The best Japanese-inspired and sushi restaurants in Birmingham are a varied set. From hidden havens of tranquillity and flamboyant flambé skills to Brum’s longest-running establishments and family-run favourites, this is the Japanese restaurant hit-list to reach for in Birmingham.

Tsukiji may be difficult to pronounce but the food sure is easy to enjoy. Take your pick of sushi and street food, ramen and donburi. Based in a prime location opposite Grand Central on Station Street, this trad yet modern restaurant is as charming as they come. A love for detail prevails, and the interiors are as beautifully presented as the food, with wagasas hovering daintily above and striking Japanese masks and figurines adorning the walls. What’s more, reasonable prices make this a sound choice for those watching their wallet.

Read more about Tsukiji Japanese Restaurant

Good sushi doesn’t have to be extortionate, as popular Yakinori proves. The family-owned Birmingham restaurant runs branches in Grand Central and Selly Oak, as well as a site in Bristol. Its menu spans not only no-frills sushi but also ramen, bento, katsu curry, donburi, tempura, noodles and teppanyaki dishes. If you’re inclined towards something hot, we highly rate the katsu curry – mild, fragrant, and with a choice of chicken, prawns or veg, you’re golden.

Read more about Yakinori - Grand Central

Billed as a noodle and bao bun specialist, this cosy Caroline Street restaurant is a great little find. Established by Dominic Simmonds (formerly of polished Purnell’s Bistro), Lucky Duck is far from fancy. But what it lacks in pomp, it more than makes up for in high-quality homemade noodles and addictive bao. As well as soul-warming bowls of Asian-style broth and fluffy buns, for afters there’s chocolate brownie and cherry sorbet, and a coconut rice pudding with roast pineapple.

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Owner and chef Yujiro’s passion for Japanese cuisine spans back to his childhood. His inspiration comes from his mother’s home cooking, which introduced him to the world of Japanese cuisine (in particular, her pork katsu curry), its depth of flavours and the artistry behind it. With such passion and understanding behind Katsu Kitchen, you know you’re in for an outstanding eat. Headlining the menu is the team’s exceptional chicken katsu curry: a lightly crumbed chicken cutlet, served with a rich and spicy sauce on top of a generous portion of super sticky rice - it really is no wonder that this is one of the most popular Japanese dishes in the UK!

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A tiny, minimalist unit hugging the side of the A38 might not be the obvious place to find some of the area’s most delightful sushi. But as we always say, don’t just a restaurant by its proximity to A-roads. The menu at this little gem brings the flavours and textures of Japan’s most popular export to life so expertly you might be surprised they’re the creation of Polish chef Michal Kubiak (formerly of Sushi Passion). Customers rave about the eel nigiri and prawn maki rolls, while the veggie options are equally sublime.

Read more about Gaijin Sushi

The tuna nigiri at this zen Great Western Arcade spot is melt-in-your-mouth good. Perch at the bar and watch the chefs prepare and hand it straight to you. Or sit, Japanese-style, on the floor at one of the two tables near the front. There are just four tables altogether, along with seats at the bar, so it’s wise to book if you can. It’s well worth the effort: from the teriyaki salmon and crab maki rolls to the sashimi boats – everything’s exceptional.

Read more about Sushi Passion

Kyoto Sushi & Grill stands out from other Japanese and sushi restaurants with its wide-ranging all-you-can-eat menu. Order in rounds, up to 5 per person, and you’ll have a 2-hour window in which to gorge yourself silly. Go hard on the hand rolls and don’t miss the pork dumplings. Besides sushi, there’s also grilled meat and fish, udon and ramen options. With such an impressive array of unlimited eating, what’s not to love? Kyoto gets bonus points for its service, which is speedy but never feels like they’re rushing you.

Read more about Kyoto Sushi & Grill

The Bullring may be on the chain-heavy side, but Mount Fuji is one of the few indie outliers. The schtick here is clean, Tokyo-style food that keeps you full and well nourished. The menu offers top-notch Japanese fare with sushi hand-rolled by the master chef. Highlights include dreamy tuna sashimi and droolworthy salmon avocado rolls; you’ll also have your pick of donburi bowls, bento boxes, ramen and more.

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People who eat here tend to fall into two camps: they’re either rendered speechless by the quality of the food, or want to shout as loud as they can about how great it is, to anyone who will listen. Alas, there are just 6 seats, so it hardly caters to the masses. But that’s what makes this tiny indoor market treat all the more special. And while you can’t buy happiness per se, you can buy yourself a portion of freshly made sushi at Otoro, which, let’s face it, is basically the same thing.

Read more about Otoro Sushi

Birmingham’s first Japanese restaurant knows how to put on a show. The chef here comes armed with an infectious sense of humour and often a white wine or brandy to flambé lobster, lamb, seabass and tuna steaks and more. The rest of the menu performs equally well: think king prawn tempura and a colourful 8-piece sushi platter. All made fresh with locally sourced ingredients from the nearby outdoor and indoor markets.

Read more about Miyako Teppanyaki

If there were a perfect soundtrack to The Cube’s Shogun, it would almost certainly be Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams. Dining here is very much a shared experience, with chefs showing off their flambé skills and chatting to customers with ring-side seats. The menu is as generous as the portions, with well-executed classics including tender chicken breast, juicy jumbo scallops and beautifully fresh sushi. Park yourself at the teppanyaki table and, go on: let them entertain you.

Read more about Shogun Sushi Bar & Teppanyaki

Say aloha to the latest culinary delight to reach Birmingham: poké (pronounced po-kay). Originally from Hawaii, the deliciously healthy dish is inspired by Japanese cuisine and comprises a combo of sushi fish, meat or tofu over layers of rice, veg and tropical fruit. Founder Felicity brought the ‘sunshine in a bowl’ concept to Brum off the back of her time in LA and Hawaii. Time well spent, we say. Make your own combination or choose from the 4 house bowls. Wash down with a refreshing bottle of Big Wave and you could almost be on a beach Maui. Almost.

Read more about Kuula Poké

Published -14th October 2019