Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, Go

There is nothing better in life then to enjoy a relaxing Summers afternoon eating fresh japanese and cocktails.

Dining the afternoon away at Ichi Ni in St Kilda on the esplanade, overlooking the bay was the perfect way to unwind and relax. As a repetitive customer I have to boast about this restaurant, it never fails in it's service, atmosphere or food. Every time we have dinned there we have walked away with smiles and full stomachs.

A royal interior of  black and red with Japanese prints on the window and in there light shades, wooded tables and an amazing decking for those hot summer days, you can only embrace what St Kilda has to offer over a cocktail.

Paul and I dined and started with 'Kimpira' - burdock with soy, sesame and chilli, something which we have not had before and was amazed on the excellence of the dish. As we were unsure on what it was it only seemed to entice us more to order. Burdock it from the thistle family, and when taken from the taproot of a young thistle it is used as a root vegetable. To accompany this we also started with the succulent Ebi Mayo, Tempura prawns with an amazing japanese mayo. The Ebi Mayo is truly our highlight every time and by looking at the surrounding tables, I think it's the hit of the day. If you don't like prawns then it's sad that you are missing out, but if you are a seafood lover - you will have gone to heaven and back for this dish.

Some Gyoza (dumplings) and some fresh hand rolls were shortly followed. Delicate Japanese dumplings slightly pan fried and accompanies with a sauce, are always a light addition to any meal whether you are doing tapas style or having it as your starter.

Freshly made Calafornia rolls of prawn, cucumber, avocado, japanese mayo rolled together and finished with flying fish roe or perhaps some Ebi mayo rolls which have tempura prawns, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, japanese mayo and hot english mustered. These were not only just eye catching but utterly delicious as well. You can but sushi from any sushi parlour but they are nothing to compare to that here at Ichi Ni.

A couple more tasters to complete our meal were a couple of skewers of Fried tofu and some grilled eggplant with cheese. Although not as eye catching as there hand rolls they were still tasty and something different which we had not had before.

Now I know your asking, what about the cocktails. Well let me by saying they make there own ginger beer, not only as a mocktail but also an alcoholic version. This was Paul's poison for the day, and after a quick sip myself could only but picture myself sitting with my feet up and having a few of these myself. With a slight kick of fresh chilli and plenty of fresh ginger and a sprig of fresh mint, this bevie is to be enjoyed by all.

I myself was tempted by the Red Fuji cocktail. Although unable to tell you what the ingredients were it was still a refreshing vibrant drink. The interesting thing about Ichi Ni's Cocktail list is that each drink tells a story and no ingredients. It makes it a choice of chance to see what you get, or you could be a party pooper and ask the waiter. For me it's the opportunity to return and have a new cocktail each time.

So if you have not ventured to Ichi Ni and wish to have some fantastic Japanese one night, especially now during the warm weather, I can only say go there. You will not be left disheartened, and perhaps maybe we will see you there.

Ichi Ni Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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