We decided a change of scenery was in order so we ran to Esplanade for dinner instead of Suntec City or Raffles City.
Ichiban Boshi is owned by the same people who run the Kuriya group of restaurants so you're assured of a certain standard in the quality of their food. Ichiban Boshi is similar to Sushi Tei in terms of price points and customer base. However, Sushi Tei's traditional sushi is better in terms of quality and they generally serve fresher sashimi (raw fish). Whereas Ichiban Boshi shines in modern and unusual takes on sushi (they use pork floss and turkey bacon in their sushi), and cooked food.Just stay away from the raw fish here.
We got one of my perennial favourites, the Crispy Spicy Tuna Mayo ($2.10), the sushi version of a tuna sandwich.
I also ordered the Aburi Maguro ($2.10), with seared tuna, garlic mayo, sesame seed, spring onion and chili powder. This was a big mistake, the tuna was stale, bland and sinewy.
We ordered the Fried Salmon Skin ($2.10) to nibble on. Ichiban Boshi's version is better than Sushi Tei, mostly because it's crispier and skinnier. Sushi Tei's version has more salmon meat, it's probably more apt to call it "fried salmon" instead.
I got the Mini Chasoba ($2.10), green tea buckwheat noodles served chilled, which was already dunked into the dashi sauce. This was refreshing enough but a little limp. Still, the small portion made it palatable.
The BF got the Ten Don ($13.90), Japanese rice bowl with assorted tempura carrots, lotus root and prawns. This was satisfyingly good. The rice was nicely drizzled with just enough sweet teriyaki sauce, the tempura was crispy and plentiful.
Something on the main menu caught my eye, the Enoki Kinoko Yanagawa ($7.90), assorted mushrooms with egg in dashi stock. I love mushrooms, so obviously I had to get this. This was really really yummy. Shitake, enoki, shimeiji and oyster mushrooms in a light soy-based stock, topped with scrambled egg, this was luscious and heavenly.
We also got the Bacon Maki ($2.10), with cereal turkey bacon, egg crepe and shrimp roe. We asked them to hold off the mayo. This is an example of how Ichiban Boshi's sushi stands out with their unconventional fillings. It was served fresh and hot, and really yummy as well.
The BF got the Unagi Shiitake Maki ($2.10), with chili padi, eel, shiitake and teriyaki sauce. This was also a winner. I don't like eel, so the BF happily had this all to himself.
Update 1 Jan 2012: Ichiban Boshi has closed down in this location and the casual bistro Loola's run by the Awfully Chocolate group has taken over this spot
Ichiban Boshi Japanese Restaurant
Esplanade Mall #02-14
8 Raffles Avenue
Tel: 6423 1151
Open Sundays to Thursdays from 12noon to 10.30pm; Fridays & Saturdays from 12noon to 11pmWebsite: www.res.com.sg/index.php