PERTH could be renamed Little Tokyo, such is the array of wonderful Japanese food our city has to offer.
From budget bites to the highest of high-end cuisine, we’ve got all the bases covered.
This list spans most regions in Perth’s best metro area – from as far north as Connolly, down to Mandurah, so we hope there’s something close to you.
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We think we’ve got the blend just right between the usual suspects and the hidden gems.
Here are our picks for the very best Japanese food Perth has to offer.
Where else can you find a 62m sushi train (thought, but not confirmed, to be the longest in the Southern Hemisphere), stacked with all manner of Japanese delights. It’s right next to Ikea, so it’s the perfect place to fill up before tackling a flatpack. Sushi Wawa never disappoints.
A Mosman Park mainstay for as long as we can remember, Tsunami offers beautiful food in a relaxed setting. Our favourite is the cancun sushi roll – with prawn tempura and garlic inside, smoked wagyu outside and jalapeno balsamic vinegar.
Hanami has been pleasing Mt Lawley locals for years with its sumptuous food and great service. The freshly sliced sashimi is a winner, and it has a simple take-away menu for when you’re just after a bite on the run.
Yeah, yeah we hear you – a Japanese place named James Parker?James Parker, located at the corner of James and Parker streets in Northbridge offers a superb, focused menu of traditional Japanese delights in a very modern, eclectic space.
17. Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi, 3/70 Langford Avenue, Langford – 9451 5720
Kanta is truly a hidden gem, and it’s the best kept secret in Perth’s south-eastern suburbs. With seating for about 20 people, Kanta belies its small size with food that punches well above its weight. For a treat, try the salmon shioyaki – at under $10, it’s got to be one of the best value Japanese dishes in Perth.
16. Taku Japanese Kitchen, 3/52 Mandurah Terrace, Mandurah – 9582 7308
Queen of the south, Taku has earned itself many fans with its very reasonably priced and consistently excellent food. Whatever your preference, Taku does most Japanese staples to a great standard.
A favourite in the Perth Cultural Centre precinct, Aisuru has carved a reputation based on delicious, immaculately presented cuisine. Our absolute favourite is the beef tataki (below) with ponzu sauce as an entree, and for something more substantial try the “baconator” – it’s as good as it sounds.
Mr Munchies sushi is a joy to behold. And Mr Munchies karaage – deep-fried boneless chicken pieces served with chilli – is a can’t miss prospect. You can make your own sushi, but we recommend the spicy raw tuna roll, topped with tobikko and chilli mayo.
Yuki is tucked away in a small cluster in Willetton known as the “Piazza on Collins”, but its food makes it well worth a drive no matter where you are in the metro area. We plump for the tori karaage – deep-fried chicken marinated in a ginger sauce. Delicious.
12. Shou Japanese Kitchen, Shop 24/18 Calectasia Street, Greenwood – 9448 9964
This hole in the wall in Greenwood may seat less than 20 people but the nosh is just as great dine-in or takeaway. The chef creates some of the most delicate morsels of nigiri we have ever had and the boys churn out the ramen, udon and other hot meals like bosses. The Shou bento box is the goer with delectable morsels of teriyaki chicken, sashimi, a serve of agedashi tofu, omelette, edamame and their very moreish miso soup.
Since moving from its tiny premises in Joondalup to its new Connolly joint, D’s Authentic Japanese has grown leaps and bounds. Chef Koji is more than happy to offer his recommendations but we’re yet to be disappointed by anything on the menu. The grilled black cod with miso certainly gives Nobu’s a run for its money as does most of the izakaya (tapas-style) menu.
With winter upon us, there’s no better time to head to Nao Ramen for a heart-warming feast of noodles. The grilled pork dumplings are worth the price of admission, but – sincerely – it’s the all about the ramen kids. The Ramen.
A touch of class in Highgate, Nine Fine Food is by no means a typical Japanese restaurant – combining European and Australian influences to come up with a feel all its own. An example? Try the caviar pasta – angel hair pasta, mixed tobico caviar, mushrooms with a creamy sake rice wine reduction.
Where, oh where, do you get more bang for your buck than Taka’s? There are two outlets in Perth, but for our money none quite matches the feel and flavour of this gem opposite the Fremantle Markets. The freshly made teriyaki chicken sushi rolls (10 pieces for $8) are divine, but we struggle to go past a small chicken katsu don – $6.90.
Ha-Lu is an award-winning restaurant, which is a Mr Hawthorn institution – and you won’t be left wondering why after a few dishes. The wagyu beef tataki is sublime and make sure you leave room for the soy milk pannacotta, which will blow you away.
As in Highlander, and Japanese restaurants, there can be only one – and Nobu was an easy selection to make as Perth’s best Japanese restaurant. It’ll cost you a pretty penny (it’s a pay-day kind of place), but for food and service of this quality you don’t resent the expense for one moment. The brainchild of acclaimed celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, who opened the first restaurant in the now-global chain back in 1987, a night at Nobu offers an experience, not just a meal.