I'm always hesitant about those people that stand outside their restaurant trying to spruik their business because I've had terrible experiences where the food served is completely rubbished.The the girl at Ishiya StoneGrill (152 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne) was extremely thorough in explaining their complex menu to us and that still make me feel at ease, it didn't help that they were empty.
Nonetheless, we decided that we were going to bite the bullet and try Ishiya anyway. I've walked pass this place so many times and have always been interested to see what it had to offer.
Mr_54632 is a BIG fan of endamame.So we had to ensure that these were ordered. So it came along with a free dish of mayo potato, which I must admit was absolutely yum and creamy. And a dish of sashimi. The fish was fresh and didn't have that awful "fish" stinky smell. So no complaints there
And yes, we did have tempura Moriawase. I have no complaints as to how our dish came out. It was light, fresh and yummy. The prawns didn't feel stale but fresh. The vegetables were terrific. I was sad there wasn't more. I have to give the kitchen 2 thumbs up, as so many places we've been to date seem to get this staple dish -oh- so-wrong
You're all thinking "what on EARTH" is this dish? This is their "Tempura Soft shell Crab salad". I LOVE crab salads, provided they're done right. I can definitely say- this dish was absolutely gorgeous. True to its tempura style, it was light and crunchy. The mayo combination made it more YUM. I couldn't get enough but I knew I couldn't have room for MORE unfortunately because we over ordered.. LOL
Of course we were going to order something to stone grill. Admittedly it wasn't cheap. BUT it was very much worth it!!!! We decided to eat like royals (not sure if they eat like this.. but whatever), but we got the Wagyu with the lobster.
Yeah- we like to live life on the edge.
I was amazed when they brought it out because to be honest, I've never experienced anything like it. The steak came out somewhat raw, and as the stone was extremely hot, it was cooking everything, kinda like a bbq. The waitress explained to us that if we cut the meat into smaller pieces that they were going to cook very quickly. And yes, that did happen.
The meat was extremely succulent.
I've never thought to combine lobster with steak, and I'm not going to pretend that I didn't enjoy the combination because I clearly did. My only complaint was that my lobster was a tad on the small side (like Ishiya somehow found the world's smallest lobster to put on my stone grill). The dish did come with some sauces, but the steak is so juicy on its own that it didn't need anything at all.
Funny moment: we sat next to a couple who were going through the menu and the guy said to his female companion (out loud)- "I didn't know Japanese people ate beef". I almost LOL`ed at the ignorant racist comment. But yes, Japanese people do eat beef, they happen to be one of the few countries that Australia happens to export a lot of beef too.
Even if I didn't have any more room after the steak, I ensured that I made room once this came out... and attempted as best as I could to make sure that I was going to be rolled out of Ishiya.
Overall, the food was fantastic and the service was top notch. Yes, we were at first one of the few who had sat down, perhaps it had something to do with the fact that we had arrived at the earlier side of dinner (just after 5.30pm) however as the food started to come out, the restaurant was slowly filling up. Even with more patrons, the service didn't slip. The waitresses were still attentive, very willing to explain everything on the menu and always ensured that our cups were filled.
My only complaint of Ishiya, although it had no real affect on our experience was the realization that they had a LOT of tables and chairs squeezed in such a small space. I can imagine it being chaotic for the waitresses trying to maneuver around to service everybody. But being that it was only hall full by the time we left, I guess it didn't matter.
I do have to point out though that Ishiya isn't on the cheaper end of Japanese food HOWEVER, I'd rather pay a little bit more for better food then go cheap and get mediocre Japanese.