Melbourne has some incredible Japanese restaurants - we reveal our best picks.
1. En Izakaya || 277 Carlisle St. Balaclava. Ph: (03) 9525 8886. enizakaya.com.au
The best way to eat at En Izakaya is to share a variety of small dishes from BBQ calamari with white miso and vinegar-coated rocket to QLD spanner crab omelette with shitake mushrooms. Combined with modern décor, great service, quality sake and worldly wines – we’re sold!
2. Maedaya || 400 Bridge Rd. Richmond. Ph: (03) 9428 3918.
People love love love this place. Owned by a passionate Toshi Maeda, choose from over 60 kinds of sake (wow!). Try the gyoka skewers, tsukune, or minced chicken balls that come with various toppings and are absolutely delicious!
3. Izakaya Den || 114 Russell St. Melbourne. Ph: (03) 9654 8886. izakayaden.com.au
This small basement, pub-like Japanese restaurant in the CBD is super popular. Share sake at the big communal table and select small plates like tuna tataki or tempura corn or bigger ones like kingfish sashimi or skewered pork belly to fill your own belly.
4. Yu-U || 137 Flinders Lane. Melbourne. Ph: (03) 9639 7073.
Pass the graffiti-ridden walls and enter through the small door. Packed at lunchtime for their bentos – rice, soup, pickled veggies and main – You’ll struggle to find it but once you do you’ll be glad you did!
5. Misuzu’s || 7 Victoria Ave. Albert Park. Ph: (03) 9699 9022.
Whether you choose either a la carte or take away you can expect simple quality California rolls or more complex dishes like crispy octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mayo, not to mention great service. Simple Japanese décor completes the experience.