Strike another one off ‘The List’! Located at 197 Bank Street, Ichibei is a quiet unassuming but completely awesome Japanese restaurant. This is the first Japanese restaurant that I have reviewed from my list, but I’m so happy it’s not the last.

Price – Very reasonable. Sushi (2-6 pieces) approximately $6 with some exception for crab. There is a full meal option that comes with salad, soup and your choice of main for around $20 and for those of us who perhaps aren’t all that hungry they have ‘small meal’ options for $10.

Ambiance – This place is great! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but on the inside but it give you a very comfortable and Japanese feel – light pine wood, paper dividers, a sushi clock! They have it all including great service.  There is a large sushi bar area with single stools in the back so that you can watch as part of your meal is prepared, or tables of 2 and 4 in the front of the restaurant. It isn’t big, but it is very cozy – a place you feel very comfortable in if you are dressed casually or for work… but definitely no need to dress up!

Menu Options – A lot of variety here from the sushi to the mains, meal options and small meals. They also have the most interesting dessert menu I’ve heard in a long time – black sesame ice cream anyone?? I had it… it’s pretty good!

Food – I don’t know a lot about Japanese food, but I know a lot about food I like to eat… and this is a good example of food I like to eat. Through Hubby I got to sample a wonderful Miso soup and Teriyaki salmon and for my meal I had pickled plum sushi and salmon rice balls. The rice balls were surprising to me. A big ball of rice with a salmon piece in the middle. Sounds boring – but oh no! First you get the flavour of the sesame seeds on the top of the rice, then regular rice flavour, then rice with salmon flavour and finally the salmon. It was like a rainbow of ever changing flavour all in one little ball! Then came the black sesame ice cream. Odd, but good. It’s lightly sweet so you come back for more, but until that moment I had never thought of sesame seeds in my dessert. You live … you learn.

Overall –  They have set the bar high for other Japanese restaurants in town – great food at a great price. I’ll be back! 4 out of 5 stars.