It's one of Aucklanders favourite dining out experiences and fantastic Japanese restaurants have become a dime a dozen in the city and throughout its suburbs. Of course, when it comes to good Japanese cuisine fresh is always best. That's why we've rounded up the top five Japanese restaurants to dine at in Auckland right now. You might have to dig deep into your pockets for a couple of these beauties so they are best saved for a special occasion but believe us, this will be money very well spent. Of course, every palette is different and you might have a little local Japanese restaurant that just hits the spot right. So if you do, why not share your love for it on their Localist listing? Eat well, Auckland!
Sake Bar Icco reviewed by Kylie B.
This is where Auckland’s top chefs go to get their fix of Japanese food in an unassuming, suburban setting. Tucked away behind frosted glass on a busy Morningside strip just past Kingsland’s main shops, owner Hiroshi Miyata - who previously was head chef at Katsura restaurant in Stamford Plaza - prides himself on tracking down some of the freshest fish in the city, as well as serving up a wide selection of premium Sake and Japanese plum wine. And this combination is what makes Sake Bar 601 the perfect destination for affordable after-work dining or a casual date night. But be warned - it pays to book well in advance because the stark yet simplistic dining room seats approximately 20 people. Alternatively, it also does a rollicking lunch trade.
Prepare to open your wallet for a night out at Ebisu but know that you will never, ever be disappointed by this smart, expansive Britomart beauty. Fusing delicate Japanese flavours with a clever European twist, this is the place to go with a group of die-hard foodies because it’s shared plate territory. The two best shared dishes served up by legendary sushi master Yuki Ozeki and head chef Murray Wiblin have to be the crisp soft shell crab with delicious orange ponzu sauce ($20) and the tuna ceviche salad with yuzu lemon dressing ($24). For mains, it’s pretty hard to go past free range teriyaki chicken with furikake rice rolls ($34).
Tanuki's Cave reviewed by Natasha G.
This is a fantastic hide-out with tasty dishes. I love the fact it's cozy and vibrant. There are some mouth-watering options on the menu and it's great that you can so easily order a few more if you're not full. Can be a wait if you go too late - but the wait is always worth it. A great casual dining out option.
Bien Japanese Cuisine - Newmarket reviewed by liv d.
Love, love, love this little gem. I come here maybe once a month for a bite of deliciously authentic japanese food. The staff are super lovely and the decor is perfect, nothing too fancy but enough to spark interest and create a nice vibe. The food, which is amazing, is served promptly and with a smile. My favourite is the broccoli, there was one night where my mate and I ordered 5 servings. It's that good.
Masu Japanese Robata Restaurant & Bar reviewed by Kylie B.
Japanese for Sunday brunch! Count me in! I'm so excited that my favourite Japanese restaurant in the entire Auckland region has created a cool international offering with their Nichiyo Brunch. This dining delight offers up Masu's famous robata bar - complete with the best, freshest sashimi in the city - alongside a deliciously sumptuous menu that's perfect for Sunday feasting. We tucked in recently for a special family occasion and, as I write, I'm still dreaming about my genius main course of yellow belly flounder with chilli, daikon, ponzu and lemon. So fresh, so clean, so full of flavour. Masu gets me every time!