Ichiban Boshi Esplanade, Japanese restaurant Singapore

Best Chicken Katsu

This is my first time to Ichiban Boshi.

Before you scream, or throw macarons at me, I want to let you know that I have not been to Sushi Tei YET. Okay, go on, throw your macarons and cupcakes at me.

I don’t have a good impression of Japanese restaurant chain, or for that matter of fact, any restaurant outlet chain. What’s the point of having dinner at a restaurant that is found in almost all the shopping malls? They just don’t appeal to me if you get what I mean.

Given that I have a list of Japanese restaurants in Singapore to go to, I probably would never visit Ichiban Boshi if not for the fact that the other restaurants at Esplanade didn’t catch our attention that night. But in every way, I’m actually glad that I have finally tried Ichiban Boshi; the food is surprisingly very decent considering the price and prime location at Esplanade.

The menu at Ichiban Boshi is very comprehensive; with a wide range of affordable sushi, to sashimi, main courses and most of the essential Japanese food that you will expect to find in a Japanese restaurant.

Given a choice between Sashimi and Tonkatsu, I will definitely choose the latter. Call me silly, but I love every bite of the juicy and crispy Chicken Katsu ($8.90). Baby, you are all I need.

Ichiban-boshi

We had the Salmon Maru ($5.50) and Crispy Lobster Roll ($2.10). The former was sushi rice wrapped with a thin slice of fresh salmon while the latter had a piece of delicate ‘lobster’ meat on top of the sushi roll.

Ichiban Sashimi

I am not the biggest fan of eating raw fish.

Just the thought of it will probably send many people into a food coma, but not me. I only like it when my partner enjoys it, and this is the only reason why you see the plate of Kajiki Sashimi ($5.50) on the table. I hardly eat sashimi, but considering the fact that it’s only five bucks, I thought that this was a pretty reasonable price for four thick slices of the swordfish sashimi.

Wafu Beef Tempura

For meat lovers, you probably will want to go for the Ichiban Gyu Steak Gozen set ($24.90). There’s Wafu beef with Ichiban’s house special sauce, black pepper shiromi don, half grilled salmon with ponzu sauce, chawanmushi, appetizer, miso soup and fruit.

Grilled Salmon
Half grilled salmon (comes with the set)

I can’t believe I am saying this, but Ichiban Boshi at Esplanade is actually a good option; cozy settings and decent food, and most importantly pricing is affordable. This is probably what I’d call ‘cheap and good food in Singapore‘ when you are craving for Japanese food and budget is a concern. It can be also due to the fact that I went to Ichiban Boshi with zero expectations, and it turned out to be better than what I’ve expected.

By the way, can someone explain to me what’s the difference between Ichiban Boshi and Ichiban Sushi? I know that both restaurants belong to the same management, but does the menu or prices differs a lot? Which Ichiban Boshi outlets do you go to, and is there a difference in the quality of food? I want to hear from you!

Now, I need to check out Sushi Tei!

Restaurant Review
Ichiban Boshi Esplanade
8 Raffles Avenue
#02-14 Esplanade Mall
Tel: +65 6423 1151

34 COMMENTS

I think the difference between Boshi and Sushi is in the menu. They are like 80% the same and maybe 20% is different stuff. I’ve been to Great World City, Esplanade, Novena and Centerpoint outlets so far and there’s always something different at each one.

Japanese food..ahhh..

Okay nevermind. Basically like you said, Ichiban Boshi and Ichiban Sushi is under the same management RES together with Kuriya.

Between the two, be it whatever, food quality, ambience, service, Ichiban Boshi tops the two. Price wise, they’re almost the same. They have the same Sushi menu, same price. Main menu wise, they have their own differences but not BIG differences. And the uniform for Ichiban Sushi sucks.

Even among different outlets of Ichiban Boshi, their menus differ. For example for the Esplanade branch, they’re supposed to be famous for their Miso based dishes which you can’t really find in other Ichiban Boshi outlets.

I frequent the Suntec outlet because their specialty is the Zaru Soba, my favorite. And I think that’s the only outlet that offers Zaru Soba, the rest only have Cha-soba.

Try Kuriya next time. :)

Japanese food FTW!!

Ichiban Boshi in SG looks very different from Ichiban Boshi in Aus…looks a lot classier, for one. How is their service? Down here it’s renowned for its rudeness…

I never tried Sushi Tei either.

I used to frequent the Ichiban Boshi at Wisma (this is probably 2 years ago), which has since sadly closed down. The quality was as you said – decent, and a bargain for the price.

