The mom-and-pop owners of Ichiban Restaurant & Sushi Bar near Ah Fook's in Kahului are celebrating their 20th anniversary in August.
"We took over 20 years ago, but Ichiban has been here for 30 years," says Henry Chan, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Patsy Chan.
The Central Maui staple is located in a humble mall, but it exudes a zen-like quality with its shoji screens, colorful lanterns and antique Japanese architectural elements such as wooden beams. Air conditioning, a fountain and fish tanks add to the charm. But it's the expertly prepared food that makes regulars out of everyone from the mayor to local CEOs, and a big part of it is the sushi bar that's open for lunch and dinner daily.
Sushi Chef Tenzin Pubu and owner Patsy Chan showcase the Patsy Roll, packed with fresh fish and vegetables — and no rice.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Patsy formerly cooked at the Hyatt in her younger years, and her Patsy Roll continues to get rave reviews. It's got ahi, salmon slightly deep fried with spicy sauce and topped with avocado and cucumber.
From Nepal, Sushi Chef is Tenzin Pubu, who's dazzled diners there for three years now. His 007 Roll is packed with spicy tuna and ebi (sweet shrimp) with fresh avocado and a satisfyingly crunchy topping.
He also makes the Hot Night with shrimp tempura and spicy tuna topped with thin slices of lime in a sweet and sour sauce that is out of this world. Pubu's baked fresh oysters and seafood dynamite will appeal to sushi lovers who like their food cooked.
"Everybody loves our yosenabi, sukiyaki, chicken tofu and nabeyaki udon that we serve in cast-iron pots," says Henry. For the latter, slurp thick noodles in rich broth topped with comforting ingredients.
Other hot entrees include oxtail soup with peanuts and grated ginger, miso butterfish, fried akule, fresh ahi, pork tonkatsu, and hot and crunchy tempura. Top it off with green tea and/or lychee ice cream.
For the anniversary special that runs throughout August, get 15 percent off food and beverage if you are seated from 11 a.m. to noon for lunch; and from 5 to 6 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant also serves breakfast on weekdays and you may order lunch items at that time.
For more details, call Ichiban Restaurant at 871-6977.