Yamato offers a very traditional Japanese menu with an amazing selection of dishes, all prepared from scratch. The meals are all authentic and extremely flavoursome, with offerings to keep the less adventurous as well as the Japanese dining connoisseur content. Every dish is packed with flavour, texture and aesthetic appeal. There is an exceptional sushi menu and it is highly recommended that at least one plate of sushi is ordered to experience the extremely high craftsmanship and quality of this at the establishment.
For the diners who are a little unsure or overwhelmed by the menu or for those who want a little bit of everything there are set menus. These include sushi platters or meals with a bit of everything. The bento menus are fabulous and give a great overall impression of the restaurant.
Off the à la carte menu, you can dine upon very authentic soups, salads, noodles and meat dishes. The edamame vegetable dish and the tuna salad are exceptional. The dumplings are well prepared and worth a try. Do not miss out on the buta kakuni, if you are a pork lover – crispy pork belly simmered in soya and mirin. The traditional menu is where all the fun happens. The Japanese noodles cannot be missed. Cha-shu ramen is out of this world – noodles and meat topped with a perfectly balanced and flavoursome broth. The Sukiyaki Don is also a bowl of perfection and it is highly recommended to add a side order of tempura to every meal. This is the perfect restaurant for sharing, so order a few dishes for the table and enjoy a bit of all of them for an amazing taste of Japan.
A selection of local and international wines is on offer, as well as Japanese beverages to complement the meal. The restaurant offers beer, spirits and cold drinks as well.
The service is very average. The wait staff are not very attentive and there is a lack of urgency. Expect to wait a while to be served and attended to. The staff at the front door are extremely casual, but the food is worth it.
A rather austere and plain dining area. The ambience is created by the diners in the establishment and therefore it is a little boring when the restaurant is not full. The décor is basic and plain with a touch of Japanese heritage to create the experience.
The restaurant is pricey, but if you're after great and authentic food it's worth it. Definitely share meals to experience more.
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Yamato is a quiet, classic restaurant that’s highly respected for its quality, and frequented by those in the know. The ingredients are truly fresh; others are imported from the motherland and are therefore the real thing. This is an authentic local showcase of some of the best that Japanese cuisine offers. The menu is extensive and warrants a number of visits, especially for those not familiar with the variety and delicacy of Japanese cuisine. There are a la carte choices as well as set menus and dinner combos. Start with their mouth-watering Wakame (seaweed) salad, or share a selection of their famous flavour-packed dumplings (Gyoza), often made from rice flour, fried, then steamed and wrapped around fillings. Standouts include the pork dumplings and the excellent tempura choices. Their top-class sushi and maki also tempts the appetite. Favourite mains include their crispy chicken, as well as the oyster sauce beef with rice and egg on the side. The bento box, the Japanese-style lunch box, makes an ample for a meal for two. Here the composition changes daily.
Sake comes in different varieties and quality and Yamato’s is very good, served hot or cold. There’s Japanese beer as well as a good wine list. Tea is also served.
Service The servers are reasonably informed and do the job adequately.
The food, as well as the open-plan sushi kitchen, creates the atmosphere in this smallish space.
For those a little confused by the range of options and choices, try one of a number of tailored mini-menus, such as the Yamato Bento (excellent miso soup, sashimi, a vegetable dish, and delicious battered and deep-fried prawn, tempura and fried rice).
Yamato is a quiet, classic restaurant that’s highly respected for its quality, and frequented by those in the know. Its menu is an authentic local showcase of some of the best that Japanese cuisine offers.
The ingredients used at Yamato are exceptionally fresh. Those not found locally are imported from the motherland and are therefore the real thing. The menu is extensive and warrants a number of visits, especially for those not familiar with the variety and delicacy of Japanese cuisine. There are à la carte choices as well as set menus and dinner combos. Start with their mouth-watering Wakame (seaweed) salad, or share a selection of their famous flavour-packed dumplings (Gyoza), often made from rice flour, fried, then steamed and wrapped around fillings. Standouts include the pork dumplings and the excellent tempura choices. Their top-class sushi and maki also tempts the taste buds. Favourite mains include the crispy chicken, as well as the oyster sauce beef with rice and egg on the side. The bento box – a Japanese-style lunch box the composition of which changes daily – makes an ample meal for two.
Sake comes in different varieties – and qualities – and Yamato’s is very good – served hot or cold. There’s Japanese beer as well as a good wine list. Tea is also served.
The servers are reasonably informed and do the job adequately.
The food, as well as the open-plan sushi kitchen, creates the atmosphere in this smallish space.
For those a little confused by the range of options and choices, try one of a number of tailored mini-menus, such as the Yamato Bento (excellent miso soup, sashimi, a vegetable dish, and delicious battered and deep-fried prawn tempura and fried rice).
