Monday, November 2, 2009

Restaurant # 14: Ishikawa

Our final dinner in Tokyo was at Ishikawa. Rated 3 Michelin stars, we were surprised by being able to reserve on such short notice (on the same day).

We had some difficulty in finding the restaurant, since it had recently moved to a new location and the Taxi driver was not familiar with the current location.
Luckily for us the owner and head chef Mr. Ishikawa was taking a walk outside when he stumbled on four seemingly lost gaijin in the vicinity of his restaurant, and he graciously welcomed us in.
The hostess led the way to our private room. The place was modern looking and the private room had western style tables, as opposed to the sunken tables which we had grown accustomed to at the other high end Kaiseki restaurants.

Here was the menu for the night.

The first course was "White sesame tofu with tomato and corn". The ingredients were all of very high quality and the tofu was delightfully creamy. Much to Maya's dismay she found a hair in her tofu (she has quite an eye for such unfortunate happenings). The head chef himself came to our room and apologized, needless to say he replaced the plate.

Our second course was supposedly "not ready" so we were presented with the soup course. The soup was "upgraded" to abalone in order to compensate us for the loss of the second course. This seemed like lousy preparation on behalf of the 3 star rated restaurant.
The Okura and Abalone soup was interesting. The Okura was sliced very thinly in order to make the broth as mucus-like as possible, in order to satisfy the Japanese love of unconventional food textures. The abalone was tender, seemingly skillfully prepared.

Next course was sea bass sashimi, it was fresh but nothing out of the ordinary.

Ayu was pretty good, but this is a standard Japanese summer plate that was ubiquitously served throughout Japan, and its simple preparation left little room for innovation by the chef. The sauce was well made, chives with yuzu soy sauce if i recall correctly.

Now this was the star of the show, Sea Urchin, Prawn, Green Soy Bean Mousse, Fresh Peach in Yuzu Jelly. When you have all of these fresh ingredients and mix them together you cant go wrong, although hats off to the chef for coming up with the delicious combination.

Another of my favorites, beef! Can never get enough of the sweet flavor of Japanese beef. This plate consisted of Beef, Chinese watermelon, Ginger, Corn, Egg and Leek.

Excuse the absence of the rice plate, can't find the pictures unfortunately.

Papaya, coconut mousse and almond jelly, another refreshing, summery combination here.

Ishikawa was a nice experience, the food was for the most part innovative and really reflected the chef's character. Definitely a good find.


  1. Konnichiwa Rabih.

    Thank you for visiting my blog.

    I have just read through yours. It looks and sounds like you had a fantastic time in Japan.

    Travelers like yourself who really enjoy Japanese culture and make the most out of their experiences make residents like myself happy.

    All the best to your and yours.


  2. Thank you very much for your time.
    Hope to engage in one of your tours next time i'm in Kyoto as i'm a fan of both cycling and good eats and i'm sure that you must know plenty of fabulous spots.
    Wish you the best!