Words by Killian Fox.
In 2007, Japanese chef Takashi Miyazaki came to Ireland in pursuit of love and the dream of opening his own restaurant. Instead he was walloped by the financial crash, which left him struggling to find a job and remain in the country. Thankfully for the people of Cork city (and his Irish wife Stephanie), he pulled through.
After opening his eponymous noodle bar in 2015, Chef Miya, as he’s affectionately known, turned his attention to a more ambitious kaiseki restaurant in the city centre. Ichigo Ichie – the name roughly translates as “once in a lifetime” – opened last April and picked up a Michelin star within six months. The secret of its success lies in the marriage of Japanese techniques with Irish ingredients, which Miyazaki serves from his chef’s counter with skill and minimal intervention. The highlights, on a visit in November, included black sole with burdock root and tofu, and some glisteningly fresh squid sashimi.