Taste Japan in Melbourne

Alright, before someone gets all up and arms about being different between countries – it is pretty darn obvious but what are you gonna do during lockdown?

These are some of the nicest takeaway I have compromised with, from a taste and pricing standpoint. It is always a challenge to pack up meals, then having to travel before you can enjoy. In no particular order:

  1. Tokyo Table, HAWTHORN


Massive portions, great flavour and budget pricing, this humble eatery sure caters for the numerous student housings nearby. The service is quick too for takeaway meals. How can you not love it when the bento sets give you so much value?

2. ZEN Japanese, HAWTHORN


Moving up the price tier, we have Zen Japanese just around the corner. These guys use quality ingredients, and pride themselves for their service. However, with the pandemic clash, the restaurant has tried to draw customers in with more special deals to compete for survival.

Regardless, still good food and great value. If you want a splurge for a celebratory night-in, look no further.

3. Chayo Japanese, CLAYTON


Moving further south-east, Chayo is a tough contender. Serving generous portions, and close-as-you-can-get Japanese flair, this place has to be on your list if you are lucky to be near enough to not cop a fine during lockdown.

Their matcha drinks are the real deal!

4. HANAICHI Japanese, MELBOURNE / various locations


Having multiple chains, one would think the food is more mass-produced and taste generic. But nope, this group has been around for a reason – being very competitive with their flavours vs price vs service size. It is one of the most perfect takeaway meals I have eaten during lockdown, and I can understand why blue collar workers and students alike makes a beeline for it.

5. Sushi Sushi, Various Locations

Dominating almost every shopping centre and strategic bustling street, the people behind Sushi Sushi knows how to make a mark. They are known for convenient takeaway handrolls and budget meals, but I could not get over their sheer presence in Melbourne. And for their pricing – be surprised to find fresh food.



The modern take of Japanese, which have won over a legion of loyal fans. Hibiki serves up delicious fusion food, excellent ingredients and a creative ever-changing menu. Because I am a coffee fan, this cafe gets bonus points for great drinks.

Notable Mentions

* Sushi Jiro

I love this franchise, but I have not been able to find a chance to try it during lockdown.


Fusion Japanese, capitalizing on the salted-egg concept. Something different for a change perhaps.

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