Kisaku is a small kappo restaurant in Azabujūban. The chef-owner Yoshiaki Mori was trained at some of the country’s best restaurants, such as Roan Kikunoi in Kyoto and Nihonbashi Yukari in Tokyo. Later he opened his own restaurant in 2010 and soon be awarded one Michelin star.
Visited: Sep.29.2015 (Dinner)
Address: 3-3-9 Azabujūban, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0045, Japan〒106-0045 東京都港区麻布十番 3-3-9 COMS Azabujyuban 5F
Hours: 11:30am-1pm, 5pm-10pm, Closed on Sundays & Holidays
Damage: Lunch 4000円/5500円, Dinner 11,500円
The restaurant includes 7 seats at the counter, with a private room for 8 people. Kisaku is one of the very few kaikeki restaurant that offers a la carte dishes besides omakase, but only available for walk-in guests after 8:30pm.
One of the classical dishes at Kisaku is tofu, which has been on the menu since its opening. Chef Mori-san changes the main ingredients of tofu frequently, he sometimes serves goma-tofu (sesame tofu), sometimes soymilk tofu…The one we had was potato tofu, someting new to me. I thought its texture was similar to sesame tofu which is sticky and chewy, but it was actually quite firm and very ‘potato’. It has a very clean taste and not very strong in potato flavor, neither strong in tofu flavor. I found the flavor of the tofu was somehow weak, while the Hokkaido uni was quite creamy and sweet, and nicely brought up the flavor. Quite refreshing, not bad.
The beautiful alley of seasonal appetizers…
After the refreshing ‘amuse’, next move on to the appetizers. Consisting of okra with shrimp jelly, Kuruma ebi with egg yolk, grilled eggplant with miso pate, taro ball with soy powder and smoked duck breast. The grilled eggplant was actually our favorite among the all, next comes the duck breast. The other three were very average.
A bowl of warm and comfort soup perfectly akawen our taste buds again. The soup itself was very umami, with a hint of sweetness from the vegetables and the fish; the flesh was melt-in-mouth tenderness and very delicious. Although i don’t like the mushroom which was a not really expensive/rare type, the umaminess of the soup makes me forget about everything.
Kare is not my kind of fish but its quality was not bad at all, clean and tender. It was served with soy and Katsuo’s liver sauce, sounds much fun but the liver sauce was a bit weak, both my partner and i much prefer the regular soy sauce.
Tai was nicely grilled, crispy skin and succulent flesh. The flavor of the dish was very average, i think a good causual Japanese restaurant can even make that, but It’s liver was very smooth and flavorful.
Another traditonal dish at Kisaku is the pressed-sushi. The fish changed on a seasonal base, the one we had was made of Kamasuo. It was slightly seared – fragrant and warm skin, with a sashimi-texture in the center. Stuffed with a little bit ginger, the flavor of the entire piece was very harmony.
I was very disappointing when the chawanmushi came to the table, as it looks like very normal chawanmushi with some yuzu jelly and oil. Scooping from the top to bottom and i found the treasure – minced turtle. It makes the simple chawamushi so delicious! The turtle was rich in oils, which came to the surface of chawamushi, it has very deep flavor with umami aftertastes, every bite was enjoyable and i wish it could last forever.
I loves shirako but i never thought it is available so early in late September. I don’t have too many comments on the flavor side as but the shirako itself was so creamy and delicious.
Steamed rice in a claypot is always one of the most enjoyable part of a kaiseki meal, as the topping changed very frequently and different chefs love to use different materials prepared in different ways, even you visit several different kaiseki restaurants in a few days, the rice dishes seldom override. Chef Mori-san is good at making rice dishes, our rice with grilled anago (sea eel) came with a mouth-watering aroma.
The fish was perfectly-grilled, its naturally sweetness and tenderness matches very well with the soft and chewy grains.Both my partner and i are anago-addicts, we couldn’t stop refilling our bowls even i don’t like carbs at all. The miso soup one of the better miso soup i had recently, the pickles (seaweed and baby radish) were too lovely, i never asked for more pickles before this.
Usually, pudding is link with ‘silky’, ‘smooth’ those words, while Chef Mori’s pudding was a different case. Made of the seasonal produce pumpkin, the pudding was firmer than what we usually have, it was more like a firm tofu texure. We enjoyed the pudding very much, moderate in sweetness and lovely pumpkin flavor. There was nothing special about the warabi mochi compared to the pudding.
Overall, food was not bad, i can still recall the textures of most of the dishes but almost forgot their flavors, except the soup, chawanmushi, rice and pudding. The ambiance was very good and relax, all the other diners were Japanese. Chef Mori-san is okay with basic communication in English, he is very friendly and always have a smile on his face. Compare to most other one-star michelin kaiseki restaurants, Kisaku charges at a very fair price, and the food was worth of value.