Ichiban Boshi

October 12, 2013 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Ichiban Boshi
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#B1-07 Great World City

238 Thomson Road
#02-13 Novena Square

80 Marine Parade Road
#02-12 Parkway Parade

176 Orchard Road
#01-49 The Centrepoint

8A Marina Boulevard
#B2-14 Marina Bay Link Mall

23 Serangoon Central
#B1-04 NEX

391A Orchard Road
#02-13 Ngee Ann City

1 Woodlands Square
#05-06 Causeway Point

1 Harbour Front Walk
#B2-07 VivoCity

50 Jurong Gateway Road
#B1-01 JEM

3 Temasek Boulevard
#B1-111 Suntec City


http://www.ichibanboshi.com.sg/


Fresh Ingredients Star In Simply Prepared Dishes

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $32 per person.


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Ichiban Boshi is a Japanese concept restaurant, no 2 outlets are similar in menu, ambience, and service. What is similar across the board for Ichiban Boshi restaurants is their commitment to use the freshest ingredients, simplicity in preparation and presentation, and reasonably priced and affordable Japanese cuisine.

Ambience is part of the concept of Ichiban Boshi, and revolves around transporting the diner to a locale in Japan. Decor and furniture could range from simple, to modern contemporary, to traditional. All Ichiban Boshi outlets feature a conveyor sushi belt as the center showpiece, behind which the various chefs go about their work. Part of their appeal is also the takeaway Sushi counter, prominently displayed outside Ichiban Boshi outlets, which are colourful and attractive.

Service at most Ichiban Boshi outlets are fast and efficient, though consistency of staff alertness and initiative differ greatly. Junior staff may sometimes struggle with menu knowledge, while experienced staff are very well versed in it. Staff are also trained to check on how your meal is going, and ask for feedback.

Food at Ichiban Boshi focuses mainly on Japanese sushi, sashimi, seafood, hot pots, and katsu. Quality and freshness of ingredients across all Ichiban Boshi is very good, and prices are reasonable for the high quality. Dishes are mostly tasty and flavourful, with the natural taste of ingredients as a highlight. Takeaways also tend to hold up well for 1 - 2 hours, though sushi is best consumed as soon as possible. Each Ichiban Boshi outlet also has a particular speciality, which means ordering the same items elsewhere gets you a lower quality, but still passable dish. Highly recommended to order the outlet's speciality, and skip those items that aren't.


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Hot Green Tea and Wasabi And Soy Sauce, the basic components of any Japanese meal.

Wasabi And Soy Sauce


Green Tea



The Chasoba With Inari Bean Skin features green tea infused soba noodles. The sweet bean skin lends a burst of flavour to the overall dish.

Chasoba With Inari Bean Skin



Hands down the most terrible dish here, the Chawanmushi is lacking in taste and presentation appeal. Highly recommended to avoid this.

Chawanmushi



In contrast, the Chawanmushi Unagi has a unique taste. The top layer of egg has absorbed the taste of the teriyaki sauce and the fragrance of the eel meat. Below, the egg is wobbly and soft, and there is a piece of ginko nut and a chunk of chicken and crabstick within. Pretty decent.

Chawanmushi Unagi 01


Chawanmushi Unagi 02



The Chicken Katsu is meaty and juicy, with crisp battered skin. Well fried, but the skin is too thick and fatty for my liking, fortunately it's easy to remove.

Chicken Katsu



While it's a good attempt at creativity, the Deep Impact - Seasoned Baby Octopus, Scallop, Tempura Flakes, Rice, is only somewhat average. Consisting mostly of tempura flakes in a rice roll, topped with a little dollap of either scallop or octopus to enhance the flavour, it tries to be too many things at once to be satisfying. Skip this.

Deep Impact - Seasoned Baby Octopus, Scallop, Tempura Flakes, Rice


Deep Impact - Seasoned Baby Octopus, Scallop, Tempura Flakes, Rice



The Salmon Avocado - Salmon, Tuna Mayo, Avocado, Asparagus, Rice, Spring Onion, Flying Fish Roe is a burst of briny flavour, thanks to the use of flying fish roe and the fresh salmon. However, I couldn't taste the asparagus within, it was masked by the rest of the ingredients. But still, pretty good!

