Ichiban Sushi 一品壽司

May 13, 2012
When I saw Ichiban Sushi next to a shabby-looking London Drugs in an equally shabby-looking strip mall, I thought it would be another Chinese-operated wannabe sushi restaurant. And I am definitely not trying to be racist here (I'm Chinese myself); I've just had a lot of bad experiences in Chinese-operated sushi restaurants.

Again it was a deal voucher that brought me here. The $15 voucher promised 10 pieces of sashimi, 2 special rolls and 2 miso soups. We had 2 vouchers, so we were a bit worried that we wouldn't be able to finish it all. I was quite impressed with the service from the start. It was by no means spectacular, but we were seated promptly and given complimentary hot tea (after the server asked us whether we wanted tea or water). Upon presenting our vouchers, steaming bowls of miso soup were immediately brought to our table.

We were particularly intimidated when we realized we'd have to eat 20 pieces of sashimi. But we really needn't have worried because the portions were not that big. The seafood was surprisingly fresh, and the scallops and shrimps were particularly sweet and juicy.

Our 4 special rolls were as follows:

1) tsunami roll
I wasn't particularly excited about this because it was just a California roll topped with fish and tempura bits, but this turned out to be my favourite! I loved the spicy salmon and tuna combined with crunchy tobiko and savoury unagi sauce.

2) orchard roll
This fruity combination of papaya and mango was delicious. With avocado, cucumber, red pepper and sesame seeds, this roll definitely helped with our daily fruit and veggie intake requirement.

3) fireworks roll
So why was this named the fireworks roll? Because it was topped with torched salmon and tuna of course. There was a nice charred flavour which I liked. The chopped scallops and spicy sauce were very tasty as well.

4) pacific roll
This was by far the plainest roll because of the flavourless soy paper wrap, but the addition of coconut shreds was quite unique. The rest of the ingredients were relatively bland, so I wouldn't really recommend this unless you enjoy very mild tastes.

The regular price for these rolls is around $8-$9 which is not bad at all. I actually think the quality is comparable to Shota Sushi, but this place is much cheaper. If only I lived closer, I would come here all the time.

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