Opening its doors just this year, Ishizuka offers the epicureans of Melbourne a rare insight into the world of Kaiseki, otherwise known as Japanese haute cuisine.
In Japan, it is regarded as an art form practiced only by the most experienced culinary masters.
Ishizuka has been brought to life by acclaimed chef Tomotaka Ishizuka (of Koko fame, pictured above), who spearheaded the the Australian arm of the Association for the Advancement of the Japanese Culinary Art. He’s also held the title of chef de cuisine at The Crown’s flagship Japanese restaurant, KOKO. In the Japanese tradition, only a chef of distinguished reputation, as Tomotaka Ishizuka, can open a restaurant under their own name.
A nightly menu of 11/12 dishes showcases the exquisite beauty of Japanese ingredients and cuisine. Though the menu changes seasonally, expect delicacies as an amuse-bouche of sea urchin and spanner crab, Mayura Wagyu and Kaiyose clams.
The menu is complemented by a thoroughly considered and meticulously designed interior, conceived by award-winning Melbourne based interior design firm, Russell & George; a design firm recently shortlisted for the 2018 Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards for Best Hospitality Interior for this same design.
The space was transformed into a subterranean cocoon, featuring a design that is contemporary and conceptually daring. While large and airy, it offers intimacy with its only 16 seats positioned around a central counter. Such a design abides by Japan’s signature minimalist style.
A white dome reminiscent of a Japanese lantern delivers a show-stopping centrepiece. Exposed concrete, natural timbers, marble and the introduction of minimal and strategically placed floral round out the design.
All tableware was custom made by Kyoto ceramicists Shigeo and Yotaro Takemura of Dainichi Gama Studio.