Ichi Ni Izakaya

12 The Esplanade
St Kilda VIC 3182
03 9534 1212

This post is going to be predominantly food porn.

I got to know a bunch of Chunky Move dance class-goers last year through Damo. With their encouragement, I tried a few classes, and found it nigh impossible, lol. I decided I am better suited to watching dance than dancing dance. I watch local performances with them ever so often and we’d have a meal before or after. They’re a lovely bunch, but because we always hang out in such a large group, I find it difficult to get to know people. The last performance I watched with them was wonderful: Stephanie Lake’s ‘Mix Tape’. Choreographing a dance about human bonding and relationships is tricky ground, but she did it very well.
In the same vein, last Saturday’s performance was also about relationships but with a different perspective. Adam Wheeler’s ‘Something Blew’. Damo had a spare ticket when someone pulled out so I took that spot. He invited me to the pre-show dinner and that’s how I ended up at Ichi Ni Izakaya with twelve dancers that I half knew.

The lighting was beautiful at 6.30-7.30pm. It came from a lovely window overlooking the esplanade. The decor was filled with rich reds, greens, golds and purple. It was quite lush. And the sea was nearby. St Kilda exudes a particular warm buzz on sunny weekends. All this made me very much in the mood to take pictures of the food, hence the food porn.

Damo said that Ichi means “one”, Ni means “two”. And Izakaya is basically a Japanese ‘pub’ that also serves food. Food that’s more elaborate and substantial than tiny snacks. So the three words brought together amused Damo because it conjures images of a Japanese citizen exclaiming “One.. Two.. Izakaya!!”.

I opened the menu and *koff koff* the 2nd page was titled “Japanese Tapas”. Lol. Billy would have something to comment about that. I had a delicate constitution and appetite that evening, so I just had the tofu salad for myself. It satisfied me, the ingredients were fresh enough and I always like the citrusy flavour of Ponzu dressing.

Tofu Salad – $14
The other dishes looked very pretty and I took pictures where I could. Damo had the small sashimi platter. He said the fish was sweet. I asked him if it was fresh. He wrinkled his nose, there was a fishy flavour. I thought the butterfly that sat on the mound of wasabi was quite appealing though. it was carved out of daikon. Damo and Bri also had the seaweed salad and they weren’t impressed. I asked Bri how was the Salmon Kushi Don, he said it tasted “Salmony”.  =.=”
Sashimi small – $15


Salmon Kushi Don – $20
Vege Roll – $10

I think this place probably serves well-presented food of half-decent quality. However servings are small and at $8-$20 per plate, the bill stacks up quickly. If the prices were cheaper or the servings larger, I’d be more likely to come back for a reprise.

Nasu Cheese Yakitori – $6
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