Ichibankan Express is a fast food sushi joint offering eat in or take out.
The best part was the tasty sushi. I really like how if they don't have the type of sushi that they have on display, they will make it for you (if they have it available to make of course)
The value was good I suppose, but considering this is more of a take out rather than a restaurant with a nice ambiance I think it could have been a little cheaper.
I like how they make the food for you if they don't have it on display.
One Japanese lady couldn't really communicate with me 100%, but I could tell she was friendly and nice (too bad language had to be a barrier.....she would have been A plus for service)
One lady was *not* so nice as far as proper ettiquette (or however it's spelt)
I'll probably return if I am in the area by foot given that thier sushi is good.
For reasonably price and good quality Japanese fast food, this is the place to go. Have picked up sushi and also hot foods from here many times.
Chicken curry is an all time favorite and you cannot beat the value as it is under $6.00. You get a generous amount of chicken, curry, rice and vegetables. Chicken teriyaki and beef teriyaki are also good. Made fresh when you order.
Rolls are quite good for fast food sushi. Bonus for me at least is that the California rolls have tobiko on them. How can you beat paying $2.50 for this. They also have salad, edamame and a few other items including nigiri.
Great place to pick up dinner or lunch when time is tight and so is your wallet.
I haven't try this restaurant since last two year. I often have a take-out lunch when I working at boardway.I see many new face in the restaurant. For sure that they had changed the ownership. The food seems change a little bit but for people who ordering the take-out can't expect too much about the food quality. Although people may think food quality and quantity turning bad by changing management, I will not say too much about a quick lunch within $10.
I have been a longtime customer of this takeout place near Vancouver General Hospital. I believe they have the best tasting California rolls that I have ever had. I really love the masago that goes with the rolls.
The lunch combos are decent. I have also tried the tempura udon which is good. Dynamite rolls are also tasty.
Expect moderate lineups during lunch time when nearby employees come here for takeout.
Overall, a wonderful place for sushi!
My grandma had been admitted to the hospital and I was hungry and went looking for food near the hospital. Whats great is, its just 2-3 blocks down from Vancouver General Hospital. The place offered a great variety of Japanese food from sushi rolls to donburis. I was pleased by how quickly my food came and it felt like a walk in-walk out sort of feeling. If you want something quick, ichibankan is the right place !!!
After 10 years of relying on Ichibanken Express on Broadway I've decided that I won't be eating there anymore.
The food is edible. The ambiance is poor. The service hasn't been good and the prices seem to change, depending on who's at the till. The prices used to include tax. The 2 of last 3 times I've been charged tax. When I asked about that the servers just shrugged and took my money. When I asked to get a roll made because they ran out the cashier said no.
There are other places to get a quick sushi fix.
This restaurant is in the same block as my clinic , so I had been going here regularly for lunch or takeout dinner for over a year. Most of the restaurants within a 4 block radius of my clinic are less than impressive, so up until recently I ate at Ichibankan Express at least once a week. Not exactly the greatest Japanese fast food restaurant in the world, but at least it was reliable and inexpensive.
Unfortunately, in July, 2009 the restaurant was bought out by someone who immediately decided to start cutting costs (and quality). The soy sauce is now a cheap brand. The shrimp in the tempura are now tiny. The soft drinks now cost a dollar more than they used to. They now give you 1/4 the amount of wasabi with your sushi that they used to provide, presumably to "encourage" customers to buy one of the containers of wasabi that they sell for 25 cents. The hiring of young new staff resulted in some days the sushi looking like it had been made by preschoolers. Etc., etc. Pathetic. Perhaps the nickel and diming cost reductions will generate more profits in the end, but I suspect the new owners will lose at least a few former regular customers who expect better quality.
I also noticed that the lovely young Japanese lady that used to manage the restaurant is no longer there. I assume she left in disgust. It really is a shame to see what happened to this restaurant over the space of just a few weeks.
I've now started taking the time to drive a few blocks further in search of a decent meal for lunch. Bawan's (a small Greek restaurant on Broadway near Burrard that I found through recommendations on this site) is pretty reasonable. For sushi I looked up other reviews on this site and checked out the nearby Toyo Sushi on Cambie near 7th Avenue (not bad), Octopus Garden on Cornwall (OK but expensive), Hiroshi's Sushi Creations on Oak (OK but some odd combinations that I didn't care for), Toko Restaurant on 7th 2 blocks east of Cambie (not impressed), Hoshi Sushi Japanese Restaurant on West Broadway in Kitsilano (not impressed) and Temaki Sushi on West Broadway near Arbutus (not impressed).
I'll eventually get around to formally reviewing those places as well, but - based on my experience thus far with around 100 local restaurants - I'm disappointed overall in what Vancouver has to offer. And I suspect that many of the "reviews" on this site are either being submitted by friends + family of the restaurant owners or else people in Vancouver don't know the difference between good food and garbage.
One final thing: with such a large East Indian population in the Lower Mainland, why are there no good Indian restaurants in Vancouver? (Sorry, but Vij's is NOT a good Indian restaurant, despite the ridiculous hype.)
During the weekend, I went to Ichibankan Express to try the Chicken Yakisoba and the Alaska Roll. First, the Chicken Yakisoba had too much oil in it. Second, the Alaska Roll was not fresh,it was falling apart and it was also cold. Not a good place to eat sushi.
I have to agree with the previous reviewer. Since the ownership change, the quality of the food has dropped. It wasn't outstanding quality, mind you, but you can tell, the new owners have decided to cut a few corners. As an example, the udon noodles this place used to serve had an al dente/chewy, but not too soft, texture...a texture hard to come by in Vancouver Japanese restaurants (check out the udon noodles at Aoki to experience the kind of texture I'm talking about). The udon noodles served now no longer have this great texture. I guess the new owners felt no one would notice or care too much about this change (and maybe they're right).
The young girls who used to work there were either fired or quit. I think one Japanese guy who worked for the previous ownership remains, providing some continuity in the way the bento boxes and other hot food are prepared. A new guy who now runs the cash and an older lady constantly annoy the Japanese guy. Surprised he hasn't quit yet.
The price of the sushi is average to above average. The sashimi prices are above average for the quantity you get. Salads and Japanese pastries are also somewhat overpriced. My value rating is based more on the bento boxes and rice bowls...not too bad for what you get.
Ambiance is basic. Most people just order to go, but there is adequate table and counter seating, as well as a couple of small patio type tables outside. The high walls are lined with banners written with the names of sumo wrestling champions....a bit kitschy.
Chances are that if you had been going to this restaurant before the ownership change and are still going to it afterwards, you probably haven't noticed too much of a change. However, I have and will probably stop going there when the Japanese cook disappears.
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