Zaiyu Hasegawa is a superstar among foreign travellers and chefs eating out in Tokyo. The reason why is simple – he and his wife Emi- san are friendly and accessible people. In the secretive city like Tokyo, where sometimes you have to be introduced or accompanied by a Japanese speaker in order to eat at some exclusive restaurant, being able to write an email yourself and reserve a table is quite a rare thing to do. (You can find Jimbocho Den contact details here.)
The other reason why is, of course, the culinary pleasure you get when dining at Jimbocho Den (2-2-32 Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo). Zaiyu Hasegawa describes what he does as “home cooking”, but there is nothing amateur about the products and techniques he uses (far from that). Zaiyu -san is particularly inspired by popular culture, so don’t be surprised if your slowly cooked wagyu ( Japanese beef ) will be served in a plastic container, used for takeaways in Japan ( like during my previous visit in 2013); or amazing sugar cane, black truffle and custard dessert will end up in a mock Starbucks or “Star Comebacks” cup.