The Best Omakase Restaurants in Sydney

Updated 2 weeks ago

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Sydney is home to one of the world’s biggest Japanese communities in the southern hemisphere. As a result, our Japanese dining scene is robust, and we’re lucky enough to enjoy the full spectrum of the country’s cuisine.

But recently, we’ve fallen hard for omakase, the Japanese chef’s table par excellence. Seafood is a major component of this intimate dining experience, but otherwise it’s a pure expression of the seasons, as well the chef’s expertise. Like any chef’s table, this one usually comes with an eye-watering price tag – but it’s worth every cent. Here’s where to splash out in Sydney.

  • Few of the city’s restaurants replicate the feeling of being in Japan quite like Kisuke. Maybe it’s because husband-and-wife duo Yusuke and Izumi Morita run the place all by themselves. Or maybe it’s the blond-timber and hushed ambiance. Whatever it is, Kisuke is as close as you’ll get to a true, neighbourhood omakase experience in Japan without leaving Sydney.

  • Nobu Harada’s Sydney outpost has all the lofty hallmarks of his eponymous international restaurants, and one extra: a 10-seat omakase counter helmed by master sushi chef, Ryuichi Yoshii. Yoshii brings almost four decades of experience to the table, and his daily menu fetches exactly the kind of prices you’d expect from a restaurant at Crown Casino. But that doesn’t deter the high rollers – Yoshii’s place is notoriously hard to book.

  • The truest expression of this ambitious fine diner’s “root-to-stem” philosophy is found at its 10-seat chef’s table, Kuro’s Kitchen. Helmed by head chef Taka Teramoto (formerly of Michelin-starred restaurants Restaurant Pages in Paris and Florilege in Tokyo), it’s an elegant experience with a surprisingly lo-fi booking system: text the number and you’ll receive a confirmation email if you’re successful. Then, it’s a three-hour culinary journey fusing Japanese tradition with French techniques.

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  • From Sydney seafood restaurateur Joel Best comes this 12-seat omakase diner at the top end of town. Seafood nigiri takes pride of place, and there's a formidable selection of Japanese whisky to tipple. You might end up sharing some with your neighbour – it's all about the convivial vibe here. Lunch or dinner spans 18 courses, plus you can tack on a wine or sake pairing if you’re going all out.

  • In Japanese, Haco means “theatre”, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at this luxe omakase counter by Chaco Bar’s Keita Abe. The star of the show is Osaka-style kushiage: panko-crumbed skewers of meat and veg deep-fried in pork lard or extra-virgin sesame oil. But your 20-course degustation also involves market-best seafood, exquisite sake and the feeling that you are, indeed, a spectator to one hell of a show.

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  • For his moody yakitori den, Chaco Bar’s Keita Abe was inspired by the grungy yakitori joints in his Japanese hometown of Fukuoka. But there are luxurious Sydney touches here, too. The daily set menu is one of them – a free-wheeling degustation of skewered meats and high-end ingredients such as uni, caviar and truffles.

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  • Raita Noda was one of the first Japanese chefs in Sydney to strike out on their own and bring omakase dining to Sydney. Unlike the culinary marathons served by his peers, Noda prepares a keenly priced 10-course menu every night of the week except Sunday. It’s no less exacting, and will transport you to Japan every time.

  • Behind a nondescript door in the CBD, the second iteration of Toko echoes the experience beloved at the original Surry Hills site for more than 15 years – with good-times playlists, signature dishes including Moreton Bay bug tempura, and a dedicated omakase spanning a whopping 24 dishes – including 14 pieces of nigiri. This one’s only available on weekdays, and will be resuming later this year.

  • Merivale’s Sushi E was among the first restaurants to introduce Sydney to omakase-style dining, and it’s only gotten better with time. You can dine à la carte here every night except Sunday – but if you’re here for the omakase, it’s only available Tuesday to Thursday. Pull up at the marble counter for premium seafood, sake and no shortage of knife skills.

  • Matt Moran’s good-looking, Japanese-inspired listening bar at Barangaroo House is a relative newcomer on the omakase scene. But if you’re angling for an experience with a serious soundtrack (courtesy of Rekodo’s gorgeous, high-end sound system), this one’s for you. At around 10 courses, the smaller of the two omakase options is bang for your buck considering what you get. Harbour views included.

  • Set within the historical Campbell’s Stores precinct, this luxe Japanese diner lets you choose your own experience. There’s an omakase counter where your meal is left entirely up to the chefs, and a bigger dining area with a set menu. But there’s fresh-caught seafood and sake on the cards no matter where you sit.

  • A design inspired by Japanese folklore, an acclaimed chef behind the counter, and a surprising owner behind it all. This cavernous Japanese diner is in an unlikely spot – but it’s serving up one of Sydney’s must-try omakase experiences.

  • This tiny two-storey diner punches above its weight with a former Sokyo chef in the kitchen and a top mixologist behind the bar. Expect Japanese dishes reimagined with native Australian ingredients, fruity highballs and a warm neighbourhood vibe.