WA’s Japanese scene continues to go from strength to strength, with variety, scope and seasonality at the forefront. Keen to uncover the best? Here’s our guide to where to start.

With the launch of direct one-way flights to Tokyo, and Perth’s sister-city relationship with Kagoshima entering its 50th year, it’s unsurprising that WA has some distinct regional Japanese favourites on offer. There’s subtle vegetable curry from the tip of Hokkaido, silky udon from Kurashiki and a foamy chicken-broth ramen that makes the Kansai region proud.

Here’s WAGFG’s selection of some of the best Japanese places in WA to try, to suit every occasion.

Omakase

Marumo: high in demand (reservations open every three months) but well worth the wait. Those fortunate enough to secure a spot will be treated to a seven-course omakase that rotates with the seasons. Think fresh sashimi, fresh fish on pillows of mousse, tempura emerging from the plate like golden shards – all paired with matcha and BYO drinks.

Can’t wait three months? Head to Ichirin, tucked in the suburban corner of Leeming, which punches above its weight with a seasonal omakase – past menus have included Fremantle octopus and prawn tempura, plated like small towers of art. Dining Akashi‘s seating is limited – and for good reason: it’s light, lacy tempura is so appealing that it should only be shared between the closest of friends and family. While Dining Akashi offers tempura-topped donburi for lunch, the omakase dinner – just $89 – is where this intimate restaurant shines. Finally, don’t skip Egawa An, a 10-seat sushi counter hidden in plain sight in East Perth, where the 12 courses range from nigiri and sashimi featuring top-drawer ingredients (think foie gras or wagyu beef) and the offer of BYO complements a solid sake selection.

 

Marumo’s refined fare.

 

For a special occasion

It’s hard to go past Nobu, the Peruvian-accented Japanese restaurant at Crown. Expect top-quality sashimi with jalapeño, a ceviche and a beautiful glistening signature miso cod. These influences extend to Tsukaya, the elevated Mount Hawthorn restaurant of ex-Nobu chef Pepe Tsukayama. The sashimi platter is a given, but any dish – from mushroom and yuzu to the wagyu beef tataki – is an ode to balance. Expect sweet and sour, zesty and bright notes soothed by earthy tones.

James Parker Sushi and Sake‘s iconic curved oak entrance envelops diners into the spirit of Japanese dining, with each detail carefully matched to the tempo of each diner. From the sake pairing to the precise slices of salmon sashimi and generous nigiri selection featuring well-known favourites, like tuna to eel and sea urchin, you’ll be getting fine-dining with the warmth of your favourite neighbourhood haunt.

Further south, Miki’s Open Kitchen is an open secret with the Margaret River locals. Another place where detail shines – spy the crockery, specially made in Japan and featuring intricately carved bowls and pastel cups, chosen to match each dish, making each sip and bite feel like you’re part of an art installation.

 

Class is permanent at Nobu.

 

Yakiniku and Izakaya

Yakiniku is best shared, and Kanpai Yakiniku does it best with wagyu, a smokeless grill and a brightly lit lantern entrance, transporting you back to the alleyways of Tokyo. The standout is the A5 Kagoshima Platter, with four cuts of meat accompanied by a cabbage salad, wasabi, an onsen egg all presented on a stunning platter. Meanwhile, Sumiya Gin‘s James Street branch provides an all-you-can-eat experience for ravenous groups, but go to the original William Street branch for an intimate experience, where you can roast top-grade wagyu over glowing charcoal. For something fun, experience Japan’s famed convenience culture at Izakaya Konbini. Pull up a stool at the captivating grocery lined bar, sip on sake and indulge in a vast menu of classic Japanese plates. A perfect stop for a hot pot when the evenings tip to cool.

Udon and Ramen

Perth is loaded with solid ramen joints. Think Nao, Ippudo, and Hakata Gensuke (where it’s worth remembering that their Northbridge site is chicken broth only, whereas Vic Park is pork broth all the way). It’s hard to go past Tosaka on William Street with its rich, foamy chicken broth, which comes with slices of chicken chashu floating on a milk-coloured base. Looking for something richer? Head to Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King where their tonkotsu (loosely translated as pork bones, and refers to a pork-based broth) can be topped with black garlic or red chilli oil, and served with a complimentary onsen egg, beansprouts and your usual suspects when it comes to toppings.

 

Tosaka’s tori-paitan ramen has a cult following.

 

Hifumiya continues to be an all-round workhorse and CBD lunch staple, with lines spilling out onto Murray Street no matter the weather. There’s an ice cold zaru udon for sweltering summer lunchtimes, while the spicy miso pork is perfect for the occasional chilly Perth winter day. All the udon is made in-house and their canteen-style service will have you zipping through within the lunch hour.

 

Fresh udon is the drawcard at Hifumiya.

 

Lunch

Former Nobu and Yumma chef Sean Hong hones his tonkatsu skills at this Vic Park favourite, Katzu Katzu. While katsu options vary, the star of the menu is undoubtedly the succulent Corrigin raised Berkshire pork cutlets, breaded in house-made panko crumbs, and fried to crisp, golden perfection. Prime yourself for the main event and opt for the crispy squid, refreshed with bursts of chilled watermelon cubes and harmonised with coriander salsa.

Rojiura Curry Samurai opened in Perth in 2023 and introduced a Hokkaido style curry to Shafto Lane. Packed with vegetables (from pumpkin to zucchini) and gluten free, Rojiura is a great option to suit any diner.

South of the river locals have been hitting J-bento for (as the name suggests) bento boxes loaded with your choice of steak, karaage, chicken nanban, all served with onigiri and salad (and your usual bento box trimmings). Across the river, students, office-workers looking for a bargain head to Taka’s Kitchen. Situated on the corner of Barrack and Wellington Streets, it’s no-fuss, hearty Japanese lunch (think katsu chicken, udon, oyakodon), which explains why Taka has been an institution for years.

Those looking for a rapid-fire Japanese fix with staff who have been loyally rolling sushi under this small roof for fifteen years, need look no further than Subiaco’s Nippon Fare. They say there’s something magic in the teriyaki sauce, which may explain why most order a double splash. Brown rice sushi? Check. Kewpie mayo potato salad? Perfect. You’ll be in and out in under five minutes and leave quite chuffed you’ve had some of the best Japanese in Perth without the price tag. Grab an extra $6.50 pack of sushi for an easy lunch the next day. You’ll also find Teriyaki tofu, any type of donburi (rice bowl) you’d like and catering sushi platters – perfect for any large family lunch, office get-together or special event.

And for a brunch, it’s hard to look past Hinata Cafe, which offers a seasonal menu (all illustrated lovingly by hand) that celebrates the freshest local produce. Those looking for a traditional Japanese breakfast will be delighted at the grilled fish (changes with the season), and those more adventurous will be keeping a keen eye on their socials for the monthly menu reveals which have featured curry, okonomiyaki, udon and oden.

 

Rojiura Curry Samurai specialises in Hokkaido soup curry.

 

Back to News & Articles