Friday, 25 March 2011

Japanese Cuisine

Ichiban Restaurant

I have been to this Japanese restaurant many many times before but it is the first time I am writing about it.

After talking about sushi and Japanese food on several occasions with my work colleagues, we all decided to have an evening out to this Japanese restaurant.

They serve good quality and authentic Japanese food. A bit pricey but I would say value for money food.

We started off with a few different types of nigiri sushi. Nigiri sushi is made of an oblong mound of sushi rice with toppings drapped over it and sometimes held together with Japanese seaweed. The toppings are normally made of raw seafood but sometimes Tamago (sweet egg) is used.

Hotategai Nigiri and Unagi Nigiri

We ordered the Hotategai Nigiri (Scallops) and Unagi Nigiri (Sea eel). The scallops were very fresh and had a very nice texture where it breaks nicely in your mouth as you bite into it. The unagi was nicely grilled in sweat teriyaki sauce which gives a little smoky taste and complements well with the fragrant and sticky sushi rice.

Amaebi Nigiri and Tako Nigiri

We also had the Amaebi Nigiri (Sweet shrimps) and Tako Nigiri (Octopus). The shrimps were very sweet with a nice seafood flavour and the octopus had a chewy texture to it. Very fresh seafood, which is essential as they are served raw.

Okonomi Yaki

Okonomi Yaki - Japanese style Pancake with seafood and vegetables.
This dish is so nice that it tastes 'out of the world'! The 'pancake' was made of flour but with a nice surprise inside as it was filled with crunchy shredded mixed vegetables and sweet small prawns. Then the top was painted with strips of mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce, sprinkled with shredded seaweed, thin sheets of dried mackerel which were still moving when served and red pickled ginger in the middle. Very crunchy pancake with sweet and sour flavours from the mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce. Absolutely delicious!

Slice of pancake

Kaki Furai
Then we had the Kaki Furai - deep fried oysters in breadcrumbs served with brown sauce. The very fresh oysters were deep fried  and as you bite into the very crunchy crust you get the very juicy oysters inside bursting with freshness and a somewhat 'sea-watery' flavour!

Kakiage Don

One of my colleagues had the Kakiage Don - deep fried seafood and vegetable, tempura sauce and egg. What amazed me was mountaineous deep fried seafood piled up on top of the rice! Looked very inviting and my colleague liked the dish.

Ebi Katsu Curry

I had the Ebi Katsu Curry - Deep fried breaded king prawns served with curry sauce. The Japanese curry has a sweeter taste to it compared to Indian curries. It has the sweetness of carrots in it and a hint of spiciness from curry powder. It is not overwhelmingly spicy hot which explains why I liked this curry. The deep fried king prawns were lush as they were very well cooked and fresh and the curry sauce goes just nice with the glutinous Japanese rice.

Overall, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Cardiff although there are not many here. My colleagues enjoyed the food and we will most certainly go again!

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