Ichikawa is the authentic Japanese restaurant located in Porta Romana area that boasts the surname of master Haruo Ichikawa. More than a sushi-chef in Milan, he is an institution of Japanese gastronomy: in fact, his is the merit of the Michelin star awarded in 2014 to Iyo, the only ethnic restaurant in Italy to have received this recognition.
After leaving Claudio Liu's famous restaurant, Ichi (as the aficionados call him) worked in consultancy (B Sushi in Milan and Il Magnolia at the Four Seasons in Florence), also signing the charter for Ichi Station.
2019 was the turning point: Ichi san wanted to open a restaurant of his own, where he can express his talent and creativity with passion and without limits. He is accompanied by the three partners Giorgio Capelli, Stafano Legnani and Paolo Peri (owner of one of the most popular pizzerias in Barcelona, La Sedici). The last two, among other things, take care of the room with enormous kindness. Here the customer is really put at the center of attention, you will be pampered and guided in your gustatory journey with unparalleled dedication.
After having opened its doors with the omakasè formula only, and thanks to the anti-Covid-19 provisions, today it is possible to taste the à la carte dishes. The attention paid to each course is obsessive to say the least: Ichi san has created a menu with precise proposals and authenticity. At the sushi counter he works together with the talented Satoko Kakutani, focused and expert sushiwoman. So don't be dismayed when ordering because it's only normal to have the desire to try just about everything.
Confirmation of the quintessence of the superiority of this cuisine comes with the harumaki (Japanese spring roll, tasty and fragrant) but above all with the sunomono, a true triumph of delicacy and technique: saba with shiso and ginger, cucumber marinated in vinegar with variations of shrimp (seared and raw red shrimp), mozuku seaweed stock, boiled octopus with sake and mirin, clam, shrimp, salmon wrapped in marinated daikon and ikura.
We then proceed with one of the dishes that amazed me the most, the shrimp and vegetable tempura accompanied by wasabi salt, made with a gluten-free flour that gives it a unique texture. Not even in Japan have I ever eaten tempura so crunchy and firm, absolutely delicious.
Then come the mixed sushi dish (rice cooked and served at the correct temperature), the shake don and the kaisen don which is a triumph of freshness, apart from the handcrafted soy sauce with kombu seaweed and katsuobushi which give it an aroma delicately smoked.
Everything is accompanied by the excellent Konishi Hiyashibori Gold sake recommended by the staff, fresh and aromatic, perfect for this incredible dinner.
If, on the other hand, you are a wine lover, you will find the relative menu selected by Sandra Ciciriello, sommelier of Viva, interesting.
As a complement, in this minimalist but welcoming setting, there is no shortage of Japanese whiskeys and umeshu.
If, on the other hand, you wish to opt for the omakasè, I suggest you book at the counter because watching the master at work is undoubtedly an integral part of this fantastic experience.
The tasting consists of six dishes and, to finish, a dessert. All courses are very delicate and complex, a true experience of taste and elegance out of the ordinary.
The dishes may vary according to availability: in fact, Ichikawa only offers what is fresh and available on the day.
Dining at Ichikawa's is an experience to be had absolutely, for a special occasion or simply for a cuddle with the person you love. Everything is in the right place here and there really is nothing that will disappoint you, not to mention that you can rediscover the same quality by ordering paper dishes via Deliveroo.
The bill is obviously related to the quality of what is proposed and therefore totally justified.
I can say that Ichikawa is one of the best Japanese restaurants ever tried, really well done!