Japanese Lunch Spots
Japanese is a popular cuisine for lunch. It appeals to a broad audience because it can satisfy your soup cravings, give you a bento box full of variety or provide you a delicious yet healthy meal.
Consequently there are heaps of spots in the city and I’m slowly making my way through them. See below:
Hakata Gensuke: 168 Russell St, CBD
Ramen shops seem to be popping up like no tomorrow in the city, but you’ll see this one always has a line. Most people say this is the closest to authentic in Melbourne so if you love ramen, get in line!
The wait isn’t usually too long and my favourite would be the Black Tonkotsu, with garlic and sesame paste. Despite this, I still find ramen quite expensive and would rather choose a cheap, filling bowl of pho anyday.
Menya SanDaime: 225 Russell St, CBD
Oh yeah, what’s that about there being so many ramen shops again? Might as well open another one right?
Almost across from Hakata, this shop is part of a Korean franchise yet it looks so authentic. The shop sign is in Japanese and the ramen menu is on the front window.
The broths also look unique and spooksnbubbles and I both went for the shellfish and tonkotsu broth. The servings are small but in large, deep bowls.
The pork was large and fatty but the broth was strange. It had a strong taste but it takes a moment to hit you, like a burst of too many flavours that don’t match particularly well. We both agreed we would stick to Hakata Gensuke.
Gyoza Gyoza: 115/117 Little Bourke St, CBD
A sister restaurant to Gyoza Douraku on Bourke St, this place has a large menu of tapas all at $6.50 (for now).
This includes some goodies like lobster and soft shell crab burgers. We also loved the baked mushrooms.
If they work on this and the price remains at $6.50, it will be worth another try!
Edo Washoku: 18 Celestial Ave, CBD
Hidden in the Chinatown labyrinth, this shop is small and simple. It has the usual dons and bento boxes, but it’s cheap and quieter than places like Don Don. Click to see the menus below.
I enjoyed a curry katsu bento box, which was all very filling. It’s definitely not as fast as Don Don though and the bottom of the rice tasted like dishwashing liquid, probably from whatever they use to scoop out the rice?
Kaneda Japanese Restaurant: 200 Bourke St (Mid City Arcade), CBD
In the popular arcade strip between Chinatown and Bourke St lies Kaneda. It has your typical Japanese art on the wall and it has a massive menu of sushi, dons, hotplates, udon and soba noodles.
Unfortunately the waitresses seem a bit limited in their English so if you need alterations or clarifications, you might find it hard to get.
I liked that they had more variety in their menu than places like Edo Washoku. Thus I tried the Tamagyudon – sliced beef and veges in teriyaki sauce with raw egg. I liked their sweet teriyaki sauce and that there was lots of it.
We also ordered some salmon nigiri and dragon sushi rolls, which were a tad smaller than I expected but not bad. I think I would come back for dinner for a more relaxed time and a chance to try a selection of items from the menu without any rush.
What’s your favourite Japanese spot?
Photos by myself and the.adventouriist – all from quick phone snaps, sorry!