Eating out: ** Michelin Den Tokyo with Chef Hasegawa
I didn’t realise that this was a Michelin starred restaurant when I requested the concierge to make the reservations. And it was really fair priced for this omakase menu full of surprises. I drank La Spinetta wine that evening.
I was coming down with a full blown flu on my last night in Tokyo and it’s fair to say I didn’t get to enjoy myself as much as I’d like. Also little details that I missed out on – the restaurant is always full and we didn’t manage to get a bar seat to watch the action, instead tucked upstairs in a private room. And because my dining companion Japanese colleague did the booking, he forgot to mention I’m from Singapore – which while gimmicky, the chef Hasegawa actually prints out National flags of diners dining there. Boo. Next time, and next time with my chef. :)
Again, we see the farm to table philosophy in every dish, especially the cute bowl of salads from chef Hasegawa’s sister’s garden and we were told – handpicked and harvested daily. The menu – there is only one – is modern kaiseki with lots of creativity.
Off to a good start with a monaka – this traditional Japanese wafer like snack usually stuffed with bean paste, this time with pickled cucumbers, foie gras and sweet bean paste. Really nice over a glass of champagne.
Followed by turtle soup…
Famous for “Dentucky” fried chicken, a chicken wing you have to forage through the autumn leaves in a KFC style box. The piping hot wing is stuffed with rice and goji berries – following the Chinese menu of the 8 treasure rice 八宝饭.
Really enjoyed this seaweed sauce with tobiko (fish roe) that looked like expanded chia seeds alongside this yellowtail (?) sashimi.
Another wonderfully executed fish dish which I wasn’t paying attention to what it was as we were mid conversation.
Then came a delicious claypot of pork and lardon rice, served with home made pickles.
Persimmons in full season with pear as dessert.
Service was lovely and friendly and I’d love to come back and sit at the bar next time! My Japanese dining companion said it’s an interesting location as it’s an area with alot of cheap and cheerful restaurants, so one would never expect to find a 2 Michelin star modern Kaiseki restaurant down this little alley.
It worked out to about 1200HKD/person which is what you’d pay in Hong Kong at a regular hotel restaurant, and this was way better and so much more fun.
Jimbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
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