Sunday, July 26, 2015

Episode #102: Ichiro Japanese Restaurant (2nd Visit)

Steveston, Richmond, $$$$ (Luxury)

My past sushi adventures to Steveston have been met with some of the freshest sashimi I have ever had. Well, that figures, since there is a fisherman's wharf at Steveston from which restaurants can acquire the freshest fish. Sights at the wharf include live uni (sea urchins) with moving spines, the huge line-up at Pajo's Fish & Chips, and people who walk around with selfie sticks. I brought my mom and dad to Ichiro Japanese Restaurant so that they could try some of the fresh sashimi that Steveston has to offer. I was surprised to see the restaurant only half full (it was jam-packed during my visit on a chilly November evening), and even more surprised when I was greeted by a waitress who snapped at me for being 10 minutes late for my reservation.

Tuna Sashimi - A-
Sockeye Salmon Sashimi - B
Red Tuna Sashimi - A-
Tai Sashimi - A
Amaebi Sashimi - A-
Hokkigai Sashimi - A-
Tako Sashimi - C+
Hamachi Sashimi - C+

During my last visit, I was thoroughly impressed with the sashimi, so this time, I was quite adamant about ordering the Sashimi Boat Set despite my mom urging me to get either the Chirashi & Noodle Set or the Sashimi & Noodle Set instead (as these were cheaper). Perhaps I should have listened to her instead, as the sashimi turned out to be all over the place in terms of quality. The highlights include the deliciously smooth Tai Sashimi and the soft Tuna Sashimi, while the lowlights were the Tako Sashimi and the Hamachi Sashimi, both of which were devoid of flavour.

Mixed Sashimi Appetizer - A-

On the front side of the boat sat a small appetizer comprised of various small pieces of sashimi (sockeye salmon, tai, and tuna) dressed with a light, gingery, soy-based sauce. This helped enhance the flavours of the fish further, which I enjoyed.

Miso Soup - B+

A bowl of Miso Soup and a bowl of steamed rice (not pictured) also accompanied the Sashimi Boat Set. The Miso Soup came with tofu, green onion, and seaweed. It was not particularly rich in flavour, but the consistency was good.

Deep-Fried Chicken - A-
Spring Roll - B-
Gomaae - A-

A small dish of daily appetizers rounded off the Sashimi Boat Set. I enjoyed the Deep-Fried Chicken, which was tender, juicy, and aromatic. The batter was light, crispy, and well-seasoned. The filling for the Spring Roll was weak in flavour, but at least the crunchy pastry was not hard to chew. The Gomaae came with very soft baby spinach dressed with a rich sesame sauce, and was my favourite out of the three items on the dish.

Next, we had the Fuji Lunch Box, since my dad's requests were chicken teriyaki and prawn tempura. The lunch box came with Chicken Teriyaki, Gomaae, Tempura (4 pieces), Sunomono, a half Dynamite Roll, a half California Roll, a Green Salad, and a Miso Soup (not pictured).

Chicken Teriyaki - B+

The Chicken Teriyaki was tender, juicy, and savoury. However, it doesn't look particularly appetizing due to its overly plain nature. I would have liked more of a grilled flavour or the use of something like sesame seeds or pepper.

Tempura - A-

The Prawn Tempura (2 pieces) was again excellent due to the nice flakiness of the batter and the meaty prawns. The one piece of Zucchini Tempura was juicy, while the one piece of Yam Tempura was slightly stiff.

Sunomono - B

Since I'm the only one in my family who actually likes sunomono dishes, I got to have this all to myself. I don't blame my parents though, since the only sunomono they have had was from Ninkazu (and it was chock full of vinegar). Now, if only I could pour some of that vinegar into this Sunomono, as this one was too sweet and didn't have much of a kick.

Dynamite Roll - B
California Roll - B-

The prawn tempura inside the Dynamite Roll was quite tasty and its flavour blended well with that of the avocado. The crab meat in the California Roll had adequate flavour. However, the sushi chef who made these rolls must have gone hyper with the rice. Compare them with the ones I had last time! I'm sorry, but more rice does not equal better. More rice just means that nobody at my table will eat them other than me. Alright, I guess I see the silver lining...

Green Salad - A-

This was one of the better Green Salads I have had. It consisted mainly of lettuce and a slightly tangy Japanese salad dressing. There were also a few strands of radish mixed in for a unique touch.

We also ordered the Sukiyaki Set, which came with a half California Roll, a half Dynamite Roll, a Sukiyaki Hot Pot with Udon Noodle, and an appetizer.

Sukiyaki Hot Pot with Udon Noodle - C+

My parents were already expressing their disappointment with the Sukiyaki Hot Pot before I even got to try it. Sure enough, the beef came from a very mature cattle and was rather tough. However, the worst part was how the whole thing tasted like a soy sauce overdose. Guess who had to eat most of the sukiyaki...

Sukiyaki Set Appetizer - B+

On the left side is an appetizer consisting of fried seaweed, salmon, asparagus, crab stick, and tofu. I enjoyed the crispiness of the fried seaweed, and the light soy helped to accentuate the flavours of the ingredients inside. On the right is another appetizer with shredded radish and carrot that I did not try.

Other than the incident where I was snapped at for being late, the service was decent. I also liked the atmosphere and the comfortable seating inside the restaurant. The food had noticeably declined in quality since my previous visit, and there were no A+'s to be given. It could also be that they're just not very good with consistency. However, the overall food quality is still slightly above average, and the total bill for all three of us was less than the bill for my previous visit, when I had dined all by myself. 

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Naomi said...

"total bill for all three of us was less than the bill for my previous visit, when I had dined all by myself" wow... O___O

Raymond Zeng said...

Before tax and tips:
This bill (3 people) - $50.85
Last bill (1 person) - $52.15

Yep, lunch is quite a bit cheaper!

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