(Melbourne) Gyoza Gyoza

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Gyoza Gyoza, a cozy Japanese bar conveniently located on Little Bourke Street, was one of the few Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in Melbourne that actually offered something other than 1) sushi rolls, 2) donburi, or 3) ramen. It came to a point where I thought finding Japanese a la carte dishes in the city was challenging… Or perhaps I’ve just been looking in the wrong places all along. Nevertheless, the izakaya style bar offered an impressive selection of popular Japanese dishes, although among those that I’ve tried, some were excellent while others definitely had room for improvement.

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(Melbourne) Oishi Kitchen

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Oishi Kitchen offers pretty good quality Korean and Japanese food at reasonable prices, and it opens seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. It’s another one of those restaurants where you’re assured to be served decent meals when you’re unsure of what or where to eat. While walking around Prahran, my family and I weren’t sure of what to have for lunch and we decided on Oishi Kitchen in the end. Although there are other restaurants that may serve better quality meals or cheaper prices, Oishi Kitchen offers a wide selection of both Japanese and Korean food at pretty good values. We didn’t get to try any of the Lunch Specials or BBQ Sizzle this time, but we were quite satisfied with what we’ve ordered.

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(Melbourne) Peko Peko

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Peko Peko is a popular restaurant that’s popular for its homestyle Taiwanese food and also Japanese dishes, and is normally bustling with customers during lunch and dinner times. The restaurant/cafe is located on a quiet area in South Melbourne, and not too far from the Shrine of Remembrance and St. Kilda Road. There are plenty of trams you can take to get to Peko Peko including 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, and 72, and it’s a few minutes’ walk after alighting at either the Domain Interchange/St. Kilda Road or Shrine of Remembrance/St. Kilda Road stop.

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(Melbourne) Little Ramen Bar

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My usual food buddy and I decided to try Little Ramen Bar, a small but popular Japanese ramen store located on Little Bourke and Elizabeth Street. It is also close to Hardware Lane, within an area normally bustling with people due to the array of popular restaurants and cafes including Manchester Press. We were expecting quite a lot from this restaurant since people even queue up to get a seat here and thus it looked promising, but we left feeling disappointed. Although the prices were relatively cheap, the portion of the food we ordered were small and the quality was only decent.

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(Sydney) Nazimi

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Unfortunately, our Sydney trip had to come to an end and for our last dinner there, my cousins and I decided to go to Nazimi. Nazimi is situated closely to Sushi & Grill @York Street, and just like the other Japanese restaurants we’ve tried in Sydney, the food didn’t disappoint either. Even though the small restaurant was already packed with people, it was still pretty quiet and most diners were considerate by keeping their volumes down while they talk. We enjoyed our dinner at Nazimi in peace and it was one of the most relaxing places I’ve been to in the usually busy and crowded CBD of Sydney. Even though the food were quite pricey (compared to the portion), it’s worth the quality.

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(Sydney) Sushi & Grill @York Street

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Sydney, second stop – Sushi & Grill @York Street. We came here for late dinner while walking around the CBD, after we had Ippudo in the evening. One thing my cousins and I noticed about Sydney was the abundance of Japanese restaurants in the city, and we’ve spotted those in the CBD alone. Well, we’re not exactly going to complain since the Japanese food that we’ve tried in Sydney were all really good. Even though most of the dishes were quite pricey compared to the portion, we really loved the sushi that we’ve tried here at Sushi & Grill @York Street! I thought that I should eat as much Japanese food as I can before heading back to Melbourne, since I was told that Sydney has plenty of wonderful Japanese restaurants around. Bottom line? Not disappointed.

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(Sydney) Ippudo Sydney

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First stop: Ippudo Sydney. It was the first restaurant my cousins and I went to when we got to Sydney where we had early dinner. I only knew about it when my cousin told me that there was a branch in Singapore and it was insanely popular, so I thought I’d love to try it someday if I get the chance to. Lo and behold, we stumbled upon this restaurant at Westfield, one of the most popular malls located at Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD). At first, I was surprised to find it quite empty and I became a little skeptical, doubting the stories that I’ve been hearing about this place. Fortunately, it really didn’t disappoint and unquestionably lives up to its reputation. Make sure to come earlier before lunch or dinner (we went there early evening) so that you can get a table before it gets really crowded though, because the next time I went past the restaurant again, there was a massive line of people waiting to be seated.

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