Sydney’s lower north shore is abundant in Japanese eats, which is quite serendipitous for Monsieur Poisson as it means he has easy access to his beloved cuisine on a whim’s notice. Ichimaru opened more than a few months ago now, and was stumbled across accidentally whilst on travels to seek out something else.

The gyoza are nothing to write home about, being of the deep-fried variety which I wish would be advertised explicitly on menus so that I could avoid ordering them as I’m a pan-fried purist. However the soft-shell crab salad proves to be excellent value – for $14 you are rewarded with two crabs which are a little on the heavily-battered side, but thankfully aren’t greasy. A mound of mixed greens and tomato wedges underneath help to make the dish a meal in its own right but the carrot threads, also seen later, are a little unnecessary.

Ordering the tonkatsu bento is just an excuse to try their deep-fried, crumbed pork cutlet. The included miso soup is a second-rated act along with the sushi and sashimi, which are the only components to actually be presented in a compartmented box. The sushi and sashimi are disappointing with the tuna being grainy and the rice being a little dry. The star of the show is the juicy piece of pork flanked by salad and heart-shaped rice where the pork manages to stay crunchy down to the last bite.

The ‘Tokyo tonkotsu ramen’ definitely doesn’t have the thick and sticky soup of some places, but at least bears the cloudy appearance of a pork bone soup. Plus, Ichimaru is one of the few places where you can actually get ramen in Chatswood should you be requiring a fix.

The husband, despite being full, can’t pass up the opportunity of dessert when he hears mention of there being tempura ice-cream. His selection of chocolate is revealed as chocolate ice-cream encased in a layer of chocolate sponge before being deep-fried in a thin coating of tempura batter; its crenellations giving rise to the appearance of the rippled surface of a brain. Mmmm, deep-fried brains...

226 Victoria Ave (btwn Robinson & Olga St), Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9411 2256

Opening Hours:  Mon  CLOSED
                        Tues-Sun  11:30am-2:30pm (lunch)
                                        5:30-9pm (dinner)

Ichimaru on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. Deepfried gyoza, no way! Definitely should mention that on the menu. I'm having Japanese cravings now. Mmm deepfried chocolate brains!

  2. I'm deeply jealous of all the places to eat in Chatswood (that, and the fact you seem to have tried all of them!). The chocolate 'brain' is unusual!

  3. there are some pretty good places to eat in Chatswood! must visit soon - deepfried gyoza? yum!and how can i say no to deep friend 'brains'?

  4. I wouldn't pass up dessert either! LOL. Although it does look a little like brain .... :-)

  5. Hmm never really liked deep fried icecream but if it's wrapped in a layer of sponge.. that sounds kinda intriguing haha

  6. and that's how the zombie apocalypse began.

  7. Ooooo... Brains.... So it's the husband now? ;)

  8. that dessert looks insanely like a brain, to the point that i'd be scared to try it. i'm funny about brains!

  9. Hmm, that's not enough tempura in that dessert!

  10. You just don't expect deep fried gyoza, I know some do it though. mmmmm chocolate brains

  11. Beautiful pictures. I have added you to my 'blogs I love' list. Hope this is okay. Have a great day!

  12. Doh, now I'm totally craving Japanese (pity as I'm at home and we have frozen fish going in the oven).

  13. i'm a big fan of japanese food so good to hear about a new place i can try!

  14. Too bad about the sushi and sashimi, although they looked good in the photo:)
    I am big fan of Japanese food too, and like you, I am more of a pan fried rather than deep fried, and definitely not greasy food!
    While you tempted our appetites with the marvelous spread above, you made my cringe with the mention of deep fried brains..LOL :P

  15. Oh! Bit of a mixed review here. Love the sound of the soft shell crab - my husband, Carl, is a die-hard fan. But the rest of the meal sounded a bit less than ordinary.

  16. Hey John, I'm always sad when that happens and feel duped of pan-fried goodness.

    Hey Bel, it's all because of the husband's love of Japanese food, I tell you!

    Hey gastronomous anonymous, haha, brains it is!

    Hey joey, close your eyes and it will taste like ice-cream? =p

    Hey Vivian, but all deep-fried ice-creams are encased in sponge! Helps to insulate the ice-cream when deep-frying and also gives the batter something to stick to.

    Hey ninja, you mean it really was...brains?!

    Hey Phuoc'n, he gets referred to as that occasionally =p

    Hey Laura, haha, but it really is ice-cream!

    Hey aptronym, more tempura and less brains?

    Hey Sara, I'm afraid I'm not a fan =(

    Hey Cass, nawww, thank you! *blush blush*

    Hey MissPiggy, anywhere close by you can duck out for a Japanese fix?

    Hey panda, always lots of Japanese places poppping up in the area.

    Hey Christy, I like my deep-fried food if it's meant to be that way...especially brainy ice-cream haha!

    Hey Hotly Spiced, yeah, unfortunately a few letdowns but overall a good experience for a first visit.

  17. Been here many times.....the food is great and so is the service.
    The Ramen is proper Ramen with the stock made perfectly and they are (like me) fussy about the sushi so the quality is always superb.
    my wife is Japanese and I have been to Japan 8 times so it is great to have a Japanese restaurant with proper Japanese chefs.

  18. Hey Anonymous, glad you like it here! I need to revisit sometime to give the sushi another try but, more importantly, for a ramen fix =D


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