Salmon Avocado - Salmon, Tuna Mayo, Avocado, Asparagus, Rice, Spring Onion, Flying Fish Roe


Salmon Avocado - Salmon, Tuna Mayo, Avocado, Asparagus, Rice, Spring Onion, Flying Fish Roe



Simple and uncomplicated, the Unagi Sandwich - BBQ Eel, Egg, Seaweed is a delight to eat, as what you see is what you taste.

Unagi Sandwich - BBQ Eel, Egg, Seaweed


Unagi Sandwich - BBQ Eel, Egg, Seaweed



The Hand Roll Smoked Duck features smoky, savoury sliced duck, wrapped in a thin egg crepe with lettuce, rice and given a spicy kick with red chili. I love this!

Hand Roll Smoked Duck



The Salmon Tataki in house special sauce is lovely, with half grilled salmon slices in a sweet, salty, savoury soy sauce. The salmon has an interesting contrast of textures from being seared quickly on 1 side, rather than being totally raw, or totally cooked.

Salmon Tataki


Salmon Tataki



There is a wide variety of Sushi here, all made fresh daily. Extremely popular in their takeaway counters, and at closing times, when all remaining Sushi is sold at discounted prices.

Sushi Crab Stick Mayo


Sushi Crab Stick Slice


Sushi Abalone Seasoned


Sushi Corn Mayo


Sushi Duck Slice


Sushi Eel Slice


Sushi Egg Mayo


Sushi Egg Slice


Sushi Octopus Seasoned


Sushi Octopus Slice


Sushi Potato Salad Mayo


Sushi Prawn Mayo


Sushi Prawn Slice


Sushi Salmon Mayo


Sushi Salmon Slice


Sushi Scallop Seasoned


Sushi Scallop Slice


Sushi Squid Slice


Sushi Sweet Tofu Skin


Sushi Swordfish Slice


Sushi Tuna Mayo


Sushi Tuna Slice


Sushi Jellyfish Seasoned


Sushi Lobster Mayo


Sushi Bacon



The Agedashi Tofu was very prepared, and the skin is fried properly without compromising the silken tofu within. The Cold Tofu is livened with sauce and is silky smooth as well, sliding down the throat easily.

Agedashi Tofu


Cold Tofu



The Cod In Special Soy Sauce picks up the salty, savouriness of the sauce, though it can be slightly overwhelming towards the end. Similarly, the Dory Fish In Ginger Sauce is strongly flavoured by the sauce, which pairs well with rice.

Cod In Special Soy Sauce


Dory Fish In Ginger Sauce



Loved the crispy deep fried Soft Shell Crab, which was just delightful, and not overly dripping with oil.

Soft Shell Crab



The Sake Otokoyama is rather dry, but has a slight refreshing finish.

Sake Otokoyama



I liked that the Ebi Tempura uses fresh shrimp / prawns, and is not over fried, still juicy and meaty!

Ebi Tempura



This was one of the worst tonkatsu I've eaten, dry and utterly lacking in flavour. What makes me more angry is the mistreatment of this premium Kurobuta cut. Despicable.

Kurobuta Hire Katsu



I loved the Enoki Hoiru Mushiyaki, with its savoury, tasty mushroom broth and trio of softly stewed shiitake, straw and golden enoki mushrooms in butter. Good enough to eat on its own!

Enoki Hoiru Mushiyaki



A unique fusion dish, combining Zi Char style of cereal chicken with Japanese karaage, the Cereal Tori Karaage is the best of both worlds. Meaty yet juicy, crisp yet tender, this is a sure winner.

Cereal Tori Karaage



More interesting than tasty, the Potato Salad Inari is good, but not outstanding. Clean flavours, with a slight sweetness from the sweetened bean skin, creamy and filling.

Potato Salad Inari



I loved the Kurobuta Shogayaki! Thin slices of tender, soft yet fragrant premium Japanese black pig / kurobuta is marinated and served in a savoury, salty soy ginger sauce. The texture of the meat is really excellent, and I couldn't stop eating it! Highly recommended!

Kurobuta Shogayaki



I thought the Asari To Kinoko Toji Katsu, or Kyoto style double fried pork tenderloin with Japanese clams and assorted mushrooms (enoki / golden and shimeiji) in a warm ginger sauce wasn't that great. While the pork was thick, yet tender, flavourful, and easy to chew, the clams weren't fresh, exuding a unpleasant seafood smell, and the ginger sauce wasn't warm enough. Skip this.

