Restaurants

18 Of Brisbane’s Best Japanese Restaurants

By Catherine Blake
19th May 2022

Whether hot or cold, clean or dirty, hearty or sweet, Japanese is unique in its ability to fit every occasion with the all-encompassing power to keep things fresh, vibrant, and interesting while respecting tradition. 
 
We thought it was time to brush up on Brisbane’s best Japanese restaurants. If you're after a hefty bowl of ramen, you'll find the city's best here, but for all-out Japanese feasts, here's where to go. 

Shunsai 

Woolloongabba 

If there's one highlight of a traditional Japanese eatery it's being able to watch the chef prepare and plate the dish of your dreams right in front of you. Thankfully, Shunsai in Woolloongabba allows you to watch the masters at work as they prepare a lunch set menu or omakase-style dinner, with super seasonal items and even traditional desserts.

Okuman Karaage And Ramen Bar

South Brisbane

When the hankerings hit, sometimes it takes more than a sushi train to quell the impending anarchy. Enter Okuman and their epic offering of sashimi, sushi, fried snacks, loaded bowls of ramen, and hearty rice bowls. This is one you'll want to tackle with a big appetite.

hôntô

Fortitude Valley

That ancient dilemma of how to give the finesse and subtlety of Japanese cuisine an edgy, sexed-up vibe has been forever solved by the crew at hôntô. With moody, minimalist interiors, long communal tables and a sleek whiskey bar to drink at while you wait for a seat, this dimly lit Valley spot is the place to tuck into elegant fare that's heavily influenced by Japanese dining (with a few twists).

Kingfish sashimi with strawberry at Honto Brisbane Japanese

Hosokawa 

Hamilton

We’re calling it: Hosokawa is one of the most underrated Japanese restaurants in Brisbane. Fresh fish is the star of the show here, and the sushi rolls and nigiri coming out of the kitchen are some of the best we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. 

Sono 

Portside

Sono is renowned for its teppanyaki, but sushi platters are also a fantastic option for large groups. A traditional Japanese restaurant complete with tatami-clad private dining rooms, Sono diners can enjoy a stunning selection of sushi and sashimi, with plenty of banquet and omakase options for when you want to leave it to the masters.

Oshin

Brisbane City

Tucked up above the CBD craziness of Adelaide Street, Oshin is truly a little slice of Japan in the heart of Brisbane that's been around since the '80s. Head upstairs to browse their massive menu, with options including banquets, bento boxes and a la carte dining, plus sushi, skewers and rice bowls on special for lunch. You're not a fan of Japanese food in Brisbane if you haven't tried this iconic spot.

Yoko Dining 

Howard Smith Wharves 

Make your way down to Howard Smith Wharves and pay Yoko Dining a visit for a taste of incredible refined and flavour-filled Japanese food. Feast on as much spicy pork udon, pork gyozas, miso-glazed eggplant, chicken karaage, and sashimi platters as your heart desires. You’ll also be obsessing over their dessert menu which features an ultra-refreshing seasonal shaved ice.

Mizu 

Teneriffe

The uninitiated would likely baulk at the prospect of a big old bowl of tofu for dinner. If this sounds like you, check your priorities because the first step in self-discovery is Mizu’s signature agedashi tofu. Pad out the rest of your feasting with some cheeky sushi and a couple of bottles of plum wine and paradise comes early.  

Mizu Teneriffe Japanese chirashi bowl

Takashiya 

South Bank 

Taste all the unique flavours of Japanese cuisine at this intimate dining experience with sushi master Takashi Nami. Takashiya offers the palate an array of Japanese delicacies including bluefin tuna negitoro maki or Glacier 51 toothfish katsu sando with yuzu mayo and lotus chips, perfect for pairing with a sake-based cocktail in the bar. We also recommend trying the 16-course omakase experience if you're a serious foodie.

Bird’s Nest

West End, Fortitude Valley and Toowong

At first glance, yakitori seems pretty straightforward, but few places that purport to offer yakitori actually lock it down. Purists require proper yakitori to be grilled on a charcoal fire (take a walk, George Foreman) and this is where Bird’s Nest winkles out its point of difference in a minefield of posers. They proffer authentic yakitori, slamming fries (bonus) and all the sake that you can handle responsibly. 

Ku-O

Woolloongabba

If you’re looking for a hidden Japanese gem, Ku-O is an oriental umbrella adorned venue that serves up traditional dishes in Trafalga Lane. You’ll find everything from single servings of sashimi to flavourful hotpots. The locals keep this one a pretty tight secret, but the word's slowly getting out there.

Saké  

Brisbane City

Our Japanese correspondent on the corporate strip, Saké’s flair derives from meshing food and art together in eccentric and mind-boggling plates that are almost too good to eat. We always manage to scoff them anyway but not before spending a good four or five awestruck minutes baffling at a pile of food that looks better than we do. Eyes full, our stomachs reap the rewards of the most exquisite Japanese cuisine to hit the riverbank. 
Sake Brisbane sashimi platter

Bishamon 

Spring Hill

From teppanyaki, teriyaki and tempura to katsu, hot pot and sukiyaki, Bishamon Japanese is so suited to your fancies it’s like the Allen key of Brisbane Japanese. The eggplant slathered in sweet miso is an elegant declaration of how best to eat your vegetables, and the gluten-free menu means you can bring your GF posse without fear of any sneaky contaminated soy ruining the damn mood. 

Izakaya Goku

West End 

With a warm, wooden exterior, Izakaya Goku affords you all the comfort and privacy you need to make the most of a long-ass boozy lunch. Start out with some okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes), quickly foray into the chicken katsu and then step it up with some teriyaki Wagyu beef guaranteed to blow your trumpet. Don’t forget their expansive range of sakes and, of course, Sapporo on tap. 

Boom Boom Izakaya

Brisbane City 

Taking over from The Boom Boom Room, this underground hotspot is a must for all lovers of Japanese cuisine. Boom Boom Izakaya not only boasts a luxe, sultry interior but also a menu that you’ll be daydreaming about for days on end. Twice-cooked pork belly with miso apple, pressed and crumbed duck leg in katsu curry sauce, and slow-roasted eggplant with fried tofu and enoki mushrooms are among the list of delectable dishes they have to offer. The menu is designed to be ordered in bulk and shared with a group, so grab your friends and dine like royalty in this dreamy space.

Moga

Rosalie 

It’s hailed as Brisbane’s trove of Japanese food, there is simply no end to the wonders and joys that await you within the pages of Moga's menu. Sashimi, katsu, yakitori, nigiri, tempura—you name it, they’ve got it in spades making it absolutely brilliant for long lunches and dinners with the squad. 

Hikari 

Teneriffe

Tucked away in the leafy streets of Teneriffe, Hikari is relatively new to the scene, but already winning over tastebuds everywhere with lunchtime dishes like donburi bowls and okonomiyakisoba—savoury pancakes filled with soba noodles and your choice of meat. It's their izakaya-style dinner menu you'll really want to head in for though, with a range of share plates perfect for knocking back with a Japanese beer.

Yuzu & Co 

New Farm & Milton

Yuzu & Co is a local go-to for fresh, contemporary Japanese dining. Though replete with classic dishes like sushi rolls, gyoza and ramen, Yuzu & Co also cranks up the creativity with stellar options like Wagyu with truffle salsa and a neat selection of traditional poke bowls for those looking for a healthier, yet still delicious option. 

Eat your way through a different international cuisine and check out Brisbane's best Italian restaurants here

Image credit: Honto, Mizu, Sake

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

You May Also Like