There I was, dashing out at 2pm in the week before Christmas for a quick bowl of ramen at Ichi-ban Boshi. Lucky for me the queue was only 10 minutes long and when I was led to the round kiddies table with one spare seat, I was on the cusp saying “no thanks” and walking back out. The restaurant was packed so waiting for my own table could have taken forever. Being on my break from work, this was not an option. I had limited time to spare and facing those shopping hoards on Pitt Street would have been as joyful as rubbing wasabi paste into my own eyes.
Looks like I’m sharing a table with the kids.
Listening to two 21 year olds yapping Gen-Y bullshit to one another while I ate my ramen was a true test to my patience, and in the space of 15 minutes I reckon they used the word “like” more than the number of noodles I had in my massive bowl.
Can someone please tell me what it is that’s appealing about communal tables?
The city outlet of Ichi-ban Boshi is perpetually busy, unless of course you get there at 11am when they open, as I did on most of my other visits. You virtually have the entire place to yourself so if you’re a table for one, I’d suggest you take mental note.
One visit had me munching on the salmon don (12). You know the drill – it’s raw salmon on rice, a side of miso and a thimble-sized dish of iceberg lettuce, cucumber & capsicum beneath a glorious slick of cocktail sauce (1000-island dressing to some). I love the stuff.
The beef tataki (8) seems to come with high praises at Ichi-ban Boshi and I was amazed at how speedy its delivery was. Within 5 minutes of ordering I’m met with a frosty splay of meat slices sitting on a mound of onions with soy sauce and chopped spring onion. Granted it’s taken from the freezer to be sliced as thinly as it is, but the one I got was still frozen. If I were to tap on it with chopsticks I’d hear an echo bouncing around the glass-roofed atrium, I’m sure. Biting into a rare beef icy-pole wasn’t the most enjoyable sensation but at least it cooled me down a tad. Mr Ichi-ban – me no likey.
The chikuwa isobe-age (6) is right up my alley. I don’t mind a bit of fishcake action now and then so this bamboo shaped fried snack with nori had me smiling. Something tells me it’s just pieces of seafood extender, but that’s ok with me.
The first noodle soup I tried here was the miso ramen (9.3), a typically generous bowl of noodles, sprouts, roast pork and miso soup. It’s just beautiful. As is the tempura salmon roll (8.5), filled with leek and salmon before being doused in tempura batter and snap-fried, then squrted with mayo and hot chilli mayo. This was one of my favourites.
The karaage-don (11) was a soppy affair of fried chicken on rice. Someone in the kitchen decided to plunge the gorgeously crispy pieces of chicken into a sweet dressing before sending it out to my table. The flavours were great but the crunch I was expecting came undelivered.
My first ever green tea latté (3) didn’t thrill me too much but the heart-warmer that did was the tonkotsu ramen (10.9), something that is only available after 2pm. The slow-cooked pork broth almost fused my lips together with its collagen-richness and was worth enduring the Gen-Y banter at that communal kiddies table. “It was, like, so delicious, like …