hokkaido ichiba

Hokkaido Ichiba Japanese Restaurant @ The Gardens Mall

I could still vividly remember the last time I was at Kita No Zen (Hokkaido Ichiba) for lunch. The food was prepared with care and presented nicely, had generous portions and most importantly, tasted good. So even though the extensive menu is priced about 10-20% higher than the average Japanese restaurant in the mall, you get what you pay for – quality. Since SL had not been to the restaurant before and it was long since we had a good Japanese meal, we headed there last weekend.


Feeling deja vu? That is because Kita is owned by the same company that operates Sushi/Pasta Zanmai hence the familiarity in the restaurant’s decor.



I believe the Dragon Roll (RM30) is a popular dish at any Japanese restaurant. I felt it is so exceptionally good here that I ordered it during both of my visits. Topped with flying fish roe and sliced avocados that cleverly resemble the scales of a dragon, the sushi has a whole fried jumbo ebi wrapped inside. The prawn is very meaty too (thicker than my thumb!) and the flesh was firm and tasted sea-sweet. Simply delicious.


The superbly fresh Salmon Sashimi (RM22, 7pcs) comes in thick, generous slices and had an amazingly silky smooth texture that melts in your mouth. They are probably as good as they could get.


Unagi Kabayaki (small, RM28) – tender and flavorful in every bite, there was nothing to be faulted about this.


We also had the Winter Roll @ RM22, which I feel is somewhat a sister version of the Dragon Roll. It consisted of shrimp, sweet Japanese omelette and cucumber. I have to admit both its presentation and flavor are inferior when compared to the Dragon Roll but still, it is a good sushi.


Since the Salmon Sashimi was impressive, we decided to try the Toro Salmon (salmon belly) as well. It is understandably more expensive (RM30, 5pcs) for being more fatty and having an almost buttery taste. What can I say? Money well spent!


Iced Green Tea Latte @ RM6 – very milky and not much of green tea flavor, worth a try nonetheless for me. We also tried some other food like Chawanmushi, Grilled Saba and Cheese Baked Oysters that were all equally tasty albeit not spectacularly memorable. I am not a huge fan of Ramen and Sukiyaki, which is why I almost never order them at Japanese restaurants. So even though I adore the unagi, sashimi and sushi here, I cannot vouch for the rest of the menu, alright?


At the end of the meal we were very satisfied with the food we had. In fact both of us unanimously felt that the overall experience at Kita was way better than our last visit to Yuzu, which is another high-end Japanese restaurant located in the same mall.

Hokkaido Ichiba
Lot T-201, Third Floor, The Garden Mall
59200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates: N3 07.145 E101 40.538
Tel: 03 2283 1060

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Comments 21

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  1. Chong

    Tried once and quite liked their food. However, there is this odd smell which is quite distinctive… even from outside of the restaurant (same goes to Sushi Zanmai). Not sure what the smell is or where it comes from but I find it a lil annoying.

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  2. Ducky

    Why do people queue up for Sushi Zanmai when there’s Hokkaido? Especially in One Utama.

    Is there something so attractive about Sushi Zanmai that it trumps Hokkaido?

  3. Kevin

    Your description on the Salmon Sashimi is just what I remembered. It has been long since I have last dined in a Japanese restaurant. Although I find them expensive, I was always satisfied at the end of every meal. Thank you for the recommendation.

  4. Raymond

    The service is super sucks today! the portion also super small and not acceptable !! i swear i will no visit hokaido anymore !

  5. Charles

    vkeong you should try the wagyu beef which served with a piece of big leaf. RM75 but around 6-7 pieces, but the price is totally worth. You will open your eyes widely and shouting in your heart when the meat melting on your tongue. Cook the beef about 50% done is the best :D

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