This post describes a meal I had at Sushi Ya Chef with Takao Ishiyama back in November of 2017. Little did I know at that the time the he would be leaving Sushi Ya very soon to open up his own place, Sushi Ishiyama 鮨 いしやま, really soon!
Chef Ishiyama left Sushi-Ya in April 2018. Another alumni from Sushi Kanesaka (honten), Chef Hashimoto, has taken over Sushi Ya as executive chef. Chef Ishiyama opened his own place in Ginza on July 25, 2018.
I have not seen too many reports of it thus far (at least in English!), but I am personally quite curious what it is like, and will definitely plan on trying to visit my next trip to Japan! If you're curious, you can read through the initial reviews and look at photographs on tabelog by Japanese people who have visited. It definitely looks quite similar to the food at Sushi Ya, with some minor differences.
So, I write this post sort of as a memoir instead of as information for meals to come. Although Takao Ishiyama will most certainly incorporate many elements from what he was doing at Sushi Ya, he may try to establish his own signature stamp onto his own restaurant.
This dinner was delicious, but it was way too much food for this person who is usually happy eating about 10-12 pieces of sushi. The dinner omakase had a whopping twenty-four courses, and some of those courses were not small (see, for example, upper right corner which is half a crab).
In any event, I think the size of lunch omakase suits me better, even though sometimes I think they save the good stuff for dinner.
The Tasting Menu (from top to bottom, left to right)
Ikura (salmon roe) topped with yuzu zest
Smoked katsuo (bonito or skipjack tun)
Shirako (cod sperm sac)
Puff rice cracker
Ankimo (monkfish liver)
Sea perch grilled with sudachi lime and daikon radish
Aji w/ negi (and maybe shiso)
How tender the mantis shrimp was (especially after my bleh experience at non other than the world's famous Jiro).
I really liked how the rich monkfish liver was brightened by the ponzu sauce.
Buri from Niigata prefecture and chutoro from Kyuushu were additional highlights. Otoro was a bit "stringy". Apparently, Saito (another person from the Kanesaka line) purposely chooses the portion of the belly that has more sinew because he believes that is the most flavorful part.
Akami was quite salty, in fact too salty for my taste. Kohada was strongly pickled. We learned that the tamago (egg custard) is made with shrimp, sake, sugar, and egg and baked for one hour with charcoal.
Time to go back to Japan so I can try Takao Ishiyama's new restaurant!
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 (and possibly Sunday evenings)