Restaurants

25 Of Brisbane’s Best Japanese Restaurants

By Catherine Blake

Ramen slurping, miso sipping and sashimi devouring—there’s something particularly magical about Japanese cuisine. Perhaps it’s the silky smooth ramen broth, buttery melt-in-your-mouth seafood selection or friendly, cheerful service that never misses a beat.

One day, someone will have the chance to write up a comprehensive list of every single Japanese restaurant in Brisbane/Meanjin. Let’s face it, it’ll probably be us here at Urban list. But considering the sheer number of them, for now, we’re lending our expertise to telling you about the best Brisbane Japanese restaurants in Brisbane we've sampled, just for you. From long-time staples to fresh faces on the scene, here are 25 of the best Japanese restaurants in Brisbane that are definitely worth practicing your chopstick skills for.

Komeyui 

191/203 Wharf Street, Spring Hill 

Well known as one of Melbourne’s best venues for authentic sushi and sashimi, Komeyui has expanded north, bringing its delicate Japanese eats to Spring Hill. Here you can opt to sit at the sushi bar for delicate seafood pleasingly plated up, or just nab a table to work your way through the rest of the a la carte menu, which features the likes of pork gyoza, wagyu tataki, braised black pork belly and tempura prawn and vegetables. 

Sushi Room 

48 James Street, Fortitude Valley 

A member of the STK Group's collective (which includes Hellenika, SK Steak & Oyster and Sunshine), Sushi Room is a stunning temple to Japanese dining and Pacific seafood. Serving sushi, sashimi, fried and grilled dishes a la carte, on set menus and omakase experiences, Sushi Room's mid-century inspired interiors and location in The Calile Hotel make it an impressive option for date night.

Takashiya 

T03/267 Grey Street, 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.

Boom Boom Izakaya

49 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane CBD

a creamy scollopImage credit: Boom Boom Room | Instagram

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.

Shunsai 

45 Wellington Road, 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.

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Sono 

39 Hercules Street, 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.

hôntô

Alden Street, Fortitude Valley

two Japanese dishes next to each otherImage credit: Honto | Instagram

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).

OYAMA 

30/115 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley 

If you’ve never had the pleasure of kicking off a Japanese feast with one of OYAMA’s signature hand rolls, then it’s about time. Grab a seat at the sashimi bar, where you can watch owner and head chef Da Shan slice, dice and assemble them before handing them directly to you. There's plenty more on the menu of course, from sashimi platters and hot entrees to delicous mains like tonkatsu pork and eye fillet teriyaki, and you shouldn't skimp on the cocktails either. 

Hosokawa 

3/53 Racecourse Road, 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. 

Yoko Dining 

2/5 Boundary Street, Howard Smith Wharves 

Plate of sashimiImage credit: Yoko Dining | Instagram

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.

Bird’s Nest

Various Locations 

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. 

Izakaya Publico 

27/35 Turbot Street, Brisbane CBD

Hidden inside Hotel Indigo in the CBD is this street art covered Japanese izakaya with a menu full of uber shareable dishes. If you’ve got a big crew, Izakaya Publico is ideal thanks to their huge booth tables, but don’t worry if there’s only two of you—just make sure you wear stretchy pants. The deep-fried panko crumbed camembert is a must-order, as are the mushroom udon noodles. 

Ippin Dining 

Level 2/97 Boundary Street, West End 

a smoking plate of sashumiImage credit: Ippin Japanese Dining | Instagram

Sitting pretty above West Village, overlooking the greenery-filled Common, Ippin Dining comes to us from the team behind some of Sydney’s best Japanese restaurants, so while it may be new to our list, they’re certainly not new to the world of sushi and sake. A sophisticated fit out provides the perfect backdrop to tuck into masterful Japanese eats, from relaxed faves like popcorn lobster and miso eggplant, to the more extravagant wagyu steak tenderloin and fresh, top notch sashimi. There’s a drinks list to match too, complete with a curated selection of sake. 

Izakaya Haiiro 

5/265 Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne

This suburban Japanese restaurant has taken over the old home of Ze Pickle and made it their own, swapping heart-stopping burgers for yakitori skewers and sake tasting flights. The star of Izakaya Haiiro’s menu is their tomahawk steak platter, which comes complete with a mini BBQ grill to ensure a perfect, crispy morsel of steak cooked to your liking. If the $160 price tag (to share) makes you balk however, there’s plenty more less extravagant eats including gyoza, tempura and sashimi. 

Tenya 

1/300 George Street, Brisbane CBD 

Definitely the largest Japanese restaurant in Brisbane if we’re going by floor space, Tenya also offers up some of the best views from its riverside location in Brisbane Quarter. Start with a cocktail at the bar (yes, there’s an entire dedicated bar area), before heading to your table for a feast of jaw-dropping sashimi platters, tempura, uramaki rolls, hot pot and so much more. If you want something a little more exclusive, you can also book out their private dining room for a kaiseki-style group dinner. 

Mizu 

2 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe

a bowl of sashimi Image credit: Mizu | Instagram

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.  

Ku-O

28 Trafalgar Street, 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.

Uncle Don 

3/21 Nash Street, Paddington 

As you might guess from the name, Uncle Don specializes in donburi, with pork, seafood, chicken, beef and vegetable options of the Japanese rice bowl dish on the menu. You can start with other eats, like parmesan karaage chicken and pork katsu sandos, but don is definitely the star of the menu—we recommend the spicy pork don or wagyu steak don with teriyaki butter.

KatsuCo 

4/699 Sherwood Road, Sherwood | 63 Jephson Street, Toowong | 107/53 Endeavour Boulevard, North Lakes 

Image credit: Katsu Co | Instagram 

If the name hasn’t already given it away, this westside spot specialises in all things katsu, a breaded and deep-fried cut of meat or seafood served in a signature set with katsu sauce, rice, salad and miso soup. The star of the show is their cheese katsu—mozzarella cheese wrapped with pork loin and coated in lightly fried panko crumb—but they’re also known for their Japanese take on carbonara, which swaps out spaghetti for udon noodles. Frankly, KatsuCo is one our favourite spots for Japanese eats, and it should be one of yours too. 

Okuman Karaage And Ramen Bar

6/220 Melbourne Street, 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.

Bishamon 

500 Boundary Street, 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

68 Boundary Street, 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. 

Hikari 

55a Florence Street, Teneriffe

Image credit: Hikari | Instagram 

Tucked away in the leafy streets of Teneriffe, Hikari is 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 

20 Park Road, 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. 

Kenjin 

247 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 

Kenjin is unlike any other Japanese restaurant in Brisbane in that it’s not just a dining spot—it’s also a nightclub, with a strobe-lit dance floor just through a door at the back of the venue. Don’t worry if you’re the type who likes to go home to bed with your food baby though, because the restaurant is a delicious destination in its own right, with large plush booths to slide into for a feast of creative fusion dishes. But, being a thumping night spot, they’ve also nailed the drinks list, meaning you can pair your feed with cocktails like the Kenjin Yuzu Spritz, a concoction of yuzu, martini bianco and prosecco.

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Image credit: Komeyui | Facebook 

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