Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya
Find a stacked menu with both traditional and wildly fun contemporary Japanese eats at this Brunswick Street haunt.
January 14, 2024
Located within Hotel Fitzroy, Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya is the kind of Japanese restaurant where the food, which is exceptional, isn't the only star. The restaurant itself is huge, with the stunning courtyard being the jewel in the crown.
In summer, there is nowhere better to sit and soak up the ambience over a plate of sashimi with a Japanese beer, while in winter or rainy weather, the glass retractable ceiling spreads across, and the leafy ambience is just as potent.
On busy nights, which is most, the place is absolutely humming, but with all its little nooks and crannies, they'll manage to seat you somewhere with an element of intimacy and privacy. The service here is friendly and professional, and you'll never feel hurried along.
To start, we recommend the spicy cauliflower covered with homemade hot sauce or some of the crispy Japanese-style tacos — think fillings like lobster salad, slow-cooked pork and salmon tartare. If you're more into baos, look no further than the slow-cooked pork bao served with light and tangy coleslaw.
For a main, share a sushi and sashimi platter that comes jam-packed with all the variations you can imagine or get on the freshly grilled yakitori. Wash it all down with a Japanese beer, a few cheeky glasses of sake, or a Japanese-inspired cocktail to make the most of your trip to Fitzroy's Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya.
Purely traditional Japanese cuisine this is not. Yeah, the sushi — some of the best in Melbourne — is kept classic, but most of the options err on the side of contemporary. The chefs at Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya (of which there are always many buzzing around the kitchen) play around with unusual flavour combos and mix and match cuisines to create real crowd-pleasing dishes.
And while the restaurant is technically only on the ground floor, when the main dining rooms book out, the team sometimes opens up the secret rooftop terrace. This mostly just happens on weekends, so be sure to ask about the rooftop when booking. It is a true Melbourne hidden gem.
The Best Sushi in Melbourne
Concrete Playground Trips
Book unique getaways and adventures dreamed up by our editors