Sumibi Kappo Ishii
It was exciting news for Osaka gourmands when they heard that the owner of Torisho Ishii was working on a new project. Bringing together a team of promising young chefs, Yoshitomo Ishii, who runs one of Osaka’s most popular yakitori eateries, has opened a new charcoal grilling restaurant. From scorched shellfish to sea bream rice, the seasonal cuisine of Sumibikappou Ishii is refreshing and innovative, showcasing the best of local ingredients.
Newly opened on April 23, 2019, the restaurant is located just a few minutes from the busy Fukushima Station in central Osaka. Set with a pleasantly minimalist and modern exterior, take a moment to appreciate the subtle details of the architecture that make the place so special. The thick black door is karakuri trick door from Edo Period, engraved with intricate designs.
The hallway, which the staff calls Kyomachi dori, takes its name after the picturesque road in the old capital, and sets a beautiful path into the main area. The traditional interior with delicate woodwork is the design of the same Kyoto carpentry craftsman that built Tominokoji Yamagishi, the famous kaiseki restaurant. A painting by local artist Ryohei Miwa hangs behind the counter, adding to the warm atmosphere.
As you make yourself comfortable on the beautiful chair set against the marvelous 7-meter counter, made of a single sheet of hinoki wood, your eyes gaze over the open grill and irori. Through the large glass window, you can enjoy watching the chefs’ skillful moves in the busy kitchen. Head Chef Ryuji Nonohara and the crew, most of them in their 20’s, bring about a great sense of liveliness.
The private rooms are also filled with beautiful air, allowing small groups of guests to enjoy the marvelous meal in a more intimate setting.
Refreshing and innovative
The seasonal omakase menu flows through an assortment of dishes starting with small appetizers, sashimi, grills, fried dishes among others. Despite the traditional approach, every dish is designed to surprise and entertain the guests.
At the essence of Sumibikappou Ishii’s cuisine is the dashi. Bringing soft water that is used at a local Osaka sake brewery, the chef infuses the umami of top-grade Rishiri kombu seaweed and refines the flavor using freshly shaved hongarebushi bonito flakes from Makurazaki. Every bowl of soup is made with new batch of dashi made just minutes before it’s served. The day’s bowl is a clear soup shrimp balls made with kuruma shrimp. The layers of deep umami come together beautifully.
Nonohara’s dishes are not just a treat for the tongue but also for the eyes. For a refreshing summery start, the first plate is a salad of sweetest cherry tomatoes, presented on a beautiful glass plate. Drizzled over the ruby red tomatoes are vinegar jelly, yuzu citrus and aromatic shiso flowers. On the side are some crushed powder of salt-flavored konpeito candies.
Arranged on a decorative bamboo tray, the hassun, the assortment of seasonal bites, is simply exquisite. The parade of delicacies include rock mozuku seaweed from Noto and ginger needles, shira-ae salad of Japanese water celery and roasted walnuts, fresh pike conger sushi pressed in bamboo skin, roasted Burgaud duck is paired with mustard made in Tasmania. The egg is mixed with grated fish meat and slow-baked for more than six hours, creating an unbelievable creamy texture.
Even for sashimi, the chef tries to incorporate the art of grilling. Surf clams and pen shells are scorched lightly on the outside. To complement the flavorful shellfish, the plate comes with an array of condiments including aromatic sansho peppercorns, akegarashi (aged paste of malted rice and Japanese mustard), daikon radish and bonito flakes. Enjoy them with two sauces, one with dashi-soy sauce infused with shiso herbs, and the other made with smoked soy sauce.
The plump horsehair crab meat from Hokkaido is glazed with a thick sauce made from Japanese water celery and topped with creamy shell miso. Dip the crispy bread stick, toasted over charcoal, in the flavorful sauce. Let your tongue enjoy the wonderful contrast in texture.
Salt-water eel is shipped alive from Akashi. The fish is sliced and steamed over the open grill to keep it soft and moist. To enjoy its pure flavor, they are seasoned only using salt and sansho powder.
Some of the rice recipes at Sumibikappou Ishii has become signature dishes. Using a donabe ceramic pot, fillets of golden eye snapper, burdock roots, new onions are mixed in with the rice and cooked in delicious dashi and soy sauce. The flavors come together as they mix in an egg and the grains have absorbed all the umami from the different ingredients. The comforting taste warms you from the stomach.
True to its local roots, Nonohara procures his fish from Kuromon Ichiba market and his vegetables from the Osaka Central Wholesale Market. He also buys some vegetables directly from growers in Okayama Prefecture.
For the soup as well as rice, he brings the water from a local sake brewery. The rice comes from a farmer in Tottori Prefecture. The restaurant stocks a fine selection of seasonal sake as well as wines.
BONITO FISH FLAKES
Nonohara has an unyielding obsession for katsuobushi, the essence of the dashi he uses in almost every dish. He procures honkarebushi from Makurazaki, a coastal city on the southern tip of Kyushu. The blocks of sun-dried bonito come shipped in the purest form, covered in a layer of mold, which they shave off using tawashi brushes and thick deba knives at the restaurant. For the best flavor, he uses a custom-ordered shaver to shave the most delicate ribbons that are precisely 0.01mm thick. The feather-like, translucent flakes bring out such a clean but great umami. When serving the soup, the chef makes a fresh batch of dashi for each guest. The soft yet rich fragrance makes the experience at Sumibikappou Ishii truly memorable.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000