Yamato Japanese Restaurant

3 Visitor Photos +

198 Oxford Road, Ilovo, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa


Japanese, Steakhouse, Sushi

Good for:

Dinner, Lunch


3.0 rating based on 1 rating
1 Review

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Rating Summary

3.0 rating based on 1 rating
3.0 rating based on 1 rating
3.0 rating based on 1 rating
3.0 rating based on 1 rating
  1. Expert Review

    3.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Oct 2014 · Karen Elowitt

    Though it's billed as "the best Japanese restaurant in Johannesburg," I found Yamato to be a little lacking. Sure it had...

    Though it’s billed as “the best Japanese restaurant in Johannesburg,” I found Yamato to be a little lacking.

    Sure it had the requisite ingredients — Oriental decor, an extensive sushi menu, cooked-at-the-table hot pot, and hard-to-find dishes such as zaru soba noodles, but it didn’t add up to much, in my opinion.

    The disappointment began when we walked in and realized the one tiny square dining room with bare white walls was the extent of it. And there were at least 15 tables, so things were a bit cramped. I suppose they are going for a Japanese aesthetic of clean and minimal, but to me it was just…basic and lacking ambiance.

    Then the waitress did not seem to understand what I ordered, so I ended up having to point to each item we wanted on the menu. You’d think the wait staff would be schooled in their menu items, no? Perhaps it was my “foreign” American accent…

    Granted, it is an extensive menu, with page upon page of sushi rolls (including inside-out rolls, hand rolls, fashion sandwiches, combo plates and sushi boxes), plus cooked dishes, the aforementioned hot pot, soups, tempura, and fried rice. For those not overly familiar with sushi, the menu helpfully offers photos of each dish.

    While the sushi was fairly tasty and beautifully presented (you can watch the chef prepare it at the sushi bar), it was not remarkable. The udon was a bit more interesting, and the tempura vegetables I ordered were adequate, if not outstanding.

    Considering the prices — over R300 for one person, I was not too impressed with this place. But it seems to be perennially popular, especially with Japanese tourists, but perhaps they are just homesick and willing to overlook the fact that Yamato is ho-hum in many ways.

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