Exterior

Exterior

As mentioned in my recent review of Aji Sushi, the southside has a second new Japanese place in the shape of Ichiban, on West Preston Street. I popped in to give it a look on a typically drippy Wednesday.

Offering both a Japanese and Chinese menu, the place definitely has more of a sushi bar feel to it, with the characteristic red and black interior. Although the exterior is a little forbidding, the interior has a welcoming atmosphere which I enjoyed very much.

Squid balls

Squid balls

At lunchtime, particularly when solo dining, I usually go one of two ways with Japanese food: either a bento box; or a hot dish like noodles or ramen. Today I opted for the latter, after opening with some takoyaki squid balls.

My starter was soon with me, delivered by my very attentive and friendly waiter. The dish looked very bonnie and not in that overly fussy way that sometimes leaves me slightly cold, with crispy seaweed and bonito flakes scattered across the plate. The balls had a lovely light crispness to them and packed flavour to match their good looks. It was a very pleasing opener.

Ramen

Ramen

The ramen soon followed, presented in the traditional style. This dish proved every bit as good as the starter with deeply flavourful broth, excellent pork pieces, traditional egg, and profuse noodles. It was heartily good stuff.

So overall, I was impressed with Ichiban. It looks a touch modest from the outside, but both dishes I sampled were very accomplished and proved highly satisfying. I’d be happy to recommend a visit when next you are in these parts.

Scores
Blythe scores Ichiban
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 15.5/20

I ate: takoyaki; ramen

I drank: water

I wore: new blue shirt

Total bill: £14

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Written by BKR