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Ichiben Review

When we went to eat at Spicy Ahi last week, we saw a place with a big NOW OPEN sign and much to my delight, it was a ramen shop called Ichiben. There was a woman outside handing out flyers, so I took one and we decided we’d eat there the next day for dinner.

Ichiben offers four types of food: ramen, fried rice, grilled meats, and curry. They offer side orders, mini versions, and appetizers. Their Ichiben story was kinda cute and being new, the place was immaculate.

Sadly enough, this place was a sore disappointment for me. I made the mistake of reading through the whole menu for Baby Girl and she ended up making me order her Spam Katsu, which is yummy and all, but really unhealthy for obvious reasons.

Not only that, but who the hell pays $3.95 for two pieces of fried spam? Me on my first visit to Ichiben, I guess. I could have bought two CANS of spam for that price. Sheesh.

Sorry, but this picture is blurry. Mr. Pikko ordered a side of curry for his shoyu ramen. I didn’t taste it, but he didn’t eat it all. The vegetables dumped into the bowl was highly unattractive for me.

I am a huge super fan of Miso Ramen because I love the kick that it gives when you take that first spoonful. This looked okay at first, aside from the egg yolk that looked like it had been dropped on the floor first. I took a sip and was extremely disappointed in the taste. It was like the kind I make at home when I’m hungry in the dead of night and throw a spoonful of miso into a saimin, except mine has more taste. I actually had to add soy sauce to it, which is pretty bad if you ask me. I tried a spoonful of Mr. Pikko’s shoyu ramen and wasn’t impressed there either.

My picture of Buddy’s fried rice came out too blurry to post. My first spoonful was very tasty, but when I tried it again later I realized it was totally over fried and the tasty stuff was actually char.

The gyoza was the only decent thing here. Usually when I eat gyoza they all look the same, as though they were purchased pre-made and frozen from a distributor. However, the gyoza at Ichiben was deliciously fat and fresh, so you could tell they made it themselves. The downside to that was that they didn’t have gyoza sauce. I asked for it and the waitress told me to use the soy sauce.

What?

It’s not that I have a problem eating gyoza with shoyu. I do it at home all the time. But that’s just because I’d been too forgetful to remember to buy a bottle at Marukai. Gyoza sauce is a very different and wonderfully complimentary sauce.

Baby Girl ate all the spam katsu, but this is no surprise because as long as I don’t want her to eat it, she’ll mop it all up. With the gyoza being the only good thing, yet having no true sauce, I don’t think I’ll be going back.

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  • *GASP!* You didn’t like Ichiben?!? I ate there 3 times in the past two weeks. For gyoza sauce I mix the clear stuff in the bottle next to the shoyu with the shoyu. Its like sweet vinegar or something.

    Never tried the miso ramen, but the paitan is really good. But you’re right… the spam was ridiculously expensive!

    Kalbi=my favorite!!! They give you like 8 of them on one plate!

    Ugh, Ms. Pikko. Now I’m going to have to go there for dinner after work!

  • kat

    yipes! didn’t sound too good…gotta have the gyoza sauce!!

  • I think they read your review! haha, went there for lunch and they have gyoza sauce now!

  • LOL! Well maybe now I’ll go again and try what you’ve eaten!

  • i don’t know if they had the vinegar bottle next to the shoyu bottle when you went there, but you are supposed to mix the two together to make gyoza sauce. most of the snooty ramen shops do it like that. also, the paitan ramen is a real winner. it was better than the paitan from tenkaippin IMO. Vampyra1’s assessment was a little better than yours. like any respectable foodie would order spam katsu anyway!

  • Well, I admit I am curious as to what she thinks of the food I ate!

  • I heard from someone else that the miso ramen was “just ok”, so it seems like the verdict is to skip the miso and get the paitan.

  • Watergirl2442

    Just went there on Saturday for the first time. Tried the Ichimen in paitan soup0 and liked it. There were two nice thick slices of char siu, shrimp, egg, bamboo shoots, some green veggie, kamaboko. The real winner is the side gyoza for $1.50. We each had a side order. We too asked for the gyoza sauce and was told to mix the vinegar and shoyu. The owner asked if we wanted some chili oil and that help kick it up a bit. It was fine even though I like the gyoza sauces at Ezogiku more. Hey, but for $1.50 for 4 nice pieces of gyoza, can’t grumble. Do the math.. for $3.00 you get 8 pieces to share instead of 6 for $3.95. We’ll go back to try the fried rice or something else on the menu.

  • Betty

    Hi – I tried to find Ichiben today and I was at the Times Supermarket near Aiea Heights and Moanulua Rd. I could not find the restaurant. Could someone give me really specific landmarks? Is it in any of the places across the street from the Shell station? Help – Thanks

  • Betty, you need to go to the Waimalu Times, not the Aiea one. That’s where Ichiben is! Right next to Yogurtland!