Melbourne has a great range of Japanese restaurants and although the ambience of some of these Japanese restaurants are not the best, it is really the food that matters; from sushi to bento boxes and udon dishes, it is all covered here.
The following are the highest quality Japanese restaurants I have enjoyed. Some of these restaurants came so close to making the best cheap eats in Melbourne, although in comparison to Sydney, Japanese food in Melbourne is slightly dearer. Here are the best Japanese restaurants to eat at in inner Melbourne:
Head upstairs and you are in Japanese food heaven. At Hibachi, which is located along Melbourne's King Street, enjoy a quality glass of Pinto Noir with your meal. The red wine blends in quite nicely with the well cooked fish. Fresh sashimi with the strongest wasabi I have ever tasted. This establishment gets top marks when it comes to the simple but chic wooden ambience. A trusted place to go to if you are a real fan of Japanese food.
Collingwood is another area well known for great tasting Japanese food, and Cibi has to be up there when it comes to the best Japanese food in inner Melbourne. It would be wise to go to an ATM beforehand as the owners do encourage cash only payment. A great (but pleasant) time waster in a beautiful way; wasteful time well spent. Be inspired by reading any of the books at the bookshelves, and there are beautiful Japanese homewares for sale here too. Unique Japanese food if you are bored of the sushi and bento boxes. Tofu burger with a twist anyone? Yes, please. You might end up like Oliver Twist and want some more.
Yamato is hidden right near Melbourne's Chinatown precinct. You are in for a Japanese treat, and I won't say too much more as I will spoil the surprise for you. If you do not have a phobia when it comes to small spaces, you will be home and hosed right here. Remember to BYO alcohol as well.
Sakura Kaiten serve the tastiest and freshest sushi on a train in Melbourne. If you love wagyu beef, soba noodles and fish, fish and more fish, you will be in sushi heaven. Chic and beautiful ambience, like that of a 5 star hotel is enjoyed here. The prices are not a deterrent as this establishment is busy, busy, busy and within good reason too. The food is that darn great, and so is the service.
5. Happy Kappa
If you love the udon soups, and you happen to be around the Richmond area, then you are in luck. Do not walk through the doors of any other establishment except for Happy Kappa. You will get it once you have tried their soups.
Last but not least, a little Japanese establishment along Lonsdale Street, which I discovered for lunch the other day. Okay so the ambience is old and quite tacky, think stained old seats and wonky wooden tables with the darkest carpet that looks like it desperately needs a steam clean - but do not let this put you off. The food at Izakaya Chuji is extremely fresh, and it is great that the customer can create their own bento box. Very filling and great value lunch despite the crappy, dull ambience. This is why this restaurant has made this list.