Kagurazaka Ishikawa (神楽坂 石かわ) is a 3-Star Michelin Kaiseki Retauseant in Tokyo, which is also one of World’s Best Restaurants and Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants. Chef Ishikawa serves the best of the season to his guests.
Located in Kagurazaka, Ishiwaka is only 20 meters away from the main street of Kagurazaka. Take a left turn as you see this famous temple.
We were seated at the counter, which is a perfect seating because chef Ishikawa makes dishes in front of us. Ishikawa offers two sets of menus, diners have to choose their menu at the time they make their reservation. As we are not regulars in Tokyo, certainly we chose the more expensive one.
Chef Ishikawa asked we two ladies if we want any drinks politely, we don’t know what is good so just refer to his recommendation. As it was summertime, Chef Ishikawa chose the peach wine for us, which is a seasonal flavor. And he recommended us to mix the wine with soda water. We don’t like soda water very much, but chef confidently said we should trust him 🙂 Indeed, the peach wine with soda water was really good. A lovely smell and taste of peach, very elegant and refreshing.
Appetizer:Sea Bream Milt, Udo Mountain Vegetables, daylily Leaf and Grilled Shiitake Mushroom with Grated white Radish
Shirako, which is cod’s milt. Sounds grouse but its one of the best produce of the sea, and very high in nutrition. It looks like brains, it was creamy and rich, melted in my mouth very soon. The radish nicely balanced the flavor. Lovely.
Deep-fried Baby Ayu Fish with Minced Japanese Pepper Bud | 焼物: 鮎の炭焼
One of the signature appetizer at Ishikawa. The deep fried baby ayu comes with a very mouthwatering smell. It has a very crispy outlayer and tender inside – with a deep umami flavor. The combination with minced Japanese pepper bud was just perfect.
Soup: Bamboo Shoot from Kyoto and Hose Head Snapper | 椀物：アマダイと椎茸
The snapper was firstly grilled and then cooked in the soup, the fish itself has a very lovely burnt skin, which was crispy and very deep in flavor. The rest part of fish was tender. The soup was clear but tastes simply good, it absorbed all the essence flavor from the fish.
Sashimi: Cherry Salmon Garnished with Fresh Seaweed and Japanese Herbs
I was kind of surprise that Ishikawa serves ‘salmon’, because salmon means cheap and to restaurants don’t sell salmon in Japan. Ishikawa-san said it is called salmon but not really salmon, it is a rare type of trout. (we actually also had this in RyuGin several days later) The outerlayer was slightly cooked, remian the center part raw. It was very fresh and tender, much premium than salmon flavor.
Horsehair Crab Topped with Crab Innards | 蟹ジュレがけ
The best of seasonal from Hokkaido, the horsehair crab was very tender and sweet, perfect with house-made sauce.
Charcoal-grilled Cutlass Fish and Spring Cabbage | きんきと春キャベツの炭火焼き
The cutlass fish was grilled with soy, which was much higher in flavor. The fish itself was very tender and delicious.
Delicacy: Steamed Abalone and Turnip with a bint of Ginger | 造り：南房総千倉の蒸し鮑
The abalone itself was perfectly steamed to tender, with a very clean flavor. The turnip was so creamy and smooth, it melted in my mouth like tofu.
Hot Pot: Eel, Tofu and Seasonal Vegetables
The eel was grilled, and cook in this pot with seasonal vegetables with a little bit spice. The soup was umami, we want to finish the soup but so stuffed already!
Steamed Rice: Steamed rice with Black Rock Fish and Fresh Ginger, Miso soup and Pickled Vegetables
Finally comes with the rice dish, which is something chef Ishikawa proud of. He showed us the entire rice pot before serving rice for us. I asked if i can take a picture of him, he said yes and then made this lovely smiling face. He was so cute!
The rice was SO good. I don’t like rice too much but added on for 3 times. Every single rice was perfectly cooked to chewy and ‘fat’, and absorbed all the umami flavor from the fish. The fish itself was very tender.
Dessert: ‘Sakura’Flavored Ager, Rum Jelly, White Mousse and Floating Coconut Soup
Overall, have a very clean and refreshing taste. I love the rum jelly so much, it has a very lovely and elegant rum flavor.
We had a perfect dining experience at Ishikawa – the food was great, no doubt the best of season with amazing cooking skills. Ishikawa-san himself is very humble and humor, as well as other staffs. He can speak a little English but he tried his best to communicate with oversea guests. We didn’t finished the entire pot of rice, and Ishikawa-san himself made the rice into rice balls for us to takeaway. Upon leaving, he sent us to the main entrance, with a 90 dergee, deep bow, and seeing off us until we became invisible in the crowd.
日本〒162-0825 東京都新宿区 神楽坂5−37 高村ビル1F