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Where To Find Best Sushi In Melbourne Food You Should Try?

To many, sushi is more of a highly regulated art form than a meal. Different varieties of rice and vinegar, different wrapping materials, different rolling or stacking techniques, different fish, and different cutting styles all contribute to dozens of subtle differences between each individual piece. It's easy to see why mastering sushi can take a lifetime.

Now and then you'll see one of these people slicing through Melbourne. So whether you're in the mood for traditional tuna nigiri or unagi (eel) rolled up maki-style, these are the restaurants to visit to sample the fruits of their labour.

The best option for a "cool" dinner with someone you met on Tinder, the bane of your friendships, and the ruler of all quick lunches. Sushi, that's what I'm talking about, people. Particularly, the top sushi joints in Melbourne. I am not one to hold back; I order my sushi with both soy sauce and wasabi, and if brown rice is available, I always choose it and then congratulate myself on being so goddamn healthy. Now, without further ado, we present our choices for Melbourne's finest sushi restaurants.

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Best Sushi In Melbourne

The finest sushi in Melbourne is incomparable. In all honesty, the Victorian capital is a shoe-in for the top selection outside of Japan, but then again, we are a little biassed. Many people in the West see sushi as a blessing because it is a simple food that is both delicious and good for you. In addition, many sushi bars now offer vegan and vegetarian options, so no one has an excuse to avoid this treat.

Minamishima

Koichi Minamishima, a talented sushi chef from Japan, has finally opened his own restaurant. There are no hand rolls, teriyaki, or miso served on the side; only nigiri (raw fish on seasoned rice). Keep it classic. Take Jiro as an example. Tempt your taste buds.

Usually, the supply is quite meagre. The first option is an omakase (chef's choice) sushi dinner for two at the long bar for $185 per person. Alternatively, there is a second option (also $185 per person) that takes place in the restaurant's elegantly understated, low-lit dining room and may be more suitable for groups of three or more. There will be a few appetisers to share, then ten courses of (individual) sushi, and finally dessert.

There are three separate rooms available that can accommodate groups of up to eight people, and two of them feature an in-built sushi bar and their own personal sushi chefs. Delicacies like Hokkaido uni and engawa (sea flounder fin) and torigai (Japanese cockle) are among the daily offerings.

Randolph Cheung is not only well-known for his expertise as a sommelier and restaurant manager, but also as a wine expert. Focusing on sake, he collaborated with chef Minamishima to perfectly complement each dish with a different type of sake, showcasing the incredible range of flavours that can be achieved with this one drink.

Sushi Hotaru Melbourne

A lot of locals consider Sushi Hotaru to be the best sushi restaurant in all of Melbourne. From salmon, tuna, and scallop rolls to avocado, cucumber, and rainbow rolls, they have one of the largest selections of sushi and sashimi in the area. You will also enjoy their main courses, such as teriyaki and katsu.

If you're thirsty, there's a bar with drinks, too. Finally, if you want to enjoy their sushi without leaving the comfort of your own home, the restaurant offers a takeout menu and delivery services.

Shira Nui

Since opening its doors in 2003, Shira Nui has garnered a loyal following of diners at its understated premises in Glen Waverley. Whether it is the humble service, the stunningly fresh sushi or the fun of watching the head chef and owner Hiro Nishikura blowtorch salmon behind the bar that brings patrons back, it is clear that Shira Nui has found the formula for drawing hungry crowds.

Coming to Australia in the 1980s, Hiro-san has a 13-year apprenticeship from Japan slung casually under his belt. Perhaps this is the key to his and wife Susan’s success: a fundamental understanding of what true Japanese sushi bar dining is all about.

Seats book up quickly at the omakase bar, where Hiro and his trusty apprentices will create favourites like tuna belly or baked oyster sushi accompanied with the chef’s instruction to eat that particular dish “with soy sauce” or “without”. Table seating is also available for a la carte, with the menu featuring most of the usual suspects found at a fine Japanese eatery.

