2018 Jul 13
Japanese cuisine is one that is different when it comes to what the usual Lankan taste buds are used to, but it also tantalizes and takes you on quite the gastronomical adventure. Although some may think Japanese food pretty much just includes sushi and raw fish and may use that as a reason to not delve into the cuisine, let me assure you that it is so much more and you have no idea what you are missing out on!
So here are a couple of places to get your Japanese food fix regardless of whether you are a first timer or someone who can’t get enough of this amazing food!
1. Cafe Nihonbashi
Where – No. 11, Galle Face Terrace, Colombo 03 (Honten)
Open Hours – 12.00 noon to 2.30pm, 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Honten)
Contact – 011 232 3847 (Honten)
Founded by Chef Dharshan Munidasa, who is renowned for his exquisite restaurants, Nihonbashi is one of Colombo’s better known Japanese restaurants and has been around since 1995. Their menu has been crafted in a way that combines Sri Lankan ingredients with traditional Japanese culinary techniques, and also offer the opportunity to experience their unique Yakitori Garden at their main restaurant in Colombo 03.
2. Kobe at Waters Edge
Where – Water’s Edge, No. 316, Ethul Kotte Road, Battaramulla.
Open Hours – 11.00am to 11.00pm
Contact – 011 286 3863
The breathtaking interior of the new Japanese restaurant at Waters Edge is what first grabs your attention. In terms of the food and beverages at Kobe, they are surely a treat but be sure to ask for recommendations to get a taste of the dishes that are not on the menu but are truly worth trying. Click on the link above to check out our review of the restaurant.
Where- Taj Samudra, No. 25, Galle Face Centre Road, Colombo 03.
Open Hours- 12.30pm to 3.00pm, 7.30pm to 11.30pm
Contact- 011 544 6622
YUMI at Taj Samudra is by far one of the best Japanese restaurants Colombo has to offer, which also tends to reflect in their prices as well. They offer a wide variety to tantalize your taste buds, including sushi, sashimi, Teppanyaki and more.
4. Zen Japanese Restaurant
Where- No. 115, Rosmead Place, Colombo 07.
Open Hours- 11.30am to 11.00pm
Contact- 011 268 6883
This is by far my favourite place to go when I’m craving teriyaki chicken and yakitori. Located at Zylan Luxury Villas down Rosmead Place, Zen is ideal for a date or a chilled out night with friends (especially because they have the option to BYOB!). You can opt to dine in their very cozy space downstairs, their indoor space upstairs or outside on the rooftop terrace, which is where I would highly recommend. They’ve got a great variety of Japanese dishes to choose from, as well as a separate menu that offers a mix of some other great cuisines.
6. Robata Grill & Lounge
Where- Movenpick Hotel, No. 03, Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 03.
Open Hours- 12.00noon to 3.00pm, 7.00pm to 10.30pm
Contact- 011 745 0450
The Robata Grill and Lounge at Movenpick Hotel is sure to take you on a culinaryjourney with their amazing dishes and drinks. From some exciting cocktails and sake, to their piquant Robata Grilled items, sushi rolls, Japanese seafood pizzas and bento boxes, this fine dining experience is worth every single rupee!
7. Kuuraku Japanese Restaurant
Where- 48 B, Park Street, Colombo 02.
Open Hours- 11.30am to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 10.30pm
Contact- 011 230 7600
This quaint restaurant is one of the newer additions to the restaurants at Park Street Mews and is definitely another place we would keep going back to! Our favourites here were their incredible Ebi Roll and the Pork Belly in garlic sauce. The perfect way to end your meal would be to dig into their delicious Tempura Ice Cream.
8. Ramen Misoya
Where- Colombo Racecourse, Colombo 07.
Open Hours- 11.30am to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 10.30pm
Contact- 077 220 6652
Ramen Misoya is the first Miso based Ramen restaurant in Colombo and is part of a global chain of Ramen restaurants that began in the city of Wakaba in Japan way back in 2003. Currently, they house over a 100 branches in Japan and 14 other restaurants worldwide. What’s absolutely perfect is that their portion sizes are massive and one dish can easily feed two. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes picking out the Ramen dish you want to devour!
9. Ikoi Tei by WIP
Where- Dutch Hospital Complex, Colombo 01
Open Hours- 11.00am to 11.00pm
Contact- 011 244 1275
Tucked away in the dated Dutch Hospital Precinct, Ikoi Tei is restaurant handled by Hilton Colombo and serves up some amazing food. While they may be a tad bit pricey, you do get your money’s worth, alongside the great service and very relaxing vibes you seem to find at the Precinct. They offer a very extensive menu for you to choose from, which means you may find yourself being indecisive of what you’d like to order.
