• Ichiban

  • (1)
  • White Veg-options

Serves meat, vegan options available. This Japanese restaurants offers a vegetarian miso soup without bonito (fish). Staff is aware of vegetarian requirements. There is a separate vegetarian/vegan section on the menu; has rolls inari (tofu) and a Mr. Bean roll, which is wrapped in bean curd rather than seaweed and filled. Tranquil atmosphere with booths and tatami rooms. Vegan dessert options include a sorbet. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-10:00pm.

Venue map for Ichiban
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1 Review

First Review by aquacat


Points +39

20 Jan 2015

Most veg-friendly Japanese restaurant in Ambleside

There are at least six Japanese restaurants in Ambleside, in a 4-block strip. This is one of only two which serves vegetarian miso soup. (The other, smaller one, is in the same block.). Aside from that, there is a vegetarian section on the menu with an extensive choice, far more than most Japanese restaurants. We used to take our own smoked tofu for the chef to make rolls and he was accommodating, but this is unnecessary. They have their own inari – tofu – rolls.

Aside from the vegetarian section of the menu, there are other vegetarian/ vegan choices not often available at Japanese restaurants. For example, vegetarian gyoza and the Mr. Bean roll which is unique. It is wrapped with bean curd rather than seaweed and filled with avocado, yam tempura, and mushrooms – a big roll. It is listed under special rolls, not in the vegetarian section although it is vegan. The chef and other staff are highly aware and sensitive to vegetarian/vegan requirements. There is the option of using brown rice for the rolls for a slight extra cost – also can be ordered on its own. There are vegetarian lunch and dinner boxes, with tofu. Individual sushi pieces are great – the avocado one has lots of avocado, and the Inari one is a little boat of tofu filled with rice.

Atmosphere is pleasant, tranquil, and intimate. It is the only Japanese restaurant in the area with traditional decor including private booths and 5 tatami rooms. Being upstairs increases the sense of privacy as it is removed from the street and there is a peekaboo view of the water from some of the tatami rooms. However, it is not wheelchair friendly as there is no elevator. Best of all for vegetarians/vegans – it does not smell like fish!

Japanese music, usually with singing, is piped outside. The music inside is soft western pop music. For what it's worth, there is a large flatscreen TV near the entrance but we have never had the desire to watch it.

We have tried several Japanese restaurants in the area, some in the South Surrey/White Rock area and some in Vancouver itself. This is hands down our favourite. Prices are no more than any other Japanese restaurant, and the quality is excellent.

There is a liquor license with wine, beer, sake, etc. Parking on the street is free but it may not be easy to find at times. Public transit access is very convenient; many buses run along Marine Drive.

Ichiban is suitable for casual or formal dining, or romantic meals. I highly recommend for vegetarians/vegans.

Pros: Extensive vegetarian/vegan choices, Free street parking/easy transit, Tranquil, pleasant traditional atmospher

Cons: Not wheelchair-friendly

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