Itsumo – My Favorite Japanese Restaurant in Saigon

[quote float="right"]SaigonNezumi’s Favorite Japanese Restaurant in Saigon[/quote]

This may seem like a Japanese week on my blog since in the last 5 days I have eaten at 3 Japanese restaurants.  Remember, I am half-Japanese and I was raised on Japanese food.  It is the best food in the world, in my  biased half-Japanese opinion.  Today I visited the newly opened Itsumo Japanese Restaurant in Pham Ngu Lao.  It is now one of my favorite Japanese restaurants.

I-TSU-MO is located on 242 Bui Vien Street just about 4-5 buildings past Mumtaz (it is opposite a laundry mat).  The owner and chef are both Japanese.  I was informed of this Japanese restaurant by the owners at Baba’s Kitchen.  Since it is located at the “other” end of Bui Vien, I figured I would try this restaurant before it closed.  Well, after visiting it, I will tell you it definitely will not close, it was filled with Japanese tourists and businessmen.

I went there with my Japanese teacher, Yukie, after my Japanese lesson.  The plan was, if we did not like the place, we would go to Sushi Bar.

I ordered some shrimp tempura, chicken and Ebi Ten Maki.  She ordered some other dishes as well.  See the photos below.

Taste

It was amazing.  When I tasted each dish, it literally reminded me of something my mother made for me as a kid.  It was so delicious.  The ebi ten maki was mixed with some yakitori sauce, definitely order this dish on your visit here.  The boneless chicken was great, we chose the koumi sauce but there are other choices as well.  The tofu dish Yukie ordered had a great aftertaste.

Itsumo is definitely catering to the Japanese taste buds here.  There is a big difference from this restaurant and Sushi Bar who caters to Western taste buds.

The portions and size of the Ebi Ten Maki were over double bigger then what I got at the Sushi Bar last week.  Our 5 dishes were more then enough for two people.

Quality

Since Itsumo is located in Pham Ngu Lao does not mean the quality is lower.  I was worried about this.  No worries here, this restaurant is comparable, maybe slighter better, then the food at the Sushi Bar.  I have visited 7 different Japanese restaurants so far in Saigon, none come close to this restaurant.

Price

This was the shocker.  For two people, our total meal came to 280,000 VND ($14 US)!!!  At Sushi Bar, this would be around 500,000 VND easily.   You know where I will be spending 4-5 of my lunches each week now.  Sushi Set Lunches are at 120,000 VND ($6 US).

Overall, I feel that this restaurant will be around in this location for awhile.  I highly recommend you all give them a try, you will not regret it.  I will see if I can get SaigonNezumi readers some discounts.  Enjoy the pictures below:

I TSU MO Sushi Dining: 242 Bui Vien Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC (08)39207792

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Comments

    • says

      @tomosaigon She is Thuy’s (betoneko)’s friend. She was tutoring me since the summer. More of a review. She is from Fukuoka and my mother is from Sasebo so the Japanese I learned as a kid is very similar.

      • tomosaigon says

        @kevmille I haven’t been to Sasebo. I visited Fukuoka once while visiting my cousin in Kita-Kyushu which is also nearby. Fukuoka has a large arcade like you described in Sasebo. Fukuoka is a nice place for a day trip.

        • says

          @tomosaigon In the past, I would call the Arcade a big backpacker area full of US sailors. My last visit it was not as packed, not many American sailors there now.

          I plan to move to Fukuoka hopefully in the next 2-3 years.