Tokyo Food Page
Ishii/
Shimbashi: Izakaya
₯3593-0141
€Data
If you're a sake
afficianado you'll
be delighted by the
stellar selection at
this unpretentious
little izakaya.
Chances are you'll
make some interest-
ing discoveries, and
perhaps even meet a
brewer who's dropped
in for a drink while
visiting Tokyo. The
sake list changes
weekly, and features
many limited-edi-
tion, seasonal bot-
tles from small
craft breweries -
the kind of selec-
tions that are sel-
dom sold in retail
stores.

Mr. Ishii's food
menu is eclectic,
focusing on simple
dishes prepared from
good ingredients.
Everything seems to
have been chosen to
go well with any
kind of sake, so you
don't need to worry
about pairing strat-
egies here.

Our prix-fixe oma-
kase menu during a
recent visit started
off with sayori
(halfbeak) tempura
served with its
spine deep-fried
until crunchy, fol-
lowed by a practi-
cally greaseless
Kyushu-style
satsuma-age (deep-
fried fishcakes).
The sashimi platter
wasn't quite so
exciting, but the
well-prepared dashi-
maki (grilled ome-
lette) made up for
it.

Then we moved on to
the hardcore snacks
- tofu marinated in
miso, cream cheese
marinated in sake
lees, plus a trio of
smoked items - baby
squid, oysters and
chicken - all well-
suited to a relaxed
evening of sake
exploration.

The atmosphere at
Ishii is quite casu-
al - it's hidden in
a tiny alleyway near
Shimbashi station,
and there are only
sixteen seats, in-
cluding six at the
counter (so reserva-
tions are essen-
tial). The back-
ground music tends
toward bouncy eight-
ies pop. Budget
around Y5000-8000
for dinner and
drinks.

[Photos by Ake Nord-
gren
.]
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Minato-ku, Shimba-
shi 2-15-10, Ishiba-
shi Bldg 1F.  Open
6-11pm (LO). Closed
weekends.
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