Closed Japanese restaurants in Munich

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Since his childhood, SUSHIYA founder Alexander Reinelt has been enthusiastic about Japanese cuisine and culture, and has therefore been intensively observing for over 30 years Japanese restaurants and sushi restaurants in Munich.

Here is a small, but certainly not complete, listing of former, but relevant Japanese restaurants or sushi restaurants in Munich.

Restaurant Tenno in Buttermelcherstaße

From about 2007 to 2019, there was the Japanese restaurant Tenno in Buttermelcherstraße, right on the corner of Klenzestraße in Munich. 

Even if the naming was slightly irritating for Japanese, there was very good Japanese cuisine there, unusually despite the mixture with Thai cuisine. 

This was due to the two owners: Haruko Kato, a very good Japanese cook, and Siri Ratius, a Thai native. 

The Tenno was thus known for many years for good quality and always excellent friendly service, until it was closed because the owners could not and did not want to carry the constant burden of responsibility, worries with staff etc. any more. 

We can sing a song about it, even a well-run restaurant does not make and finance itself, especially if it tries to serve authentic Japanese quality instead of ambience or cheap pseudo-sushi to sell over effects ... The Tenno was also in the press at that time in high demand, it was repeatedly praised or reported about prominent visitors.

Today's Tenno and Teno in Munich are free riders

However, it is very astonishing that shortly after Tenno closed, two sushi snack bars with similar names opened in Munich: once only a few meters away Tenno at Klenzestraße 16, then also near us at Georgenstraße 35 Teno. 

Both presumably emerge from the low-cost delivery service Shizoo (which itself emerged from an attempt to set up a French delivery chain called "The Sushi Shop" in Munich) and both have nothing, nothing at all to do with the former Tenno and its qualities. 

We definitely cannot recommend Tenno's Sushi or Teno's Sushi in Munich today, despite all the nice descriptions on the homepage. It has nothing at all to do with the Japanese restaurant "Tenno", which existed for many years in the Buttermelcherstraße corner Klenzestraße.

Unfortunately, we know such un-Japanese behavior ourselves from the restaurant "SUSHIYA BENTO" in Munich and it is already a hint: Japanese would not do such a thing, because it is simply incorrect towards the heritage of Haru and Siri - and especially towards their own guests, who might come with a different expectation than you can fulfill. That's exactly the difference between Japanese restaurant operators and other nationalities.... 

And we can sing one or more songs about that, too.

Where to find the Tenno operators today

Incidentally, Haru Kato has accompanied many important new openings in Munich in the field of sushi/Japanese cuisine in the following years and was most recently found in the Do & Co restaurant, Siri now provides the distinguished reception for guests in Munich's Nobu Matsuhisa in the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Restaurant Sushi Se in Agnes Street

At Agnesstraße 2, just behind Elizabethmarkt, a small restaurant owned by sushi master Kentaro Yamaguchi was located in the basement from circa 2014 to 2016. 

Kentaro was previously, for example, in the Sushi Bar Maximilianstraße active and is a professional with absolute standards, was known in his restaurant to work for perfection. Today, reviews and reports can still be found, which refer to the best quality. Employees of ours had also worked for him there at times. 

Unfortunately, in Munich it takes not only good sushi to survive economically, but much, much more (marketing, kitchen mix, location, guest communication, long & much endurance, etc.) and he had to give up surprisingly quickly. 

By the way, Kentaro recently visited us at sansaro in the summer of 2022 and praised the sushi as flawless afterwards. Well, hopefully that was not only Japanese friendliness... 😉

Where to find Kentaro today

We hope to see Kentaro in other locations sometime!

His last reported station is the sea bass just outside Munich, which we definitely want to try soon and you might too if you're ever in the corner. 

The "Sea Bass" is a delivery service and a small but fine restaurant connected to an exquisite fishmonger. (Update: a first tasting has shown excellent (!) quality. We'll try again and report back!)

Restaurants Sushi Zen

There was in Volkartstraße (today's AOI-Ramen) and in Baader Strasse (today's Haguruma). Had a very good reputation. The two Sushi Zen existed according to our memory until the very early 2000s.

