Ishizuka Restauran Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace

Ishizuka Restaurant Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace

Ishizuka Restaurant Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace

Ishizuka Restaurant Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace


Ishizuka Restaurant is a new addition to Melbourne’s Bourke Street, and a welcome addition to its expansive, exciting culinary scene. Led by Acclaimed chef Tomotaka Ishizuka, the eponymous 16-seat dinner opened in January and is currently dishing up distinguished, haute Japanese cuisine—a centuries old style called Kaisek.

Not quite the sushi and sashimi we’re accustomed to, Kaisek is described as an art form and only practised by the most experienced culinary masters. Think 11 or so courses of meticulously prepared, handsomely plated seasonal delicacies like amuse bouche of sea urchin and spanner crab, Zensai of cured ocean trout, or boiled black tiger prawn with caviar.


Ishizuka Restaurant in Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace

Ishizuka Restaurant in Melbourne by Russell & George | Yellowtrace


And as much as Kaisek is concerned with authentic flavours and the delicate balance of taste and texture—the experience also encompasses a tremendous sense of theatre, cultivated by capturing the senses through presentation, setting, and tableware. Melbourne based firm Russell & George (whose other hospitality work includes Attica, Earl Canteen, St Jude’s Cellars, and Igloo Zoo) are responsible for the restaurant’s interiors, creating a sleek, minimalist basement dining room to match Ishizuka’s precise, bespoke fare.

Indeed, the mood of the space is the perfect counterpart to the menu. Seats are positioned around a central counter, and while the style ticks the boxes of Japanese minimalism, there is still a contemporary Australian feel. A beautiful curved white wall resembles a Japanese paper lantern, and tableware has been custom made by Kyoto ceramicists Shigeo and Yotaro Takemura of Dainichi Gama studio.



[Images courtesy of Russell & George. Photography by Felix Forest.]


About The Author

Sammy Preston

Sammy Preston is a writer, editor, and curator living in Sydney. Working especially within art and design, and then lifestyle and culture more broadly, Sammy is a senior writer at Broadsheet, and a contributing digital editor at Foxtel's Lifestyle platform. Sammy also contributes regularly to art and design press like VAULT Magazine, Art Collector, Art Edit, Habitus, and Indesign magazines. She's written art essays for MUSEUM, exhibition texts for Sophie Gannon Gallery, and has worked as an arts and culture editor for FBi Radio. In 2016, she worked as part of the editorial team for Indesign Magazine as digital editor during the publication's pivotal print and website redesign. Sammy was also the founding manager and curator of contemporary art space Gallery 2010—a curator-run initiative housed within a Surry Hills loading dock. The gallery hosted exhibitions with emerging and established artists from 2012 until 2016.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Kenneth Mason

    Why are the seats in communal restaurants always so damned close together? Not only is it difficult to seat new customers, but I dislike elbowing or being elbowed by my next seat neighbor. It spoils the meal and the chance to meet new people. kapm

  2. Avatar

    It would be great to understand further what materials are used here (curved wall?) and how they add value to your description of theatre!


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