Jimbocho Den is an experience you do not want to miss when in Tokyo. Chef Patron Zaiyu Hasegawa has created a kaiseki experience that brings together what fine dining should be; a personal, professional, fun and excellent tasting experience.
The restaurant is situated on a nondescript street in Tokyo and can be a bit hard to find. It is a small place with a mix of counter and table seats. When you enter you are at once greeted with a warm and sincere welcome which will accompany you throughout the whole meal. Zaiyu and his team will do their outmost to make your meal both delicious and happy. It is in small details, like his wife having checked which country you are from and sending fun secret messages in your language on a plate, to serving you one of the most beautiful and best tasting turtle soups ever.
His cooking is focused on sending a message of the producer of produce and plates, all from his personal local and close network of suppliers. It is a very personal and happy meal focused on the person consuming it, not on his ego as chef. There is playfulness throughout the meal such as dessert looking like a garden installation or his famous dentucky fried chicken wings served in a unique box that mimics Kentucky Fried Chicken takeout boxes.
Things like this can be seen as gimmicks but since the cooking and the ingredients are of such high standards it all comes together. Zaiyu Hasegawa has his roots in traditional kaiseki cooking but is not constrained by it. So expect a multi-course menu with excellent sashimi and Japanese beef but also a wonderful salad with a multitude of ingredients grown by his sister and maybe topped with a delicious crispy Nagano ant.
So if you are near Japan make sure to plan ahead and book a place at Jimbocho Den. Zaiyu and his team will take care of you from the moment you enter to when you leave. It will leave you with an experience of a great meal but also with warmth and a wonderful happy smile.
Written by Joakim