Asari To Kinoko Toji Katsu



The Kurobuta Asparagus Roll Katsu was among the worst dishes I've had here. The pork is dry, deep fried till all flavour is gone, and the asparagus has gone limp, losing all its signature crunch. Absolutely terrible, don't waste money on this.

Kurobuta Asparagus Roll Katsu



The Tai Chazuke is a rather novel dish, uncommon in Japanese restaurants in Singapore, and only available here for a limited time. Fresh, thick slices of marinated Japanese sea bream fish, briny salty globes of salmon roe, strips of seaweed, and spring onions are served on a bed of sticky Japanese rice, along with pickles and a pot of sea bream fish and dashi seaweed broth. Pour the fragrant, floral broth into the bowl, till it resembles a porridge, before consuming. The combination of flavour, from the salty to sweet, along with the engaging experience, make this a memorable dish. Pity that they only serve 6 slices of fish though, it could have used more ingredients.

Tai Chazuke 01


Tai Chazuke 02


Tai Chazuke 03



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Update Apr-2016: About 3 years on, and Ichiban Boshi is still doing well. In fact, they've expanded to have even more outlets, and the overall ambience, service, and food at each outlet has also improved. This however, also means that prices have naturally gone up, and Ichiban Boshi is really more a upper mid-range restaurant / lower-end Japanese fine dining establishment now.

The Chawanmushi Unagi (SGD $6.90) features soft, wobbly, steamed egg custard, topped with savoury unagi / teriyaki grilled eel. A little too much gravy though, as the stronger savoury flavours overwhelm the light sweetness of the egg. I seem to recall this being much more tasty previously.

Chawanmushi Unagi (SGD $6.90)



Loved the warm, comforting flavours of the Enoki Hoiru Mushiyaki (SGD $9.90), with its earthy, fragrant broth, and tender stalks of straw, shiitake, and enoki golden mushrooms. The menu description says this has butter within, but I couldn't detect it.

Enoki Hoiru Mushiyaki (SGD $9.90)



The Salmon Tataki (SGD $8.50) was a little overdone when served, being more cooked pink, instead of raw pink. Decent in taste, but I expected better.

Salmon Tataki (SGD $8.50)



The Kyoto style Hire Katsu (SGD $13.90) is a double fried breaded pork tenderloin, which is so much better than when I first ate it! The meat is tender yet moist and savoury, the breading is crisp and crunches softly, yet is still light. Succulent, but not oily. Completely delicious, I loved every bite of it! Highly recommended!

Hire Katsu (SGD $13.90)


Hire Katsu


Hire Katsu


Hire Katsu Salad & Sauces



What stood out in the Gyoza Teppan (SGD $6.90) was not the meaty, tightly packed pork dumplings in a crisp dumpling skin. Rather, it was the savoury sweet, caramelised gravy on the base of the hot plate, which was super tasty!

Gyoza Teppan (SGD $6.90)



The Vegetable Roll (SGD $2.40) is a fresh, healthy, earthy sushi rice roll, stuffed with carrots, asparagus, avocado, cucumbers, baby corn, and mayonnaise, coated in seaweed flakes and sesame seeds. Good!

Vegetable Roll (SGD $2.40)



The Kaminabe Beef (SGD $15.90) is a hearty, bubbling hot pot, served with a light yet flavourful dashi soup stock. Vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, enoki golden mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and soft silken tofu round out the hot pot, while thinly sliced strips of raw beef are served on the side. Swish the meat in the soup / broth for it to cook, pair it with vegetables, and enjoy!

Kaminabe Beef (SGD $15.90)


Kaminabe Beef


Kaminabe Beef



The Toro Toro Unagi Set (SGD $28.90) was decent. Features a medium size fillet of Toro Toro Unagi, a tender grilled eel, smoky and savoury sweet, though I wish they used a heavier teriyaki sauce. Accompanied with a light Mini Kitsune Cha Soba of silky green tea infused buckwheat noodles topped with a tender slice of sweet beancurd skin in a warm seaweed / dashi broth; an eggy Mini Chawanmushi with shiitake mushrooms, chicken, and crab meat stick that has a soft, wobbly, comforting texture; a creamy Sweet Potato & Corn Salad that has beautifully floral sweet flavours of tender sweet potato and crunchy corn kernels; and fresh juicy sweet slices of watermelon.

Toro Toro Unagi Set (SGD $28.90)


Toro Toro Unagi


Mini Kitsune Cha Soba


Mini Chawanmushi


Sweet Potato & Corn Salad






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