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Tokyo

Isoda

礒田

Inheriting the spirit of craftsmanship, Chef Taketo Isoda’s passion remains solely on the quality of his cuisine. Focusing on subtle details like sequencing and balance, the experience at Isoda is all about savoring the Kyoto-style kaiseki meal from start to finish. From sweet sea bream sashimi to light seasonal tempura, the delicate traditional flavors promise a satisfying evening.

Taketo Isoda opened his restaurant in 2021 after completing his training at Shinbashi Hoshino, an exclusive kaiseki establishment in central Tokyo. While honoring the teachings of his mentor, Isoda adds his own unique perspective to his cuisine. Focusing on the quality of the ingredients, his exquisite menu has lured many gourmands.

The restaurant is located in the heart of Ningyocho in downtown Tokyo that flourished as the entertainment district during the Edo Period. Known for kabuki theaters and puppet shows, the area has a rich cultural history.

“Since opening my restaurant, I’ve come to really love this neighborhood,” Isoda says.

Inside, the ambiance is simple and tasteful. An open counter has room for just 8 seats, small enough to make sure the chef can pay close attention to every guest. Greeted by the chef and staff, you’re surrounded by a warm sense of hospitality.

“At Isoda, the cuisine is the protagonist,” the chef says as he explains the evening’s omakase menu. The courses are served on beautiful crockery that the chef himself has collected over the years. The balance between the food and pottery is important, he says as he curates stunning combinations of texture, shapes and colors.

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CUISINE

Inheriting the spirit of craftsmanship

For those familiar with traditional kaiseki, the menu at Isoda may come as a surprise. While a typical meal begins with soft flavors, the chef likes to start with a seasonal appetizer, immediately followed by a heavier dish such as soft-shelled turtle and wild boar. The soup and sashimi, which are usually served at the beginning of the course, appear later in the meal.

“I think stronger-flavored dishes like meat should be enjoyed early when there’s still room in your stomach,” the chef says. “I think a lot about the flow and balance of the meal, and the portions as well, so the guests can enjoy the meal until the end.”

Sashimi of sea bream from Akashi in Hyogo and red shellfish from Ehime. The quality of the sea bream is excellent with incredible aroma and texture, Isoda says proudly.

The soup of pufferfish milt and turnips is fragrant and full of flavor. When you open the lid, the delicate scent of yuzu citrus fills the air. The creamy milt melts away in your mouth.

Grilled wild boar from Hiroshima is sweet and tender. The flavorful meat is served with water celery in a white miso sauce.

Tempura of Japanese icefish and tara no me buds. The balance between the bitterness of the mountain vegetables and the gentle flavor of the little fish is exquisite. The batter is light and crispy.

Served during the summer months, the sweetfish has become Isoda’s signature. While many chefs prefer a crispy finish, Isoda likes to keep the fish moist and rich using the flavor of the liver.

The grilled sweet sea bream is a work of top craftsmanship. Carefully cooked, the scales on top are lightly browned and crispy while the flesh remains moist and tender. The rice is cooked slowly in a clay pot. Served with small sides of pickled Chinese cabbage, dried baby sardines and minced beef, the small portions feel just right.

INGREDIENTS
Most of the ingredients come from Tokyo’s Toyosu market. The sea bream is a special catch, coming from a fisherman near the Akashi coast whom the chef has known for years. The fish is caught early in the morning and delivered that day. The sweetfish in the summer comes from the Mase River in Gifu. The chef likes to use larger catches that are as long as 20 cm.

The dashi, which serves as the base of all the flavors, is made using Rishiri's 2-year-old kombu and dried bonito flakes. For flavoring, the chef likes Fuji Izumi soy sauce from Shizuoka and Yamari miso from Kyoto. Wasabi comes from the waters of Amagi in Kagoshima. The rice is organic Koshihikari grains grown in Yamagata.

Isoda cuisine #0
Isoda cuisine #1

CHEF

Taketo Isoda

Taketo Isoda was born in Osaka in 1991. He grew up watching his father cook, which made him become interested in food from an early age. He decided to apply to culinary school but as he was late with his application, the only genre that he could sign up for was Japanese. He wasn’t keen on the idea at first but it’s something he’s grateful for looking back. After graduating, he began his training at a Japanese restaurant in Osaka for a couple of years. With a strong desire to move to Tokyo, he came across an opportunity to work at a new restaurant owned by Yoshiaki Hoshino, a former apprentice of legendary Kenichiro Nishi of Kyo Aji. For the next five years, it was just the two of them working together. “It was a valuable experience,” Isoda recalls. “I got to watch and learn from the chef who was trying to build his restaurant through trial and error.” Isoda felt ready to own his own restaurant and opened Isoda in Ningyocho in April 2021. Even after becoming independent, he has remained close to Hoshino. The calligraphy of the restaurant’s name by the entrance is the work of his mentor.

VISION
Isoda’s sole focus remains his cuisine as he continues to evolve and experiment with his menu. He is also thinking of relocating the restaurant, while staying within the Ningyocho area. He wants to create a space that allows him to cook the kind of cuisine he’s striving for. He hopes to rework on the concept from interior to layout.

SAKE

The restaurant stocks a diverse selection of fine sakes. Sourcing from two liquor stores, they offer a wide range, including seasonal and local items. They also serve beautiful wines, mainly from Burgundy and Napa that pair well with delicate flavors of Japanese foods.

Course

6PM-, 8:30PM-
Isoda omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
¥46,500
¥46,500
Reservation Request
6PM-, 8:30PM-
Isoda omakase course from June, 2024
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
¥48,000
¥48,000
Reservation Request

Tokyo

Isoda

礒田

PRICE
¥46,500
~
CHILD
13
& UP
MIN GUESTS
1
PERSON
~
GENRE
Kaiseki, Nihonbashi
ADDRESS
2F, 〒103-0013 Tokyo, Chuo City, Nihonbashiningyocho, 2 Chome−6−11
OPEN
6PM-, 8:30PM
CLOSED
Sunday and holidays
URL
NA
PHONE
NA

RESERVATION

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