Posted October 2, 2013on:
Ishikawa is a Michelin 3 star restaurant but yet it has one of the most unassuming entrances around. It’s just a simple doorway in set in a panel of black wood with a small lit sign, set behind the Bishamonten shrine in the traditional geisha district of Kagurazaka.
Something very Japanese greets you as you enter.
The ambience of Ishikawa is pure serenity and the decor is traditional take on minimalism with natural colours and materials composing the interior.
This is Hideki Ishikawa, who is both head chef and owner of Ishikawa. He’s a very nice and genial person, but doesn’t speak too much English.
However he was able to communicate that he had been to Singapore on business trips before, managing to squeeze some time out from his busy schedule there to try our famous Hainanese chicken rice!
Although I was provided with a menu, sadly I forgot to take it when I left so I can’t really remember some of the dishes I had.
The appetizer is some hamachi I believe, with a bit of ginger, vegetables and sauce.
This was cubes of turtle meat fried together into one agglomerate, served appropriately on a turtle shaped plate.
A beautiful bowl cover.
Revealing a bowl of suppon, or snapping turtle soup.
Tai sashimi, with nice little balls of condiments – wasabi, chives, dashi, nori – to go with it.
Ishikawa continued the trend of awabi (abalone) for my trip.
Awabi with jelly made from awabi stock and some awabi kimo paste.
Nodoguro, or black-throat sea perch, subtly sweet and exquisitely tender.
I seriously cannot remember what this one was. Perhaps that tells you what I thought about it.
Their hotpot dish was something like wagyu beef shabu-shabu. This dish was welcomed because it was actually quite cold outside, so something hot and soupy was great. Plus I love beef so I loved this dish, simple as it was.
The rice dish had an interesting presentation – the shell of a crab covering almost all the rice! The shell was from a Hokkaido kegani, or horsehair crab.
Ishikawa removed the shell to reveal the crab meat and rice below.
Sometimes the simplest dishes taste great because of excellent and extremely fresh ingredients, in this case, the crabmeat which was so sweet.
Finally dessert, which was again something I can’t remember. I believe it was something like coconut creme, molasses, sakura jelly and pomelo.
Ironically I’m not a fan of each individual ingredient but as instructed by Ishikawa, getting a bit of each in a single scoop melded the flavours into something that was greater than the sum of its parts.
Ishikawa is a place that speaks of the quiet refinement on traditional Japanese cuisine, and it’s also exemplified in the service, ambience and the cooking.