31 Jul Ichi Ni Nana, Fitzroy
At 127 Brunswick Street you’ll find three venues in one. The Village People, offering hawker delights upstairs, UpSide for drinks and beats further up, and Ichi Ni Nana on the ground floor. It’s a traditional-style izakaya, with an extensive drinks list covering cocktails, wines, and of course, sake. The food menu includes items cooked on their kobachi grill.
It’s a much larger and louder venue than its parent venue, Ichi Ichi Ku Izakaya. Some seats can be had in the courtyard, covered by a retractable glass covering, or maybe in the four-person private dining booth inside an original Nagano Winter Olympics cable car, complete with its own sound system.
Meals can be started with a light option of maguro (tuna) tataki with a soy, yuzu and shallot dressing. Gyu (beef) tataki uses scotch fillet, served with a ginger and soy dressing. The Volcano Roll here is filled with asparagus, salmon and prawn, coated in a spicy scallop sauce and smoking for theatre. They do rice bowls too, teriyaki salmon and the vegetarian miso yasai don grace the table.
Sake Teriyaki Mayo Hako Sushi i.e. block pressed sushi is delicious. The fish flows over the sides of the rice, unlike traditional hako sushi, and there’s a generous dollop of roe and mayo to match.
Ebi Mayo are battered prawns with karashi mayo, Japanese yellow mustard and horseradish. Squeeze some lemon over it for a crispy and delicious eat. Get your bao fix with BBQ pork, nestled within a deep-fried bun with chilli and pickled ginger. For something more meaty there’s the wagyu rib, which has been braised then grilled over charcoal. The delectable meat comes boneless and is paired with finely sliced vegetables and a salty yaki niku sauce.
Though not completely traditional, Ichi Ni Nana serves up some tasty food in a vibrant and funky environment.