Ren Ishii

If you didn’t know the restaurant was here, you probably wouldn’t just stumble across it, for Ren Ishii is located in the bottom of a neighbourhood apartment block. However, do make it a priority to head to Ramsgate and try out this excellent Japanese Restaurant. Despite its inconspicuous location, it seems to have everyone talking, and for good reason, the food, service and whole experience is outstanding.

Run by Stephanie and Luke Phillips who previously owned a cafe in San Souci, they have teamed up with sushi chef Yoshinori Fuchigami, who they worked with at Catalina. We only wish they’d decided to open this in our area of Botany – take note if you’re expanding guys 😉

The interior features a nicely lit bar and plenty of seating. The decor is dark, yet the whole place feels bright and spacious. It has a comfortable and welcoming feel to it.

Whilst the menu is quite sophisticated, we feel that it is also very approachable for a broad demographic. Described as modern Japanese fusion restaurant, you’ll see things on the menu like popcorn karaage chicken, Japanese tacos and tuna pizza. In addition, you’ll find your Japanese favourites like nigiri, maki rolls and sashimi.

We practically would have been happy with anything on the menu and had our items ready to order, but then we were presented with the specials menu. This caused quite the challenge, because they all sounded amazing. We opted for a few specials since we can return for the regular menu. From the socials menu, we can say the Moreton Bay Bug skewers are to die for – sitting in a buttery yuzu beurre Blanc sauce, we’d definately pay the $14 per skewer again.

In addition, the Japanese tacos are so good – 4 mini tacos filled with nori red slaw, spring onions, garlic chips and a wasabi Mayo. Crispy and so flavourful!

For an entree, we opted for the raw scallop salad with green apple, tobiko, lime dressing, crispy lotus chips. Nice and refreshing and plenty of scallops. Our little guy ate all the lotus chips, and thankfully the staff gave him some more. We’d suggest adding these on the sides menu, always a crowd pleaser.

From the “land” section of the menu, we had the roast duck, perfectly cooked with a beautifully crispy skin, served with a refreshing salad of nashi pear, wombok, grilled grapes, sesame sauce. The side salad also had a decent amount of duck in it, and we thought this portion was super generous.

The miso cauliflower tempura is a moreish snack of fried florets of cauliflower and the popcorn karaage chicken is another little moreish snack with moist chicken in a light crispy skin. But the MUST order from the sides is the potato. Can I hear a YES PLEASE – twice cooked crisp & creamy cubed potatoes, say no more, these will be demolished in no time.

Drinks are aplenty, especially a great cocktail menu. We had had their take on a whisky sour which was so good, and also an outstanding coconut margarita.

Staff are down to earth, likeable and so helpful. They were especially kind to us with our toddler, ensuing that he had the appropriate tableware and snacks (popcorn chicken and lotus crisps). They were efficient in taking the order and bringing out the food and offering us tips when ordering.

We understand why this scored a one hat in the 2023 good food guide. Be sure to check it out soon!

Ren Ishii

29 Campbell Street Ramsgate

NSW 2217


Dinner: Wed-Sat

5:45 PM – 10:00 PM

Lunch: Fri-Sat

11:45 AM – 2:30 PM

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