Ichi Ni Nana
Ichi Ni Nana – one, two, seven – located at 127 Brunswick St. You may have heard of its sister restaurants Ichi Ni in St Kilda and Ichi Ichi Ku Izakaya in South Yarra.
This branch is welcome as it extends its reach to the northern suburbs. You’ll find it on the ground floor of a multilevel building, each with a different eatery/bar.
My friend and I dropped by on a weeknight, so we were seated in an open area with the vibe of being outside. It wasn’t very busy but it was only 6pm, so it gradually became busier. Despite the slow start, the music was quite loud all night.
For drinks we had a Japanese twist on lemon, lime and bitters with Ramune (Japanese soft drink) and Yuzu (a citrus fruit)($5). It wasn’t as sweet as a lemon, lime and bitters due to the yuzu but I liked that this meant I could drink it a bit slower and enjoy it throughout the meal.
We also tried the ebi prawns ($14), a dish that I’m usually quite a fan of. However I felt the mayo was overpowering, a bit tangy and not as good as the ones at Maedaya.
On the other hand, we quite enjoyed the soba noodle salad ($12). The sesame dressing and greens made it a refreshing option to eat alongside our heavier prawn dish.
Next up, the Ichi Ni Nana rolls or inside-out lobster sushi ($28). I loved the presentation and it was good but not memorable.
I guess with authentic places such as Maedaya to compare it to, I feel some of these dishes lack that heart and soul. If you are going more for a modern take on Japanese, then try and make the flavours exciting and different. There wasn’t anything quite wrong with it, except that it wasn’t a standout for the price.
I’m glad we didn’t ignore the waitress on this recommendation – all the pieces went so well together, especially the texture of the salmon along with the jelly.
Finally, we ended with the Banoffee ($12), a banana and caramel pie on an oreo base topped with mascarpone cream. We were also eyeing the Pear, Miso and Yuzu tart but we didn’t have room for both unfortunately!
The Banoffee was very sweet but a good dessert to share. You have to get through the pretty layers to reach the oreo base, which is of course the best part! I think the tart would have been something more inventive to try, but this one was a classic.
Ichi Ni Nana is located at 127 Brunswick St. They are open Sun-Thurs 12pm-late and Fri-Sat 12pm-3am. Check out the menu here.