Celebrate the opening of the Tokyo Paralympics in style.
Alright sports lovers, do you have an Olympic-sized hole in your heart and TV viewing schedule?
Lucky for you, the Tokyo Paralympics are due to start this week and run until Sunday, September 5, but just like the Olympics there will be limited spectators because of the COVID pandemic.
Giving Victorians in lockdown something to be inspired by for the next few weeks, the Tokyo Paralympics will feature 22 sports across 539 events, including two new sports: badminton and taekwondo. Many of the sports that are in the Olympics can be found in the Paralympics, but are modified to fit the requirements of Paralympic athletes. These include swimming, athletics, shooting, archery, cycling, judo and wheelchair tennis, as well as team sports like wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and 5-a-side football.
With the Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony kicking off at 9pm AEST tonight, and running for about three hours, we thought this was the perfect time to highlight some of the best Japanese food to hook into ahead of the event.
Here are some of our favourites.
Sitting pretty on Pakington Street, this famed restaurant is a big deal in Geelong, known for plating up over 30 different Japanese dishes at a price that is too good to be true with their all-you-can-eat.
While we can’t dine-in just yet, you can still treat yourself at home and chow down on plates full of lightly seared beef carpaccio, edamame, crunchy Karaage chicken, veggie spring rolls, prawn gyoza, fried rice, teriyaki steak, udon noodle soup, seafood tempura and even green tea ice cream. It’s some of the very best!
In light of lockdown, they’re currently running their famous deluxe set special for $69.60 boasting more than 15 dishes that will leave you rolling all around the house.
Okami is located at 214 Pakington Street. Order by calling 03 4207 0373.
Tucked away on Shannon Ave, this absolute gem is a hidden treasure when it comes to quality Japanese.
What we love about Sakaratei is that it never disappoints: The food is always very fresh, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the menu is incredibly fairly priced.
Perfect for a casual lunch or dinner, here you’ll find delicious gyoza, Harumaki, Okonomiyaki, Miso Shiru Soup, sushi and sashimi, California rolls, Wafu steak, Yaki Salmon, a range of Bento, ramen and so much more. They even do Japanese desserts like Dorayaki (rice bean pancake with ice cream), Tempura banana and Macha ice cream.
Sakaratei is located at 161 Shannon Avenue Manifold Heights, Geelong. Order by calling (03) 52226668 or via Menulog, Ubereats and Doordash.
Over the last couple of years, Tomodachi Izakaya has been teaching Geelong about the Izakaya style of dining with a warm environment with their cosy little space on Little Malop St. Known as a style that revolves around eating, drinking and sharing in a casual environment with good people, this little hot spot is a favourite when it comes to immersing yourself in Japanese cuisine.
The menu is centred around sharing: from succulent meats like pork belly, beef, chicken; to fresh sea food and sashimi; plus, plenty of vegetarian options too.
All the classic Japanese options are available, like mouth-watering takoyaki, tempura, karaage, unagi, and okonomiyaki. A number of more unique dishes are on offer to try as well, such as renkon chips (made from sliced lotus root), kani korokke, and chicken curry udon.
Alongside the food, their bar takes inspiration from the backstreet, corner bars found throughout Tokyo. Here you’ll find a perfectly curated cocktail menu, and a slew of sake, beer, and wine, with cocktails and sake available for takeaway too!
Tomodachi Izakaya is located at 85A Little Malop Street. Order via Deliveroo, or call them on 0352009360 or 0432733092.
While Japan may lay claim to inventing the world’s most sumptuous noodle soup, Geelong’s own Shinya Ramen is an authentic and traditional ramen restaurant that boasts an experienced Japanese chef with a passion for his craft.
With two venues in Geelong, one in Waurn Ponds and one in the CBD, this is one of the best places to go when you’re looking for soul-warming ramen served with the flair and integrity that only a real ramen chef can provide.
Made with egg-free noodles, every dish is cooked fresh to order, whether you decide on chicken ramen, a pork tonkotsu ramen, or vegan ramen! If you’re about the heat, you can turn your dinner up by selecting the spicy option. Already regarded by locals as the best ramen outside of Japan, the soup is hot and silky, and the noodles are perfectly cooked.
If you’re wanting to explore outside ramen or you’re looking for some bites to start you off, we’d recommend you give the Veggie Tempura or Japanese paella a go, or indulge in freshly-made Gyoza. They’ve also got delicious options like Teriyaki chicken bento, Takoyaki, spring rolls or even the crab claws on offer.
Catering to all dietary requirements, while maintaining their passion and experience, they even offer a fresh tofu salad with tasty Japanese sesame sauce, the aforementioned vegan ramen, a veggie tempura don, and some finger-licking edamame.
Treat yourself tonight, you won’t regret it.
For Japanese with a bit of a twist, Sumi is one of the most indulgent places to go for a very unique cultural experience.
A 26-seat Asian barbecue restaurant and bar in Geelong, the menu is inspired by various cultures, thanks to chef Kyle Wang, whose heritage is Chinese, has worked in Thailand, Hong Kong and locally including Fisherman’s Pier and Vue Grand Queenscliff and he’s passionate about cooking over fire, resulting in some seriously beautiful flavours.
With foods centred around charcoals, you’ll find Kingfish ceviche, corn cob, scallops and vermicelli, fried chicken bao, whole crispy shallow crusted snapper, and Alaskan King Crab with spice butter.
Also on the menu is squid skewers with chilli miso and squid ink sauce, XO sauce poached oysters, eggplant with SUMI chilli garlic sauce, and mushroom port dumplings, just to name a few. Oh and there’s a pretty mouth-watering Lobster Roll if you really feel like treating yourself.
A solid range of beers and sakes and a shortlist of wines has been geared to the chargrilled dishes.
SUMI is located 47 Gheringhap Street, Geelong. Takeaway from 5pm to 8pm.
One of the most intimate dining experiences in town, Sober Ramen is one of our favourite spots to go for a dose of ramen, dumplings and sake!
You’ll find a bunch of delicious starters including Edamame, prawn and chicken dumplings, spicy calamari, and their signature beef Tataki, plus a bunch of different ramen options for those that like to slurp! There’s the Yasai Udon, the Dandanmen, or our personal favourite, the Spicy dumplings ramen which combines the best of both worlds.
There’s also ramen plates, Wagyu Don, and a bunch of vegetarian options too.
Pair your food with a pint of frosty beer or knock back some sake for the entire Sober Ramen experience.
Currently doing delivery and takeaway, call/message 0483358312 to place your order.
Located at 85 Little Malop Street, Geelong.
The Tokyo Paralympics will be broadcast in Australia on free-to-air TV on Channel Seven.