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Kujira

Home > Sydney > Food and Wine | Fun Things To Do | Restaurants
by Kate Reynolds (subscribe)
Kate is a Melbournite who now calls Sydney home. She's at her happiest when there's halloumi on the brunch menu and there's a dog to give belly rubs to. Read her work at www.HelloKateReynolds.com
Published November 19th 2022
You'll have a 'whale' of a time at Kujira
It's no secret that Ashfield is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to delicious Asian food. But while dumplings are often the main attraction, there's plenty more to whet your appetite.

Kujira is one such gem.

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Kujira - tasty Japanese in Ashfield

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Get here nice and early to avoid long lines


Located on Liverpool Road, just a five minute walk from the train station, Kujira serves some of the best Japanese in Sydney's Inner West. 'Kujira' translates to 'whale' in Japanese, which becomes apparent as you enter the restaurant and look up, only to see a huge plastic whale 'swimming' through an ocean of cherry blossoms on the ceiling.

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Kujira translates to 'whale' in Japanese


There's no mistaking which cuisine you're about to dine out on. Japanese lanterns hang on the wall above little figurines ranging from Studio Ghibli characters to bonsai, and bamboo finishes give a warm, welcoming ambience to Kujira.

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Beautiful red lanterns inside Kujira giving a warm, welcoming glow


The menu offers loads of starters - from freshly made hand rolls and sashimi to takoyaki (fried octopus balls), pork gyozas and okonomiyaki (japanese pancake). There's also plenty of deep fried snacks, including chicken karaage and prawn and vegetable tempura.

Because we always want to try a little bit of everything, our usual state of play is to order loads of starters for the table. Highlights include the okonomiyaki - prawn and shredded vegetables fried into a pancake, served with mayonnaise and a gooey, fried egg on top, and the takoyaki - beautiful pieces of octopus in a wheat batter and fried into little balls, served with flakes of bonito.

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Takoyaki - fried octopus balls with bonito flakes


The deep-fried chicken karaage was succulent, juicy and crispy on the outside, and the pork gyozas were crunchy and full of flavour.

And of course, you can't go to a Japanese restaurant without having a bowl of salty, blanched edamame to chew on.

kujira, ashfield, japanese, where to eat sydney, best japanese food
Satly, blanched edamame - deeelicious


For something with a bit more substance, Kujira's menu also offers plenty of favourites like chicken and pork katsu meal sets, donburi and ramen, udon noodles and cold salads. There's even bao buns, and japanese-style tacos with fillings like wagyu beef and spicy sashimi.

There's also plenty of vegetarian ramen options too.

If you plan to head to Kujira for dinner (and I recommend you do!) either get there nice and early to secure a table, or be prepared to wait in line for a seat as this place gets popular, especially on weekends. But it's worth the wait.

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Why? For delicious Japanese food in Ashfield
Where: Liverpool Rd, Ashfield
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