Restaurant Wasabi

Was a Sushi Zen successor on Volkart Street, was run by Joe Udawara. 

To our knowledge, he was a real Japanese sushi master. 

Had to give up at some point, meanwhile a small Japanese ramen store called AOI Ramen resides there, which is recommended.

Restaurant Matoi

On Hans-Sachs-Strasse, in what is now Lotus Lounge. Matoi was a really good Japanese sushi restaurant. It was open in the late 1990s, according to our recollection.

Restaurant Fuji-ya St. Michael Street 2

The Japanese "pirate" (nickname from us) Goto-san opened his own restaurant there in Berg am Laim in 2006. 

There was Japanese cuisine and also sushi, whereby Goto had deliberately made the sushi relatively expensive, so that the Germans also try something other than just sushi. We found everything very tasty and nice when we were there. Unfortunately, he had to give up a few years later when the tsunami disaster in 2011 called him back to Japan for family reasons.

The Fuji-ya in Berg am Laim has and had nothing to do with the assembly line places under similar names in Munich.

Small paper flyer of the Fujiya in Munich page 1
Flyer of the former Japanese restaurant Fujiya in Munich

Restaurant Emiko in Louis Hotel

The Hotel Louis at the Viktualienmarkt had the "Japanese" restaurant Emiko for a few years. We were not convinced by the sushi there, but Munich's high society was. 

Great location, at times even a Japanese bartender as he is in the book, but ultimately just not a Japanese restaurant, but one of the typical for Munich "Style & Location" restaurants with sharing concept, etc.. 

Some critics have classified Emiko as "one of the best Japanese restaurants far and wide" - but that's unfortunately the way it is when well-known restaurateurs open a high-class location in Munich. It doesn't take real Japanese taste, just a little glitz and glamour.

Daitokai Kurfürstenstraße Munich

Long closed the teppanyaki restaurant Daitokai in the Kurfürstenstraße, we already published an article about it a few years ago. Many Japanese chefs who are and were active in Munich have emerged from the Daitokai.

Restaurant Nomiya in Haidhausen

Nomiya in Haidhausen was not a sushi restaurant, but a Bavarian-Japanese crossover with grilled skewers and some sushi on the side. The sushi could not be described as such, the atmosphere was good, the place was always full and the Unertl wheat beer was still a real rarity back then.
Had to give up circa the Corona pandemic. 

Somewhere in the press we read about supposed successors or heirs to the Nomiya concept that had opened in the Glockenbachviertel, but if we may quote a connoisseur of the Japanese scene in Munich: "Complete impudence to call the restaurant what has no connection at all with Nomiya and offers completely different style as some kind of successor of Nomiya!".

Restaurant Mifune in Munich-Bogenhausen

In no way should it go unmentioned that, to our knowledge, the first Japanese restaurant in Germany once resided in Munich Bogenhausen. 

If we are not mistaken the Mifune opened there in the early 1970s (?), at least SUSHIYA founder Alexander Reinelt was there in the 1980s for his 16th birthday with his parents and fascinated by the completely different tastes, indeed the different feelings (today one would perhaps say "gustatory perceptions"), which triggered some food on the tongue and in the mouth. 

At that time, Japanese cuisine was still something completely unusual in Germany and the Germans were not familiar with the taste of many ingredients, as they are today in part. According to the memory of a customer, there was also a room with tatami where you could put your feet under the table and an excellent sukiyaki.

Mifune eventually became "Enshu" (run by the Shoya Group), which then disappeared without a sound at some point, presumably when the gigantic wave of sushi assembly line eateries destroyed any perception in Munich of what Japanese cuisine actually is and what sushi should actually taste like. 

The premises are no longer used as a restaurant today. Rumor has it that Henssler's Go delivery service, which we do not recommend in Munich, wanted to set up a restaurant there.

What Japanese restaurants do you remember?

Are there any special Japanese restaurants you remember or details we didn't mention here?

We love Japanese cuisine and we are passionate about it - contact You us, maybe we can incorporate a memory from you!