese restaurants that offer an authentic and diverse dining experience. Join us as we embark on a gastronomic journey through the Top 10 Must-Visit Japanese Restaurants in this vibrant city, each unique in its flavors and ambiance.

1.Tamura Sake Bar

In a quaint corner of Fitzroy, Fumi and Takako Tamura’s 2019 venture, Tamura Sake Bar, embodies the duo’s passions: a fusion of fine sake and vibrant music. This establishment is an homage to the traditional Japanese izakaya, yet it uniquely doubles as a record store, creating a communal haven where the bartender DJ’s from a central turntable.

📷@Tamura Sake Bar

The ambiance is a curated chaos of Japanese kitsch against jet-black walls, with Bonsai trees and Hello Kitty lunchboxes sharing space with bottles of innovative “third wave sake” and vinyl from Tokyo. The drink offerings are adventurous, featuring craft beers and eclectic wines, alongside Tamura’s own rice XPA and Japanese-inspired cocktails.

📷@Tamura Sake Bar

The food menu complements the drinks with izakaya-style dishes that are as audibly crunchy as they are flavorsome. From the addictive salmon skin to the katsu sando, each dish offers a taste of Japan, served with a side of Melbourne’s inimitable flair. Tamura Sake Bar isn’t just a place to dine; it’s a cultural experience, a slice of Fitzroy’s charm.

2.Robata Japanese Grill

The San Telmo Group, renowned for their mastery of charcoal grilling, first made their mark with the opening of San Telmo in 2011 by David and Michael Parker alongside Renee and Jason McConnell. Their journey, enriched by South American flavors at establishments like Pastuso, has now embraced the Japanese tradition of Robatayaki at Robata Japanese Grill. Here, they celebrate their collective love for Japanese culture and cuisine, bringing a beloved cooking style that has simmered in Japanese culture for centuries to Melbourne’s dining scene.

📷@Robata Japanese Grill

Robata Japanese Grill, nestled in the storied Herald & Weekly Times building, is a space where futuristic Tokyo meets the rich tradition of ‘Robata’—the charcoal grill. Crafted by Ewert Leaf architects and brought to life with Mucho’s lightbox installation, the venue pulses with the neon vibrancy of Japan’s nightscapes. Head Chef Stephen Clark, transitioning from the Argentinian parrilla of San Telmo, now channels his expertise into the Robatayaki’s precise cooking methods, offering a relaxed izakaya-style atmosphere that centers around the elemental fire of the charcoal grill.

3. Shujinko

Shujinko, meaning ‘hero’ or ‘main character’ in Japanese, stands at the heart of Melbourne as its premier authentic Japanese restaurant. This dining destination is designed to make every guest feel like the star of their own show, ensuring that each visit is not just a meal but a spotlight moment.


The signature offering at Shujinko is the Tokyo-style Tonkotsu ramen, a culinary masterpiece with its rich, pork-based broth that simmers with unmatched flavors. Hours of preparation and a dedication to the craft are evident in the deep, complex layers of taste in their broth. Only the freshest ingredients, delivered daily, find their way into Shujinko’s ramen bowls. Complementing the ramen is their special recipe Gyoza, a pairing that elevates the noodle experience beyond that of typical ramen houses.


Embracing the essence of their motto, “Put your heart into the noodles and your love into the soup,” Shujinko is a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence. Each dish is a labor of love, intended to provide guests with an unmatched culinary journey, steeped in authenticity and passion.

4. Little Ramen Bar

In the generous expanse of the sequel to the original Little Bourke Street location, Little Ramen Bar continues to honor the beloved dish that has garnered a loyal following. Here, ramen is celebrated in all its forms, satisfying every palate, from the purists savoring traditional flavors to the daring souls craving an unconventional twist. For the especially hungry, the ‘Godzilla’ size promises to conquer even the mightiest of appetites.

📷@Kristoffer Paulsen

Under the watchful expertise of Chefs Michio Kurihara and Vianne Cheng, the menu at Little Ramen Bar remains rooted in tradition. The Classic Tonkotsu Ramen, with its rich, milky broth, achieves its unique gelatinous consistency after a 10-hour simmer. Beyond ramen, offerings such as succulent pork gyoza, spicy kimchi, and flavorful wok-fried rice stand ready to delight. Adorned with vintage Sapporo posters and serving Sapporo Draught beer, Little Ramen Bar offers an escape from the city’s frenzy, inviting patrons to unwind with a comforting bowl of noodles.

5. Ichi Ni Nana

At Ichi Ni Nana, nestled on the ground floor of Hotel Fitzroy, the diverse array of Japanese cuisine comes to life, diverging from Japan’s traditional single-dish specialty restaurants. The menu spans several styles – from gyoza and tempura to yakitori, sushi, sashimi, and don – catering to a broad spectrum of tastes. This culinary variety is a magnet for diners, filling the colorful and dynamic space, which features a distinctive four-person private dining booth in a cable car from the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, equipped with its own sound system.

