Food & Drink

Wrap Your Hands Around the Best Yakitori in Town At These 6 Eateries

By Victoria Patapan
28th Mar 2022

If you’re as big a fan of yakitori as we are, you’ve no doubt already scoped out the impressive selection gracing Australia’s East Coast. Whether it’s smoky, sweet, salty, or heavy on the soy sauce, Asian eateries across Sydney and Melbourne are combining traditional techniques with modern flavours to inject a bit of creativity into the yakitori market. 

But the refined palettes of our foodie readership (not to mention our editorial team) demand only the best. With that in mind, we’ve turned to the Kirin Ichiban 50 Guide—your go-to guide to modern Japanese cuisine—to scope out the top venues to wrap your hands around some premier grilled yakitori goodness. Drawing upon a panel of expert judges, as well as nominations from the Urban List audience, we’ve scoured this interactive collection of eateries and come up with six must-try venues to add to your foodie bucket list. 

So what are you waiting for? Round up the gang and start working your way through the best yakitori restaurants this side of the Pacific. 

Sydney 

Yakitori Yurippi

With a focus on seasonal cuisine that won’t break the bank, Yakitori Yurippi is one to add to your regular dining routine. Skewers range from $3-5 a pop, allowing you to pick and choose between the flavours to make your own curated meal. There’s no going past the sweet soy Chicken skin, although we have to admit, pork belly on a stick is a strong second contender. Pair them with a trio of quail eggs to add a bit of class to your night on the town. 

Chaco Bar

The sister venue to Chaco Ramen in Darlinghurst, Chaco Bar is all about putting yakitori skewers on centre stage. With an extensive menu featuring everything from chicken and pork to ox tongue, hearts, and gizzards, a visit to the eatery is the perfect chance to try something new. Whatever meat you choose, your skewers will come cooked over cherry blossom charcoal and basted in rich seasonings. Trust us—it doesn’t get much more authentic than this. 

Yebisu Bar + Grill

Tucked away in Central Sydney’s Chinatown, Yebisu Bar + Grill is what’s known in Japan as an ‘izakaya’—aka, ‘sake dining place’. The venue specialises in smaller portions, so diners get to sample a greater selection of the menu. Pick up some yakitori skewers alongside an absolutely divine sukiyaki hot pot, complete with wagyu beef, udon noodles, soup, and fresh egg. Wash it all down with an ice-cold bottle of Ichiban Shibori, a premium Japanese beer brewed from 100% malt and designed to accompany a hearty meal. The flavour combination will leave you nothing short of obsessed.  

Melbourne

Robata

With a menu designed to share, Robata is beloved by Melbourne foodies local to the Southbank area. The evocative venue was designed by award-winning architects Ewert Leaf, and pays homage to the futuristic style of the Tokyo cityscape. The relaxed and informal atmosphere is perfect for putting food at the forefront, so diners can appreciate the incredible flavours of every dish they order. We recommend nabbing the chicken thigh yakitori with spring onion, coupled with a side of grilled rice balls. Sure it’s a bit of an oldie, but it’s earned a reputation for all the right reasons. 

YakiTori Bar

Boasting a Binchōtan grill imported straight from Japan, YakiTori Bar takes Japanese cuisine to the next level. Their yakitori is as authentic as it comes, infused with the smoky charcoal flavours that have made the dish an international favourite. The result is tender, juicy, and flavoursome chicken well and truly worthy of a feature on Iron Chef. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it…

Yakimono

Follow the neon lights and bright, boisterous decor down to Yakimono in the Melbourne CBD. Nestled between a host of luxury retailers, the eatery is an ode to flame-cooked fare served in what can only be described as an electrifying atmosphere. Pick up a bubble tea cocktail or serve of sake to accompany your yakitori, and strap yourself in for one of the most exciting dining experiences the city has to offer. 

Tried them all, and still can’t get enough? Scope out the rest of Sydney and Melbourne’s must-try Japanese eateries with the help of the Kirin Ichiban 50 Guide. Trust us, your tastebuds will thank you for it.

Editor's note: This article is sponsored by Kirin Ichiban and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.

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