Posted November 24, 2015on:
Jimbocho Den is probably one of the more popular restaurants for foodies visiting Tokyo now, and I had managed to secure a reservation here, even though it was pretty late at 9 pm!
The entrance to Den is not so obvious, tucked along a small and dark alley off the main road. Doesn’t help that their entrance is pretty dark and nondescript too, apart from the little sticker below.
I think one of the reasons why Den is so popular is the jovial and friendly atmosphere that makes Den so welcoming to guests.
The staff are fairly young and they really know how to make you feel at home with great service.
So you get a more laid-back ambience as opposed to the more high-end “wear dinner jacket” atmosphere of some fine-dining establishments.
The food served at Den is not just a modern kaiseki but a playful and at times whimsical dinner.
The opening appetizer is one of their well-known signature dishes, the monaka stuffed with foie gras mousse and pickled vegetables.
Reminds me of eating those delectable ice-cream waffles!
Here’s the head chef Zaiyu Hasegawa. Even though his English is quite limited, he’s a funny guy alright.
Can’t remember what was in this dish except it was a cold dish with silky smooth yuba. The gravy was delicious and creamy too, so I told them it was really the perfect summer dish.
International kitchen staff it seems, I think one of them was French.
When this plate comes out, everyone knows what’s next.
Den’s most infamous dish – Dentucky Fried Chicken!
Comes with cute little yellow birdie!
And here it is!
The stuffing inside changes frequently; this time it was glutinous rice and something else that I can’t remember. The seasoning used on the chicken was sublime and savoury – ironically the effect for me was that it became a super delicious version of our lo mai kai.
Crispy strands of nori decorates an uni shell packed with uni and rice with nori sauce.
…I finished every last bit of it.
Watching him immolate a hunk of beef.
Kuroge wagyu that’s been slow-cooked in dashi for a long long time, then seared on the outside. Very tender with quite a unique taste that I’m not quite sure how to describe.
Zaiyu’s Garden Salad, with over 20 different varieties of vegetables, many which come from his sister’s farm. And yes that’s a real ant, inspired by Noma.
Little details like this show the effort put into making the dish. It’s really not just throwing all the leaves together in 1 bowl.
A medley of special summer mushrooms. I’ve no idea what mushrooms he used but I think there are about 10 different types and they’re all not the usual ones we see all the time.
It looked kinda plain but it was surprisingly strong in flavours, like there was a lot of meat/bacon cooked in with it.
A little amusement before dessert.
This is Den’s Japanese tiramisu. It’s meant to mimic the Italian tiramisu but using only Japanese ingredients.
And to end the dinner, a cup of coffee! No, actually it’s sugarcane caramelised for 8 hours, topped with custard pudding and black truffle. Very intense!