Kisumé

There’s no thumping music. No loud noise. No waiters dressed in casual clothes. No riotous colours on the walls. And you can reserve a table. So no queues.

There are three levels of varying intensity. Local firm Woods Marsh designed the lot, using a muted palette of black, grey and buffed metals to let provocative prints from photographers Polly Borland and Nobuyoshi Araki shine.

Up top, it’s private, kaiseki-style dining at Kuro Kisumé, a restaurant within a restaurant. Adjacent, awaiting room-slash-bar called “The Chablis Bar”, offering 80 steely chardonnays that pair well with raw seafood.

There’s a vast, New York-style sushi bar at street level with an intimate view of chefs carefully slicing bluefin tuna, salmon, prawns, and sea bream from Australia and New Zealand.

The windowless basement is the most bustling part of the restaurant. It holds a hot kitchen, a large semi-private nook, and tables packed more densely than anywhere else.

Cold food includes three oysters; very simple salmon sashimi with marinated fennel and a neat puck of Wagyu tartare topped with quail egg yolk. 

Then there are various sushi rolls and sashimi, prepared by one of three on-site sushi masters (an actual qualification).

There are moreish prawns and foie gras “potstickers” (pan-fried dumplings); grilled hiramasa kingfish with a meaty, umami bite; and maple- and soy-glazed Berkshire pork ribs that’ll have your table trading greasy, satisfied smiles.

Apart from the Chablis, the impressive drinks list also includes proper cocktails and a range of actually-quite-decent house products. Wines are made at Yabby Lake in Victoria, sake produced near Yokohama, and beers brewed at Hawkers in Reservoir and sold under the Shiki label.

Miyagi

One of the true Chapel Street success stories of the past six months, Mr Miyagi serves up a huge repertoire of Japanese deliciousness, not least of which is the sushi offering. The sushi sandwich changes regularly, so you’ll need to ask after the filling of the day and the Happy Handroll—sushi of sorts—also changes daily.

Kenzan

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The institution of Kenzan. When it first opened in 1981, Melbourne was home to only a small handful of sushi bars. They boast some of Melbourne's best sushi and sashimi.

The cuisine will take you straight to Tokyo. Not surprisingly, since Murayama, Munehiro, and Cho have made it their business to import sushi chefs from Japan. These experts also bring knives, an essential tool for making perfect sashimi. The fish is primarily fresh but hard-to-find local cuts. Japanese tuna belly is imported for its succulent flavour.

Traditional uniformed wait staff scurry around the dimly lit restaurant (shoes off) to serve you tea, refill your sake glass, or prepare your shabu-shabu (a large boiling hotpot of thinly sliced meat and vegetables). In addition to having your order delivered by trained professionals, the sushi bar is a great place to watch the chefs at work (there are 12 seats available).

Although its location in the basement of the Collins Place food court is less than glamorous, once you step inside, you won't care about your surroundings anymore.

YU.U

YU.U is a fantastic Japanese restaurant in Melbourne that is a bit hard to find due to its underground location off Flinders Lane. Sit at the bar and enjoy the selection of fine sushi dishes, including specials that rotate on a regular basis.

Shira Nui

One of Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants, Shira Nui is a gift to Glen Waverley. To entertain his patrons at the bar, owner-chef Hiro Nishikura sometimes uses blow torches (fun). You'll also learn the pros and cons of eating sushi with or without soy sauce.

The seafood is as fresh as it gets, and the lunch menu features a wide variety of salad, miso, and sushi dishes that go wonderfully together.

Shira Nui is an authentic Japanese restaurant known for its open kitchen and delicious sushi, sashimi, and noodle dishes. Genuine sushi flavour at a reasonable price, perfect for a midday snack or a special dinner.

Sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs prepare your favourite sashimi specials, such as Kingfish, tuna, and salmon sashimi served with a side of salad and miso. The most delicious food is found here.

WaKenbo

Wakenbo is a petite Japanese eatery that’s reminiscent of Tokyo. The restaurant employs Japanese vegetables and herbs grown from its garden, and you’ll find more than just sushi on the menu.

