Monday, February 04, 2019 Sharon Halim 1 Comments

Ishizuka opened by the former head chef at Koko brings an exclusive elegant 16-seat Japanese fine diner to Melbourne. It's specialising in Kaiseki, a traditional Japanese degustation meal. Using only the best seasonal ingredients, conscientious prepared, beautifully presented and served in a prescribed order. Kaiseki is not as well known as omakase in Australia, this concept introduce in Melbourne by Kisume then now we have our very own Kaiseki specialise restaurant.

I have tasted Kaiseki many times in Japan, I'm very excited to try Ishizuka. Ishizuka proud them self in serving traditional Kaiseki with a lil bit of a fusion. The restaurant it self is pretty hard to find, make sure you read their website for the instruction. It's inside a secluded building, enter from Bourke St or Little Collins St, dial the basement then take a lift down to Ishizuka door. Just call their staff if you get loss. Upon entering, dim lighting, concrete walls, tree's and amazing floor to ceiling lanterns. Inside the half lantern, we sit. Started with complimentary sake.

Sakizuke - snapper crab, caviar, cauliflower cream, miso consomme jelly. Drink: grape fruit and green plum. Stunning, fresh start. I couldn't have enough of this creamy cauliflower and light flavour miso jelly. Very subtle but still rich in flavour and that crunchy nori on top with crab inside, is delicious enough to tie everything together. Quite a start.

Zensai - spring delicacies; asparagus mousse, mussel from New Zealand, sakura mochi, sweet broad beans, spinach, rainbow fish or mackerel with ginger, marinated baby squid. Drink: watermelon and sedachi, Japanese red wine. The classic assorted appetisers, always presented in Kaiseki. Still light in flavour with all texture carefully put into the dish. Smooth rich asparaus mousse, fresh mussel, sweet vegies, flavourful fish, crunchy squid, and sakura sweetness. And that drink is so delicious and fresh on it's own, I want more please.

Otsukuri - gunard, flathead, tuna. Drink: ice cucumber green tea a little hint of wasabi. Fresh pieces of sashimi is all that the commentary this dish needed, they shone on their own. I never like cucumber that much or wasabi but surprisingly mixed into a drink with a lil green tea, turn's to amazing unique mocktail. Very fresh, perfect for summer.

Agemono - scampi, kataifi, broccoli espuma, lime. Drink: pineapple, coconut cream puree. Crispy thin outer layer with fresh succulent scampi and smooth shiny mousse on the side. My husband love this dish and the drink taste like elevated pina colada.

Sakisui: winter melon, abalone, bamboo, bonito broth. Drink: sudachi lime bonito broth. The clear yet rich with flavourful broth that always exist in kaiseki dining. I wonder how they make it crystal clear but jam pack full of light aromatic flavour. It's amazing. Love the sudachi lime flavour, fresh, zesty and different.

Yakimono: twice cooked barramundi, snapper mousse, cabbage, kabayaki. Drink: blood orange, lychee, Japanese bbq sauce. Rolled like a flower, bathed in sauce, sip into the very deep of that barramundi. Delicious but the twice cooked make the texture a bit firmer than usual. Never throught I would drink bbq sauce but guess what? With sweet lychee and a bit bitter zesty blood orange, bbq sauce does belong in this drink. Give it a bit thicker and richer liquid texture but delicious.

Mushimono: chawanmushi, truffle artichoke sauce. Drink: baby Japanese peach sparkling. Chawanmushi is a smooth steam egg, a traditional Japanese dish that's also my favourite. Add truffle to it, amazing. Even though the texture a bit heavier than the regular chawanmushi. Another favourite drink of the night, sweet, peachy and light in soda.

Daimoro: grilled david blackmore 9+ wagyu. Drink: strawberry with shisho leaves. A fine piece of perfectly cooked meat. I just wish they use Japanese meat, that would make it more authentic. Strawberry is my favourite fruit, mixed in with aromatic shisho leaves gives it a lil bit edges making it one edgy drink.

Oshinogi: toro sushi. There's no drink partner with this dish cause they want you to feel the taste of the beautiful piece of fish. We were allowed to get one more for extra price of course but many would jump for one more taste of that luxurious fish. Rich, fatty yet still fresh. Finest quality indeed.

Mizugashi:  umeshu jelly, seasonal fruit, coconut sauce. Drink: green apple and ginger. Fresh, vibrant yet creamy too. Not your usual Japanese dessert but better. Match with soury, fresh yet a bit spicy due to the ginger drink. We also got a small surprise for our birthday, they said in Japanese they served this mini thing on birthday.

Kanmi: Queen's muscat oolong ice cream, mango mousse, manuka honey crisp, matcha air sponge. Drink: mango reduction puree. What a stunning dessert, taste delicious. One of the best Japanese dessert I have ever tasted. The ice cream is rich and strong in oolong then super smooth mango mousse, sweet crisp and sponge to tie it in all together. Ended with mango drink to tie it in all together like a beautiful bow.

The price ranged from $230pp and they also offered matching alcoholic beverages ($120) or non alcoholic beverages ($60). Honestly, I have tasted many matching non alcoholic beverages, this is the best that I ever had in Melbourne. The whole experience is elegant, smooth, light and airy until the very end. Everything is very well thought, full of calculation and worth the money.

Ishizuka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Basement level b01/139 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000

1 comment:

  1. The former head chef Mr. ishizuka, he already left from the restaurant. So, the food & taste has changed a lot.. I think almost all isn't Kaiseki. It looks fusion cuisine.