The Ichiban Boshi at Great World City is of very poor quality though, I once ordered the chicken tonkatsu and the chicken meat was greyish and stale-tasting. It actually looked deader than dead, if that is even possible. I never returned, of course.

I also used to visit the Ichiban Sushi at Plaza Singapura (not sure if it’s still there?) – menu choices are similar to the Boshi sub-brand but at a slightly lower price. Again, quality of food deteriorated over some months and I decided I’d rather pay a bit more for better sushi than eat mediocre food.

I’ve been to Ichiban Boshi about twice now and both times have had pretty alright fare. Nothing to rave about. Just a good hot lunch. :) Lovely pics as usual!

I’ve been to a few Ichiban Boshi outlets – but I’ll always remember the centrepoint one as being quite disappointing. The service was slow and the food very so-so. I feel that the quality ( of both food + service) at the Esplanade outlet is much higher.

As for Sushi Tei, please visit them! I’m not sure how they compare to fine-dining japanese restuarants, but comparing all the sushi -chains in Singapore. I think they’re the tops :)

I believe Ichiban Boshi is the higher-end restaurant of the two, catering to the middle upper class segment (supposedly). The prices on their menu are relatively higher than Ichiban Sushi, which caters to a more price sensitive market. The latter is usually located in the heartlands while the former in prime locations.

Also, if i’m not wrong, the Ichiban chain is actually the former “fiesta” chain from years past – they did a rebranding back then and came up with the Ichiban chain.

Oh and yes, the Ichiban chain is more than decent, it comes out top compared to the other sushi chains, imho.

Ichiban Boshi! Oh man. I like that place. They have so many set choices I was always taking such a long time to decide. Whatever my choice was, I sure wasn’t disappointed cos the food was great every time I went. I was so sad when they shut down the Wisma outlet cos that was the most accessible outlet to visit since I head to town frequently. Since they closed it down, I think I only tried the one at Suntec once. They should reopen it in town again! ;)

Ichibanboshi and Ichibansushi range at affordable price with acceptable sushi..but personally i think definitely sushi tei have the best sashimi..though ikoi miramar is fresh but lacking of palatable, same goes to sun with moon…

I Love going to the Great World City branch cos of its sashimi. You get to choose which slab you want, and they’ll slice it for you.

Each slice is thick, so it’s really shiok cos your mouth is filled with the freshness of the fish and it’s uber juicy, unlike most restaurants where the sashimi is sliced thinly.

Fish is flown in twice a week, but since you’re not a sashimi person you can try the miso cod fish. It’s fresh and always done to perfection.

Been to the Centrepoint branch but. Well let’s just say I’ve never been back again lol.

alkanphel: dude which is your favorite branch?

elise: wow thanks i didn’t know that! esplanade is supposed to be miso based? oops, i think we din order any of that, unless u count in the miso soup in the set. lol! okay since i am not a big fan of soba, there’s no need to go suntec! hahahahah

The ninja: Service wasn’t particularly good, nor was it bad. It was just in-between. Aussie has ichiban too? how come i didn’t see it during my visit!

zee: Wisma used to have one? I didn’t notice it! I don’t think Plaza Singapura has one now, unless i missed it again! maybe i will check out the other ichiban boshi branches to see if the quality are the same. Don’t really trust chains :p

angeline: And can you believe this is my first time here? haha

diva: Yeah not fantastic, but decent and most importantly, affordable : )

sherms: Okay made a mental note: never go to centrepoint ichiban boshi. i know right, sushi tei is next on my agenda

jontjq: fiesta chain, really? didn’t have idea on that, maybe i just wasn’t keen on Japanese food at all last time. haha have u tried the ichiban sushi branches?

chelle: yeah man the menu is quite comprehensive! just checked out their branches, looks like the nearest to town is suntec/esplanade/great world. No outlet in orchard!

he needs food: well, the next time u are in Singapore, remember to check it out to compare the standards!

Ffichiban: cheese ramen?!? sounds like the bomb! haha

jen: I NEED TO check out sushi tei! i know i know. hahaha what’s the pricing at ikoi like? Heard quite a lot of people mentioning it

pip: wow! from yr description, it’s making a non-sashimi fan like me tempted! haha any idea when they fly in the fish? good to catch them on a right day yeah? haha okay will never go to the centrepoint branch!

ikoi serve the best japanese ala-carte buffet in town, fresh sashimi crispy tempura springy soba with only sgd35++ cant wait for your review on sushi tei soon…

I used to patronised the one at Suntec City as my office is nearer to this branch. I like the Soba too. After I switch my job, I had stop going for a while. I was told they used Seng Choon eggs in their cooking.

