Ichi Ni Japanese Restaurant, St.Kilda

Yeah yeah… haha…Ichi Ni…so scratch it…haha. If you like Japanese cuisine, then you must try this place in St Kilda. It’s just across from the Sea Baths and next door to the Espy.

A client/friend of mine introduced me to Ichi Ni a couple of years ago. It’s his restaurant of choice. I always enjoyed the food, however I never thought it was anything ‘special.’ Just a good Japanese restaurant. Food was fine, but nothing to rave about.

This time, I was there in the evening. WOW! Talk about a totally different place! Vibey, loud and busy. The smell of beach, the warm night, the light breeze, the cooking aromas, the great food, wine, mmmm, just right!

The restaurant boasts a large open kitchen. The chef’s are charismatic and entertaining. Not sure why, but the food even tasted better at night…Here is a list some of the dishes we had. I’ve remembered some!

Gyoza selection.  Beef, Prawn and Pork

Grilled eggplant served with ‘Ichi Ni’ original yakitori sauce or sweet miso paste

Lamb cutlets marinated in cha shu sauce

Fried tofu and parmesan cheese croquettes

Deep fried tiger prawns in spicy Japanese mayo

9+ marble score wagyu served with ‘Ichi Ni’ original yakitori sauce

Inside out roll with salmon and avocado coated with tobiko

Inside out roll with seared tuna, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, Japanese mayo, chilli sauce and spring onion

Vegetarians are in heaven at this place. The food is creative and extremely tasty. I’m not a vegetarian but enjoyed some of the dishes that were presented. The only thing I could have a whinge about, was their drink service. Anything standard, no problem. Move to a trickier wine or cocktail, then you might have a problem. I ordered a pretty standard vodka drink and each time I reordered, it was served in a different way – wrong each time. By the fourth drink, I didn’t really care anyway….. but you might!

The Diners Verdict: A romantic date or dinner with a group of friends, this place works. It feels “groovy.” The menu is extensive. The food is mouth watering. I will go again in a few weeks just for the prawn dish I had. Unbelievable! Book a private booth or a table inside. On a nice summers evening, a table on the outdoor decking is the place to be. Enjoy!  

Ichi Ni website for more info

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Ichi Ni. 12 The Esplanade, St. Kilda
PH: (03) 9534 1212
ichini@ichini.com.au

 

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