French and Japanese cuisines cleverly combine at Armadale's outstanding fine diner.
Andrew Zuccala
Published on May 15, 2024
Updated on May 22, 2024


Armadale's High Street is best known for its antique stores, cafes, art galleries, fashion boutiques and furniture showrooms. Once the sun sets though, things are generally a little quieter. But Japanese-French diner Bansho is happy to stand out as one of the few after-dark restaurants on the strip, joining the likes of nearby Amaru.

Larry Xie and Mira Wu opened Bansho in September 2023, and it is easily one of the area's best dinner spots. Much of this is thanks to Chef Tomotaka Ishizuka (ex-IshizukaKisume, Koko), whose menu expertly marries Japanese and French cuisines.

Bansho restaurant in Armadale - Japanese-French fusion

These two cuisines have more in common than what might first appear: both are famous for showcasing seemingly simple flavours in dishes that require a huge amount of skill to master, both placed great value on on terroir, and both are seen as timeless and elegant. Pairing them together just makes so much sense, and it's effortlessly achieved at Bansho.

In the starters, this is best seen in the king prawn tomalley, which consists of a slice of toasted brioche topped with generous amounts of prawn, red and white miso, cream cheese and framboise. The prawns are the star of the show, and are only elevated by the cleverly chosen supporting ingredients.

Bansho restaurant in Armadale - Japanese-French fusion

Bansho's sashimi and sushi platters are also big hits – they're served traditionally, with wasabi, salmon roe and soy sauce. Only top-quality seafood graces these plates.

But we find Bansho shines brightest with its more complex dishes. We licked the shells clean when trying the aburi scallops with king prawns, tomato essence and ikura caviar. And we'll dream about the succulent koji-marinated duck breast for quite some time.

We just wish there were a few more main meals on the menu, to add variety for those wanting a big feed.

Bansho restaurant in Armadale - Japanese-French fusion

Whatever you choose, you can pair it all with a carefully curated selection of wine, sake and beer, plus plenty of signature cocktails — and the sake martini is a big winner here.

The food feels and is priced like a fine-diner, but the owners want it to be more of a local neighbourhood restaurant. This is certainly achieved through friendly and personable service, but the food is of such a high quality that it's hard not to think of it as fine dining.

We recommend saving Bansho for a special occasion when you can explore the whole menu and really treat yourself. But that being said, you can just as easily pop in for a relaxing pre-dinner sip-and-snack situation and be very happy as well.

Bansho restaurant in Armadale - Japanese-French fusion

Images: Jana Langhorst


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