Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Izakaya Ichiban, Hartamas Shopping Centre

For some of you, seeing another japanese food post is like, "What?? Isn't this supposed to be a Malaysian food blog??" Perhaps you're right. And perhaps you're wrong. Just like how the British claimed curry (or balti) as their national food, I'm hereby claiming Japanese food as my staple meal. The advent of Japanese food in Malaysia has created a cult following, and of late Korean food has enjoyed the same celebrity status. I am certainly not advocating that Japanese food replace Malaysian food, but I do welcome it as an additional item to our already diversified local cuisine. The cross-marrying of the various cultures in the early days have given us wonderful dishes. Why stop?

And so, with the assistance of my ever helpful Japanese Food Kawan Association (JFKA), particularly our Secretary, Boo_licious, I was introduced to Izakaya Ichiban, a restaurant that had been open for approximately a month. I was accompanied by the bubbly Precious Pea whom I was interviewing that night for the post of Public Relations Officer for the Association. I had nothing to worry about. She passed with flying colours in two areas: 1. Her ability to eat more Japanese food as compared to the President, and 2. Her ability to charm the pants of anybody in a 10 foot vicinity.

salmon belly sashimi shishamo
kaki mayo yaki salmon belly sashimi

What I like about the food is the price. More importantly, the quality of the food at that price was unbelievable. Take for instance the Kaki Mayo Yaki, essentially grilled oysters with spicy mayonnaise sauce and sauteed mushrooms at RM15. Three pieces of juicy oysters served on a bed of mushrooms with an unbelievably tasty sauce that made us sigh with happiness. And the salmon belly sashimi, fresh and smooth on the palate, at RM28 was worth every cent paid. The shishamo (grilled capelin fish) is what I like to call a petrified fish. With the mouth wide open as if to yell "Help!", and eyes as though they had seen hell, the shishamo can be quite scary to look at if you're the type to appreciate a good horror movie. The Attack of the Shishamo. Okay, I know that's corny. At RM11, it is the same price of a movie ticket in Malaysia but the taste may be more memorable than half the movies made in Hollywood these days. The shishamo is eaten whole with the egg sacs intact. Now that can be quite a sight as well for the horror movie enthusiast. Imagine the head tilted back as the slim fish is slowly lowered into the mouth and disappears down the throat.

wagyu beef don una-cheese maki
hawaiian maki

We thoroughly enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Don (RM28). The beef was tender and had a lovely sweet flavour provided by the marinade and the sauce. The Una-Cheese Maki (RM20), a rice roll filled with eel and topped with cheese, was nice but not outstanding. Sadly, the cheese slices looked like something one could purchase at a supermarket, individually wrapped! The Hawaiian Maki (RM18) came highly recommended. This was a salmon roll made with honeydew and apple mayo sauce. However, I found it rather tasteless; I was unable to taste the salmon and I felt that the flavours didn't blend very well.

I would definitely like to come back to try Izakaya Ichiban's lunch menu priced between RM18++ and RM33++. The ambience allows for a certain amount of privacy with private booths accommodating 4 people comfortably. Service is also attentive.

Izakaya Ichiban (2 doors away from Starbucks)
Lot P-3M, Plaza Ground Floor,
Hartamas Shopping Centre,
60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-6201 5905


Argus Lou said...

Your photography is making me reach into my laptop screen like a loon, Lyrical. Ooo... good thing I had great sushi too at Kaiten Sushi Bar in Lucerne on Friday - their 'conveyor belt' was actually a blue-water moat filled with cute boats each containing two plates of yummy sushi.

(Hey, am I first here?! ;-))

Anonymous said...

They look so good! I love the photo of small fish! They've got their mouth open as if to scream 'No... don't eat me... please!'. :)

Unknown said...

everything look yummy licious n most important facts of all - cheap cheap cheap..haha

Precious Pea said...


Gosh, I passed?? Wow! We must go for another round of Jap to celebrate! Love the wagyu don, promised Hubby to bring him there one day...of course, NO SHARING POLICY (learnt from Ms President)! ;)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

aiyoh i am also near the vicinity..when is it my interview?? i had a chat to the lady that day when i was @ starbucks doing my assignment..if my poor memory serves me correct..their sashimi comes in 2-3 times a week..but i remembered friday was one of the pls make my interview on friday ar..kekeke..or was it thursday..crap..did u ask?

backStreetGluttons said...

u have been most wicked naughty of late by sensualising post war Japanese geishaic unacceptably overtantalised influences together with multiple bombs into now and previously pseudo halal Malaysia for that we summon u vide royal command mail

Anonymous said...

