Japanese dishes

8 Must-Try Japanese Dishes You Must Try

We recently teamed up with Kirin Ichiban to solve a very important mystery. We wanted to know where to find the tastiest, most impressive, most impressive and soul-gratifying Japanese food in Sydney and Melbourne. To facilitate our discovery, we enlisted the help of a community with proven impeccable taste: you. And you did not disappoint.

Dubbed the Kirin Ichiban 50, an expert jury cast your votes to unearth the best in traditional modern craftsmanship and creative new flavors in Japanese cuisine.

Before revealing the full list, we thought we’d tempt you with a taste. Here’s a curated selection of must-try Japanese dishes and locations across Sydney and Melbourne, chosen by you.


Enjoy a fried gourmet experience at Haco

Ever thought the average omakase seriously lacked tempura action? Haco has you covered. This small restaurant can only accommodate 12 people at a time, perfectly suited to the intimate and exclusive omakase-style setting. Each night, chef Kensuke Yada creates 20 bites of deep-fried delight, serving up everything from lotus root tempura shrimp, pork belly, salted kombu lobster, and more. Pair it with a Kirin Ichiban and follow with its legendary fried desserts for the ultimate flavor experience. If you want to enjoy this symphony of fried crispiness, book early – these 12 spots are often booked months in advance.

Take your takeout to the next level with Ballin’ Bento Boxes from Harada

Another omakase-style cuisine that made the cut is Harada. As you make your way to the bar, you will be greeted by an atmosphere that is both moody and welcoming. Soft lighting bounces off their extensive collection of Japanese whiskey, wine and sake as jazz and blues tunes play softly in the background. Leave it to owner and chef Yoshi to serve you his choice of authentic seasonal cuisine as part of their omakase-style dinner. If you can’t get in, don’t panic. Harada offers a drool-worthy take-out bento with wagyu, roast duck gyoza, snow crab and caviar rice, plus a few surprises Yoshi picked on the day.

Share an epic Yakitori Smorgasbord with friends at Yebisu Bar & Grill

Let’s take a step back from the strict Japanese food scene and head to Yebisu Bar & Grill. These local legends are known as THE spot for some cheeky izakaya in Sydney’s Chinatown, serving tapas-style dishes accompanied by a healthy selection of sake and Japanese beer – we order a Kirin Ichiban, naturally. Here, everything is done to be shared with smaller plates that allow you to taste a wide range of flavors from their long menu. As part of your traditional Japanese buffet, be sure to order some of the Lobster Yakitori. Served with a special mayo and cream sauce poured over perfectly grilled seafood, you won’t want to share this one.

Sip rave-worthy ramen under the rising sun

Need to modify your bike? Get to work at the Rising Sun Workshop and top off your session with top-notch ramen. Part community motorcycle shop and part friendly neighborhood restaurant, Rising Sun is a local celebration and we love it. Stop by for dinner to try their killer banquet menu, but if you ask us, their midday ramen is where it’s at. Order a serving of light, dark, or monk ramen any day of the week until 3 p.m. and have it ready with your choice of toppings and sides, from pork belly and black mushrooms to tsukemono pickles and gyoza.


Dine on melt-in-your-mouth sushi and sashimi at Nobu

Ready for a world-class gastronomic institution to delight your taste buds? Reserve a table at Nobu. Located at Crown, this is where you are if you want to experience impeccable Japanese fine dining. With over 50 restaurants worldwide, they have perfected the dining experience in every way possible. From their amazing sushi and sashimi to the well-stocked bar filled with authentic Japanese drops, book in for nothing less than luxury.

Keep your authentic Japanese food in Komeyui

If Komeyui is known for one thing, it’s his attention to detail. While bringing people together through traditional Japanese cuisine, chef and owner Mr. Motomu Kumando – Kuma for short – brought his fine craftsmanship from one of Japan’s top culinary schools and settled in the south of Melbourne. The minimalist style of the restaurant reflects the food well; everything is carefully chosen, impeccably made and downright gorgeous. Put your dinner in Kuma’s trustworthy hands, course after course of delicious and authentic bites.

Bring the broth to the Musashi Ramen bar

Less in fine dining and more in copious amounts of ramen? Meet at Musashi Ramen Bar. Right in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown, there’s no better place to order a big old bowl of rich ramen topped with flamed wagyu, braised pork belly or any other ramen classic your heart desires. The restaurant itself is a simple walk-in down the street, often with a queue filled with Melbourne ramen lovers. Inside, you can snuggle up to the ambiance of Japanese ramen bars with fairy lights and lanterns overhead as the crew walks past you with steaming plates of Japanese tapas, snack boxes bento and their legendary broth noodles that you won’t be able to resist.

Treat yourself to the most beautiful bento you’ve ever seen at Machi

To top off your trip to Melbourne’s Japanese flavors, order a Kirin Ichiban and take a seat at Machi Japanese Restaurant and Bar. Their minimalist kitchen is separated into cold and hot zones, serving up all your authentic favorites plus a few inspired creations here and there. If you’re dining there, skip straight to their signature dishes. Whether it’s the lobster meat taco or their crab tartare, there’s no better way to experience their unique and downright delicious take on Japanese flavors. When it comes to takeout, you can’t beat their bento. Trust us, these beautiful boxes filled with rows upon layers of colorful sashimi, sushi, chirashi and more are as good to look at as they are to eat.

Want more? Check out the full Kirin Ichiban 50 to experience the rest of the best modern Japanese bites in Sydney and Melbourne.

Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with Kirin Ichiban. Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.

Image credit: Rising Sun Workshop via instagram