NOT Going to Japan? Here’s 5 Great Japanese Restaurants in Dublin to get you in the Mood

So you might not be heading all the way out to the land of the rising sun for the Rugby World Cup but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of Japan as the sun goes down over Dublin of a Friday or Saturday night. Yes indeed much has changed since the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 when the most exotic things we got when eating out were Vol-au-vents and Turkish Delight. We are not even sure there were any Japanese restaurants in Dublin back then but things sure have changed and there are now more than you could shake a chopstick at.

Whittling the list down to just five was a tough task but we here at Irish Rugby Tours think we have a good crew assembled here. So why not get your buddies together the day before a game and ‘go on a bento’ at one of these top notch eateries.

Ukiyo, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants in Dublin

Ukiyo in Dublin is the real deal

Excellent place for both lunch and dinner with the added advantage of being one of the few places in town where you can do karaoke. They serve up a serious Bento Box (€12) at lunchtime and offer up top class sushi, tempura and noodles. The staff are friendly. Many of them have been there for a quite some time and always greet you like a long lost son or daughter – always a good sign. 

“…one of the few places in town where you can do karaoke.”

 

Zakura, Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Ok first things first, these guys have a BYOB policy which means you’re starting your night off on an absolute winner. It gets busy and the seating can be a little tight but make no mistake, this is top notch. At a recent outing to this restaurant we spent €25 per head and ate the place clean. The service was quick, friendly and a bit of craic but the most impressive thing was without doubt the extent of the menu which covers several distinct styles of Japanese cuisine, including gyoza, tempura, yakitori, sushi and sashimi. The portions are extremely generous but so tasty that it is very difficult to know when to stop ordering. Top notch and informal.

“The service was quick, friendly and a bit of craic but the most impressive thing was without doubt the extent of the menu…”

 

Yamamori, Georges Street, Dublin 2

Having established itself in 1995, Yamamori must be one of the oldest continuous Japanese restaurants in Dublin. This place seems to be open around the clock and is very good at catering for large groups. Again they have an extensive menu and always pull out flavoursome food. Right across the street, their sister establishment, Yamamori Izakaya and Sake Bar serves great informal sushi, sake, cocktails and Japanese craft beers.

 

Ku Raudo, Townsend Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants Dublin

A taste of Tokyo at Ku Ruado on Townsend Street

This tiny little spot in a dark corner of Dublin looks like it has been transported from the centre of old Tokyo. Their lunch specials start at €6 for a sushi bento at lunchtime and work their way up to the full bento box for €9. There’s more where they came from too. Impressively competitive and really rather cosy. Oh and it is also a BYOB!

 

Taste at the Bonsai Bar, George’s Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants Dublin

You’ve got to love Dylan McGrath – he is fearless. One of his latest ventures is the Bonsai Bar on George’s Street

He has described it as “a twisted authentic version of Japanese pub food” which he has matched with some very cool Japanese cocktails. Bonsai Bento is available in Bonsai Bar from Wednesdays through to Saturday from 4 pm until 8 pm and is quite the taste sensation. Worth it for the Kakigori desert alone but be prepared to pay a little extra.