Japan is the land of good food and Michelin stars, and it is not a surprise that Tokyo has kept the crown as the city with most Michelin starred restaurants in the world this year once again. Yes, even more than Paris, which is located in second place.
So while you are here, I will recommend you to explore as much as you can and as much as your pocket can handle.
A while ago and as part of a special occasion, I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo so far: JIMBOCHO DEN.
This small restaurant located in a narrow and almost hidden street of Jimbocho area is not so easy to find, but once you find it, the whole experience will last forever in your heart and in your mouth.
Usually, words come easily to me, but today, it seems hard to give justice to such a gem with just words. I have the feeling that the only way to understand the joy and happiness coming from the white jackets on the other side of the counter is living it. But, I will still do my best.
Chef & Owner Zaiyu Hasegawa is extremely smiley and passionate. And even at such young age, has a long experience in the field. Started cooking right after finishing High School at the age of 18 and opened Jimbocho Den 11 years later. In between, he worked in various restaurants and even was the chef at his mother´s restaurant. In 2011, only three years after the opening, received his first Michelin Star.
He moves, speaks and treats everyone around him in an easy and relaxed way. He seems calm and able to enjoy every moment of the process. He looks comfortable interacting with the clients and surprising them with unexpected dishes without loosing any detail around him. He is the creative mind that puts together a delicious, original but mainly, fun menu.
But Chef Hasegawa would not be able to do it by himself, and his team is definitely an important part of the chain. Everyone has a mayor role on it. Of course, no one told me that, but I was able to feel it. Even from the early beginning of the dinner I realized how much involved everyone is in making the best of your experience.
How to describe this good mixture between tradition and innovation in such a tiny place?
The counter has only eight seats available which makes you feel close with everyone else around. There are also two tables and a private room. Different options for different circumstances.
Not been able to choose your food, this is because new seasonal dishes are served every day, is one of the good reasons to keep you interested all the time. And will make you want more and more.
Dishes started to appear, one after the other, and with them, all the surprises…
Talking to Chef Hasegawa, I noticed that he really wants you to enjoy and feel happy while eating. He has a strong desire for new ways of thinking the food with no limits and no restrictions. If so, mission accomplished!!!
Open hours: Monday to Friday from 5:00 to 11:30pm; Saturdays from 5:00 to 10:30
Closed on: Sundays and holidays
Access: 2 minute walk from Jimbocho Station (exit A3)
More information, here.