Being located in the Beehive Complex in Hawthorn is only fitting for Ocha, a bustling Japanese restaurant known as much for its modern Japanese fare as the difficulty to score weekend seats.

Yasu Yoshida, Japanese chef and one of Ocha's owners, does a good job of putting together the old and the new, combining Japanese standard flavours and techniques with more inventive dishes. You'll find old faithfuls like the gyoza, yakisoba and nabeyaki udon, but make sure to try some of Yasu's more playful creations like the beef tataki, a carpaccio of rare grilled porterhouse served with a lashing of ponzu sauce. Word on the street is, Yasu's nigirizushi is legendary.

During the day, Ocha also offers some good old Japanese bento boxes and rice dishes, all at reasonable prices.

Make sure to make reservations well ahead of time, especially during weekends. Ocha has hordes of faithfuls coming all the time and you'd be hard pressed to find a seat without calling in first.

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Updated: December 14th, 2020

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