.I love Ichiban's sushi. It's so good I still haven't tried any of the other dishes on the menu, such as their hot noodle dishes, because every time I go I can't resist having sushi, again and again (especially salmon sashimi and tuna nigiri).
The menu isn't cheap, but neither is it particularly expensive as Japanese restaurants go, and I've never had anything that wasn't delicious and fresh - so it's well worth every penny.
The restaurant itself is stylish and comfortable, but more often than not I've just grabbed take away from here on the way home from swimming, too starving to wait to cook anything. Their take away is well-packaged in plastic cartons, with miso soup in small tubs with lids and an elastic band over to avoid spillages. There's a small discount for takeaways, and they're always quick to prepare the food even when the restaurant is busy.
Good sushi, surprising good tuna, a bit fatty. Waiters a bit clueless, everything came out at once and then they didn't return. Spicy noodle udon dish good. Desserts could be better. Serve food insanely quickly.
I really don't like Sushi bars but I do really like other Japanese cuisine and Ichiban's extensive means that I can enjoy the noodles, soups, tempura or amazing teriyaki. A lot of places only seem to do sushi and noodles which is fine is thats what you like but Japanese is so much more than that, its its pretty good for you too.
I love the decor if the restaurant, its very Japanese red and black and comfortable. There are now 2 Ichiban restaurants in Cardiff, both equally as good as each other but on opposite sides of town. They do great lunch time specials and offer a discount for take aways.
I'll be honest: as much as I like food, I'm a little bit of a wuss when it comes to foreign cuisine. Italian is fine; it's all pizza and pasta that's more than alright with me. I'm not so good when it comes to anything East of France. I don't really do spicy, so Indian's out; Chinese is all well and good, but I tend to stick to the same few safe options. As for Japanese... raw fish? I don't even eat cooked fish. Raw fish is just wrong.
I'm not sure who's the unlucky one in the relationship (although I suspect it's probably him) but my boyfriend loves trying new food. I like eating out, but I'm always reluctant to go anywhere too adventurous in case I end up just eating bread sticks.
Ichiban satisfies both of us. He can play with all the weird sushi stuff and I can play it safe with the awesome noodles. And if the day ever comes that I'm feeling dangerous, the menus are pretty clear, and I'll be sure of what I'm getting.
And if it's good enough for Sir Terry Pratchett, it's more than good enough for me.
Best Japanese in the city, hands-down. I could eat here daily and never get sick of it!
Even if you're not a big fan of raw fish, their extensive menu has something for everyone (think noodles, rice and salads).
I have friends who say it's the best sushi they've had outside of Tokyo, and although I've not been there, I can't imagine it being fresher or tastier than this.
Try the salmon sashimi and tuna tetaki - both are prime cuts of fish that literally dissolve in your mouth. Perfect with a cold beer or warm saki!
Ten percent off if you decide to takeaway, and last month saw the launch of their delivery service (to anyone within a three-mile radius, at a charge of £2). Lunch is 20% off the regular price and is served from 12 noon - 2.30 pm.
For what conveyor belt chains charge for sub-par sushi, take your pennies to Ichiban.
You'll be glad you did!
I may have mentioned in my review of Noble House that, in my humble, professional and absolutely correct opinion, they do the third best chow mein in Cardiff. Well, I know it's cheating a little bit as it's not technically chow mein, but who cares? Here is the second best.
I know that technically, chow mein is a Chinese dish and a Japanese restaurant might be aghast at my philistine manners, but noodles is noodles is noodles. If it looks like chow mein and tastes like chow mein and is made of the same stuff as chow mein, I'm calling it chow mein. Anyway, anyone pedantic enough to not sample the delights of Ichiban because I named the dish wrong doesn't deserve these flavours on their tongue.
Japanese restaurants can sometimes be a little daunting. Not only is the food all labelled in an incomprehensible language, the descriptions can be vague. On top of this, there's the notion that you should be very respectful in a Japanese restaurant lest the owner judge you and there is the constant suspicion that somehow, somewhere, one of the chefs is trying to poison you with a scary looking fish. Ichiban dodges these worries handily with their set menu. For those who don't know what to order, or are afraid of their ambiguous meal, the menu lays everything out and describes it very clearly. There is never any mystery when it comes to Ichiban.
But you shouldn't be worrying anyway, as all you should be ordering is noodles.
This Ichiban in Albany Road was the second of the two to be opened and is second best to the Canton one.
As I've stated before, if you've got the inclination and the means, I'd head to the one in Canton if you can. The food is pretty much on a par but it's the service, the attention to detail and the atmosphere that nudges it down into second place. The Roath version of Ichiban feels less personal perhaps due to the greater seating area and the large windows that look out over The Claude and the Springfield Superstore. The closed blinds of the Canton Ichiban make you feel a million miles from Cowbridge Road East (which is no bad thing) and adds to the authenticity of the experience.
The service seems a lot slower in this Ichiban, at times I've seen the staff chatting by the front desk rather than focus on their customers, which is a real shame as you know how good it can be. But with food as good as this and sensible pricing, it's not the cheapest place to eat but you definitely get value for money, I suppose you can let the cuisine speak for itself.
