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 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 places serving up Perth’s best Japanese.
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.
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 ‘special occasion’ restaurant well worth a look in.
What's not to love about a sushi train, especially when there's also a bullet train offering up made-to-order delights quicker than you can say arigato gozaimasu. Super Tetsudo is dishing up everything from traditional gyoza and nigiri to Japanese tacos all from its neon sign laden confines.
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.
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.
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.
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
Fremantle And Mount Lawley
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.
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.
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.
Love Japanese? Check out Perth's best teppanyaki restaurants.
Tsunami Ko | Image credit: Nancy Hanna