📷@ Jake Roden

Complementing the extensive food menu, Ichi Ni Nana’s bar offers a creative cocktail range, including green tea-infused vodka, Japanese whisky, and kokuto, a unique Japanese sugar. The drinks selection extends to a variety of sakes, European and Australian wines, and beers from Coedo, one of Japan’s premium craft breweries. This rich beverage offering, paired with the restaurant’s versatile dining spaces, including the sun-drenched glass courtyard during spring and summer, ensures a memorable and atmospheric dining experience for every guest.

6. Supernormal

Supernormal, created by renowned chef-restaurateur Andrew McConnell, showcases his unique culinary flair. With its understated yet slick design and open kitchen, the restaurant embodies an indefinable X-factor. Located in the 171 Collins Street development, its large, glass-fronted space is adorned with Japanese-inspired details like katakana signage and neon cherries, visible from Flinders Lane.


The interior of Supernormal features a long, zinc-topped bar alongside an open kitchen, where chefs work meticulously, visible to diners. Despite its spaciousness, the restaurant exudes warmth, enhanced by custom-made cube-shaped lights, creating a cozy, inviting ambiance.

📷@Pete Dillon

Supernormal’s menu reflects McConnell’s time in Shanghai and Hong Kong, featuring Chinese influences with dishes like dumplings, bao, and Szechuan brisket. Korean and Japanese tastes also emerge with items like Korean BBQ pork shoulder and ramen. Signature desserts and classics like lobster rolls and peanut butter parfait round out the diverse offering.

7. Waterfront

Nestled along the banks of the Yarra River, this esteemed Melbourne establishment offers an unforgettable dining experience with expansive views of the river and the city’s twinkling lights. Known for serving the finest seafood in the city, the restaurant prides itself on sourcing its fare directly from some of Australia’s top producers. This venue, run by the Zampelis family with over 100 years in hospitality, stands as Melbourne’s most iconic seafood bar and grill, inviting guests to enjoy a truly authentic Melbourne experience.


The commitment of this establishment to “sea to plate” excellence is unwavering. Daily market visits by the team ensure only the best oysters, pristine shellfish, and freshest local seafood are selected. This dedication extends to “paddock to table” offerings, guaranteeing a menu that is not only luxurious but also incredibly fresh. The stunning Melbourne skyline serves as a backdrop, enhancing the dining experience and making it a perfect spot for both special occasions and casual gatherings.

8.Nobu Melbourne

At Nobu Melbourne, the concept of ‘Omakase’, a Japanese phrase meaning ‘I’ll leave it up to you’, takes center stage. This approach allows diners to experience the essence of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s celebrated cuisine through expertly curated Omakase menus. Guests are invited to surrender their choices to the chefs, embarking on a culinary journey filled with seasonal specialties and innovative dishes that epitomize Nobu’s unique fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors.

📷@Courtesy of Crown Melbourne

Elevating the dining experience, Nobu’s Omakase offers an immersive journey into the heart of traditional Japanese gastronomy. Here, every course is a surprise, meticulously crafted and presented by skilled chefs.

📷@Courtesy of Crown Melbourne

From the finest local Australian seafood to globally inspired creations, each dish is a testament to Nobu’s culinary mastery and a reflection of his diverse, global influences. In this world-renowned setting, guests are not just eating; they are partaking in a storied tradition of culinary excellence.

9.Marble Yakinuku

📷@marble yakiniku

Marble Yakiniku in Melbourne, designed like a traditional Japanese tea house, is a haven for authentic Japanese cuisine lovers. Famous for its tableside barbecuing and Yakiniku, the restaurant specializes in locally sourced and Japanese wagyu cuts. Its ambiance perfectly complements the art of Japanese grilling.

he menu is a culinary adventure, boasting a vast selection. Highlights include the acclaimed sashimi platter with 12 pieces of chef-selected fish and unique sea urchin sashimi. For vegetarians, the grilled eggplant in white miso sauce is a must-try. Additionally, the restaurant offers an array of nigiri, deep-fried, and hot pot dishes.

Steak enthusiasts will revel in Marble Yakiniku’s offerings, including Mayura M9 wagyu and Japanese A5 cuts like sirloin. The knowledgeable staff guide diners through the steak jargon, ensuring a perfect choice. Each steak, barbecued to perfection, promises an unforgettable melt-in-your-mouth experience, best paired with a selection from their extensive sake list or a classic Asahi or Sapporo.


Asoko, nestled between a dry cleaner and a pharmacy in Port Melbourne, is an unpretentious new sushi bar led by Chef Martin Kim. Straying from the typical omakase experience, Asoko aims to be a local hidden gem, offering top-quality food with friendly, intimate service at a more affordable price. Kim, who honed his sushi skills in South Korea and worked at Koko in Crown Melbourne, believes in continuously learning and emphasizes the importance of rice in creating perfect sushi.

📷@Jamie Alexander

At Asoko’s 10-seat timber bar, diners can enjoy an omakase experience starting with various Japanese appetizers, followed by a daily-changing sashimi course, thanks to Kim’s strong relationship with his fish supplier. The meal progresses with Misoyaki and 12 types of nigiri prepared right in front of guests, dipped in homemade soy sauce. The experience often culminates with a delightful crème brûlée. Additionally, Asoko features a select list of sake, plum wines, and whisky from Asaka, the only whisky-producing distillery in Japan’s volcanic Tohoku region.