From cheap and cheerful takeaway joints, teppanyaki bars and sushi trains to relaxed izakaya-style eateries and total omakase opulence, there’s some serious ground to cover when it comes to eating Japanese food in Perth.
We Perthlings are lucky to be able to enjoy both traditional Japanese cuisine and some more inventive, fusion-style Japanese food too. Whether you’re looking for something quick and comforting or want to go all out on a carefully selected sake-paired menu, here are all the best places serving up Perth’s best Japanese!
Crafting some of the best takeaway sushi, sashimi and nigiri going around, Nippon is Subiaco’s best kept secret. These guys also whip up hot meals like teriyaki fish and katsu chicken, but the real winner is their exceptional inari. The quality of Nippon’s food and their low prices make this place the neighbourhood’s ultimate lunch spot, though punters celebrated hard when they announced they’d also be open for dinner.
Tokyo Station Sushi Bar
The answer to the prayers of all city workers craving Japanese for lunch, Tokyo Station is often bustling—but the food is worth the hustle. From warm meals and bento boxes to ready-to-eat sushi and sashimi, the food here is seriously delicious and also substantial. Perfect for a lunch in a hurry!
The debate around Perth’s best sushi is a heated one, but Sushi Wawa is often thrown up as a contender for the top title. Housed in the unsuspecting ground-floor of a modern apartment complex right next to IKEA, this might not be your first choice when the need for Japanese arises but let us tell you: it should be. Settle into a booth or join the lively sushi train and go ham.
Cheap and cheerful but not lacking in the flavour department, Is Donburi is your go-to for an easy Japanese fix in Northbridge. The kitchen is small and the staff tend to be run off their feet, but somehow the meals come out looking and tasting sensational—especially the bento boxes. You won’t be leaving hungry.
The O.G. Perth Japanese joint, Taka’s Kitchen might’ve aged over the years but there’s a reason it’s still popular. The food is consistently good, incredibly fast and no-fuss, and the prices are extremely friendly on the pocket. With two outposts in the city (Barrack Street and Shafto Lane) as well as one at the Old Shanghai Markets in Freo, Taka’s is definitely king when it comes to convenience.
Offering sushi rolls the size of burritos , Mr Munchies has earnt themselves a serious cult following by putting on a modern twist on this Japanese staple. Take the safe route and opt for one of the house creations, or play mix and match and concoct yourself something unique.
Zensaki Japanese Canteen
With a variety of delicious dishes perfect for quick weekday lunches, Zensaki is a bit of an inner-city oasis. From soups and sushi to bento boxes and donburi, the food here is quality and can be enjoyed at Zensaki’s peaceful dining table. It’s the perfect midday inner-city escape for hungry corporates!
Another old-timer in the Japanese food scene, Hanami has been a favourite Mount Lawley local for over a decade. The fit out is minimalistic and modern, but it makes for a laidback dining experience in which you can enjoy artfully prepared sushi and sashimi and some pretty good teppanyaki too.
Perth’s original ramen joint open since 2003, Nao requires a bit of lining up but the steaming hot bowls of perfection they dish up are more than worth it. Be sure to get some gyoza and takoyaki to go with it!
East Victoria Park
Another ramen joint that’s so much more than just ramen, Ramen Samurai is pretty much always packed out and it’s not hard to see why. To start with, there are over ten flavours of ramen (go the spicy miso or the black garlic!) that feature noodles made fresh daily from scratch. A full range of donburi dishes are also on offer, along with sides like delicious gyoza, karaage tako (fried octopus) and veggie tempura—all of which are well worth trying. You’re going to be full!
Contemporary, sleek and in the heart of the city, Matsuri offers both a la carte and set menus. Their sushi is fresh and delicious and the sashimi thick cut and melt-in-your-mouth. Pair it all with some plum wine or sake and you’ve got a lowkey night out on the town on your hands!
The stunning contemporary fit out of Sushia is only the first thing that will impress you—their menu is diverse and tantalising, and the quality of food served up is reliably high. This place is great for set lunches, or go for dinner, sit up at the marble bar and enjoy your omakase with a cocktail or glass of champagne in total izakaya comfort.
