Melbourne’s new kaiseki restaurant

08 February, 2018 by
Annabelle Cloros

Ishizuka has opened on Bourke Street in Melbourne, bringing Japanese haute cuisine to the CBD.

The 16-seat restaurant is spearheaded by acclaimed chef Tomotaka Ishizuka, who has opened his first namesake venue.

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Kaiseki is regarded as an art form practiced only by the most experienced culinary masters. Distinguished by a reverence for the authentic flavours derived from fresh, seasonal produce, the approach balances taste and texture with precision.

Ishizuka offers a nightly set menu of 11 dishes complemented by carefully selected tableware, intricate presentation and an intimate dining setting.

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Although the menu is constantly changing, dishes thus far have included an amuse-bouche of sea urchin and spanner crab followed by zensai (small pretty things) comprising five delicacies such as cured ocean trout sushi and boiled black tiger prawn with caviar.

Osuimono soup follows before two varieties of sashimi, a pair of grilled courses — red bream followed by Mayura Wagyu — and a serve of sushi.

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A simmered duck breast precedes a vinegared dish of kaiyose clams, followed by a truffle soba dish of roasted soba seeds, quail egg and truffle slices. Seasonal fruits and kuzu nankin (pumpkin and red bean) conclude the meal.

The restaurant has been designed by Russell & George and reflects the same precision as the menu. Tableware is courtesy of Kyoto ceramicists Shigeo and Yotaro Takemura of Dainichi Gama studio.

Sommelier David Lawler (Rockpool, Spice Temple) has designed a wine and drinks list that will change according to season and the food on offer.

Ishizuka has been a longstanding member of the Association for the Advancement of the Japanese Culinary Art and established the organisation’s Australian branch in 2014.

Ishizuka is located on the basement level of 139 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Image credit: Eve Wilson