Japanese restaurants are flooding into Chennai like the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Previously, this cuisine was seen on rare occasions and primarily catered to expats. In the past years however, we’ve seen more combos of rice, miso and seafood than ever before.
Whether its a hole in the wall that even your GPS can’t find or large, traditional Japanese dining rooms, these restaurants give you the whole experience. We narrowed down the best places in the city to get some delicious and authentic Japanese food that will make your pinch yourself out of this anime dream.
If you’re looking for a place that is Japanese inside and out—its Momoyama. Located on TTK road, the restaurant is known for its private cubicle like seating arrangements. If you’re not familiar with Japanese cuisine, you may want to ask the waiter to decode the menu before you order!
Our recommendation: The California Roll and the Prawn Tempura
If you’re hungry and in Thirvayamur, head over to Akasaka. The authentic Japanese ambiance and scrumptious food will truly make you forget that you’re in Chennai, rather than Tokyo. They also have a branch in Sriperumbidur that is open on weekdays.
Our recommendation: The Pork Teriyaki
If you want to eat Japanese and watch it too, Nungambakkam’s renowned Dahlia is the place to be. This hole in the wall, run by an Indo-Japanese couple ensures quality food with quality Japanese shows playing on TV along with the best sake in town.
Our recommendation: The sashimi set and beef katsu set.
Whether it’s a rainy day or just a tiring one, GoGo Ramen will give you the comfort food you need, with a Japanese twist. Keep your eyes open as you wander down TTK road for this diamond in the rough. India’s first ramen restaurant serves only the best noodle soup, infused with authentic spices and brimming with flavorful broth and chunks of meat- a perfect meal!
Our recommendation: The GoGo Ramen and Pork Steamed Bun
Fuji Japanese Restaurant in Nandanam takes you back to the roots of Japanese cuisine. Fuji is as authentic as it gets, with a serene ambience, Zashiki style seating, and simplistic, traditional décor. Key ingredients are imported from Japan to ensure that customers are provided with the real Japanese experience.
Our recommendation: The nigiri
The hunt for the most kawaii place in Chennai stops here. Sushi in a box offers some of the city’s best sushi in a modern setting, that is undeniably Japanese (the wallpaper and artwork resembles anime cartoons). You’ll find every kind of sushi here, and these chefs do not disappoint.
Our recommendation: The Una Don and Sakana steak set.
Teppan is definitely one of the most popular Japanese eateries in Chennai and for good reason. Chefs prepare food on a live grill, which is a real thrill and super family friendly. If you’re not in the mood for a performance while you eat, they have regular tables as well, with a calm ambiance. The food speaks for itself, delicate and delectable!
Our recommendation: Dragon Maki and Chicken Teriyaki.
With a mostly Japanese staff, Aki Bay in Velacherry offers a fresh take on Japanese food. As most hole in the walls, Aki Bay also has cozy vibes but the food will leave you feeling bigger than ever, because you will have a food baby by the end of your meal.
Our recommendations: Gyokai Pai-Tan and the green tea pudding.
Tending to your sweet tooth is a must, and Ambrosia does just that. This Asian inspired bakery offers a wide range of baked treats, most of them inspired by Korean and Japanese cuisine. Along with sweet treats, the bakery also offers a host of savory breads. We recommend going earlier in the day, before they sell out!
Our recommendations: The Honey Bread and cream buns.
どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare) AKA enjoy your meal!