Restaurant Reviews Yamato by Ichi Zen | Restaurant Review

Yamato by Ichi Zen | Restaurant Review

2023 Feb 5

Open Time:

Daily, 11.30 am to 11 pm (Including Poya days)


63/2, Ward Place, Colombo 07


In a private road down Ward Place located about 300m past Caramel Pumpkin Cafe

Contact No

0112 664 999



Love sushi? Then you’re going to love Yamato by Ichi Zen! 

Tucked discreetly in the heart of Colombo is a sushi restaurant headed by one of the best sushi chefs in the country. Yamato by Ichi Zen is personally, one of my go-to places for Japanese, so trying to impartially review one of my already favourite restaurants was quite a task. 

Good sushi is only as good as the chefs behind it, and the chef behind this sushi haven is none other than Chef Manjula! The menu he has put together is a combination of authentic Japanese and fusion cuisine. 

It is noteworthy that Yamato by Ichi Zen has BYOB with no added charge so this might just be the perfect spot for a Friday night out! But in case you’re staying in, the restaurant offers direct delivery and is also available via UberEats and PickMe Food. 


Squid Hotdog – LKR 950 (3/5) 

This appetiser is just what it sounds like, it includes sausage sandwiched between a grilled circular-shaped squid. Seasoning didn’t play an important role in this dish and it’s clear that the natural flavours of the squid and sausage were highlighted instead. However, even for an appetiser, we’d ideally prefer a bigger portion.

Gyutan Shio – LKR 1,800 (4/5)

This was another intriguing dish we tried. It included grilled ox tongue with a simple salt seasoning. The meat itself was chewy but grilled to perfection and had a buttery aftertaste. 


Spicy Maki –  Tuna LKR 2,100 / Salmon LKR 2,600 (4.5/5)

We had to try some Sri Lankan favourites from Japanese cuisine and they did not disappoint! We tried the Spicy Tuna Maki which included fresh, softened tuna, spicy mayo and some good ol’ Sri Lankan kochchi! The sushi was coated with crispy crumbs which was a nice textural contrast with the soft tuna. I’d definitely order this again but next time around, I’d ask for more spice! 

Tempura Dragon – LKR 2,900 (5/5)

This might be the most aesthetically pleasing dish we had, and the good news is that it tasted even better than it looked! With a swirl of prawn tempura, avocado and ponzu sauce as its filling, the maki was topped with avocado, tuna, teriyaki mayonnaise, chilli and coriander. This leaned more towards the sweet side but you could always pair it with some wasabi if you prefer the heat!

Tempura Laksa – LKR 1,900 (5/5)

If you’re on a budget but still want to indulge in some authentic Japanese laksa, this dish is right up your alley. I believe a single portion of the Tempura Laksa is ample for 2 people because it’s filled to the brim with spicy noodle soup, batter fried prawns, boiled eggs, narutomaki and vegetables. It’s the Japanese version of chicken soup for the soul. 

Japanese Curry Rice – LKR 1,800 (5/5)

The Japanese curry rice is a common homeplace meal that every household enjoys, so it was pleasant to see the chefs pay homage to authentic Japanese culture. The curry includes a potato cutlet, sausage, fish and prawn all cooked traditional tempura-style with a portion of Japanese sticky rice. The curry sauce is vastly different from what we Sri Lankans are used to and it’s the “good” kind of different.


Green Tea Ice Cream with Sweet Bean Paste – LKR 650 (5/5)

This dessert was a classic example of why you should always opt to try unusual food combos. Green tea and sweet bean are common in Japan – in fact, it’s a delicacy, and I got a taste of that at Yamato by Ichi Zen. The creamy in-house green tea ice cream paired with the chunky and sweet bean paste well and was more along the subtly sweet side of desserts. Thanks to its unique taste, you might discover your new favourite flavour of ice cream. 


Ichi Zen Special – LKR 1,090 (5/5)

The Ichi Zen special appears to be similar to a matcha latte and is one of their signature drinks. True to its Japanese roots, it has the perfect sweetness-to-bitterness ratio when the earthy flavour of the matcha and the creamy and milky texture come together. So if you’ve seen matcha lattes all over TikTok but don’t know where to get a good cuppa, this is your sign to come to Yamato by Ichi Zen. 


The overall interior and exterior of the restaurant emanated calmness and serenity. The seating arrangement is also very versatile throughout the restaurant as they offer indoor and outdoor dining, with private dining and upstairs seating arrangements indoors to accommodate whatever you’re in the mood for. The upstairs seating got my attention because if you rent out a private room with a group seating arrangement, you also have the pleasure of watching something on a large flat-screen TV. Additionally, the staff was very inviting and friendly so you can expect wonderful service here. 

As it turns out, Yamato by Ichi Zen can do no wrong to sushi. This is one of the best spots in Colombo to get your hands on a range of authentic Japanese dishes, the only problem is what to choose! Let us know which dish you enjoyed best on your visit there!