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Tokyo

Sushi Ishiyama

鮨いしやま

Mentored by some of the leading sushi masters of Ginza, a young chef is embarking on a new chapter with a restaurant he can call his own. Melding traditional principles with new ways of thinking, Sushi Ishiyama is emerging as the latest favorite among Tokyo gourmands for his promising talent. Set in a tasteful Japanese decor, be mesmerized by his graceful movement and the impeccable flavors.

Freshly opened in the summer of 2018, Sushi Ishiyama is located inside a new building on a bustling Ginza 3-Chome block. Occupying the entire floor, the spacious restaurant has multiple rooms, which they plan to open up as private rooms in the near future.

From the granite walls to the textured ceiling, the elegant interior is made up of multiple works of traditional designs and craftsmanship. The intricate features of sukiya architecture creates a wonderful and elegant mood of wa, the Japanese cultural concept of harmony. On display behind the counter are pieces of beautiful ceramics made by Yoshihiro Nishioka from the established Karatsu-ware family. The artist himself often visits the restaurant.

Chef Takao Ishiyama is a graduate of two of the most beloved sushi restaurants in Ginza. He began his apprenticeship at Kanesaka in Ginza 8-Chome, and later joined Sushi Ya in Ginza 6-Chome. From the simple basics to classical philosophy, he learned all that he knows about the craft of sushi through these hard years of training.

While so many top-rated sushi restaurants in Tokyo are overbooked, the opening of Sushi Ishiyama is indeed great news for those seeking for an ultimate experience in the heart of the city’s luxury district. The restaurant is also open for lunch where you can enjoy the same full omakase menu they offer in the evenings.

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CUISINE

“I want the meal to be dynamic, with each sushi adding its own momentum,”

The seasonal prix fixe meal takes you through a series of ten small dishes, followed by a dozen nigiri. The small dishes are diverse in ingredients and cooking styles, ranging from sashimis to grills. Nigiri are made with precision. Every variety is made from warm shari rice but served at slightly different temperatures that best matches the flavor of that specific fish.

“I want the meal to be dynamic, with each sushi adding its own momentum,” Ishiyama explains.

He carefully curates the order of the sushi to make sure strong flavored fish isn’t served before a lighter fish. He always begins with lighter white fish, work toward stronger flavors such as the richer anago salt-water eel, which is served towards the end. The sweet and soft egg slices wraps up the evening.

Having learned under renowned chefs like Shinji Kanesaka and Takashi Saito, Ishiyama understands the importance of how to prepare each fish. The flounder, caught off the Aomori shores, is prepared that morning using ikejime technique to ensure the fish stays fresh. Yellowtail from Rausu has been maturing for four days for a deeper flavor. Instead of wasabi, he hides a special paste made of grated scallions and tops it with spicy Japanese radish garnish.

Fall is not the best season for Japanese tuna so he prefers to find the best catches from New Zealand. The flavorful and marbled toro is rested for over a week. The red meats have been marinating in a soy marinade and are scorched in boiling water just a few minutes before serving. Pacific saury from Nemuro is accented with the grated scallion paste and drizzled with a rich but not overpowering sauce made from its liver. The spoonfuls of ikura, salmon roe, from Hokkaido is fresh, juicy and ever so sweet. If in great condition, he likes to serve some on its own.

The sea urchin is bought fresh from Maruhira in Hokkaido. If firm enough, he likes to serve it as nigiri, and not wrap seaweed around it to focus on its pure and powerful flavor. Anago saltwater eel is soft and roasty, it is first steamed then grilled”. Tossed with sansho peppercorn powder, the deep aroma lingers on your tongue.

Another important aspect of sushi making that he learned from his teachers is your form. The angle at which he stands and the movement of his arms are all part of the sushi he creates. “My masters taught me that movement is part of the flavor,” he explains. In fact, watching his flawless and smooth movements as he crafts each dish is a memorable part of the Sushi Ishiyama experience.

INGREDIENTS
Ishiyama visits the Tsukiji market every morning to select as many as thirty different varieties of fish. He prefers to serve them fresh rather than to mature them. The rice for the shari comes from a single brand that has a firm and solid texture. The grains are mixed with a blend of three different kinds of vinegar, but flavored lightly to avoid interfering with the taste of the fish. His favorite wasabi is grown in Mazuma in Shizuoka Prefecture. The aromatic seaweed comes from Ariake in Saga.

Sushi Ishiyama cuisine #0
Sushi Ishiyama cuisine #1

CHEF

Takao Ishiyama

Ishiyama was born in central Tokyo in 1984. A visit to a local sushi restaurant when he was in junior high sparked his passion in sushi. After graduating from high school, he went to study at a culinary school. Thanks to an introduction from one of their instructors, he was able to start his apprentice at Kanesaka in Ginza and later at their Karuizawa branch. He would go on to mastering the art of sushi at Kanesaka for the next 15 years.

Ishiyama recalls his Kanesaka days and how he was greatly inspired by their head chef and another senior chef who now runs Sushi Saito. He considers himself truly lucky to have been mentored by two of the leading sushi masters in Japan.

He later took on the responsibility of managing Sushi Ya, a sister restaurant of Kanesaka. He spent the next five years demonstrating his skills he has acquired over the years. Finally on July 25, 2018, he opened his own restaurant, Sushi Ishiyama.

Ginza is a special place for Ishiyama who has spent his professional years in the gourmet neighborhood. Many of the guests who knew him from Kanesaka, and later Sushi Ya, come by to the new restaurant. While he tries to explore different genres of arts on his days off, he said his life right now is all about getting his restaurant on course.

VISION
Despite being only 34 years old, Ishiyama is focused on mentoring younger chefs. At his previous restaurant, Sushi Ya, he left his post to a younger colleague. At his new restaurant, he hopes to raise the next generation of sushi masters that could stand alongside him and eventually take on attending the guests in the private room. At the top of his mind is his commitment to succeed in Ginza. While appreciating his existing customers, he strives to appease new guests who will eventually become regulars.

SAKE

Each bottle of sake is carefully chosen to augment the flavors of Sushi Ishiyama. GoRin is among the most memorable picks. It’s a crisp blend made by Shata Brewery in Ishiyama Prefecture that also produces Tengumai. Ishiyama especially likes Junmai grade made from Yamada Nishiki grains. He stocks another eight of so sake including Nambu Bijin, Ugo No Tsuki and Kid. For a warmed cup, he recommends Koshino Kagetora. A wide variety of wines and Champagnes is also available.

Course

Lunch
Lunch Nigiri only course (15 pieces)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥15,500
¥15,500
Reservation Request
Lunch
Lunch Nigiri only course (18 pieces)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥21,000
¥21,000
Reservation Request
Lunch/ Dinner
Ishiyama Omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥4,000
¥32,000
¥32,000
Reservation Request

Tokyo

Sushi Ishiyama

鮨いしやま

PRICE
¥15,500
~
CHILD
12
& UP
LUNCH
OPEN
MIN GUESTS
1
PERSON
~
GENRE
Sushi, Ginza
ADDRESS
4F, 4F, 3 Chome-3-6 Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061
OPEN
Lunch: 12PM-1PM (LO) Dinner: 5:30PM-10:00PM (LO)
CLOSED
Monday
URL
NA
PHONE
+81-3-3538-3969

RESERVATION

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