Situated essentially opposite the Royal Botannical Gardens is a little gem – Ichi Ichi Ku – a Japanese restaurant, serving up super fresh sushi… on brown rice.. and unique dishes that we really enjoyed.  It’s open continuously from 7 am until 11 pm, 7 days a week, and whilst we were there, there was definitely a steady stream of customers – a lot of them regulars – even during off peak times.  Although pricey, the food was delicious and the ambience was kind of cool – with its interesting lighting and penchant for paper mache…

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Ebi mayo – deep fried tiger prawns in spicy Japanese mayo ($12)ichi ichi ku 1280-1This was delicious and exactly what I had hoped for – it was perfectly cooked with lots of crunch and a creamy sauce with a kick.

Spanner crab roll – Spanner crab, spicy tuna, mozzarella and avocado wrapped in rice paper & flash-fried (5 pieces) ($20)ichi ichi ku 1280-5I must admit that I was expecting a lot more from this dish.  Although quite nice, the crab seemed a little absent as it was completely overwhelmed by the other components.

‘Famous’ Ichi Ni roll – inside out roll with lobster, avocado, cucumber and rice topped with flamed salmon and Japanese mayo (8 pieces) ($25)ichi ichi ku 1280-6

ichi ichi ku 1280-7Sooooo incredible.  This sushi TOTALLY changed my opinion of brown rice.  The rice was lovely and warm, not to mention plump, and pillow-y soft, and the lobster teamed with the flamed salmon was a match made in Heaven.

Kingfish & pink shiso rice hako sushi – seared kingfish block pressed slice seasoned with shiso powder, lemon juice and salt (8 pieces) ($20)ichi ichi ku 1280-8

ichi ichi ku 1280-9Quite lovely with a super-charged citrus zing to it.

From their Specials Menu Truffled yaki unagi – grilled eel served on simmered daikon with truffle scented teriyaki sauce and sweet potato chips ($15)ichi ichi ku 1280-2I love unagi & I love truffles so this dish was a win-win for me.  Yum.

From their Specials Menu Buta Maki – deep fried pork and prawn maki roll with 3 flavoured mayo, chilli oil and unagi sauce (6 pieces) ($13)ichi ichi ku 1280-3

ichi ichi ku 1280-4This was the best dish, albeit very close – in my mental line up – to the lobster sushi roll.  It was so darn tasty and deep frying the actual roll was a stroke of genius because it added an extra level of complexity (& crunch!), really allowing the tender prawn and pork flavours within the nori to sing.  Brilliant.  Definitely a dish worth visiting for.

Having had such a great time, we decided to stay for dessert.

Matcha latte ($9)ichi ichi ku 1280-14

ichi ichi ku 1280-15This looked mighty fine and it tasted good as well.

Matcha iced tea ($9) ichi ichi ku 1280-16This was nothing special and wasn’t really mixed up that well..

Matcha tiramisu – espresso soaked biscuit and green tea infused cream ($9.50) ichi ichi ku 1280-11Wow.. the day we tried this, it was, unfortunately, much too sour for our liking.

Black sesame cheesecake – black sesame cheesecake served with sweet red bean paste ($9.50)ichi ichi ku 1280-10Creamy, not too sediment-y as black sesame desserts often are, and not too sweet.  Absolutely delicious.

Chocolate harumaki – 2 chocolate spring rolls served with vanilla icecream, salted caramel and roasted almonds ($12)ichi ichi ku 1280-12

ichi ichi ku 1280-13These were actually really good.  The accompanying ice cream was really good as well!

All in all, a fabulous experience at an izakaya in a prime location.  After eating so much, I kind of felt like I should walk around the ‘Tan a couple of times – but alas – I was wearing heels!

119 Park Street
South Yarra  VIC  3141
03 9820 9119

Ichi Ichi Ku on Urbanspoon

2 Responses

  1. leaf (the indolent cook)

    I’ve been thinking about taking some interstate friends here when they visit next week. Thanks for the post, it looks like it might be a bit pricey, but also a delicious experience, so it’ll stay in my shortlist!

    • Elaine

      Good idea. There are way too many dining options, aren’t there? We’re so lucky to be living in Melbourne ☺️. Hope you have a great weekend & a whole tonne of fun with your friends next week..!


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