Izakaya Ichiban,
Lot P-3M, Plaza Ground Floor,
Hartamas Shopping Centre,
60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6201 5905
Business hours: Mon-Sat
(noon-3.00pm, 6.00pm-10pm),
Sundays and public holidays
(noon-3.30pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm)

GOING for a Japanese meal here in the city means digging deep into one’s pocket as this cuisine is by no means, inexpensive.

So, the moment a craving comes along, most diners will consider the meal a treat to the taste buds as it is quite difficult to spend under RM20 for a proper Japanese meal, let alone a buffet.

So, when I found out of a great deal taking place not too far away from the workplace where up to 100 dishes are available for only RM48++, needless to say I was surprised and ready to share the news.

The All-U-Can-Eat buffet of all things Japanese is served up for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner every day at Izakaya Ichiban in Hartamas Shopping Centre.

Restaurant owner Koichi Ono, 52, said his reason for introducing a reasonably priced buffet was to allow customers the opportunity to dine on a variety of dishes.

Koichi said previously, the buffet was only available on weekends and regular customers were in a habit of ordering the same old dishes each time they dined.

“Many of our customers will come in and order the same sushi, sashimi, handrolls and appetisers that they are used to from the a la carte menu but hardly venture out to try other dishes.

“So, by opening up the buffet every night, we encourage our customers to order anything on the buffet menu without worrying about having to pay too much for their meal,” said the pleasantly spoken Koichi.

Koichi who has lived in Malaysia for 20 years, was inspired to set up a Japanese restaurant because he wanted to share his love for Japanese food with locals and visitors, living here.

“I learnt how to cook Japanese food from my mother and I learnt the techniques behind making sushi when I enrolled at the Tokyo Sushi Academy.

“In the past, sushi masters and their helpers used to make sushi but today, the demand for sushi has increased so there’s an opportunity for interested cooks to learn the art of sushi at such schools.

“At the school, all we did was to cut the fish, cook rice, make sushi vinegar and keep rolling the sushi into shape until we got it right.

3F6CEBEF53AA4258A10931D329A1AADCTemaki sushi.


“We made sushi for eight to nine hours a day and we had to eat whatever we made,” he laughed as he reminisced his early days as a cook.

Diners who are interested to feast away on a medley of Japanese dishes, will be presented a menu for them to tick their preferred item.

The broadsheet menu lists out a range of appetisers, sashimi, sushi, Temaki Sushi, Maki Sushi, Hoso Maki, Kushi Yaki, Itame Mono, Age Mono, Yaki Mono, soup and rice/noodle and dessert.

So, here’s your chance to feast on Tobiko Salad, Agedashi Tofu, Tako Sashimi, Salmon Sashimi, Shiro Maguro Sashimi, Unagi Sushi, Maguro Sushi, Tamago Sushi, Unagi Temaki, Spider Maki, Dragon Maki, Yakitori, Tori Kawa, Tori Teba, Horenso Butter Itame, Gyu Kimuchi Yaki, Scallop Butter Yaki, Tempura Moriawase, Soft Kani Karaage, Shishamo Karaage, Garlic Fried Rice, Salmon Fried Rice and lots more, by opting for a value for money meal.

To prevent customers from over-ordering food, the restaurant imposes a wastage charge of RM5 per 100 gm of leftover food.

“We have had instances of customers ordering too much and often the food is wasted so we do advise them to order what they can eat and if there’s room for some more food, then they can always place another order,” said Koichi, adding that his ingredients were imported from Norway and Japan.

Koichi said the buffet was ideal for customers breaking fast during Ramadan as Japanese food was light, not oily and certainly healthy.

The buffet is at half price for children between five years old to 12 years old.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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