Ichibuns is a vibrant Japanese restaurant in Chinatown focused on burgers and udon noodles. For a period last year Ichibuns was an instagram sensation for me because every other post on the London foodie hashtags I follow was of Ichibuns. I looked at the menu then and was intrigued.
Life (holidays, work, exam) got in the way, but soon as we were clear of most of it we booked Ichibuns for our first new restaurant of 2019. Our reservation was last Friday evening, and when we arrived we were surprised by a long queue outside. We didn’t spend too long on the queue though because we had a reservation.
Ichibuns is incredibly vibrant. The décor is uniquely perfect for the vibe as well, with toys and dolls tucked into the walls.
The restaurant is loud; very loud. Not just the music either because most of the other diners seemed to be having an uproarious time. The service was very prompt and helpful… could be a tad more friendly considering the general vibe of the restaurant, but then it was really busy.
What we ordered
The menu is really easy to understand and they have an iPad with photos of the food if that’ll help decide. We didn’t need it.
From Bites we ordered Chicken Karaage, Dynamite Shrimp, Wagyu Cheeseburger Harumaki, Wagyu Sukiyaki Nikuman. From Gyoza we ordered Prawn & Garlic Chive and Chicken & Shiso. I ordered the spicy tuna maki, and Shiima ordered the Ichibun Burger.
I really enjoyed the Wagyu Sukiyaki Nikuman. The buns were extremely fluffy and the beef filling was delicious and rich. All the other bites were okay. They were perfectly cooked. The texture was perfect, but there seemed to be something lacking in the taste to make them standout.
Same with the gyozas. Perfectly cooked, but lacking that extra flavour to put it over the top.
This was delicious and creative. Especially the spicy tuna itself on top of the maki. One of the best maki rolls I’ve enjoyed in a while.
The Ichibun Burger
We split the burger in half and shared it. It was solid, we enjoyed it, but there wasn’t anything special to it.
Ichibuns is incredibly fun. The atmosphere is very vibrant, the service was good, and the food was fine. It seemed to us that most people weren’t particularly there for the excellence of the food, more the vibe… and the vibe is perfect for a vibrant meal with friends or colleagues. Also, a very lively special occasion. It’s fairly priced as well.
Cuisine: Indulgent Japanese (Burgers & Udon)
Dress Code: Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Dynamite Shrimp
Amen’s Star Dish: Spicy Tuna Maki
Rating: 3.8 out of 5