 Expect miso and coconut milk braised rabbit with marrow raviolo, seared scallop and preserved lemon, smoked duck breast with duck neck chorizo, fried duck cartilage, fish wing hotpot with roe and the list goes on and on. But for a special sushi platter, order their kaiseki.

Suzuran

Indeed, Suzuran is a blessing from above. In addition to serving as one of Melbourne's best places to get sushi and sashimi, it also stocks a wide variety of Japanese household goods. You can find a variety of Japanese ingredients, so you can prepare a traditional Japanese feast or a more simple dish.

The sushi at Suzuran is made with only the finest, freshest ingredients. The skilled chefs here take great pride in serving only the freshest and most flavorful sushi and sashimi. Vegan and vegetarian platters and meals are provided at no cost.

Ryu

MR. RYU is a popular restaurant on Balaclava's Carlisle Street, which is known for its excellent cuisine. The restaurant's menu reflects its philosophy of bringing people together through shared culinary experiences and cultural exchange.

Start with the spicy tan-tan ramen, which comes with a soft-boiled egg, mustard leaf, and nori, and is served in a broth that is both nutty and creamy thanks to the addition of sesame chilli. You could also order the sushi roll "Coconut Kingfish Sashimi" topped with red Nam Jim, jalapeo, kafir lime leaf, and coriander.

Sakura Kaiten Sushi

Sakura Kaiten offers a unique dining experience, as it serves food on a conveyor belt in the middle - just like the famed Kaiten-sushi (or “conveyor belt sushi”) restaurants in Tokyo! There are dozens of varieties of sushi served here, from sashimi to onigiri and even sakura-shaped rolls. These mouthwatering flavours include lobster, tempura, salmon, and even scallops. 

There are also side dishes like fried calamari and seaweed salad. Dumplings and other fried food are also served here to help give more variety to an already rich restaurant experience.

Nobu

The Japanese restaurant that began as a hangout for Manhattan's wealthy and famous is now one of the most famous in the entire world. From Beijing to Budapest, the Nobu name has spread, bringing with it a reputation for the highest quality Japanese cuisine. And we got one in 2007 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne.

The arrival of Nobu, hailed as the "it" restaurant in major cities around the world and backed by Robert De Niro, was met with excitement in Melbourne.

The fusion of Peruvian flavours with Japanese cooking techniques creates a unique and delicious menu. You can also count on Nobu's mastery of Japanese cuisine to be applied to the fresh seafood from Down Under. One of Peru's signature dishes is tiradito, marinated fish sliced very thinly and served raw. The yellowtail sashimi with jalapeo and the black cod with miso are two other popular options.

Naturally, such affluence in fame comes with a hefty price tag. To see what the hype is about and satisfy your craving for authentic Japanese cuisine, however, a visit to Nobu is money well spent.

Sushi Monger

It’d be remiss of us not to include Sushi Monger on this list of Melbourne’s best sushi. This CBD venue may be pint-sized, but it still packs a punch when it comes to satisfying the lunchtime crowd. Don’t be put off by the long queues; the service is quick, and the sushi is excellent.

Sushi Monger is usually filled with office workers and students, thanks to its delicious and filling yet very affordable menu choices. The bento meals are the most popular offerings here, which all come with a meat dish, side, salad, and rice. 

Their donburi and udon meals, especially the tempura udon, are also must-try dishes. The meals are served with fast-food efficiency, making this perfect for those who want a quick sushi meal on a budget.

Sake

Sake offers a range of contemporary Japanese cuisine, including some truly delicious sushi. The Kingfish Double Crunch, filled with kingfish, jalapeño mayo, coriander, cucumber masago and tempura crunch (inside and out) and served with sweet soy, is our pick of the bunch, but they’re all pretty noteworthy. Situated right near Hamer Hall, Sake is one of our favourites for a romantic dinner before a show.