If money's tight, then the lunchtime offer of 20% off is a good shout, or you could always get one of those Invitation Cards.
In my opinion, hands down the best Japanese restaurant in Cardiff. The food here is delicious and you get great value for money. The staff are very friendly, the decor is pleasing to the eye and the food is amazing (did I say that the food was amazing yet?). Went on Saturday for a friend's birthday and had a fantastic time. We all chipped in £24 each and for that we had mountains of food, a bottle of white wine, sake to share, a couple of beers and a big tempura ice cream dessert with 5 forks! I can heartily recommend the edamame beans, spiky yaki soba (a delicious, slightly hot, chicken noodle dish), salmon and tuna sashimi, rainbow maki, tempura prawns and chicken teryaki. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
It gets busy at the weekend, so you may have to book in advance. They also do lunchtime offers.
Slightly more expensive than it's nearby competitor 'Tenkaichi' but has the added bonus of better seating and being less busy.
Good variety of food and drink on offer but not many vegetarian options.
Take-away also available
Whereas Tenkaitchi is more of an original noodle bar with long tables and a high turnover of diners, Ichiban has more of a restaurant atmosphere. With tables and booths diners are not sharing a table with strangers but have a more intimate meal. I think both ways are fantastic, it just depends what you are in the mood for!
The meal I had here was fantastic, nibbling away on some edayame beans whilst we waited for our dishes to arrive my friend and I were able to have a good catch up - and congratulated ourselves on eating our greens and being very healthy!
All the food was freshly prepared and hot, the tastes were amazing. Service is unobtrusive yet there always seemed to be a waiter on hand if we needed anything.
I even tried some hot sake. I still don't like it.
I didn't think it was as cheap as some places but it was still reasonable for the amount of food we had.
By far my FAVOURITE place to eat in Cardiff. the staff are very polite and always on hand if you need anything. The food is absolutely amazing! I'm a chef myself and know quality when I see it. Its not cheap compared to other restaurants in the Cathays/Roath area, but worth every penny! My partner and I go there for birthdays and annaversaries, usually costs us about £50 for two and we walk out with very full tummies!
If you plan on going on a Friday or Saturday night its best to call and book a 'booth' table.
Ichiban Sushi and Noodle Restaurant is the only place that my very good friend Bev will consider going on her birthday. Needless to say, I eat at Ichiban at least once a year! Bev makes the claim that she can eat her own body weight in sushi, and believe me, she tries! I'm rather partial to sushi myself, and so I'm right there with her. The truth of the matter is that, I love it so much that I even know how to make a fair bit of it. Thanks to fishmongers upping their game over the last few years, it is entirely feasible to make a really good range of sushi at home. It really is a labour of love, because it doesn't come cheap, and is painstakingly time consuming, (hence the bigger price tag for restaurant sushi when compared to other oriental and Asian styles of cooking).Ichiban isn't cheap, but I believe that it's not overly expensive either... it's relative! I couldn't afford to eat here every other night, but I know I always get my money's worth when I go there... I called in a couple of times for the lunchtime special, served between 12.00pm and 2.00pm. The last time I tried it I think that the price was fixed at seven or eight pounds, which isn't going to break the bank every once in a while!
Ichiban have also got an outlet on Cowbridge Road East as well as this one on Albany Road. I prefer to eat at the Roath restaurant given the choice, but have also been to the less salubrious Cowbridge Road East restaurant, and although they differ a little in appearance and size, the food is commensurate in each. Love 'em!
Absolutely love coming to this place to eat. by far the best japanese restaurant around town! my favourite dishes would have to be their teriyaki dishes and their specials, but the menu has so much choice that I have something different every time I visit!
I regularly eat here with friends and family, each time receiving great food and service, I also love the atmosphere of this place, surely makes you feel welcome and warm! waitresses are friendly and help if you are unsure of the menu and need help with.
I would highly recommend this place to everyone as its my all time fave place to dine. Catch you all there!!
Love it, love it, LOVE it!
I have a mate who comes to Cardiff from Reading on the weekends and we always meet here for dinner. It's really tasty!!
I think I have tried most things on the menu but I always go for the box meal. Think it's called Teishoku? and you can have beef, pork, chicken, mackerel, salmon and tempura. It is deceptively filling tho! Very tempting to pig out on everything but that rice will expand in your belly!!
I have been to all the Sushi restaurants in Cardiff and this is definitely my favourite! It is much, much fresher food than the chain Sushi places. (Yes, Yo Sushi I'm looking at you!)
Any review of Ichiban that doesn't mention their plum wine is missing something important, because this stuff is legitimately the most addictively satisfying wine in pretty much any restaurant in Cardiff. In fact it doesn't really taste like wine at all, nearer to getting tipsy on syrupy pop. It's definitely worth sampling even if you don't dig Japanese cuisine, although despite preconceptions about food originating from this part of the world, it's still simple to wolf down a great meal without resorting to uncooked fish. Sushi haters should head straight for the noodles or various chicken dishes. There is one downside to Ichiban: if you live nearby and have to walk past their overflowing sometimes kind of stinking bins on the regular you may begin to lose appetite for their otherwise decent nosh a tad. Whatever, the owners are probably just glad to be open again after a stolen car careered through its wall a couple of years ago.
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