SG50 themed Sushi @ Ichiban Boshi

My earlier dinners at Ichiban Boshi were filled with ominous black trays touting a myriad of hearty dishes; katsu-don glistening at its peripherals with egg barely set in a soya-sauce-mirin mixture; golden fried kaarage simmering in Japanese curry over a small stove, the blanket of kraft cheese tracing its outlines as it yields to the heat. In a nutshell, Ichiban Boshi was better known for it's bang-for-buck set meals then anything else, despite the rather extensive menu showcasing everything from tonkatsu, to sushi and even kushiyaki.

This time around, I shall turn your attention to the establishment's venture into Sushi, especially apt since Ichiban Sushi and Boshi outlets have curated an array of SG50 themed sushi as a tribute to the nation's birthday! 

Employing mostly local flavors in their standard concoctions, the range of SG50 themed sushi are pretty commendable if I might say so myself. Available between 1 July to 17 August 2015 at all Ichiban Sushi and Ichiban Boshi Japanese restaurants, it's a good time to exercise some patriotism. The sushi marathon opens with the Chilli Crab Jubilee ($4.20), this elegant offering sporting a playful cross-section of tamago constructed '50' etched across its belly, a slight spike of robust heat from the chilli crab sauce helping to localise the brassy crisp soft shell crab.

From bottom left (clockwise): Garden City Jewel ($4.20); Chilli Crab Jubilee Roll ($4.20), Perfect Harmony ($4.20), Ebi Merlion Sushi ($4.20), Singapura Nigiri ($3.20)

Other offerings such as the Perfect Harmony ($4.20) won me over with its combination of umami-filled creaminess over seared tuna. So, the rice here isn't al dente or perfectly vinegared; but I'll let it slide at such affordable prices. If you were to order just one particular sushi off the SG50 menu, let this be the one.

The Singapura Nigiri ($3.20) charms with its flag-like color palate but its queer combination of tuna and cuttlefish unfortunately felt out of place. Perhaps it's a case of racial harmony gone wrong? 

Neatness counts for only so much, though, and some dishes are more fastidious than flavorful. The
Garden City Jewel ($4.20) is one such example, the perilla tempura dislodging way too easily from the relatively dry fried salmon mound above head.

At the end of the day, the Perfect Harmony still floats my boat.

In the Rising Stars ($4.20) ,which probably got it's inspiration from the Art-Science Museum at the bay area; the seared tuna is succulent, the hunk of avocado overhead slick with fat without being cloying. Other flourishes such as the cherry tomato and cheese do appear to be a tad superfluous; but I suppose the visual appearance does count for something.

Sushi aside, we continued the torrents of food flushes with some kushiyaki and basic ala carte items. The bacon wrapped cheese sausage dripping with exuberance from its vigorous brushes of tare sauce, caramelised till glistening and the shade of manuka honey. Give the other kushiyaki items a chance, the charcoal grill imbuing some smoky magic to its rather simple make-up.

Stirring up childhood memories of cheat meals after school constituting of  fried squid balls and rice, the Ika Cheese Yaki ($6.90) takes it up a notch with melted cheese between spicy sauce thrown into a shallow clay dish. Practically irresistible if you ask me.

Last but not least, we bowled over for the Ebi Kaarage with Mango sauce ($9.90), essentially fried prawns tossed in a creamy sauce lightly tinged with the sweet sour act of mangoes. No kitchen acrobatics here but what you're getting is definitely your dollars worth.

If you're already familiar with Ichiban's Hokkaido Cheesecake, you'll be delighted to know that in view of SG50, two new flavors have been introduced into its dessert line-up. The White Chocolate ($4.20) and the Red Velvet ($4.50) which houses a surprise cream cheese filling that may come across a bit dense if not brought to room temperature. I personally enjoyed the latter more, the lingering flavor of cocoa predominant in this innocent red little treat. 

You can also purchase both in a twin pack for $8, encouraging savings on your part! The SG50 Hokkaido Cheesecakes are currently being sold at Ichiban sushi and Ichiban Boshi Japanese restaurants, Green Pumpkin Japanese Bakery and Kuriya Japanese Market.

Major thanks to RE&S for the invite and Store Manager (Novena Ichiban Boshi), Eric for his warm hospitality.

Ichiban Boshi
238 Thomson Road
#02-13/14 Novena Square
t: 6255 7767

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sun: 11 30am - 10pm

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