Hinoki Japanese Pantry

In the heart of Fitzroy, Melbourne, there’s Hinoki, a local Japanese grocery and sushi gem. The eatery purveys a selection of authentic Japanese ingredients, snacks, drinks and pantry basics. The ingredients are even sought after by chefs and gourmet home cooks. 

This is one of the best sashimi and sushi restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD; think Nigir packs, Hoso Maki packs, Nose Maki packs and many other sushi platters await to be devoured.

Tokui Sushi

One of the best-kept secrets in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is Tokui Sushi. So whether you’re in a hurry to grab a quick bite or seeking a seat inside to devour a delicious meal painstakingly, they have you covered. 

Expect to be served superb sushi rolls, but be sure to have cash on hand when there. The sushi rolls are huge, taste great and come at just over $2. Their Tamago, spicy tuna and cucumber, avocado and unagi sushi rolls are unforgettable.

Tokui Sushi’s main draw can be summed up in just one phrase: all sushi rolls at 2.20 AUD (1.56 USD)! This is a great deal for anyone, whether a sushi lover or not, and is perfect for take-outs of all sizes. 

Here, you can choose from popular flavours like Tamago, chicken, beef, teriyaki, and more unique flavours like avocado, tofu, and seaweed. The sashimi variants are also some of the best-selling rolls here. The dining area is simple and cozy, as well.

Misuzu

Misuzu is an Albert stalwart serving up high-quality sushi in its traditional form. Offering dine-in or takeaway options, it’s refreshing to be able to enjoy quality sushi from a dinner menu in the comfort of your own home. This Melbourne Japanese favourite's mixed sushi and sashimi boxes hit the spot.

Saké Restaurant & Bar

Rockpool's restaurant arm, the Rockpool Dining Group, has expanded its Saké concept into a mini-chain. Two in Sydney and two in Melbourne; one in Brisbane (the other is on Flinders Lane).

There must be some good that it is bringing to the table.

Both the food and the ambience at this restaurant are entertaining. In spite of its prominent position, Saké injects levity into modern Japanese cooking.

Saké is both an educational and unpretentious experience, with a menu that teaches diners the Japanese words for different types of fish and waiters who encourage you to swap your chopsticks for a spoon to scoop up the last delicious bites.

The nigiri and sashimi menu features 12 different selections. These artfully crafted bites are the perfect prelude to sushi rolls, tempura, and Robata-grilled proteins prepared with binchotan (odourless coal).

Each visit will be slightly different thanks to the restaurant's flexible seating arrangements (which include booths, private dining rooms, bar stools, and outdoor tables).

This multiple-award-winning restaurant is known for its excellent service and delicious, original cuisine.

Sushi chefs take extremely fresh fish and prepare it in a variety of intricate dishes, including sashimi, sushi, appetisers, and main courses. Therefore, if you're in the mood for seafood, choose Saké.

Bincho Boss

Things at Bincho Boss are done a bit differently. This modern Japanese restaurant cooks on a konro grill and allows guests to taste popular Japanese dishes with a European undercurrent. 

Relish drunken tofu noodles, sushi, yakitori, tempura and many hot and soft drinks. You will be amazed by the perfect mix of East and West cuisines, fast and attentive service and a relaxed atmosphere.

Izakaya Chuji

With 30 years of service under their belt, Izakaya Chuji is one of the more established izakaya-style restaurants in the city. The place was designed for socializing while watching their skilled chefs prepare tasty sushi. 

Start your meal with some house favourites like yukke, edamame, kakisu, and then some prawn tempura. You can also get the chef’s recommended dishes, like the soft-shell crab and maguro. There are also donburi and udon meals, along with gluten-free meals here.

Wabi Sabi Salon

Sashimi & bento boxes in a chill setting with traditional woodsy decor & a green alfresco setting. The Wabi-Sabi Salon is a pescatarian and vegetarian-forward eatery. Word of advice: order the vegan ramen or prawn dashi ramen, brewed with prawn heads, with 20 secret herbs and spices. 

