Monday, January 4, 2016

Ittan Izakaya (一炭水產) @ Icon City, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

It's easy to notice Ittan Izakaya, thanks to the flashy colorful flags with Japanese characters right outside the restaurant, waving and luring Japan-philes to flock in. Fresh Seafood is the thing at Ittan Izakaya, it boasts about their air-flown Seafood, directly imported from Tsukiji Wet Market Tokyo; seemingly aiming to be the apex in serving the freshest Sashimi in town. Step in the restaurant and be wow-ed by the interior decor- filled with wooden crates and Japanese-character embellishments. We actually thought they moved the entire fish market here! All servers were trained to be energetic and they will shout (earth-shakingly) in gratitude for your presence in the restaurant. Tables are well-partitioned but if you are coming in smaller groups (probably 2 or 3 in a group), you may have to settle with the smaller ones. Alternatively, pick the seats near the Sushi Bar where live actions can be seen and witnessed but do not expect the seats to be comfortable. The menu is dedicated to Sashimi and Grilled Seafood... with a few exotic choices like Chicken Sashimi. Not all dishes we had were great but they did excel in terms of freshness of the Sashimi. If you are in the vicinity, the place is worth a look. 

Salmon Sashimi Don (Rm 20.20)

Minced Salmon and Tuna Sashimi Don (Rm 26.90)

Salmon and Kanpachi Sashimi Don (Rm 38.70)

Grilled Eel Don (Rm 30.60)

The most important thing about Sushi/ Sashimi would be freshness and to do this, restaurants must sell boatload of them to keep the stocks coming. We were glad to find out that all of their Sashimi were fresh and appropriately sliced to the right thickness... and the texture was not comprised but what made us excited was the texture of the Japanese Rice. It was served to us warm and at the perfect sticky-chewy texture, just the way we wanted it to be! We enjoyed most of them except... the Minced version. The texture was somewhat rough and not fine enough to our liking. We'd recommend their Salmon Sashimi Don, a value-for-money order. 

Chicken Sashimi (Rm 12)

Grilled Minced Chicken Skewer (Rm 12 for 2 sticks)

Grilled Hokke Fish (Rm 24.20)

Not only uncooked cuts of Seafood can be served raw and for the very first time in Penang, Chicken Sashimi is also served. We hesitated at first but decided to try... for novelty experience. To our surprise, the Chicken Sashimi possessed the soft-mushy texture just like Fish Sashimi, sans the Umami-after taste. It had a nary of flavor, more like biting a piece of usual soft and juicy meat. Delicious? Not quite the case I'm afraid. *Eat At Your Own Risk*

The Grilled Minced Chicken Skewer was disappointingly average as though we were having some sweetened Chicken Satay served with raw Egg Yolk. Another item that you may forgo would be Grilled Hokke Fish, a type of Mackerel. My Japanese friend commented that the fish was overcooked and the texture was dry. It was supposed to be moist and juicy. Not that bad but not something that we would order again.

Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%

Additional Information:
Address: No. 43-1-2, Jalan Icon City, Icon City, 14000, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
Business Hours: 4 pm to 1 am on Mondays to Thursdays; 4 pm to 2 am on Fridays; 12 pm to 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 502 6649