Dutch Hospital Shopping Precint,Colombo 01
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Ikoi Tei offers an authentic Japanese dining experience with an extensive food and drinks menu. Situated at the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, this is a great spot for date night.
Ikoi Tei is one of Colombo's finest sushi parlours. It's one of the more casual and laid back dining spots at the Dutch Hospital. Basically a great choice for date night or a Sunday afternoon sushi sesh.
They aren't one of those places that expects a posh crowd, but thanks to their location and high price point you can expect a posh crowd. This shouldn't stop you though - nothing is more important than sushi.
In our last review, we covered a few mains. For this one, we stuck to the raw fish.
Our starters included a portion of Cucumber Maki (Rs. 350) and Crab Stick Maki (Rs. 450). Each dish comes with 6 pieces of maki, a few slices of pickled, sweetened ginger and wasabi. The rice wasn't quite so sticky as is the norm with most prep techniques, but each element was extremely fresh.
Next up is the 3 Kind Sashimi Platter priced at Rs. 1600. This dish - or boat, rather - comes with sliced akami tuna, barramundi and mackerel. Each respective slice was incredibly rich but our favourite was the akami tuna.
Known for being the most coveted cut of tuna, akami is a leaner, richer cut with a low fat content. A beautiful shade of maroon with a soft flavour and a highly luxurious texture, the akami slices were obviously A-grade and, upon consumption, melted away in rich, meaty bliss.
Finally, we opted for the Chef's Selection Nigiri which comes with 8 individial pieces. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, barramundi, salmon roe, tamago (egg), shrimp and squid nigiri are the main acts here. The nigiri was presented well, and looked so pretty it was like watching a beauty contest on a plate. Each cut of fish was of very high quality in terms of taste and texture, especially the squid. My favourite was the salmon roe nigiri - little capsules of flavour going haywire in my mouth? Heck yes.
For dessert, our server recommended the Daifuku Mochi & Ice Cream (Rs. 950). Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made with special glutinous rice. Daifuku Mochi is the same thing but is usually filled with sweet or savoury pastes containing ingredients like red bean.
The Mochi balls come in a variety of flavours depending on what mood the chef is in that day. Essentially a dessert du jour, or something like that. We got the Black Sesame Mochi with a scoop of Matcha ice cream.
Best. Dish. Ever. Oh my gosh, this was unbelievable. The mochi was chewy and rich, and the black sesame + matcha combo is a match made in heaven.
Sushi is best when paired with some sake or wine. We decided to not do this by getting ourselves a Flame of Seduction (Rs. 1400) and a Long island Iced Tea (Rs. 1000) for me, because I suck at choosing interesting cocktails.
Their Flame of Seduction is a whole other story. The entire thing was an experience from start to finish. It's essentially a mix of different alcohols (I was too distracted to take notes, sorry [Editor's Note: take notes] ) served with vanilla bean smoke and candied orange slices. The drink comes covered in a glass cloche so the smoke doesn't escape, but it's infused into the drink somehow, emitting a nice smoky vanilla undertone to an otherwise citrus-y drink. Phew.
The service here is on par. The staff are pleasant, orderly and efficient. Our water was always topped up, we were regularly checked on and if you're in the mood for it, they'll be happy to make some polite conversation.
The ambience is essentially rustic-minimal with a lot of large, dim lights, paintings and wood everywhere. It's a bit dark, but so are all good things, like chocolate and jokes for example.
Ikoi Tei has still managed to retain their standards since the last time we were here. We've heard lots of positive reviews on this place and we recommend it, too. The sushi is spectacular.
It's been two years since our last visit to Ikoi Tei. They've completely retained the same level of service and quality as our last visit. Is this a good or bad thing? Read on to find out!
Hilton's new Japanese place at the Dutch Hospital is worth a visit for casual, yet upscale dining.