The closest stop for Shinwa Izakaya, despite its Sydney Road, Brunswick address, is Jewell, accessible if you stagger round the corner and down Union Street. This is an important fact, considering that Melbourne’s harried sararimen (and women) are likely to be calling this Japanese izakaya their home away from home once they get acquire a taste for the holistic Far Eastern pub and barbecue combination that you find down every alley in Tokyo. Punters are going to need to know how to get home – there aren’t any capsule hotels in Melbourne yet!
The mandate of a Japanese izakaya is simple: provide a warm and judgment-free space for a crowd, usually consisting of lunching or after-work professionals, to imbibe in beer, sake, shochu, wine and spirits accompanied by skewers of grilled meat, fish, vegetables and combinations thereof. The difference between two given izakaya is in the quality of their drinks and sticks of snackables. Shinwa Izakaya qualifies with flying colours as one of Melbourne’s finest, not least because the look and feel of its Brunswick premises along Sydney Road are pitch-perfect.
Sat on the corner of Sydney Road and Union Street, this Brunswick Japanese izakaya is distinctive for its yellow-gold and black exterior, evoking a the kind of lacquer work that Japan is famous for when it’s not being famous for its generosity when it comes to beer towers and grilled fugu. Inside it’s all industrial chic, with the rows of top-shelf sake temptingly illuminated by placeless light source. begin with classic, salty edamame and end up with gyoza, takoyaki, ebi karaage and more. Our recommendation would be to go omakase and let the chef choose for you!
Amazing food, lovely helpful and friendly staff, the cocktails and sake are amazing and there is a beautiful ambiance to the place :) highly recommend.
Consistently delicous food and lovely service. Nice vibe about the restaurant it is not stale at all lile some can be. The fried chicken and prawn sushi roll is amazing. Salmon sashimi is also tops.
Seriously great Japanese and service. Reasonably priced, everything is fresh and served quickly. The atmosphere is fun and it’s cool to sit in the floor - yes no typo, in the floor!
Great food, great atmosphere, and great staff, will definitely go again! I've been before with my partner, but this time we returned with two others. It was easy to book online and we had a great night!
It was fantastic- kids found feaps of options, Salmon was great, lots of really good quality food at a great price. Service was fast- and attentive. We came from Daylesford and was not dissapointed already planing the next vist well worth it for a relaxed feed with atmosphere- plenty to share and left feeling full.
Great food, some of the best Japanese in Melbourne. Staff were friendly, hospitable and super helpful with the menu. Shinwa Izakaya has a wonderful ambience! Thanks for a lovely experience!
Spectacular dinner in an authentic Japanese setting, Food was delicious and prepared quickly, staff were friendly and had great customer service and Shinwa has a great selection of authentic Japanese drinks. the Umeshu is my favourite. Thanks guys you have filled our night with delicious food and good memories.
Great food with good selection for vegetarians too. A good choice of wines and cocktails as well. Unfortunately it seems almost every time I visit, they will miss putting an order through and we either cancel it or have to wait for the missed dish long after the other dishes have arrived.
Good quality Japanese food. Well presented by friendly team. The sashimi sushi entree was great but we particularly liked the grilled eggplant dish. Prices were reasonable but the mark up on the sake a little steep. This restaurant does a great job job at evoking the traditional izakaya atmosphere
We had a heavily pregnant guest with us and were originally allocated a recessed table. The staff were incredibly accommodating and happily moved us to the more regular tables in the back room. The food was amazing as always. Thanks.