You may be wondering what a place like Ichiban Fish House, serving Japanese food, is doing on our predominantly Korean blog. In actuality there are a few similarities between these countries’ dishes. Raw fish for example tastes good no matter who serves it. That, and this is a part of a series of posts sponsored by the Korean Canadian Cultural Center 한인회.
Asahi Draft at Ichiban Fish House
Ichiban Fish House smack dab in the middle of Spring Garden Avenue, 5 minutes walking distance to Sheppard. It’s very close to a lot of the other restaurants, bars, and condos in the area. Street parking is forgiving and made the trip a lot easier.
We were quickly greeted by staff upon arrival, which was great for not having to wait around even though it was a Thursday night. The place wasn’t overly busy. Later in the night as I was people watching, it looked as though there were some regulars that would come for takeout. I guess being located with an abundance of condos around, and as part of a condo, it makes it all that easier to get good food.
Chefs at Ichiban Fish House
I asked the staff for a signature dish, one that would define this place as different and unique from others, but surprisingly (or not) was told that all the food was good. I’ll leave you hanging here for a bit, but I can tell you I DID find what SHOULD be their signature dish. I’ll get to it soon enough, with the picture to blast you away in pure picture tasting awesomeness.
Grilled Black Cod at Ichiban Fish House on North York
To start, we had the Grilled Black Cod ($10 – Appetizer #9). I didn’t expect much from this simple looking dish and I usually don’t like cooked fish, but this was soft, warm, and moist in the good way. The sauce it’s cooked in is a little bit of salty and sweet. Probably soy sauce and some sweet stuff. I finished half of it before I realized there was some lemon to squirt over it and give it the final touch. How good can cod get? The answer: really good.
Short Rib Kalbi at Ichiban Fish House on North York (갈비)
Keeping true with the blog, I had to order some Grilled Short Rib 갈비 ($12 – Kalbi Appetizer #27). Coming on a sizzling hot plate adds some noise to your dinner. The waitress asked me if I’ve ever had Kalbi before, to which I responded in my broken Korean. It was a good chance to practice since I don’t use it much these days. The Kalbi is better with rice, but we needed to save some space for what was yet to come.
Still in search of the signature dish, we moved on to the mains. We ordered 7 pieces of Sashimi ($9) and a Scallop Island Roll ($17 – Baked) with a very welcomed Red Dragon Roll. As stated earlier, raw fish is raw fish. It didn’t taste frozen like those all you can eat places. In Korean this is simply called 회(pronounced hu-way), although I’m not sure if the fish used is different as ours was salmon. The Red Dragon roll was good too. The tempura in it was crispy, and the whole order itself is enough for a meal.
Sashimi at Ichiban Fish House on North York(회)
Scallop Island Roll (Baked), Red Dragon Roll, and Sashimi at Ichiban Fish House on North York
You’ve waited for it long enough, and as you guessed the Scallop Island Roll was by far the best thing we tried. This really should be their signature dish, and if it ends up being that, then I can say you’re welcome world. There’s only a handful of baked items on the menu, and when you put scallops and cheese together just yum.
Scallop Island Roll at Ichiban Fish House on North York
It’s soft to the bite, and served warm (hence the baked part) which is a nice change from the cold sushi, maki, and sashimi you would normally have. It kind of feels like a fancier tuna mayo combo. Warm rolls? Big likes in my book (get it? facebook has the word book, so I combined the phrases to be modern). You might want to work on your chopstick skills since the rice sticks to the foil it’s baked in. Something this good has to be eaten right away when it’s still warm.
Inside the Scallop Island Roll at Ichiban Fish House
I met the owner, and asked what this 95 Spring Garden Sushi is ($20). He explained they’ve been around for twenty years and 95 means 1995. Twenty years?!?! I was only 8 at that time, possibly refusing to go to the African Lion Safari in order to play more Nintendo. That 95 Spring Garden Sushi is from 1995, and hasn’t changed since. I’ll need to try it next time. The restaurants origins are in food delivery for office workers, which I guess makes sense since I already mentioned their take out customers are still abundant.
As a last piece of random information, which might be the deciding factor that you dine here: The men’s washroom has a golden faucet…for whatever reason. By the end of it we were stuffed and my bike was noticeably lower to the ground on the way home. I’m sure I had enough food to feed a family of five. I really need to try Tempura Ice Cream ($5) next time, of course with the Scallop Island Roll again.
Inside Ichiban Fish House near North York Light details at Ichiban Fish House Dessert Oranges at Ichiban Fish House
Asahi Draft at Ichiban Fish House at North York
Tempura Ice Cream on the menu at Ichiban Fish House Mountain Fuji Special at Ichiban Fish House Ichiban Fish House Front Awards and Recognition at Ichiban Fish House Entrance at Ichiban Fish House Peas at Ichiban Fish House Sashimi at Ichiban Fish House Ichiban Fish House
Short Rib at Ichiban Fish House Inside Ichiban Fish House