Acclaimed Japanese chef Tomotaka Ishizuka is opening a restaurant under his namesake on Melbourne’s Bourke Street in the hopes of introducing the local food scene to a truly refined and delicate Japanese food art form comparable to Western haute cuisine. For anyone fortunate enough to get into the 16 seater restaurant a unique sensory experience will await in the form of a traditional dinner consisting of eleven small and beautifully presented dishes known as Kaiseki.
The utmost care and precision will be taken, from the selection of tableware produced by Kyoto ceramicists Shigeo and Yotaro Takemura of Dainichi Gama studio, the venue itself designed by Russell & George and the wine and drinks list curated by award winning sommelier David Lawler (Rockpool and Spice Temple) constantly being adapted to fit a seasonal menu.
Patrons can expect a variety of dishes perfectly balanced in texture and taste, starting with an amuse bouche of sea urchin and spanner crab, followed by Zensai aka ‘small pretty things’ involving five delicacies such as cured ocean trout and black tiger prawn with caviar, Osuimono soup, two varieties of sashimi, grilled red bream and Mayura Wagyu and a serve of sushi. Simmered duck breast, a vinegared dish of Kaiyose clams, a truffle soba dish of roasted soba seeds, quail egg and truffle slices completes the savoury item list with seasonal fruits and Kuzu Nankin (pumpkin and red bean) to finish.
Ishikuza who is a longstanding member of the Association for the Advancement of the Japanese Culinary Art and chef de cuisine at The Crown’s flagship Japanese restaurant KOKO, will no doubt bring a meticulous and premium offering to Australia’s burgeoning fine dining culture when his restaurant opens later this month.