The menu is extensive and authentic, with a large variety of Japanese and Asian food on offer. You might get stuck choosing between the ample sushi offering and the variety of authentic Japanese dishes.
But definitely do not miss out on the hot, crisp tempura as a starter, or the Hana Chirashi box sushi, which is a bowl full of perfectly cooked sushi rice topped with avocado, tuna, salmon sashimi and Japanese mayo.
The Miso Cha-Shu Ramen is also utterly divine: a steaming bowl of fragrant miso pork broth with homemade egg noodles, topped with sliced pork and spring onions. The flavours linger in your mouth long after you’ve finished. The portion is so big that you might be thinking of sharing – but only until that first bite... then you won’t want to! Another standout is the beef fillet teriyaki with crisp seasonal vegetables.
Finish your meal with tapioca flavoured with coconut milk and served with fruit. The flavours in all the dishes come across beautifully. You will not be disappointed.
They offer a great wine list with some superb South African offerings as well as a good selection of Japanese sake and shōchū (Japanese liquor) to choose from. There is a reasonable selection of beers and spirits, as well.
Service is quick and efficient. The waiters are unfussy and there when you need them: no more, no less, nothing to complain about.
The mood is decidedly austere and even a bit cold, with diners speaking in hushed tones. The décor is quite bland and there is no attempt at music to lighten the mood. Clearly, it’s the kind of place where the food is the star. The open sushi bar does make for a little bit of food theatre, and once the restaurant fills up the mood will become more relaxed.
There are usually a lot of Japanese diners around – have a look at what they’ve ordered if you’re having trouble deciding!
Rupesh KassenThey’ve won numerous awards over the years for outstanding sushi, keeping the true art form alive with perfectly cooked and seasoned rice and fresh, precision-cut fish. Homemade egg noodles served with miso pork broth and topped with melt-in-your-mouth pork belly is the ultimate in comfort food. The wine list has some good options, not forgetting the sake. This cosy space is always filled to the brim with hungry diners. (Eat Out magazine 2014)
The worst dining out experience in Joburg ever! Booked a table for four, got there, our table was literally 5cm away from the table next to us. We might as well all have joined in on the couple's not so romantic date. There was no privacy at all...
Took them 30 minutes to send a waitron over, then another 30 minutes before my friend's sushi came. I ordered hot plates that had to be cooked, it took over 1 hour to get those to the table. And all I ordered was seared slices of fillet and an eel lunch box. The eel was dry and scaly, so it wasn't even worth the wait at all.
The food was way over priced. For the same amount we spent there we could've stuffed our faces with authentic Japanese food at Japa in Rivonia, or flew down to Cape Town and enjoy Papa-San's artful dishes at Takumi.
And to top off the worst evening of my life, the waitron put items that we didn't order on the bill, which took her another 30 minutes to sort out.
Never go there people, you have been warned!
Bad service. Price excessive. They had a good run. Perhaps it will return. If you eat there expect a new Soth African experience.
Having been regular visitors to Yamato, our most recent experience was so bad it will also be our last. We've been at least "once a monthers" if not more regular diners at Yamato and have always enjoyed their food. They are expensive and service is generally hit and miss, but on Thursday last week it was not existant. About 15 minutes after we arrived a 'tour group" arrived too. After complaining our drinks order was eventually taken 30 minutes after we arrived. About 5 minutes later our food order was taken. About 15 minutes after we ordered our drinks I called the waiter over and told him we were going to have to leave if we didn't get our drinks so he went to see if they were poured. The owner then started to shout at him about getting the tour group's food to their tables. We then left. Obviously the loyalty of customers who've continued to support them through a move and then renovations in the centre where they are located is less important to the owners of Yamato than the quick buck of a tour group. What a shame to see.
This restaurant despite being among the top in Johannesburg probably has the worst customer service I've ever experienced. Their online booking facility does not work properly as the restaurant does not contact you to let you know the status of your enquiry. As such, when you call they inform you they are fully booked when you had enquired well in advance. I am shocked that a restaurant that claims to be an exclusive Japanese dining spot is so disorganised.
This was a family favourite where the sushi, tempura and noodles were always good. I'm sad to say that tonight we were disappointed on all counts. The tempura was thick slices of veg, no fish as promised on menu, chicken teriyaki very average and noodle broth lacking in flavour. Service was poor.
I made a reservation for 13/4/12 @ 19.00 on 12/4/12, to celebrate our wedding anniversary and was told by the receptionist that all was in order. When we got there, our reservation could not be found and there was no reasonable table available for us. We were asked if we would mind sitting at a tiny table located in the middle of the restaurant, but we declined. The manager made us feel as if she doubted that we had in fact made a reservation and did not even offer an apology. Poor service and shoddy customer relationship.
Now the ambience is not what it was. The service - there was none to speak of considering the price. The dinner - too expensive.
Brilliant, quality food. Sushi is always fresh and the hotpots are a winner.