The last stop on the Tokyo food tour was at Den located in Jimbocho. The experience was so entertaining with each dish showing chef Zaiyu Hasegawa’s playful and imaginative side. Again here at Den, Chef Hasegawa only uses the freshest of ingredients so the menu is never quite the same as it depends on whats available on the day.
Upon arrival we were seated at the counter which seats 8 people. There are also 2 other tables and a private room available upon request. I thought the counter was the best way to dine at Den as we got to interact with the chef as well as with his kitchen staff plus I just love seeing how each meal is prepared.
First up we were given a little parcel, inside was a wafer biscuit with a foie gras filling. It was so delicious that I ate it before I could take a photo lol. It had a sweet jam paste inside as well, kind of like a quince paste which went well with the foie gras. This is one of Chef Hasegawa’s well known dishes.
For the next dish we were initially given an empty plate with a pile of ground up salt. Nick then asked our host if she was familiar with the movie ‘Scarface’, she was a little confused however one of the kitchen staff had a cheeky little smile on his face. He knew what we were on about hehe.
The little guy in the above photo was then placed carefully on the plate. A beautifully fried whole fish. It was fine to eat the whole thing, bones and all!
Next we were each given one of these boxes by Chef Hasegawa over the counter. I was like WTF. KFC. IS DIS REAL?! Turns out it was DFC (Den Fried Chicken) featuring Hasegawa on the packaging, hilarious! In the box was a mini chicken toy and a note saying “Enjoy Dinner”. Buried in the straw of the box was a delicious piece of chicken that was filled with flavoured rice.
Can you see the little faces in the above photo? So kawaii! He also made cute faces in the chips below too.
As it was around Halloween, the presentation of the wagyu beef dish was quite fitting. My plate looked like a murder scene with beetroot sauce splattered all over and heart shaped beetroot to accompany the beef. Again, Hasegawa gave us this dish personally with his own hands covered in fake blood lol.
The final main course was this above fish layered up on rice. We were initially shown the bowl of what it looked like and then it was whisked away back to the chef who worked his magic and mixed it all together to look like the below. The flavours were so amazing but I was so full at this point that I could only manage a small portion.
Dessert at Den was the most interesting experience on the tour. First a newspaper clipping was placed down with certain letters circled that formed a unique message for each of us. Mine was ‘See You’. Hasegawa then came out from the kitchen wearing gardening gloves (yes that’s right gardening gloves) carrying a spade with what looked like moss on it (this was actually dessert). He sprinkled leaves (tea leaves) over the dessert and then proceeded to fold up his gloves to make a peace sign! The dessert itself tasted amazing, the texture was like a mousse. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a dessert that colour before either lol.
What a performance! I was definitely left wanting more!