If you thought Japanese food was just about sushi and noodles, think again. The Ikanji restaurant has the most comprehensive menu I’ve ever seen which explores all the different and delicious methods of Japanese cooking all for your pleasure. The welcome is friendly and full of smiles and the staff can’t do enough to please; if you need help in your choice, they are there to advise and recommend. The owner, Richard, is an accomplished chef and can be seen hard at work in the kitchen preparing the delicate dishes.
The menu majors in seafood of all types, and of course if you are vegetarian there is a dizzying choice of a myriad ways to cook and make vegetables exciting and tasty. My husband whose suspicion and dislike of anything on a plate that comes as green is legendary, but even he warmed to the idea of thinly cut vegetables deep fried with the lightest of tempura batter. If there is a steak lover in your party, there is a whole page devoted to various steaks and sauces so everyone can be happy.
We decided to start with traditional Japanese miso soup for me, with tofu, mushrooms, seaweed, and spring onion. Across the table, kamu harumaki, was the order of the day – crispy duck spring rolls wrapped with shitake mushrooms, carrots and cabbage with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. I can never resist the Japanese classic, katsu curry, and for main course I ordered tori katsu curry; crisp panko breaded chicken fillet, with steamed rice and Ikanji’s homemade curry sauce. There was no dithering my husband either – from the tempura list, seafood tempura with prawns, seabass, scallops and asparagus, with a dish of egg and vegetable rice on the side.
The restaurant was lively and busy but service was prompt and we were demolishing our starters in no time at all. The steaming bowl of clear miso soup was fragrant and satisfying, and the duck spring rolls were a delight – I know as I pinched one and ate all the accompanying salad garnish which was as fresh as a daisy. When our main courses were served, we were impressed with the beautiful presentation of both, most worthy of an Instagram post. I really enjoyed my katsu curry delivered in a large white bowl the chicken slices fanned artistically around the fluffy white rice atop a moat of rich curry sauce (I used the thoughtfully provided large spoon to make sure none was left at the end!).
The tempura was amazing, a crispy collage of fish, each one melting in the mouth under its coating of light batter. Apparently, the scallop was the best, but my husband loved it all. We’ll be back!
14-16 Walliscote road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UG