We've been fans of Chef Takao Ishiyama for some time now. We first "discovered" him while dining at 2-Michelin starred Sushi Kanesaka back in 2011. (Wow, has it been that long since that meal? We look so young. He looks so young!) He was the one who served us during that meal, not chef Kanesaka, who was at another table.
Four years later in late 2015 we visited Sushi Ya because we had heard really good things about it. We were shocked when we walked in the door because we recognized Ishiyama-san as the person who served us so many years ago at Sushi Kanesaka. We loved the food at Sushi Ya. In fact, I made Sushi Ya one of my regular stops on future trips to Tokyo.
In 2018, we visited him for what would be his last time at Sushi Ya. This is because the word had already been out that Ishiyama-san was finally going to open his own place.
So finally, here we are. In 2019 we returned to see Ishiyama-san finally at his own restaurant. It's crazy to think we have been following him since 2011 through multiple places.
We booked our meal about one month early through our hotel concierge and it was not a problem getting a reservation. We did have to provide a credit card for deposit and choose the meal that we wanted.
Nigiri course (15 pieces of sushi) : JPY10,800/person
Nigiri course (18 pieces of sushi) : JPY16,200/person
Omakase (chef's choice) course : JPY27,000/person
Furthermore, they warned us that failure to arrive on time, or any change or cancellation two days before our dining date would result in a penalty fee of JPY10,800/person. A word of caution: Japanese restaurants are notorious difficult to find so give yourself plenty of time to find it.
Since it was lunch, we both decided to just get the 15-piece nigiri course. I was still a bit traumatized by the amount of food from my last dinner at Sushi Ya, which was way too much food for me.
15 courses turned out to be perfect. Bryan did order an extra uni because it's one of his favorites. Below is our tasting menu.
Sushi Ishiyama 15 Course Nigiri Lunch
chutoro and katsuo
The anago came with sansho pepper, which added an exciting tingly numbling "mala" kick to the bite. Loved it.
The rice is brown because Chef Ishiyama uses red vinegar. In general, I really loved the texture of his rice.
When asking us what type of sake we preferred, Chef Ishiyama asked whether we preferred "dry or tasty". 😂
It was a fabulous lunch and enjoyed seeing Chef Ishiyama in his own place. Lunch, at JPY10,800, is reasonable considering the quality of the fish and execution. Chef Ishiyama is serious about his work and isn't the chattiest of sushi chefs, but he speaks English and can make light conversation. All in all, I am sure we will be back for lunch sometime.
This restaurant is open on Sundays, which is quite useful considering that many high-end sushi places are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
4F Motita bldg., 3-6, 3-Chome
Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open for both lunch (JPY10,000 and JPY15,000) and dinner (JPY25,000).
12:00 - 14:00; 17:30 - 22:00
Closed on Mondays
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