Dato K: (looking at Janvier) You guys free for dinner tomorrow?
Janvier: We have dinner with Chief’s parents!
Dato K: (looking at Ban) You guys free for dinner tomorrow?
Ban: Should be ok.
Dato K: (looking at JY) You guys free for dinner tomorrow?
JY: Not sure yet, what’s the occasion ah?
Dato K: It’s my birthday tomorrow.
Poor Dato K, since none of us actually remembers his birthday. :p Anyway, he suggested this new Japanese restaurant, Hokkaido Ichiba, which was opened not long ago on the third floor of The Garden. Operates under the same management of Sushi Zanmai and Pasta Zanmai, Hokkaido Ichiba shares its location with Shojikiya and Kita no Zen.
Let’s talk about the ice cream first, shall we? They have a wide selection of ice cream and sherbets to choose from (a separate menu just for desserts!), so Dato K treated us to a few varieties of flavours. Firstly, we had the Melon Niagara (RM8.80), a scoop of melon ice cream and Niagara Wine Sherbet each on a rock melon skin with some rock melon balls on the side. We loved both of them; the melon ice cream has a nice, melon fruity fragrance to it. The sherbet (we misunderstood it as the soursop flavour earlier on) has a bit of tartness to it, a perfect combo with the melon ice cream.
Next, we had Macha Crepe (RM9.80), a scoop of green tea ice cream served on a bed of crepe and atzuki beans (red beans). The macha ice cream was quite good, creamy and bursting with green tea flavour. The crepe was a bit chewy though but the ice cream and atzuki beans made up for it.
And subsequently, another 8 scoops of ice cream! Top: jagiamo (potato??) & ichigo (strawberry), right: chocolate & mango, middle: caramel & vanilla, bottom: yuzu & goma (black sesame). Yuzu, goma, caramel and vanilla got our highest votes, followed by chocolate, strawberry and jagiamo. We don’t like the mango as it lacked the mango flavour and smell.
Back to the food, I ordered the Unatama Don (RM18), grilled unagi (eel) with egg, mushroom and sweet onion on rice which was not too bad and made a rather substantial meal. Ban and Dato K had the Miso Hotate Ramen (RM16.80), which they gave a thumbs up. CK’s Chicken Katsujyu Zen (RM26) was a bit dry though, a common issue with fried chicken cutlets. No comment on the Saba Shioyaki Zen (RM26), as Lifebook sat too far away from me. Xavier’s Nabe Udon Salmon (RM36) and HJ’s Salmon Ikura Don (RM23) was ok, the salmon were very fresh.
The food here were rather standard, much like its sister restaurants Sushi Zanmai and Pasta Zanmai, however, we really enjoyed their desserts. Should we find ourselves in Gardens again, we would drop by to try the other flavours. Since opening, we noticed it has been full during lunch and dinner hours and a perpetual long queue! If you are planning drop by, be sure to call ahead to book for table.
Lot T-201, 3rd Floor,
The Garden Mall,
Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
Tel: 03-2283 1060
Business hours: 10am – 10pm daily