Kagura Sushi House
Don’t let the unassuming exterior fool you, the food served up at Como’s Kagura Sushi House is delicious, fresh and authentic. Kagura has got all your regular Japanese staples like sushi and bento boxes, but if you’re up for trying something new, their grilled eel or red emperor katsu bento boxes come with dumplings and spring rolls—so they’re worth a shot even for the sceptics! There’s also a sushi train, so you can grab a few extra treats if you’re still hungry.
A Claremont institution, Sado Island has been going strong with local Japanese lovers for more than 17 years. The friendly and attentive staff are always on hand to help you choose from the sushi bar, sashimi or a la carte menu or if you want to try everything, go for the set bento menu—it comes with homemade green tea ice cream.
A smart venue with tall ceilings and dim lights, Bonsai is all about authentic Japanese cuisine served up with modern flair. If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale Japanese fix in Northbridge, this is the spot. Delicious food, great service and mood lighting to boot, it’s a vibe!
One of the original fusion sushi joints to hit town, Aisuru is still going strong years on at its William Street outpost. With aisuru meaning ‘to love’ in Japanese, it’s little surprise that the food here is meticulous and full of passion. The open kitchen allows you to watch your food being prepared right before your eyes – and on that, we recommend the Philli Roll and the Dragon Roll, but if you aren’t that adventurous the Japanese classics are holding strong here too.
The Modern Eatery
Bringing fine Japanese sushi to the people of Fremantle and Mount Lawley is The Modern Eatery, who specialise in Aburi Sushi - the kind that’s seared with an open flame. The restaurant is fitted-out beautifully, but maintains a casual vibe. Share some ‘Japas’ (yeah, Japanese tapas) or go straight for the Aburi ‘feed me’ option.
D’s Authentic Japanese
Bringing the flavours of Japan to one of Perth’s outermost suburbs, D’s Authentic Japanese is worth travelling for—if you can carve yourself out a spot among loyal locals. Chef Koji continually curates a careful selection of traditional and contemporary dishes, with something fresh and new on the seasonal menu every week. No two experiences at D’s will be the same, but they’ll both be great. Our favourite thing about this place: the sashimi platters! Get 30 finely prepared pieces for $69; or if you’re looking for a more modest bill, the $20 lunch sets are pretty epic too.
Nine Fine Food
This relaxed and intimate BYO restaurant typifies relaxed fine dining, with set menus only showcasing modern, colourful dishes. Nine Fine Food is making things easy with your choice of a two, three, four or five course set menu, with the additional book-in-advance option of a mouth-watering seven course omakase (chef’s selected menu) for just $98. It’s a perfect ‘good occasion’ restaurant well worth a look in!
This whole ‘Japanese tapas’ idea appears to be a thing. Offering up modern Japanese share-style food and a decent drinks list, Ha-Lu is a great option if you’re looking to try a variety of Japanese-fusion flavours over one meal. The menu is extensive and offers some absolute bangers like the tuna toro onsen egg with wonton crisps and the pork belly kaku-ni, which is slow cooked pork in a pool of light soy jus. They’re also dishing up some of the best pan-fried gyoza going around!
One does not simply walk into Marumo. Bookings open for this place only one day every few months for a reason: and that’s the utterly delicious seven course Japanese feast that they serve up for the almost unbelievable price of just $70. It’s ‘blowout’ standard without the price-tag, complete with BYO!
The obvious choice for the most reputable Japanese food going around, Nobu has to be on your Perth dining bucket list. Grab the omakase menu that suits your hunger (or more likely, your budget), sit back and devour. The yellowtail sashimi will blow your mind as it melts in your mouth, especially if paired with one of their inventive cocktails!
Found behind a mysterious door on the unassuming Glyde Street, Tsunami Ko represents the peak of experiencing the spectacle of teppanyaki in Perth. If you’re lucky enough to get one of only 16 seats in the place, enjoy the teppanyaki theatrics over your omakase menu and one of their fifty different sake varieties!
Love Japanese? Check out Perth's best teppanyaki restaurants.
Tsunami Ko | Image credit: Nancy Hanna