The very first thing we learn to associate with things Japanese are the tell-tale décor of bamboo, the soft ambient lighting, and the unique minimalist seating arrangements—and Ichi, at Banani Road 11, does not disappoint.
The diner aspect applies to Japanese cuisine just as it does around most of the world; food for the masses but do not let that put you off as that simply means there is something for just about everyone.
The very first step into the restaurant premises will show the type of place you have come to; welcoming, peaceful and cosy. Comfortable seating, with cushions on the ground level, low flat tables, and ample leg space under the table, it sets the mood for some relaxing dining with friends and family.
Fresh warm wet towels greet you at your table to help ease away the stress and fatigue, a Japanese eatery custom, and a quick and approachable wait staff sees to your immediate needs.
The menu offered is comprehensive, with items consisting of eggs, chicken, beef and all sorts of fish and shellfish, with braising, boiling, frying and steamed preparations of various kinds.
The dining experience is kicked off with a mushroom cutlet which was crispy on the outside, and velvet soft on the inside. It served as a good appetiser.
The Nigiri Moriawase sushi platter includes variations like tuna, scallop, prawn, egg and salmon, and these are available in single flavour platters as well—allowing you to experiment freely or enjoy variety. Sushi and sashimi items range between Tk 480 to Tk 780 per serving.
The Yakitori Moriawase, a light platter of skewered chicken pieces, offers variety in the cuts of the grilled meat, and serves as good finger food. It is available for Tk 680.
The rice and noodle bowls provide more than ample servings of wholesome and filling fare for individual consumption and some more, and come in various flavours including miso and chicken. The fried king prawn and squid were quite delicious as well.
Even the Japanese cuisine newbie dish, aka Teriyaki, is available here and they are quite delightful. For an unusual taste combo, try yours with a bit of wasabi and soy sauce.
For those who are slightly more familiar with Japanese cuisine, however, are in for a surprise as they also have certain staple dishes such as Katsudon and many flavours of Ramen, including the very popular Miso Ramen, both of which are wonderful and have managed to stay faithful to their roots.
They also have a unique dish of their own, made by frying spaghetti until they are crunchy and then served as munchies while you wait for the starters and appetisers to arrive. These also serve well as after-meal bits, as the conversation flows.
There are so many options in their menu, that it is mostly impossible to try them all in one go, but if these few items are anything to go by, expect all of them to be amazing, giving you a great incentive to make Ichi a regular destination.
By Sania Aiman
Photo: Intisab Shahriyar