Ichiban coming to Holmdel [NJ]

In the Holmdel Towne Center next to the bagel place and Rook Coffee, I noticed a sign in one of the vacant storefronts that said Ichiban coming. Closest one to the area is on Route 18 in East Brunswick (formerly Shogun). I’m indifferent on them coming to town. They have decent food, though Hibachi to me is more of a novelty than quality cuisine. Wonder if they will have a liquor license for a bar, as they all have them.

I’m just not sure the Hazlet/Holmdel/Middletown market can bear another Asian restaurant. They have sushi too-- there’s about 15 places within 5 minutes of that location for sushi!

FYI the Ichiban in Ocean is not owned by the same people as the one on Rt 18. The one in Ocean IMO is one of the better Japanese restaurants in the area, and the same person owns an Ichiban in Toms River.

1 Like

I went last night. I will write something up soon but to answer your question it is byob. However, they have a one of those whacky licenses that probably only exists in nj. They can sell wine on a separate transaction…ie your food bill and wine bottle(s) will be on separate checks. I’ve only seen this a few times but it does exist. The winery was from CA. I think they can only have a single source for wine so it is a little strange how it works. I’ve only been to a few places that do it this way. One of them was captain eds which I miss.

Do you see it surviving longer than a year or two? They are in such an odd spot.

Well I really can’t tell Greg. If I had to flip a coin, I’d say yes it could last. However, I’m not into real estate so without knowing rent compared to local places, it is hard to call. I’ll get more into this but I just got home from dinner. I’m kind of tired and had two LIT :slight_smile:


Greg is familiar with the area so for others, I’ll start out with some basic info.

Bottom line, would I go back? Yes, but I have other spots to try first. Don’t let this deter you. I think this place could have some interesting dishes.

To start, this place is located in a large strip mall that houses a chilis and texas roadhouse. It is in the middle of this strip mall. Ample parking and liquor store a few doors down. I walked over after seated and got a chianti that paired well with it’s dry side.

We got 4 dishes

Spicy tuna= very average, good rice ratio, sadly no spice at all, great size and fairly priced. I wanted to try a baseline and this is one thing I always try at new Japanese places.

Spider roll= this was the winner of the night. For ten bucks they got this one correct. Nice crunchy crab, decent sized crab and quite a sizeable roll for 10.00
I would order this again and this is probably the best spider roll around my area.

Crab salad= well most of us know you’re not getting real crab meat for a dish costing under ten bucks. So for you pollack fans, this was a decent dish. Good texture, mild sauce, decent size, priced right. A drop or two of chili paste/sauce would probably have been a good call for me. I should have asked

Amazing Tuna Roll: White tuna tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, crunch Outside: Red pepper, Pepper tuna, sweet miso sauce. This was a beast of a roll with lots of fish that my friend got. I hand one piece and literally it took me a while to swallow this. In fact, I should have taken this apart and had my own sashimi plate.

Overall nothing flavorwise blew me away and I didn’t expect this. Ichinban is putting out some decent food at a fair price, with a rather extensive menu. I will say your dollar will go farther here than some local spots if you pick wisely. The size of the rolls were speaking my language lol. :slight_smile: Their dinners for hibachi looked kind of pricy but I normally don’t go that route. I like smaller plates when doing japanese.

Overall, for 40.xx pre-tip, this wasn’t a bad 20.00 meal for me. I’ll get back and try some other things, but I’m not rushing there.

If I had to complain about one thing, it was the small portion of Wasabi and ginger. They go really light on this so I probably should have asked for more…that’s about it on the downsides.

Ps…service was top notch. The venue is actually very nice. It is open air/spacious, roomy, and the lighting is pretty cool imo. They did a nice job on this space.