Address: 3520 Major MacKenzie Dr W
Phone Number: (905) 832-8188
Ichiki Japanese & Thai Restaurant is one of the newest all-you-can-eat sushi spots in Vaughan. Outside, the building is fairly plain, with a bright, modern look and Ichiki’s signage in large letters over the entrance. Inside, colors are a bit warmer – featuring rich, dark wood and a variety of upholstery patterns adorning rows of booths – giving the restaurant a classier feel. The interior is quite spacious to accommodate lunch and dinner crowds. The all-you-can-eat option is a fairly reasonable price for the good-quality Japanese and Thai dishes. We would say it falls in the middle of the pricing scale based on our experience with AYCE sushi (read: not dirt cheap, but not eye bulgingly pricey). In addition to the AYCE option, diners also have the option of ordering a la carte, ordering a party tray to go, or indulging in a set lunch special. The latter includes a set course option (miso soup, green salad, steamed rice, and mixed vegetables, along with your choice of main) or a bento box option (miso soup, green salad, steamed rice, mixed vegetables, 2 spring rolls, and 6 pieces of California maki, in addition to your choice of a main item). The lunch special ranges in price from 11.99-17.99, depending on the main you choose. The options are sweet and sour chicken, general tao chicken, teriyaki/red curry/satay chicken, salmon teriyaki, red curry shrimp, teriyaki/red curry/satay beef, marinated beef ribs, or mixed vegetable tempura (the latter also comes with 6 pieces of cucumber roll).
When we visited, we did AYCE lunch. Service was friendly and prompt, and we received all the items that we ordered. The portion sizes were generous as well (we can assure you that we rolled out of this restaurant after all the delicious food we enjoyed). For appetizers, we recommend the edamame (because can you ever really go wrong with edamame?), fried gyoza (crispy and stuffed with flavorful veggie filling), and coconut shrimp (slightly sweet, crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside).
The maki rolls at Ichiki were fresh and had a perfect ratio of rice to filling. The dynamite roll, sweet potato roll, and chicken teriyaki roll were some of the standouts for us, although we wish that the sweet potato had been a bit crispier. We also appreciate that the cucumber avocado rolls come with the seaweed on the inside of the sushi – some places put it on the outside, but we prefer the texture when it is wrapped in rice.
If sushi rolls aren’t your thing or you’re craving something to warm you up, there are plenty of other dishes to satisfy a craving for Japanese and/or Thai cuisine. The teriyaki beef was subtly sweet, yet savory and paired very well with the fresh vegetables it was served with. Another beef dish we enjoyed was the beef satay, which was tender and perfectly seasoned.
We also thoroughly enjoyed the beef fried rice, which was slightly smoky and not too greasy. Usually fans of chicken fried rice (aka a lighter meat), we really enjoyed the added decadence of the beef, a fattier and more flavorful meat.
The sweet and sour chicken was also quite delicious, although it was very sweet. However, the breading on the chicken was still crispy when it came to our table, so we get the sense that everything is freshly made (or at the very least, Ichiki knows the secret to keeping chicken crispy at all times – please share if so).
The pad thai was also delicious, with warm, nutty flavors, rich egg, fresh bean sprouts, and a sweet sauce.