Look beyond your local sushi train for these world-class Japanese experiences, as we seek out the finest sushi meals at 10 of the best Japanese restaurants in Australia.
Minamishima, Richmond, VIC
It’s little wonder seats at Minamishima’s sushi counter book up months in advance. This Melbourne restaurant is turning out some of Australia’s best sushi at the hands of masterchef Koichi Minamishima. Place your faith in his 25 years of experience with the omakase (chef’s choice) menu—a series of exquisite nigiri sushi pieces served one at a time.
Kenzan, Melbourne, VIC
With its shoji screens and bamboo timbers, there’s something delightfully old-school about Kenzan Japanese Restaurant in Melbourne’s Collins Place. This respect for tradition is evident on the plate, with faultless nigiri and maki rolls served at intimate dining tables or the sushi bar.
Komeyui, Port Melbourne, VIC
An unassuming restaurant in the bayside suburb of Port Melbourne, Komeyui is known for its classic sushi and sashimi presentations, as well as tempting hot dishes. Order the seven-course omakase menu for the best of both worlds, including pristine sushi and sashimi, plus yakitori, tempura and wagyu beef.
Raita Noda, Surry Hills, NSW
You’ll need to be on your reservation A game to secure a spot at Raita Noda’s eight-seat sushi bar in Surry Hills, but your persistence will be rewarded with an exceptional Japanese dining experience. Plump for the 10-course omakase for spanking-fresh seafood, which culminates in five pieces of Edomae-style nigiri sushi.
Sokyo, Pyrmont, NSW
A favourite among Sydney’s chef community, Sokyo at The Star is the place to go for a la carte sushi. The encyclopaedic selection includes modern signatures, such as ocean trout nigiri with sansho pepper, and torched salmon belly aburi. From the traditional nigiri menu, choose toro tuna belly from Japan or alfonsino from New Zealand.
Kiyomi, Broadbeach, QLD
On the Gold Coast, head to The Star for award-winning sushi at Kiyomi. Chef Chase Kiyomi offers a range of hot and cold tasting menus. For sushi purists, create your own degustation from the selection of nigiri and rolls—perhaps Kingfish with Yuzu Kosho (citrus-chilli) and the Queensland Spanner Crab Roll.
Ten, Gold Coast, QLD
Across the highway in Broadbeach, Ten Japanese Restaurant offers splurge-worthy tasting menus of five courses, plus the eye-popping omakase, at $250 a head. The lunchtime mixed sushi plate for $30 is easier on the wallet, or pop next door to Daichi by Ten—the casual offshoot that offers top-notch ramen and Okonomiyaki.
Sono, Brisbane, QLD
For the ultimate Sono experience, book one of the private tatami rooms, complete with shoji screens and low-slung tables, then order a Zen tasting menu with matching sakes, or cherry-pick your favourites from the sensational seafood menu offering scampi, tuna belly and sea urchin in various presentations.
Nobu, Perth, WA
The Perth outpost of Nobu Matsuhisa’s global empire has become the West’s default for a polished Japanese experience. At Nobu Perth, try the signature Japanese-South American staples, such as Sashimi Tacos, Citrus-Cured Tiradito, and the oft-imitated Black Cod Miso.
Masaaki’s Sushi, Geeveston, TAS
The tiny Tasmanian town of Geeveston—an hour’s drive southwest of Hobart—may be an unlikely setting for one of the nation’s best Japanese restaurants, but it’s well worth the trip to sample chef Masaaki Koyoma’s superlative Japanese cuisine. Before you hit the road, note that this petite eatery is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.