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!
The food is amazing! I used to live down the street and I miss their gyoza terribly. All of the food is delicious, the staff are unbelievably friendly and kind. Go there! You won't regret it.
Excellent food. Great vegetarian choices. Delicious flavours. Service was perfect. There were four of us and we all left satisfied. It’s our second time here and we will be back.
Definitely book in advance (even several nights prior) for a low-table. The service is always friendly and the food is always superb (the okonomiyaki is my favourite!) It may be slightly pricey in comparison to other Japanese restaurants, but the food quality and service is always top-notch. II'll always take friends here for special occasions!