It’ll hit the spot. Or try some warm sake from the expanded drinks menu and a plate of teishoku, a sort of Japanese set-menu deal.

Gaijin Japanese Fusion

Gaijin Japanese Fusion offers a refreshing contemporary Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist from traditional Japanese sushi. At Gaijin, enjoy the miso, soup, spicy salmon sushi and sashimi, or delve into the Tasmanian, Spider vs Dragon and Baked Dynamite rolls. 

And if you’re up for a light dish, it has a Cheesy Gyoza, Gaijin Special Salmon Salad, Salmon Tartare, Crispy Soft Shell Crab. This restaurant is a great example of fusion and an outstanding dessert.

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Komeyui

On the 15th of March, 2020, the proprietor of the Japanese restaurant Komeyui announced the closure of the business in preparation for a move and subsequent reopening a few days later as a yakitori restaurant. But alas, it wasn't to be. Moving Komeyui from Port Melbourne to South would normally take days, but it can now be done in a

The spread of the coronavirus epidemic made the trip to Melbourne an arduous process that lasted several months.

Kumano and his team reopened Komeyui in the lulls between lockdowns. It's more spacious and up-to-date than the original, which was a cosy little cafe. When it came time to renovate a space in Port Melbourne, architects [Baenziger used concrete finishes, white walls, slate floor tiles, and black furniture in place of the previous floor-to-ceiling blond timber fit-out.

At the back of the sushi bar is a hakama, a traditional Japanese rice cooker made of a large cast-iron pot (the method dates back more than a thousand years). It's appropriate, as Kumano's worldview centres on rice, that this method is said to bring out the grain's inherent sweetness.

Kumano is originally from the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido, but he has been living in Melbourne, Australia since 2005. Before opening the first Komeyui in Port Melbourne in 2011, he spent six years as a sushi chef at Kenzan's outpost at the GPO.

New restaurant puts an emphasis on traditional Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi. While toro (tuna belly) is flown in from Japan, we use only locally caught and caught-by-hand Hiramasa kingfish, King George whiting, calamari, and garfish. Sushi omakase, also known as a tasting menu, consists of ten courses and is served at a counter that seats 12 people. Each dish is served on a chilled stone slab instead of plates.

The à la carte menu, which is available throughout the restaurant's 80-seat dining room, features sushi and sashimi as well as larger dishes like hitsumabushi (a grilled eel rice bowl served with green-tea broth that is poured from the teapot), Canadian black cod (marinated in sweet saikyo miso from Kyoto, then chargrilled), and pork belly (braised for 10 hours in soy sauce).

Some examples of appetisers are the deep-fried salmon skin crisps, the chawanmushi, a savoury steamed custard that can be served with foie gras, and the Wagyu tataki with egg yolk cured in soy sauce. In addition, the dining room serves an omakase menu consisting of eight courses.

FAQs About Sushi In Melbourne

Located at the top, relatively deserted, end of Bourke Street, Suzuran is a Japanese grocery that does great sushi. Stop by for one of the largest soy sauce and tamari ranges in Melbourne and some of the freshest sushi.

Tsukiji is still one of the best places in Melbourne to enjoy Japanese seafood and sushi. Order salmon sashimi, fried salmon and scallops at Tsukiji when there. This eatery is renowned for its deft chefs, good service and friendly ambience. When ordering, consider Bento Box: Sashimi, Chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki or sushi bento.

With some restaurants charging just $3.80 per dish, a sushi train is a cheap Japanese restaurant compared to somewhere that serves kaiseki set menus. So when choosing a sushi train in Melbourne city, I look for places with a high turnover of customers and food. That way you can be more certain that the food is fresh.

Sakura Kaiten Sushi is located in Melbourne CBD, along Little Collins Street, with a diverse sushi menu that both parents and children can effortlessly enjoy. Prices range from only $2.80 to $6.80 per plate, with options such as sashimi, nigiri, rolls, hand rolls, ship, and plenty more.

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