10. Kami Maki
Where- No. 26, De Vos Avenue, Colombo 04
54C Ward Place, Colombo 07
Open Hours- 11.00am to 10.30pm
Contact- 011 259 0626
Kami Maki is a cozy restaurant that has been known to infuse a touch of Sri Lanka into the dishes in their concept of “Japanese Fusion Food”. Their sushi rolls are worth the price as you get 6 pieces per roll, and our favourite here was the Teriyaki Chicken.
11. Sushi Kai
Where- 143 A, Jawatta Road, Colombo 05.
Open Hours- 10.30am to 10.30pm
Contact- 077 156 6568
Sushi Kai is located on the premises where Kami Maki used to be on Thimbirisgasyaya Road, and it offers the best of both worlds. If you’re in the mood to enjoy a relaxed meal complete with unrefined wooden outdoor tables or a comfortably dingy interior with massive glass windows overlooking the busy street, simply walk through the main entrance at the bend of Jawatta Road. However, if you want a more elegant experience the separate area, which is less than 10 meters away, is ideal for you. In our experience, the food was incredible and the prices didn’t carve a hole through our wallets, so yay!
12. Poppy Hana
Where- Urban Kitchen, No. 69, Hyde Park Corner, Colombo 02.
Open Hours- 11.00am to 10.00pm
Contact- 011 573 2732
Poppy Hana is one of the few restaurants in the country that has a neat little conveyor belt that carries boxes of sushi so you can look at what you’d like to eat and pick it out!
Where- No. 33, Amarasekara Mawatha, Havelock Town, Colombo 05.
Open Hours- 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Contact- 011 259 1728
Commencing in 1983, Sakura is apparently the oldest specialty Japanese eatery in Colombo, and has now moved to where the old Kinjou restaurant used to be. They serve up more than a 100 dishes, including Kushi Katsu, Chicken Kara Age, Udon, and a very colorful sushi bar where you get to watch your sushi and sashimi dishes being prepared!
Where- No. 14, Narahenpita Road, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.
Open Hours- 11.00am to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Contact- 011 280 6806/ 011 280 6688
Naniyori has been known to whip up some great bento boxes that cost about Rs. 790 to Rs. 1200, excluding VAT and service charges. Based in the same building as the Steam Boat in Nawala, their ambience is spot-on with private rooms for large groups of friends, dim lighting and ample seating. Their other dishes like their Katsudon are a definite must-try!
15. Tsukiji Uoichi
Where- Clock Tower Building, 1st floor, No. 30, Arcade Independence Square, Colombo 07.
Open Hours- 12.00 noon to 12.00 midnight
Contact- 011 267 0707
This is another one of my favourite places to go when craving Japanese food! While their prices may be a little steep, they’ve got an undeniably incredible range of Japanese delicacies that make us want to go back for more. Their space is very cozy, their ambience is great and their service is very efficient. We absolutely loved flavourful the Crunchy Ebi Tempura roll and would certainly recommend this dish. Don’t forget to try their amazing beef dishes too!
16. The Sushi Bar Samurai
Where- No. 226, Sri Jayawardenapura Mawatha, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.
Open Hours- 11.30am to 3.00pm, 6.00pm to 11.00pm
Contact- 070 355 1551
If you live in Rajagiriya or an area close by and are exhausted by the idea of having to come to Colombo whenever you feel like going out for some great Japanese food, The Sushi Bar Samurai is where you should go!
17. Mizu at Ramada Hotel
Where- No. 30, Sir Mohamed Macan Markar Mawatha, Colombo 03.
Open Hours- 11.00am to 11.00pm
Contact- 011 242 2001
Housed at the Ramada Hotel, Mizu specialises in Japanese fusion food. With dishes like the Grilled Beef with Japanese Radish Sauce and their creative takes on Japanese favourites such as Yakimeshi, Teppanyaki and Sushi, your experience at Mizu will be a very pleasant one.
18. Ginza Hohsen
Where: Galadari Hotel, 64, Lotus Road, Colombo 1
Open Hours: 11am – 11pm
Previously at Waters Edge, Ginza has now reopened at Galadari. The menu includes typical Japanese fare with a lovely ambience.
19. Cafe Japan
Where: 25, Borella Cross Road, Colombo 8
Open Hours: Open 11 AM to 2 PM, 5.30 PM to 9 PM (Closed Tuesdays)
A charming place that’s hidden and unknown to most, Cafe Japan is great for a quiet night out. They also have a library of Manga for aficionados.
20. Tokyo Shokudo at Food Studio
Where:3rd Floor, Colombo City Centre, 137 Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo
Open Hours: 10:30 AM – 10:30 PM
Tokyo Shokudo is a great stop if you’re at Food Studio to grab and enjoy a really good Japanese meal.
21. Ramen Hamakaze Colombo
Where: 91 Perahera Mawatha, Colombo 00002
Open Hours: 12pm – 10pm
Contact: 076 451 3250
Specializing in ramen, Hamazake is definitely the place to go for all lovers of ramen.