Authentic Japanese food at Ichi Zen.

Walking into the newly built restaurant we were amazed by the well-thought and designed exterior. The white walls, the bamboo trees and the wooden benches definitely added to the Japanese restaurant experience.

As we entered, we were offered sanitiser and our temperature was checked. The staff were also kind enough to offer us a wet towel to freshen up.

Dining area

You can decide to dine outside beside the barbecue station which gives you irresistible smells of flavour or you can dine inside. Inside the restaurant, you can sit out in the open or dine in private rooms that seat up to 4 to 16 people.

The Beverages

The beverage menu had a variety of fresh juices, tea, smoothies and milkshakes to choose from. But we decided to have the Passion fruit Mojito, Chocolate Milkshake, Pineapple smoothie and servings of green tea.

All these drinks were full of flavour with thick consistencies and they were served at the perfect temperature.

They are looking to incorporate authentic Japanese beverages into the menu which is something exciting to look forward to.

The Appetizers

There was a wide variety of appetizers to choose from. We definitely struggled to make a choice which is when we decided to ask the chef for his recommendations. The chef recommended that we try some items from the BBQ menu. This is what we tried:

  • Fried Chicken skin
  •  This was very crispy, delicious and quite oily and not an appetizer I would usually go for. However, the crispy fried chicken is said to be a Japanese delicacy.

  • BBQ Chicken wings
  • The bbq chicken was tasty and fresh and was covered in bbq sauce.

    • Boneless fried chicken and mayonnaise

    This chicken dish didn’t let us down either. This fried chicken was more tender, soft and juicy and blended perfectly with the mayonnaise + soy sauce dip. Who doesn’t love some crispy fried chicken?

    • BBQ Pork

    The pork was a bit harder than I would usually fancy. But it was probably because we ate it a few minutes after it had been served. I am certain it would be much softer and chewy when it is served outside instantly after it has been barbecued at the BBQ station.

    The Mains

    1. Spicy tuna roll

    Spicy salmon tuna roll is a personal favourite of mine when it comes to Japanese restaurants. To my great joy, Ichi Zen didn’t let me down either. The restaurant served us thick sushi rolls that burst with flavour in our mouths. It was absolutely delicious and I would fully recommend you try this dish.

    1. Tuna volcano maki

    The head chef, Manjula also recommended that we try the Volcano sushi. This was a dish that I have never tried before. It was sushi with a topping of ginger, vegetables and sushi. This was really tasty and full of flavour.

    1. Chicken dumplings

    The chicken dumplings were really tasty as well. They were soft, moist and the filling was delicious. It was topped up with sauce and some vegetables that complimented the flavour of the dish.

    Dessert

    The head chef informed us that the Green Tea ice cream was of a strong flavour which was quite distinct to the ice cream we buy from the supermarket. But our curious palette was itching to have a taste of this unique flavour of ice cream. The Green Tea ice cream was made by the chefs themselves. The ice cream had a perfect balance of creaminess and sweetness while remaining authentic to the essence of green tea. 

    After speaking to the restaurant owner, Chandana, over lunch, a few things about the restaurant impressed me. One of them was, They had everything on their menu. A lot of restaurants I’ve been visiting start off by telling me what they don’t have on their menu that day due to the unavailability of stock and ingredients due to the economic situation in Sri Lanka. However, Mr Chandana highlighted how important it is to him and his restaurant to choose the ingredients wisely in order to maintain the authenticity of the Japanese cuisine.

    You can order anything from their menu on Uber Eats or give them a call on 0112664999 and place an order.

    Location: 63/2 Ward Pl, Colombo 07000

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