Outlet 2: Plaza Singapura, #02-35, 68 Orchard Road
Outlet 3 : Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, B1-05
Outlet 4 : Changi Airport T3, 03-30/31
Outlet 5 : JCube 02-35, Singapore, Singapore
With five branches islandwide as of May 2012, Itacho Sushi is a Japanese restaurant chain serving a wide variety of sushi and sashimi, as well as other Japanese dishes. It originates from Hong Kong and is a member of the Taste of Japan Group.
The application of a crème brulee blowtorch to sashimi is nothing short of genius. The flambé treatment caramelizes the top layer of the raw fish slice without cooking it. Anything that says “roasted” on the sushi menu means that the sashimi has been blasted with the blowtorch and is total deliciousness. I particularly like the roasted dorsal and the roasted salmon.
Itacho also serves delicious bento boxes and my favourites are the Unagi don and Teriyaki Chicken don. In fact, its bentos are very affordable for the given quality and quantity - the Unagi don costs approximately $15.
The two outlets I’ve visited are the ones at Bedok Mall and Ion Orchard as they are located right next to the MRT station. I suggest avoiding the outlet at Ion Orchard as I queued for 30 mins to get a table for 4 while the one at Bedok is usually emptier.
2) Quality of sushi.
The seasonal promotions it has are highly value-for-money, with prices per piece of sushi as low as 60 cents and even 40 cents (though the latter is a max one piece per person order). I find these promotions to be highly attractive and make its sushi all the more affordable - just last week I managed to dine a full meal at Itacho for under $14 at dinner, and it was a good meal, at that.
From the 40 cent salmon skin sushi to their $1 Spicy Salmon Gunkan or $1.30 Roasted Salmon, the sushi here is both cheap and good - the quality of sushi here is higher than in other restaurants (Sakae, Sushi Tei), particularly their rice, and cheaper as well.
Another good thing about them is that they don't force you to buy sushi in twos like other restaurants so you can pick and choose if you want a greater variety of sushi. An added bonus is that they provide complimentary iced/warm green tea (With Min. Spending $10) which is greatly appreciated in an era where restaurants charge you up to $0.50 for iced water.
Their lunch sets are also highly affordable, with their Sake Don (Rice with Raw Salmon) going at $11 which is served with their miso soup (which is also superior to most other Japanese restaurants, being richer in ingredients) compared to the usual price of $15.90 which does not come with the miso soup.
Two things to note however:
1) Their wasabi is not as good as the wasabi in other restaurants - it works better being dipped in soy sauce (the improper, Singaporean way) rather than being applied directly, suggesting that its purity may be compromised more than others.
2) Itacho can also be highly expensive should you order the wrong things. When their sushi goes above $1.30 per piece, it is no longer affordable and too many orders above that range will make your dining experience a very costly one indeed. However, this also means that Itacho can both be an affordable family restaurant and a more expensive quality one.
All in all, I am highly satisfied with my experiences at Itacho Sushi. Having dined at three different outlets (Bedok, Tampines, Changi Airport), the quality of sushi amongst all three outlets is consistent and the service level acceptable. I have to commend the service staff of Tampines, however, for being warmer, more friendly, and for providing all in all a higher standard of service than the others.
We ordered a mixture of sushi, sashimi and grilled items with some noodles and rice. Service was fast, as all our orders came one after another. My cousin had abalone and roasted salmon sushi, which were tasty and crunchy. I loved that the sushi rice was warm instead of the usual cold ones served at other restaurants.
The scallop and oyster sashimi were plump and juicy. Our favourites had to be the grilled scallop and the tiger prawn mango curry salad roll. Grilled scallop was flavourful but too little to share. Tiger prawn salad roll was crispy with the unusual mixture of wasabi and curry flavours.
I tried the soba noodles & miso with clams and they tasted OK. My cousin had the eel rice but found it too little. The roasted egg deserves a special mention. It was tasty with a bit of salt added. Overall, we had an enjoyable lunch and will definitely return another time for more sushi and grilled items.
