Think sushi, ramen and udon is just a flash in Japan? Far from it, these tasty treats have been adopted with fervour in Godzone and are here to stay. Japanese restaurants have sprung up all through the upper North Island however not all are created equal. We’ve found the best of the best of seriously fresh, delicious Japanese cuisine.

Nishiki Japanese Restaurant reviewed by Anitra N.

Nishiki was the port of call before a night out in Ponsonby and our friend arranged for us all to come here beforehand to eat and drink before heading out as it is BYO. It is always quite fun ordering from here, everything is very cheap and you choose a whole bunch of little things to eat at one time. A must get is the chips with maple syrup - sounds so weird and that is what I thought but it is SO yum. We got so many dishes I can hardly remember most of them but I do remember there was nothing I did not enjoy. So we ended up getting quite drunk and gave the waiters some grief with our drunken antics and we have been too scared to return since. Hopefully by now they have forgotten our faces. Definitely one of my favourite Japanese restaurants.

Kura Japanese Restaurant reviewed by Asher W.

It seems like Japanese has been my go to non-cooking option this week. I hadn’t tried Kura before but after being recommended it numerous times we decided to give it a go. The ambiance was nice, the staff efficient and the dishes tasty. The deep fried soft shell crab and slow braised pork belly are a must try! We’ll definitely be coming back!

Cocoro reviewed by Bronwyn W.

Went here for the nine course degustation menu (they also do Japanese tapas as well), and had a near-religious experience. The food was so beautiful, so exquisite in presentation, so complex yet subtle in taste, and everything perfectly matched with wine and sake. A perfect blend of traditional Japanese and modern/French cooking. For anyone who truly appreciates good food, this is heaven. 

Ramen Do reviewed by We Should Practice D.

We came here upon a good friend's recommendation on a rare warm summer evening where it wasn't raining. Our friend raves about this place so we thought we would check it out. The place is spotless with a friendly but not-too friendly (which is a good thing) waiter. Drumroll please!!! The cold wasabi ramen was mouthwateringly delicious, with beautiful broth and freshly made ramen. We ended up, looking at other patrons' food with huge envy. If you want fantastic ramen, you must come here. Seriously.

Everybody's Izakaya reviewed by Helene R.

The popular Everybody’s in the Imperial Lane has had a bit of a makeover last Winter, turning officially Japanese under new moniker Everybody’s Izakaya. It is now serving up deliciously inspired food courtesy of head chef Nick Honeyman, and the menu will have you salivating from first read. The service is informal enough to relax you but just attentive enough to impress, and if you are on a first date the incredible cocktail list will most definitely help break the ice. The Autumn Elixir and Tokyo Serenity are two of my faves, or there is a huge sake list that includes a delicious sparkling option. Make sure to book if you want an upstairs booth.