The Best Japanese Restaurant Dishes to Try Tonight

The is no denying Japan has influenced Australian cuisine. The next time you visit a Japanese restaurant, one not try one of these 5 delicious dishes?

Top Japanese Side Dishes:

Top Japanese Desserts:

  • Taiyaki (a sweet, fish-shaped cake).
  • Dorayaki (a Japanese pancake filled with red bean paste).
  • Dango (a sweet dumpling).
  • Mochi (a sweet rice cake).

Popular Types of Japanese Cuisine

Sushi Restaurants

It seems like everywhere you turn these days there’s a new sushi train or over-the-counter sushi stand. Traditional sushi in Japan is normally quite simple, usually only containing rice and fish. However, westernised sushi tends to include everything from tempura to avocado, even cream cheese.

Many Australian sushi restaurants will create their own flavour combinations. One of the most interesting (and delicious) rolls we’ve ever seen is a chicken parmigiana roll, filled with freshly cooked katsu chicken and topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.

plate of sushi rolls with avocado sushi and soy sauce

Teppanyaki Restaurants

A teppanyaki restaurant serves up delicious food and entertainment. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat along the teppan iron plate, you’ll get to experience the talented chefs grill (AKA yaki) meats, seafood, rice, vegetables and other foods. They all know some pretty impressive tricks, including flipping food straight from the grill into your mouth.

For the ultimate experience, order one of the set banquet menus to get a bit of everything.

teppanyaki restaurant with man cooking on grill and woman dining

Ramen Restaurants

We’ll get more into these bowls of goodness below, but ramen restaurants have popped up everywhere over Australia, and for good reason. Most restaurants will offer a variety of flavoured broths as well as some delicious side dishes. Some restaurants will even make their own noodles each day!

[In the mood for something else? Check out these top Indian restaurant dishes.]

bowl of ramen with egg and prawn and garnish

Top 5 Japanese Restaurant Dishes to Order

1. Ramen

With complex flavours and a rich history, it’s no wonder there are entire restaurants dedicated to ramen.

This is a traditional and popular Japanese dish, which translates to pulled noodles. You can expect a bowl of ramen to usually include a type of noodle, whether it be the traditional ramen noodle, udon or soba noodles, slices of meat (such as pork), a delicious broth and various vegetables and garnishes.

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PSA: come hungry 🤤

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2. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese pancake made from various ingredients, such as shredded cabbage, potato, flour and eggs. Most will also include a meat or protein and is topped off with sauces such as kewpie mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce, which is like a Japanese version of Worcestershire.

Okonomi roughly translates to how you like it, and again uses the yaki technique of cooking on a grill. This all equals one delicious dish that you have to try.

3. Yakitori

This delicious chicken skewer is a popular Japanese street food, which is traditionally grilled over charcoal and accompanied by a soy-based sauce. While most restaurants will use chicken breast or thigh, Yakitori venders will also offer other chicken cuts, such as liver.

4. Tonkatsu

At almost every Japanese restaurant you can find tonkatsu, which is a panko-breaded and fried pork cutlet, often accompanied with rice and Japanese golden curry sauce.

Common variations of this dish include tori katsu, which substitutes the pork for chicken, Katsudon, a rice bowl topped with the tonkatsu and egg, menchi-katsu, which is a panko-crumbed and fried meat patty.

5. Tempura

Take any ingredient, dip it in a light and fluffy batter and fry it, and you’ve got tempura! Some of our favourite types of tempura include diced chicken, prawns, scallops, oysters or a variety of vegetables, like mushroom, zucchini and sweet potato.

Once you try it, it’s instantly going to become a favourite.

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      Brit McDowell

      Lifestyle Specialist & Subject Matter Expert

      Brit McDowell is a Subject Matter Expert at Localsearch with a background in marketing, business and tourism management. Aside from her specialisation in technical processes, Brit is known for her green thumb and growing succulent collection, love of dogs (especially Dalmatians), eye for home interior and fervour for travel. Brit is also a Lifestyle Specialist on the Localsearch Blog and enjoys sharing her research and knowledge in home and gardening services, food, beauty and general lifestyle tips and tricks.