(03) 9639 7050
(03) 9663 1436
Average Meal Price
$49 - based on one entree & main course only
kushiyaki sets $19.50-24.50; sashimi platters$40-$52;noodles & rice $3.50-$10.50, hot & cold dishes $5-$28
No of Seats 38
Tue to Fri Noon - 2pm
Tue to Fri 6pm - 11pm
8.3 Highly Recommended
Food 8 Ambience 9 Service 9 Value 7
I have eaten at this restaurant a few times over the last 3 years. I have lived in Japan and this is as close as I can get to feeling like I'm in Japan. The attention to detail for the food (try the hand made tofu), to miso soup (better than I can make at home) and the whole walking down the stairs to get inside is so authentic. Even my husband who has only been to Japan on several holidays loves it because it reminds him of Japan. As we live in Sydney it was 18 months between meals here (last ate here in Sept 2011) and the owner still remembered me!
The Sake is flown directly from Japan and kept at the correct temperature the whole time, so if you want to taste proper sake, just get the waitress to match a sake to your liking eg: dry, sweet or like me in the middle and warmed. Sake should never be boiling hot. Just like authentic Japanese you won't get huge dishes, just delicate ones to appreciate the finer details. Good for single business travellers too, as you can sit up at the bar. The owner/hostess is more than happy to explain the menu, like she did with me 3 years ago, and I've never forgotten the great service, food and ambience. A must everytime I'm in Melbourne!
Oct 14, 2011
3 Below Average
Food 3 Ambience 5 Service 3 Value 1
Myself, my husband and my 4 year old daughter ate here in July 2011 as our intended destination was shut. Nihonbashi Zen is small, intimate and dark and I thought the high prices may reflect high quality in food. We were very wrong on that score. I ordered toro, which is supposed to be the soft fatty belly of the tuna. They bought me some belly meat and a huge inedible fin. The beef skewers smelt strange and my husband's sashimi platter was overpriced and ordinary. My husband ordered hot sake like we had in Japan (very hot) and it arrived lukewarm, so we returned it for heating. The prices were too high for dull food.
Aug 13, 2011
4.3 Below Average
Food 1 Ambience 7 Service 7 Value 2
We ate at this restaraunt on 26/6/2011. The yakitori chicken stick had obviously been pre-prepared and reheated. The beef was worse. It smelt 'off' and tasted bitter. Clearly not fresh. When we sent the beef yakitori stick back, the hostess claimed "thats how the beef normally smells", and refused to acknowledge our issue.
Jun 26, 2011
1.3 Not Recommended
Food 1 Ambience 1 Service 2 Value 1
Very disappointed dinner!
Price: Unreasonable pricing, $40 for 10 pieces sashimi of 3 common fishes, it looks like an entree more than a main. If I can rate 0 star, I definitely will.
Foods: salmon not fresh, tuna & kingfish are just ok. Skewers taste good but again, overpriced
I felt like trapped by the Good Food Guide stickers outside the shop!
Thanks Nihonbashi, because of this terrible dinner, I became the member of Eatabiliity.
Apr 23, 2011
Food 7 Ambience 6 Service 3 Value 3
I went to Nihonbashi Zen with a small group of people for a birthday party lunch, and initial impressions were positive: the dining space is small but feels warm and intimate.
We ordered only one sashimi "banquet" to share for entree and that was the beginning of the disappointment. It was a ridiculously small size for more than two adults to share and very overpriced. Mostly the food was well cooked in comparison to what is on offer in Japan, but the price for the size of servings is quite unjustifiable.
We were still hungry when we left but wanted to escape from the overbearing senior staff, who continually interrupted us to talk to one of our party (who is Japanese) in his native language!
Jul 28, 2010
2 Not Recommended
Food 2 Ambience 2 Service 2 Value 2
Went with my japanese wife and children after a recommendation, it was terrible, but my wife laughed the whole time and when the bill arrived she stated that this could only happen in here. Steer clear.
May 17, 2010
Food 7 Ambience 9 Service 8 Value 3
Food is pretty good I guess, but the servings are extremely small and very expensive. The kushiyaki is certainly not worth $35+. Came out feeling a little bit violated.
Apr 24, 2010
8.8 Highly Recommended
Food 9 Ambience 10 Service 8 Value 8
I have been to this restaurant a number of times so felt I should put up a review as it is one of my favorite restaurants to go to. This for me is one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne. Authentic, well prepared fresh food. There are so many great dishes to choose from. I must admit that I overindulge every time I come. A must is the sashimi, the chef makes sure to only prepare the freshest fish, easily one of my favorite places to get great sashimi.
Other favorites are salmon belly or lightly seared tuna salad. They also specialise in Kushiyaki (Japanese skewers) so will pick up a few of those during the meal. There are some great mains, the beef is great, but for me the best is the chili soft shell crab.
In addition to the great food is an amazing Sake menu. The Sake is flown in direct from Japan and kept at the correct temperature. Sake fans will surely enjoy. This is a great restaurant to go to for a special occasion. A meal here isn't going to be cheap, however, take your time, order a number of different things and enjoy a great night out.
Nov 11, 2009
1 of 1 reader found the following review helpful
Food 9 Ambience 7 Service 7 Value 8
Had dinner at this place on Saturday after a recommendation from a friend. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is Japanese owned and that the food is the real McCoy. Having lived in Japan for a while and being new to Melbourne it is great to be able to find such a wonderful place. What I like best is the attention to detail that goes into preparing the food. It really shows in the end product.
Oct 27, 2009
Food 6 Ambience 7 Service 6 Value 4
This is japanese kushiyaki bar and izakaya drink place. Food a bit pricey.
May 18, 2009