The much anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg, Florida! I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the newest Japanese restaurant and am very excited about this new addition to the Tampa Bay area as it is like none other.
Ichicoro already has a successful ramen restaurant in Seminole Heights, Tampa, so it was time to expand and build a bigger restaurant with an all-new menu. “Ane” means “elder sister” in Japanese, so Ichicoro Ane had to live up to it’s name and show how big sis takes it up a notch.
The restaurant is in a great location in downtown St. Petersburg at Station House. It’s situated on the first floor; almost like going underground to a secret restaurant. You’ll walk into a very modern looking space with beautiful wooden partitions that gives it a Japanese ambience. You’ll also see fun murals on the walls and even inside the bathrooms with old Japanese cartoons and dragons. I especially loved the nook that had the mural of all the old school Japanese cartoons as it brought back all my childhood memories living in Japan.
There are two dining options: The Ramen Shop or the Main Dining area. These are basically two separate entities, so you cannot order ramen from the main dining area and vice versa. This is to help the speed of the service. I was very torn on which one to choose but eventually decided on the main dining area so that I could try more dishes.
The main dining menu has four different categories: 1. Bao, Kushiyaki & Yakitori (Steamed Buns & Skewers), 2. Niku (Meat), 3. Sakana (Fish) and 4. Yasai & Kakigori (Vegetable & Shaved Ice Dessert). My friend and I tried something from each section so we could taste a variety of dishes. The dishes are meant to be shared with others, tapas style, so you can order a bunch of items as most of the dishes are relatively small like appetizers.
We started with the steamed buns first - the Chashyu (pork belly) and Gyu (smoked beef). I preferred the smoked beef more but my friend liked the pork belly, so I’d say the verdict is that they’re both delicious. Next, we tried the Tonkatsu, which is a fried breaded pork, and one of my favorite Japanese dishes. It’s a comfort food that I cook at home often, so I’m very critical when it comes to this dish. I’m happy to say that I was very satisfied and finished the dish within seconds. They give you a generous portion too.
We also tried the Smokey Yucca Korroke which was amazing. The talented Chef Noel put a creative twist to the traditional Japanese korroke and instead of using mashed potatoes and ground beef, he used mashed yucca, bacon and Kirin beer cheese. He’s a genius!
From the Fish section, my friend tried the Hamachi Kama, which is broiled yellowtail and he enjoyed it very much. We also saw another table order the Omakase Sashimi and it came in a very festive sushi box with colorful lights. They seemed to really enjoy that as well, so if you like sashimi, I would definitely go with that.
Finally, from the last section of the menu, we tried the Agedashi (fried tofu) and Hana Yasai (fried cauliflower). Hana Yasai was definitely one of our favorite dishes from Ichicoro Ane because it doesn’t taste like vegetables at all and the spicy sauce that comes with it is the perfect combination.
Ichichoro Ane also has a nice size bar that can seat many people with awesome cocktails like Black Mage and Fake Mustache. Black Mage was definitely my favorite (and many other customers) as it reminded me of a drink I had in Bali with activated charcoal. It’s a pretty popular trend right now and turns the drink black, so it’s an instant hit with customers as they are intrigued with the color of the drink. Of course, the drink in itself is delicious using charcoal amaro, lime, pineapple and IPA.
There is also a bonus section to the far right of the restaurant with a relaxing lounge area. So if you just want to chill and enjoy a few appetizers, this area is the perfect place for that.
I am beyond excited for Ichicoro Ane and highly recommend everyone to try this fantastic restaurant. Kudos to the Ichicoro team for creating another exceptional Japanese restaurant that I know will be a huge success.
A very special thank you to Kerem Koca and Noel Cruz for hosting us. We had such a wonderful time and enjoyed talking to you and your exceptional staff. We are looking forward to coming back to try the ramen shop!
Ichicoro Ane has a brand new sign and is now open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm with an awesome menu you won't want to miss. They have a special menu with tasty items like the FTW with French toast bubble waffles with guava syrup and Biscuits & Tonkotsu Gravy using ground pork, ginger and garlic. So darn good!
They also still feature their classics like the Kaarage, Shio Ramen and B.E.C. Ramen. I tried the B.E.C. Ramen for the first time, which is brothless ramen bacon, egg, cheese and it was absolutely amazing. I normally wouldn't try something like this because it's so different from the traditional ramen, but I'm so glad I tried it. It's more like pasta and tastes like carbonara, only better.
ADDRESS: 260 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
HOURS: Ramen Shop Sun, Tue & Wed: 5pm–12am; Thu–Sat: 5pm–1am (Closed Monday)
Main Dining Room Sun, Tue & Wed: 5pm–11pm; Thu–Sat: 5pm–12am (Closed Monday)
Late Night Menu Sun, Tue & Wed: 11pm–12am; Thu-Sat: 12am–1am (Closed Monday)
Brunch Menu Sat & Sun: 11am–4pm
Bar Sun, Tue & Thu: 4pm–1am; Fri & Sat: 4pm–2am (Closed Monday)
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