Can get the "healthy" feeling from these few posts lately... LOL

teckiee said...

the place sounds like a sushi restaurant in the Harry Porter book! The food looks good.

k.t.x said...

now that you hv declared to the world of yr staple, i wonder it is gonna be daily. if so, i can easily make u my dining companion AS AND WHEN my occasional moood swings into a shogun mode.

still looking for the right candidate whose staple is french and another one, italian and another one australian.....

if precious pea can be a PRO, i can b a m as good.

Anonymous said...

I love Japanese food because it is like a piece of edible art. Very pleasing to the eye...

Anonymous said...

You know what does the 4th pix (bottom right in the 1st collage) look like? Goldfish!!! The salmon twirled like a goldfish and the roes are the poppin' goldfish eyes! :p

Beans said...

I second Japanese food as a diet staple. Can't live without it.

Srivalli said...

wonderful and very have a nice blog here...


Anonymous said...

aiyor president, u had japanese food too! But looks better n fresher than my buffet.

MeiyeN said...

cool, another option besides rakuzen! :D and da una-cheese maki looks so yummy!!!!!!!!! god... am salivating!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


The conveyor belt bluewater moat at Kaiten Sushi Bar sounds beautiful. Did you take any photographs. Yeah, it's amazing what a simple point & shoot camera can do. Glad you liked the photos.

And hey, you're the first...woohoo....bring out the champagne, we're gonna celebrate, girl!! :-)


hahaha. yeah, it isn't hard to guess what was going on in the minds of those poor fishies.


hahaha. you're starting to sound like xiu long bao!!

precious sista:

We had a fun night out! Sorry I ordered too much. Ok time I'll share the wagyu beef don with you. heehee.


You get the day right first, then we'll conduct the interview, k. :-P Alternatively, we go both days lor. hahaha.

team bsg:

thanks for the invite guys, but next time, can gimme 2 weeks notice ar? Also, can infuse some japanese into the menu ar?


healthy mah! no meh? we share share everything...except for the wagyu beef don. haha.


does it? i haven't finished reading it yet. Yeah, the food's good.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


good luck in your search for the french, italian and australian. I am sure there are many enthusiasts out there who will satisfy your needs.

lee ping:

you're right, the japanese strive to make everything look so pretty. Sometimes, I wish I could be half as good as they are.


hey, i created that goldfish. :-D Got hope as a food stylist or not? LOL.

bee nee:

^5! Welcome to the club!!


thanks! glad you like it. :-) Shall be hopping over to your blog soon. :-)

xiu long bao:

I guess freshly prepared food always beats buffets anytime. Keep up the good work, O lifelong member!


Rakuzen is always so busy. This is definitely a good alternative.

boo_licious said...

Ah, my current fav place at the moment. I so heart that Wagyu Beef Don, so good when I tasted a bit from Splashie Boy's portion.

Argus Lou said...

Ah, I forgot to bring a camera - I could've kicked myself but then I'd have fallen off the high chair.
The ambience was lovely, nice finishing touches and subtle lighting. Apparently, most successful restaurants in Switzerland must have pretty good ambience.

you can see it (but small and not as nice as being there) at

wmw said...

Wonderful pics! I want the wagyu don. THAT I eat....

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


Cool! We go there together one day, k!


I checked out the link. Nice looking place. Good website seems to give a lot of info on the various types of foods served there. I guess most successful restaurants have to have good ambience/lighting/etc to be able to charge astronomical prices for their food!


hehe! finally...almost converted!! ;-)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha ok lar..two days sounds good..which week lets decide?

Anonymous said...

Those fishes look like they die a very terrible death! :(

God of Food's said...

the salmon look so yummy....

Lyrical Lemongrass said...


I have the second week of August available. Faster faster grab it before it's taken up by someone else.


Awwww. Now I feel bad for enjoying them. :-P

god of food's:

the salmon was good. :-) you should try this restaurant some time.

Anonymous said...

Yummy..!! it is cheap..!! i would love to go there.. when i come home.. ;)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Mama bok, yes, do try this place when you get the chance. Will you be coming home soon then?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

haha 2nd week of august sounds very good at the moment..lunch or dinner? which days?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Nipples, dinner will be easier for me, although lunch is cheaper. Hmmmmmm. Will discuss with you when the time comes closer, k. :-) Let's call a few more to join us.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, they increased the price of their menu,eg the grilled oyster from RM 15 to RM 19, now i think is more expensive. but i still love their food.