Onaka, the Japanese restaurant in Nice that is unanimously approved

On the 3rd of February 2023, I published a post on my instagram account love.ly.south_ about the must-try Japanese restaurants in Nice. What followed was a flurry of comments the likes of which I’ve rarely seen on my account lol where everyone was recommending a new Japanese restaurant that had just opened in Nice: Onaka restaurant (Well, I counted and I got 15 comments in total, 8 of which recommended Onaka, that’s saying something!) To be honest, I thought it was a misplaced publicity stunt (I really need to stop being a rigid psycho sometimes krr) so I left this address in a corner of my head until my friend mentioned it again and sold it to me as the restaurant of the century “it’s the best Japanese restaurant in Nice that I’ve tried… blablabla ” … (Dragana, I see you)

In a second, all the comments from my previous post came back in a flash. I’m not saying that I’m an expert in Japanese gastronomy, but having travelled for almost a month in the Land of the Rising Sun in 2019, I was able to try out a range of Japanese restaurants between Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. I didn’t like the ramen, but I fell for the sashimi and nigiri, which left me speechless… During my last stay in London, I was also able to try the incredible Japanese culinary experience at ROKA, so I might as well tell you that when I come back to France, my expectations are high. One of the only Japanese restaurants I go to regularly in Nice is IKKO RAMEN, a ramen restaurant that I find really tasty. I also like Maido and Yuyu Bento, which are in a different style.

As for Onaka restaurant, I took a look at it on Google and recognised its legitimacy: chef Alexis Luong is the 2021 French sushi champion and his partner Alex Couvidat is a certified sake sommelier. Enough to attract a good number of visitors.

It was high time I opened my chakras and set off to discover this famous restaurant that everyone is talking about.

The location

I was surprised to see the restaurant located in a small, well-hidden cul-de-sac in Nice (at 12 Passage Massena, behind the pedestrian zone). For a restaurant that makes so much noise, I found the contrast quite amusing. I don’t know if it’s deliberate, but it reminded me of the little alleyways in Kyoto – all you’d need are Japanese screens and a bicycle and you’d think you were there 😛

Due to a lack of space inside, we kept our reservation outside with khaki and terracotta-coloured plaids, which really helped to warm me up during the meal. But I thought the decor was really neat!

The Onaka menu

The menu is very comprehensive and there’s something for every taste and every wallet: gyozas, tempura, sushi, nigiri, sashimi, bento, lunch menu, dinner menu… It’s so comprehensive that I had a lot of trouble knowing what I was going to order.

In the end, I made quite a combo:

starter: miso soup and chicken gyozas

main courses: katsu chicken supreme and californias with salmon, avocado and cheese

dessert: mochi trio

drink : bombay dessert cocktail

Round-up: I honestly liked everything and it was all very well presented. I particularly liked the katsu chicken, both for its quality taste and its presentation. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this dish. You can taste the fusion and for that alone it’s worth going there. I also loved the california rolls, which melted in my mouth. The quality of the fish is very much in evidence.

One thing’s for sure: I’d go back again, and this time I’d order the plate of moriawase sushi, the prawn tempura and, above all, a Japanese sake.

Finally, the service was top-notch. It really is the detail that makes the difference. They were attentive and very knowledgeable about the dishes on the menu.

Useful information

📍1 2 Passage Masséna, 06000 Nice

📞 09 52 97 26 83

🕐Open Tuesday evenings only from 7pm to 10:30pm – open Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm to 2pm and from 7pm to 10:30pm – open Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 2pm and from 7pm to 10pm

Reservations highly recommended!

🍴 The Menu

About me

Welcome to Love-ly-south!
Ex-Parisienne settled on the French Riviera since 2013. In love with the region, I share with you all my discoveries, my good addresses, my life experiences in Nice and the French Riviera
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