Ishizuka Est. 2018

Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia

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Ishizuka is superbly attuned to its guests’ entire sensory experience.
Balancing taste and texture with expert precision and presenting each dish with extraordinary intricacy, Ishizuka’s nightly set menu reflects the chef’s longstanding vision to bring authentic Japanese flavours to Australia.
The Lowdown
Type
Private Dining / Restaurant
Views
No View
Style
Contemporary
Cultural
Elegant
Japanese
Urban
BEST type of CELEBRATIONS
Dinner Party

Venue Setting

The Chef: Tomotaka Ishizuka

Tomotaka Ishizuka is an award-winning chef whose mastery of the Japanese haute cuisine known as Kaiseki makes him one of the most distinguished and exciting voices on the Australian culinary scene. With a stellar career that has included senior positions at leading establishments in both Japan and Australia, Tomotaka’s eponymous restaurant is the culmination of his rigorous training and experience, and a testament to his extraordinary passion.

Tomotaka began his career at a restaurant in Tokyo, where he rose to the position of head chef. Tomotaka returned to Kanazawa, Japan, to learn the art of Kaiseki – specialising in a style known as Kaga Kaiseki. As a senior chef, Tomotaka delved into the rich history of this ancient culinary tradition, which derives from the tea ceremonies of Zen Buddhist monks, and was awarded several prizes from the local Ishikawa prefecture. Responsible for training junior chefs, Tomotaka also orchestrated several innovative programs – including wild vegetable picking and exposing his protégées to the life of a fisherman – in order to fully apprehend the qualities and authentic flavours of local Japanese ingredients.

Having developed his skills and refined his technique in Japan, Tomotaka returned to Melbourne to take on the role of Chef de Cuisine at The Crown’s flagship Japanese restaurant, KOKO. Channeling his consummate expertise, Tomotaka conceived the restaurant’s monthly menu and trained and managed the staff to ensure that every aspect of the dining experience adhered perfectly to Japanese cooking practices. During his time at KOKO, Tomotaka was awarded several prizes from within the Crown organisation and established the Australian chapter of the Association for the Advancement of the Japanese Culinary Art.

Combining perfectionism, attention to detail and a deep understanding of tradition with a zest for innovation and creative flair, Tomotaka is a true artist whose vision has been honed over years of practice. Now with his own venue, Ishizuka, Tomotaka is introducing Australian diners to the rarefied world of Kaiseki cuisine. Balancing taste and texture with expert precision and presenting each dish with extraordinary intricacy, Ishizuka’s nightly set menu reflects the chef’s longstanding vision to bring authentic Japanese flavours to Australia.

Fees
(Prices listed here are estimates only & are subject to change)
Price Range

Does this include catering fees?

Yes

Additional Charges

From Tuesday through to Sunday we offer our unrivaled Kaiseki Menu for $215 pp. Our wine matches are also available starting from an additional $110pp and non-alcoholic matches are available from $55 pp.

Insurance

N/A

Capacity

Seated
16
Buffet
N/A
Standing
16
Celebrations Hosted Here Since
2018
Curfew
No Curfew
Venue Spaces
Indoor Venue Space Only
Catering
Client Must Use The Catering Provided By The Venue
Alcohol
No Alcohol Is Permitted
Music
No Amplified Music Allowed
Smoking
Non-smoking Venue
Venue Features
The Scene:
In Japan, Kaiseki is regarded as an art form practiced only by the most experienced culinary masters. Distinguished by a reverence for the authentic flavours derived from fresh, seasonal produce, this approach balances taste and texture with expert precision. In the Kaiseki tradition, the diner’s discovery of these flavours over a series of courses is complemented by a tremendous sense of theatre, cultivated via carefully selected tableware, intricate food presentation and an exclusive, intimate dining setting.

Ishizuka embodies this tradition in a thoroughly contemporary fashion, serving up a nightly set menu of 11 dishes showcasing the honesty, integrity and exquisite beauty of Japanese ingredients.

With an ever-changing menu, thoughtfully crafted from seasonal produce. Guests could expect to commence their evening with an amusebouche of sea urchin and spanner crab, followed by Zensai – meaning ‘small pretty things’ – comprising five delicacies such as cured ocean trout sushi and boiled black tiger prawn with caviar.

The Osuimono soup arrives before two varieties of superbly prepared sashimi, a pair of grilled courses – red bream then Mayura Wagyu – and a serve of sushi. A simmered duck breast precedes a vinegared dish of Kaiyose clams, followed by a truffle soba dish of roasted soba seeds, quail egg and truffle slices; before concluding with seasonal fruits and Kuzu Nankin (pumpkin and red bean) for dessert.
Design:
This odyssey of flavours will be enjoyed by guests within a space conceived by interior design firm Russell & George to evoke the same precision, balance and bespoke sensibility as Tomotaka’s menu. The Melbourne-based, globally recognised design practice has imbued Ishizuka’s subterranean, 16-seat dining room with a mood of quietude befitting its exacting food philosophy, while unexpected and conceptually daring design elements reflect the restaurant’s aim to deliver an immersive, transporting experience.  

In keeping with this highly considered ethos, every aspect of the dining process has been mapped with extraordinary attention to detail. The tableware selected for the restaurant was custom made by Kyoto ceramicists Shigeo and Yotaro Takemura of Dainichi Gama studio, while award-winning sommeliers, David and Sarah Lawler – of Rockpool and Spice Temple fame – has devised a clever wine and drinks list that will continually evolve to reflect the seasons, as well as the outstanding quality of food and service on offer.
Standout Venue Features:
The restaurant is superbly attuned to its guests’ entire sensory experience in a way that is commensurate with Tomotaka’s culinary mission. The chef has been a longstanding member of the Association for the Advancement of the Japanese Culinary Art, having established the organisation’s Australian branch in 2014, and held the title of chef de cuisine at The Crown’s flagship Japanese restaurant, KOKO.

In the Japanese tradition, only a chef with Tomotaka’s distinguished reputation and expertise would open a restaurant under their own name. Ishizuka is a bold statement, bringing the art of authentic Kaiseki cuisine to life with Tomotaka’s brilliantly realised menu, and delivering an all-encompassing experience thanks to Russell & George’s cutting-edge interior. These ingredients coalesce beautifully at Ishizuka, promising a culinary event unlike any other.  
Awards & Notables Finalist in Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2018 
Shortlisted in Australian Interior Design Awards 2018 
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