5 Best Hidden Cheap Eat Japanese Restaurants

'Ontama BBQ beef bowl' - Oiden Bowl Bar
'Ontama BBQ beef bowl' - Oiden Bowl Bar

Let us welcome the influx of authentic Japanese cuisine in Sydney! Irashaimase!

Forget about your run-of-the mill Sushi Train, we are talking traditional Japanese noodle houses, self-service Donburi bowl-bars and modern Japanese fusion cafes. These new venues will have you saying ‘oishii’ (delicious) in no time!  The Vapours called it when they proclaimed ‘I Think I’m Turning Japanese’, and Sydney’s foodie scene is definitely singing along to this tune.

Oiden Bowl Bar

This self-service Japanese bowl-bar moves faster than a Shinkansen (bullet train). Popular with office workers and students for its well-priced menu, the prices range from $3 – $9.90- you can almost hear the cheapskates sing. You can choose between chicken or beef Donburi bowls, offered in small or large portions depending on your appetite. There’s even a ‘special healthy bowl’ and salad menu if you’re in the mood for something lighter.

Oiden Bowl Bar Shop 12, 537-551 George St, Sydney9267-1368.
Mon – Sun 11:30am-10:00pm

The Tokyo Noodle Bar Zu Zu Zu

This Japanese noodle bar popped up in Newtown just a few months ago, and is already a new hotspot to slurp up some authentic ramen. While the menu is still being established, they already offer a wide selection of Japanese cuisine including entrées, salad, currys, bento boxes and ramen. Try the dragon ramen or spicy mince, which packs a spicy but flavoursome punch.

The Tokyo Noodle Bar Zu Zu Zu 191 King Street, Newtown, Sydney.

Poporo Takeru

Poporo Japanese Modern Café Restaurant

Hidden inside the Market City food court in Chinatown, this half-café/half-restaurant has us turning Japanese. If you want a quiet sit-down meal with friendly service at super-speed, this is the place to go. You may need a minute to stare down the extensive menu which offers a mix of traditional and Western Japanese cuisine. If you want value for money, go with the $12.90 lunch boxes which come with rice, miso soup and salad. They also offer a ½ sized and kids menu for smaller appetites.

Poporo Japanese Modern Cafe Restaurant Shop 301 9 Hay St, Haymarket, Sydney, 9211 2777.

Menya Noodle Bar

This bustling Tokyo-style noodle bar is tucked away inside a little alcove on Market street. If you like your ramen bowls at over-flow level, then Menya may be your new lunchtime hot-spot. Offering an impressive noodle menu to slurp through, you will also find bento boxes, currys and soups to satisfy your Japanese cravings. Cheerful service and a budget-friendly menu makes Menya Noodle Bar a popular lunch spot for, well everyone.

Menya Noodle Bar Shop 2, 1 Market Street, Sydney, 9267 4649.
Mon-Sat Lunch: 12pm – 3pm Dinner: 6pm – 10pm.

Gumshara Ramen

‘Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen’ – Gumshara Ramen

Gumshara Ramen

This hidden ramen-gem is tucked away inside the Eating World food court in Chinatown, and keeps its menu short and sweet. The menu boasts ten ramen dishes and fifteen side and entree options to add to your bowl. A small team of Japanese chefs whip up your ramen at lightning speed and the soup is prepared traditionally with fresh pork bone and water. If your appetites approaching sumo-wrestler level, try the ‘Super mega ramen noodle bowl’. It’s the most expensive dish on the menu at $25 but comes loaded with a BBQ pork-rib skewer, an egg and a thick Tonkotsu broth that will make your taste buds sing.

Gumshara Ramen 211 Harbour Plaza, 25-29 Dixon Street, Chinatown (inside the Eating World foodcourt), 0410 253 180.