Kagurazaka Ishikawa - no fashion
It was a stroke of luck when the fashion industry turned down young Hideki Ishikawa’s job applications. The young man arrived to Tokyo at the age of 20 pursuing a career within fashion, but the only job he could find was a part-time job in a casual restaurant. It did not take too long before the young promising chef actually understood that he belonged in a restaurant and nowhere else.
Chef Patron Hideki Ishikawa was born in 1965 in the Niigata prefecture. He worked at more than ten different restaurants before he, after 17 years in the business, established his own restaurant in the geisha district of Kagurazaka. The restaurant is tucked away at the ground floor of Takamura Building behind the Bishamonten shrine. Forget about any English signs, just one in kanji, but the entrance is reminiscent of a Kyoto ryotei and the atmosphere is similar as well. You will be welcomed by kimono dressed waitresses who will give you a royal service level. The Service Manager and Okami, Chihiro Sugizaki, is fluent in English so no worries if you are uncomfortable with not knowing any Japanese.
Chef Hideki Ishikawa’s cuisine is traditional Japanese kaiseki, but you will have several dishes with his own distinct signature and his rice dishes are amongst the best in Japan. Just like always with the kaiseki cuisine, it is based upon numerous smaller dishes and divided into different cooking methods, like the deep-fried pomfret and monkfish liver with lotus root which is garnished with baby turnip. One of the more exotic dishes is the turnip in white miso soup with whale skin. Another example of something you will not have anywhere else is Chef Ishikawa’s specialty dish of freshly harvested bamboo shoot, wagyu, cucumber and spinach from Kyoto with yuzu citrus scented sauce. There is a wide range of delicious courses, like the grilled conger eel served in a hot pot with komatsuna green, white leeks and tofu. Although, our favourite is the Chef’s many variations of his steamed rice like the version with scallop and sea urchin which comes served with pickled vegetables and miso soup, delicious, indeed.
Just like all Japanese top dining establishments in Tokyo the seats are strictly limited so make sure to make reservation weeks ahead to secure any of the seven counter seats or any of the four private rooms. Kagurazaka Ishikawa is one of the more pleasant and easy-going Japanese top dining establishments in Tokyo. The waitresses and the Chef are always looking after you so you can expect a flawless service combined with some impeccable cuisine.
Kagurazaka Ishikawa scored 85 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Takamura Building 1F
Phone: +81 3 5225 0173