Head Chef Hitoshi Miyazawa has revealed Ishizuka’s spring menu, showcasing the season’s new harvest
A centuries-old culinary art form derived from the ceremonial cooking practices of Zen monasteries, kaiseki is guided by a formal, multi-course structure, with a continually evolving menu that emulates the change of seasons. Informed by the Japanese philosophy that honours the integrity of produce, Ishizuka’s approach uses minimal seasoning to open up the authentic flavours of the finest natural ingredients.
Beginning with the Sakizuke course, delicate flavour is produced by cooking yuba – tofu skin – in bonito broth, served with lightly smoky bonito jelly; caviar, salmon roe and sea urchin add a salty element.
The Zensai course offers a selection of spring tastes, setting the seasonal theme:
Asparagus mousse with saikyo miso;
Poached spring onion with seared geoduck;
Baby squid with edamame beans;
Poached Crystal Bay prawn with scampi caviar and gold leaf;
Teriyaki coral trout with sansho pepper;
Kombu-cured garfish with Japanese micro shiso;
Ocean trout sushi with dried egg yolk and pickled daikon radish.
In the Sakisui course, Miyazawa cleverly uses sakura (cherry blossom) – an ingredient that epitomises Japanese spring. Sakura mochi and white fish are wrapped in sakura leaf and served alongside scampi and egg custard in a warm bonito broth.
Reflecting kaiseki philosophy, tuna, gurnard and blue cod sashimi are simply yet beautifully presented in Otsukuri, highlighting the intricacies of flavour and quality of the produce.
For the Yakimono course, natane leaf adds a fresh element to grilled Spanish mackerel, and fried puffer fish is dusted with dried egg yolk and puffed grain.
Kagoshima A5 Wagyu – the highest grade of Japanese Wagyu – is cooked over charcoal for Daimono and served with Japanese chilli, shimeji mushroom, carrot, black garlic and roasted seeds.
Oshinogi sees tuna belly imported from the fish markets of Tokyo and presented as sushi, before a final savoury course of soba with truffle, bonito flakes and mashed daikon (Shokuji – pictured above).
The first of two desserts, Mizugashi offers choux pastry filled with yuzu custard, accompanied by waka momo (young baby peach) and candied strawberry with yoghurt crispies.
As a final sweet note, Kanmi is composed of Queen’s Muscat Oolong tea ice-cream with matcha cookie crumble, mango mascarpone mousse, matcha air sponge and a sweet, tangy passionfruit and mango sauce.
Following recent award wins for the wine list, sommeliers Sarah and David Lawler have created a new spring offering, with both beverage pairing and à la carte options available.
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Images: Georgia Gold