5-37 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku
Dining date: 11/1/16
Ishikawa is one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Tokyo, known for its kaiseki dining. Here, diners are served a pre-fixed menu either at the counter or at a handful of private dining rooms. About a dozen small dishes are served in a careful progression featuring plenty of local seasonal ingredients for 22000 yen. I’ve dined at sister restaurant and fellow three-star restaurant Kohaku once before and had a great meal, so I was eagerly anticipating this one.
Pike Eel, Red Plum Paste and Cucumber Covered with Broth Jelly
Deep-fried Ise Lobster Garnished with Gingko Nut and Dried Mullet Roe
Horsehead Snapper and Grilled Eggplant
Flatfish Garnished with Fresh Seaweed and Japanese Herbs
Cod Milt Covered with Grated White Radish Sauce
Fresh Salmon Roe with a hint of Yuzu Citrus
Seared Spanish Mackerel
Fresh Water Eel and Sweet Onion with Grated White Radish
Japanese Duck Meat Stew with Simmered Turnip
Snow Crab and Seasonal Vegetables
Freshly Harvested Rice Served with Sea Bream Paste and Pickled Vegetables
Green Tea Sorbet, Sweet Red Beans, and Caramel Mousse Topped with Crushed Rum Jelly
Ishikawa was probably the best meal of this trip; it exhibited a wide variety of great ingredients and flavors. The salmon roe ikura was some of the best I’ve ever had, accented with yuzu zest. Grilled freshwater eel unagi was both crispy and rich, while the seared Spanish mackerel sawara was delicious as well. The rice course was the only minor disappointment; the sea bream paste wasn’t my favorite topping. However it didn’t really take away from what was altogether an excellent meal.