Jimbocho Den, Tokyo

http://www.jimbochoden.com

This was an exceptional meal in every way. Hands down one of my favourite. Up there with L’Aperge & Michael Guerard. It wasn’t just the food, it was the service; utterly charming. A departure from the norm. It does make one think how formal ‘fine dining’ really needs to be.

9pm booking. Previous diners apologised for leaving a little late. Only in Japan. Counter service. Quiet, busy kitchen staffed by all women with the exception of head chef. Our waitress translated everything, made fun conversation, chose excellent (non expensive) beverage pairings.

Every dish had a story or a twist – something whimsical, local, but grounded in a serious ingredient(s). Everything was served with a smile and enthusiasm. It was infectious.

Not only did we get seconds of the excellent beef, we got a Den sticker to put on our phone… But of course. We even finished with photos with the chef & staff, at their request.

It goes without saying we left with smiles on our faces. And the food:

Foie gras sandwich with persimmon
Turtle soup with turnip
KFC – chicken wing with taro & truffle
Aged Yellowfin tuna with radish
Monkfish liver with rice (my favourite)
Eel & smoked soy skin
‘Salad’
Fugu with radish
Hokkaido beef with bamboo rice
Soil (again, but buckwheat this time)

It was also a relative bargain. Go.

In no particular order….(thanks wordpress)

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