- Rating: 16/20
- Address: Japan, 〒162-0825 東京都新宿区 神楽坂5−37 高村ビル1F
- Phone: +81 3-5225-0173
- Price per pax (including two rounds of sake split among 5): 23,000 Yen ($193 at 100 Yen = 0.83 USD)
- Value: 2.5/5
- Dining Time: 150 minutes
- Chef: Hideki Ishikawa
- Michelin stars: 3
Our December meal at Ishikawa seemed to be based on the idea of a “delicious mix”. We mixed our appetizers, our 2 sashimi courses, and our rice course. The taste results were very good, but clearly less “pre-meditated” than other high-end restaurants.
Truth be told, I personally felt it was an underwhelming meal. But many Japanese food connoisseurs, such as Robbie Swinnerton and Melinda Joe and Mesubim, seem to like it, so I would like to form a second opinion.
Hospitality, as is the case in Japan, was exceptional. Chef Ishikawa is an easy-going personality, and it was touching (and appreciated) that the kitchen crew sent us off in our taxis.
- Appetizer: Blanched Blowfish Tossed with Japanese Herbs and Grated White Radish Sauce
- Fugu with ponzu. Good (4/5)
- Deep-fried: “Kakiage’ Wagu Tongue, Lotus Root and Mitsuba Greens Topped with Turnip
- Wagyu Tongue was a bit tough and overcooked, and the thick sauce was just for texture, with little taste. A bit puzzling to me. It was impressive that the batter maintained its crunch for quite a while after being immersed in sauce (3.5/5)
- Soup: White Miso Soup with Blowfish Milt; Thinly Sliced Whale Skin
- Fugu Milt – great, an unending creamy texture that is nothing but cream. Milt provided the luxurious feeling. (Zatokujira AKA Humpback) whale skin was added for flavor, but I could have done without it (4.25/5)
- Sashimi: Sea Bream Garnished with Fresh Seaweed and Japanese Herbs
- Genkai nada (Genkai sea, on the Northern coast of Fukuoka in Kyushu) Tai (sea bream), in a tough roiling sea “makes the tai more chewy”
- served with shizuoka wasabi, a naturally sweet and hot wasabi.
- The tai was chewy as intended. It was pleasant to eat with seaweed, but the structure of the dish puzzled me. Was the point to emphasise a single point of produce? (chewiness of rose-colored sea bream?) (3.25/5)
- Sashimi: Seared Ise Lobster with Vinegared Soy Sauce
- Seared lobster. The barest kiss of smoke. Served with its moorish lobster guts, flavored with vinegared soy sauce. Very good (4.5/5)
- Served in a lacquered gourd. Surprisingly light. Elegant
- Charcoal-grilled: Horsehead Snapper Flavored with Salted Bonito Innards Sauce; Gluten Bread with Walnut
- Amadai (tilefish AKA horsehead snapper) was served this time without its scale. The skin was slathered with shuto, salted bonito innards (fermented for more than 6 months!). Banana walnut bread. The sake brought out a wonderful nutty flavor. (4/5)
- Fresh and firm, salty outside.
- Delicacy: Fresh Water Eel, Gingko Nuts and Mashed Taro
- Usually eel is boiled before it is grilled. Ishikawa directly grilled the eel to get a very fluffy texture, and had a very good taste of charcoal (4.5/5)
- Hot Pot: Snow Crab, Tofu and Seasonal Vegetables
- Tofu, perhaps the softest it could get while still able to be grasped by chopsticks – from a Kagurazaka tofu shop called katsuno-shop.
- Crab, no sugar was mixed with its innards
- Steamed Rice: Freshly Harvested Rice Served with Sea Bream Paste and Pickled Vegetables
- Koshihikari rice, Niigata, sweet and nutty – harvested in October
- The sea bream paste tasted like canned tuna, to be very honest.
- Pouring the broth after we were half done with the rice transformed it into a savory soup. Wasabi almost entirely faded to a ghostly spiciness in the broth (4/5)
- Dessert: Sweet Red Beans, Yuzu Citrus Agar and Cream Cheese with Toasted Wafer
- A most toasty wafer. I liked the red beans (4/5)
Namazake Honmaru sake served: 4.25/5. Fruity