Japanese cuisine isn’t as embedded in Melbourne’s culture as, say, Italian or Vietnamese. Whereas people from those countries migrated here en masse following World War II and the Vietnam War respectively, Japanese immigration to Australia has been more gradual, steadily ticking along.
And yet, Japanese remains one of Melbourne’s most widespread and popular cuisines, which says a lot about its unique appeal. There are numerous high-end restaurants where master sushi chefs expertly ply their craft with multi-course experiences in sleek surrounds, but the casual, mid-range category is where Melbourne really excels.
Whether you’re after a quick bowl of ramen; a sublime omakase or kaiseki experience; a rowdy yakitori bar; or a boozy subterranean izakaya filled with sakes and rare whiskies, there’s a Japanese restaurant here for you.