To me, though, I would avoid it as the fish skin is present in the sushi - something that makes me cringe. They even give u a drink on the house when you order a minimum of 12 sushi. Talk about value for money! Service, however, could definitely be improved. It was rather sluggish, with staff paying little to no attention to the customers, making it fairly difficult for one to add on orders.
Overall, I would still visit as it's really worth the money (and calories) for such decadent sushi at a good price.
I ate at Hong Kong's Itamae Sushi before Itacho arrived in SG. Though they have a different name. they are by the same owners and Itacho can probably hold its own against Itamae. The tuna sashimi's just as fresh, and the crab stick sushi was a surprise hit for me. The hand rolls are a good choice too.
Service was sub-par, sadly. They seem understaffed - the green tea I ordered took half an hour to arrive... at the next table of customers, who'd arrived later than I had. And they hadn't even ordered a drink. It's unfortunate, because this place has some of SG's most affordable sushi.
After much persuasion, my friends managed to get me seated in Itacho, and I was impressed.
The prices are near of that of Sushi Tei, and Sakae, but the quality however was definitely much higher.
What I really love about Itacho is that you get to choose individual sushis instead of having to finish a pair, and for the less adventurous, there are the "half-cooked" versions where the fish is torched.
Taste wise it was pretty good, but I had a bad experience with their otoro. I was excited that they had the otoro promotion and instantly ordered some slices of sashimi. The fish had died a wrongful death and it was so awfully cut with the ligaments and veins all horribly angry and knotted in my mouth, I think my fishmonger could have done a better job.
Their fish liver was surprisingly good, so no complaints there!
Other than my one bad otoro, I learnt my lesson and stuck to their basic menu which always left me craving for more.
You would be pleased to know that they serve uni (sea urchin) and ankimo (monkfish liver) and sea eel (a rare find in Singapore) at inexpensive prices. They also have a promotional menu where you can find soy salmon sushi at only $0.40 each (however, they have limited pieces and usually sold out by dinner time)
Some may say this sushi chain may be overrated and sushi are not that fantastic, well you get what you paid for right? The prices are relatively cheaper than other sushi chains like Sushi Tei and Sakae Sushi. Service is efficient and I wouldn't mind going back again.
Don't get me wrong, I do like their sushi. I particularly found their bluefin tuna sushi, salmon roe sushi and scallop sushi to be particularly savory. But for me to stand in line for my food for 30-45 minutes before waiting another 15-20 minutes for my order to arrive, I expect something quite extraordinary. Itacho was unable to provide that.
And do not be fooled by the huge boards brandishing the cheap prices offered by the restaurant. The discouts offered often do not apply to their more popular and better tasting sushi. Hence I hardly enjoyed the cheap pricing that was heavily advertised outside the restaurant.
All in all, this is a decent restaurant, but for all that hype, I really do expect much more.
Itacho Sushi is famous for its fresh and unique variety of Sushi but it also comes with a hefty price tag to it. Most of the Sushi is per piece, unlike other sushi joints in which an order of sushi gives you 3X portion. Each piece of 'normal' sushi can cost up to $3-4. The lucky thing is that they have a menu of discounted items that are changed continuously so we went for food items that cost up to 50% off.
I enjoyed the cold green tea noodles as it was refreshing and filled with tiny chopped scallops. I also enjoyed the swordfish sushi, inari, ebi sushi, lobster shusi. In fact we ordered so much we lost count. They all came fresh and delicious! I also remember my friends vigoriously taking the free ginger at the side table, and they claimed they loved it although i am not a fan!
Overall, a nice sushi joint in Singapore to indulge in good and fresh sushi though some of my friends have commented that standards have dropped slightly as compared to when it first opened.
I'm quite thankful that there's only a small portion of rice per sushi, because it attenuates the accompanying ingredient on top and it's easier to pick up with your chopsticks. Of course, because there's so many people, it's a little hard to get the attention of the service staff, but once you manage to do so, the service is actually pretty fast. I would say I had a pleasurable dining experience at Itacho Sushi, and I would recommend others to go as well!