Lunch at 一吉 Ichiyoshi

Lunch at 一吉 Ichiyoshi

at 一吉 Ichiyoshi on 22 March 2021
Photo Views
Meal Views

Another extraordinary experience, exclusive to Japan! A mere 20-minute train ride from Odawara brings you to a station that lacks taxis; instead, there's only a sign with a phone number. Upon calling, the dispatcher explains that a taxi will take an hour to arrive due to high demand. When we informed the restaurant of our delay, the chef offered to pick us up. Remarkably, the chef is an octogenarian who, alongside his wife and son, runs the restaurant. Their menu is as simple as it is delectable.

The meal begins with an impressive array of sashimi, both varied and exquisitely presented, so fresh that the shrimp continues to move for an additional 10 minutes. After navigating through the generous serving of raw seafood and fish, the main course is served: a kimetai shabu-shabu. The dashi, a closely guarded family secret, is outstandingly delicious, crafted from grilled kimetai among other ingredients. The chef personally guides you through the cooking process: the kimetai head for 15 minutes, the kimetai slices for about 30-45 seconds depending on their thickness, and the negi (ネギ, young onions) for precisely 8 seconds. This combination yields an incredibly flavorful profile that leaves one unable to stop until fully satisfied.

Naturally, the meal concludes with a rice dish - Zosui (Japanese Rice Soup, 雑炊) made with the same dashi, subtly rich in umami.

All these delights come at a surprisingly reasonable cost. While it may not be the best food ever, it stands out as one of the most memorable experiences.

P.S.: And, of course, the chef kindly drops you off at the nearby train station, just in time for your train back to Tokyo.

8 / 10