We had heard of Ichiro Japanese restaurant from our friend, who highly recommended it. It took us a few hurdles to finally be able to visit it. The first time, we tried on a Monday. We arrived to realize that it’s closed on Mondays. The next time, intelligent us decided to go on a Saturday. Not unexpectedly, it was packed. Finally, we smartened up and made reservations, and here we are!
Their reservation system is one of the best we’ve encountered. Meaning, we waited less than 5 minutes to get our table.
They have a daily special board. Even if you don’t notice it, the waitress will come around explaining everything to you. We ordered two things from the daily menu: Iwashi (Sardine) Sashimi and Big Amaebi (Sweet Prawn) Sashimi. From their regular menu we ordered a Steveston Roll, Tuna Yamakake (mountain yam), and Nabeyaki Udon.
The Iwashi sashimi was DELICIOUS, to say the least. It was beautifully plated and fresh. The fish was indeed bony, as first decribed by our waitress, but the bones were soft and pliable, easy chewed and swallowed. It was a fishier fish but not in the bad fish-market-smell way. I guess the best way I can describe it would be that you are certain you are eating fish, but the scent is in no way offensive. It was really good either with soya sauce (really brings out the flavor), or with the provided grated ginger and green onions. This cost $8.95.
A note about sardine sashimi. This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen it offered in a japanese restaurant. It certainly isn’t offered everywhere all the time. A few days later I took a walk with my mom at Steveston Pier where fishing boats dock and sell fish. I noticed there were boats now selling fresh sardines. I am guessing that maybe that’s the new fish being offered/available lately? Anyways you’ve got to try it.
Big Amaebi Sashimi was just the way I liked ‘em…”gooey” and sweet, and BIG. The price-tag for these were BIG too…a whopping $18.00 for 6 prawns. However I felt like splurging and spoiling myself tonight so I ordered it. The Boyfriend didn’t appreciate them as I did so I ate most of it.
What he DID enjoy though, were these deep-fried prawn heads that came with our order, but only if we were “adventurous”, said the waitress. These were really yummy, and just goes to show that ANYTHING can be delicious once deep-fried. The Boyfriend indeed enjoyed these very much. They came with salt and pepper for dipping.
The Steveston Roll had salmon, scallop and amaebi in it (can you tell I LOVE amaebi?). It was beautifully displayed. The green tobiko on top were actually wasabi flavored! I thought these were so-so, couldn’t really taste the individual flavors of the ingredients. The Boyfriend, being less picky than me, thoroughly enjoyed these, which cost $8.95.
Tuna Yamakake is not for those who don’t know what nagaimo is like. Me, being a med lab personnel, is used to gooey, slimy, sticky consistencies, which is what yamakake is like. I really like this though, because it is so unique. It’s hard to find yamakake anywhere else. The Boyfriend found this bland, which means more for me! This was $6.95.
Lastly we also ordered the Nabeyaki Udon. I forgot to take a picture of it though. The udon is one of the nicest consistencies ever. It was just the right amount of chewiness. It was not like any other udon served at other restaurants. The only other one like it is Guu on Robson. The broth was lovely also, and the noodles thoroughly absorbed it. It was a nice ending to our very satisfying dinner.