10 incredible Japanese restaurants in Sydney

30 January 2017

Sokyo Restaurant at The Star, Sydney

Sokyo Restaurant at The Star, Sydney

Japanese cuisine is world-renowned for its use of fresh ingredients and artistic precision. Sydney is home to a number of fantastic Japanese restaurants— check out some of the standouts below.

Cho Cho San, Potts Point

This modern restaurant uses traditional Japanese techniques, such as hibachi grilling and steaming, but with a contemporary twist. It features an extensive and affordable menu, with a cocktail menu that compliments the food perfectly.

Bar Ume, Surry Hills

Headed by six-time Chef Hat winner Kerby Craig, Ume has just had a complete overhaul changing from Japanese fine dining to Bar Ume, a burger joint with a Japanese angle. Alongside burgers such as the ebi burger (crumbed and lightly fried prawn katsu with shredded cabbage and Japanese tartare sauce), Ume also serves a good range of Japanese beers and whiskies.

Sokyo, Pyrmont

Sokyo’s main attraction is its à la carte menu which includes traditional nigiri, sashimi, robata and tempura alongside a drinks menu of signature cocktails, sake and wine. This esteemed restaurant has a massive following and has won a plethora of awards over the years, most recently winning a Chef Hat at 2017’s Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards.

Tetsuya’s, Sydney CBD

World-renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda has been influencing Sydney’s fine-dining scene for almost 30 years. Tetsuya’s art-filled restaurant overlooks a traditional Japanese garden in the CBD. The acclaimed degustation menu combines Japanese cooking philosophy with French techniques and first-class ingredients.

Toko, Surry Hills

Toko specialises in the more casual izakaya style of Japanese dining, with a comprehensive food menu including a robata grill and sushi bar. Toko also boasts a wide selection of specialty cocktails and specially chosen sake to pair with its signature dishes.

Sake, The Rocks

Sake is a firm favourite in Sydney, and has been awarded a Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Chef Hat for the past six consecutive years. The sprawling interior includes four private rooms, a communal banquet dining area and a sushi bar, as well as a late-night cocktail bar on Friday and Saturday nights.

Yayoi Garden, Circular Quay

Yayoi Garden serves the classic Japanese dish, teishoku, in a romantic setting. The decor is sleek and minimalist, making for a serene dining experience. The all-encompassing, seasonal menu ranges from à la carte sushi to specialty rice and soups paired with Japanese craft beers and sake flights.

Rengaya, North Sydney

Rengaya offers customers an authentic Japanese BBQ known as yakiniku. Opening in Australia in 1993, the restaurant specialises in Wagyu beef and seafood which are then grilled at your table. Choose between ordering a la carte or the all you can eat option. Rengaya also offers a lovely sashimi selection as well as shabu shabu, Japanese hotpot that’s perfect for the cooler months.

Komachi, Surry Hills

Komachi is an unassuming eatery that serves up top Japanese dishes at affordable prices. Although best known for its ramen, the menu features a range of dishes from sushi and sashimi to udon and bento, as well as a good selection of drinks including imported Asahi.

Wagaya, Chinatown

Located in the city’s Chinatown district, Wagaya is a tapas-style Japanese restaurant with a difference. Instead of traditional table service, patrons use a touch screen to instantly order whatever they like from the menu. Wagaya is open until 2am every night, making it a great place to get a late-night bite or stay and party after your meal.