Ichiban @ Esplanade is by far one of the best out of all their branches. The one at Toa Payoh and Plaza Sing not good.

Sushi Tei – that use to be one of my all time fav in terms of conveyor belt type sushi chain. But sadly, I think standard has dropped across all the branches. Having said that, any of their branches still better than Ichiban on the whole, except the one at Esplanade, which can give them a fight for the money.

By the way, did you pay a visit to The Cookie Museum when you were at Esplanade? I love their cookies, so delicate whether in texture or taste.

Sushi Teh, try the chawanmushi, it’s nice.. As compared to other Jap resturant I went I still find Sushi Teh is nicer for chawanmushi. I missed Sushi Teh.

Of all jap restaurants in SG, I believe Sushi Tei serves e best sushi in e nation combined! Do try out their Golden Roll, Yukimi Daifuku and beef steak!

Hi LIC, the Great World City branch is one of the more decent branch I go to, as well as the branch at Velocity.

The Toa Payoh Central branch sucks big time. Do not go there.

This chain as a whole offers the most value for money, compared to the rest, although Sushi Tei can taste much better (depending on what you order), at a slightly more expensive price.

The last unmentioned popular chain is terrible. I think it is the McDonald’s of Jap food. Crap.

you are missing out so much lei. I’ve been going ichiban like almost every other week. LOL
They got good soft shell crab tempura too. This is your first time at ichiban and it makes me wonder when are u making your way down to sushi tei? hehe

Jen: Best Japanese ala carte buffet in town? Now you got my attention! haha

fwy: so when’s the last time you went to Ichiban? I reckon it’s time to go back now!

joyce: There’s branches in Plaza Singapura and Toa payoh? Is it Ichiban boshi or sushi? nope i went to max brenner after that, haven try the cookies from cookie museum (i heard that they are really good)

j2kfm: hahahah i like how the way u phrase it, i guess they probably belong to the same mamagement!

ade: I love eggs, but somehow I don’t really like chawanmushi

Sook: Thanks for the kind words : )

Joy: Best sushi in Singapore? okay i need to go down soon!

CK: There’s an outlet in Velocity too? How come i never notice it before! haha yea i know which one u are talking about, lets not mentioned names. haha

angeline: Every other week? ya i know right, gonna go sushi tei very soon. If only they take reservations and don’t have such long queues

LFB: Hello back! you are finally free to read blogs? hahah yea they are decent, nothing to shout about, but it’s affordable and we can go there anytime

I love the food at this place alot.. glad that you had wrote a review on them.

Looking forward to more of your reviews of the japanese places in singapore

Is there going to be a list of Korean restaurants next?

Happy Friday to you, Brad.

ladyironchef: I would have to go with the Esplanade branch. The food is good, the ambiance is nice and the environment is nice to walk around after a meal.

i gotta agree that sushi tei’s really good. and i love the fact my grandma works there so i get staff discount! hehehe!

i’m the opposite of you, never tried ichiban boshi! i shall hop there soon!

Stefanie: haha no problem stef, i got a feeling i will be checking out a lot more Jap restaurants from now on. Yeah korean list coming up next! i must make a list to motivate myself to try out more korean restaurants : )

caibao: Don’t worry dear, hang in there yeah! freedom in 11 days

alkanphel: yeah man, the other restaurants at esplanade are not exactly cheap. haha

ling: Okay! will check it out soon! which branches do u usually go to?

layla: WOW! how much is staff discount? haha

Sorry to have taken so long to reply, have been MIA. Anyway, in reply to your question, the Ichiban @ Toa Payoh is Ichiban Sushi, I fancy the “sushi” ones are not as good as the “boshi”? The Ichiban Boshi at Great World ain’t too bad either. I was at Ichiban Boshi @ Novena with a friend today, nothing much to rave about, still prefer Sushi Tei’s quality (though as mentioned before, their standard has dropped).

Now I remember I actually stepped into the branch at Esplanade about 2 yrs ago. A company happened to be hosting a lunch for a bunch of kids from an orphanage. I didn’t mind one bit & sat down. My friend, however, gave a very offended look & push me to leave the restaurant & go somewhere else. I was appalled by her attitude but just throng along. I was so disguested by her behaviour & had since stopped contacting this friend of mine. So uncompassionate!!

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