Melbourne's Ishizuka takes diners on a journey through time and place with a new kaiseki menu for the winter season.
Progressing from lighter preparations to bold flavours and heartier dishes, Head Chef Hitoshi Miyazawa’s winter menu is meticulously prepared and exquisitely served, guiding diners on a journey through time, place and season.
Ishizuka’s winter menu begins with a delicate appetiser, the Sakizuke course, composed of avocado tofu, uni, Crystal Bay prawn, caviar, goji berry and wasabi sauce; an introduction to the spectrum of texture and colour reflected in kaiseki cuisine.
The Zensai course, in which the seasonal theme is customarily set, presents guests with Winter Delicacies, including pickled enoki mushrooms, mashed turnip, salmon roe; rice cake topped with sweet miso and white poppy seed; salted, cured mackerel; fried lotus root; bottarga with fresh daikon radish; braised toro with dried egg yolk; and a scallop baked in its shell with broccoli and white sauce.
Fried crayfish, snow crab and daikon are nestled in a rich, fragrant broth of bonito and saikyo miso for Sakisui, the soup course.
Otsukuri shows exquisitely prepared sashimi of white fish and marinated tuna, accompanied by shiso leaf and daikon radish with chilli.
For Yakimono, teriyaki-glazed barramundi is grilled to produce sweet, smoky and perfectly tender fish served with uni, toasted seeds and roasted Jerusalem artichoke.
The simmered course, Nimono, features duck breast, baby abalone and soy bean, with each ingredient separately braised to accentuate its individual flavour.
Following on, guests are served Daimono: grilled A5 Wagyu, hoba miso and grilled mushrooms, and Oshinogi: toro sushi made with tuna sourced from the fish markets of Tokyo.
A hearty rice-based dish, Shokuji is composed of sesame-marinated snapper, plum and wasabi in a bonito broth infused with green tea, finally topped with a glutinous rice cracker.
Finishing on a sweet note, red bean jam, mascarpone and matcha sponge fill monaka wafers made from glutinous rice in the Mizugashi course, with bright, juicy, fresh fruit to balance earthy flavours. A second dessert, Kanmi, shows a beautiful baked Fuji apple rose, accompanied by dehydrated apple, Queen’s Muscat Oolong tea ice cream and black sesame sauce.