Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa of DEN, Tokyo, is a master culinary comedian. And his restaurant is the coolest place in Tokyo to dine in right now.

DEN-DFC3

Earlier this month, thanks to some amazingly cheap deals on Scoot, I was able to whisk my wife S up to Tokyo for a three day eating trip to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary. We had only three nights in town, which meant (to me at least) making sure each dinner was truly something special. On the first two nights, we visited familiar favorites (including, of course, Sushi Sho). For the last night in town, I wanted to take S somewhere neither of us had been. And after a bit of research, decided the restaurant I most wanted to try — and that I thought she’d really enjoy — was DEN, in Jimbocho. And boy am I glad I did. Continue Reading →

An easy quick bread: coconut bread

Coconut bread

I have a little black book. No, it does not contain any deep, dark secrets. Rather, in this notebook, I have written down recipes that I wanted to try. And one that has been staring at my face for the longest time was a quick bread recipe–Bill Granger’s coconut bread. Continue Reading →

IZY. Chic, modern, urban izakaya dining in Singapore

izy, modern izakaya in singapore

Finally, after months of waiting, IZY is open. This chic, ultra-urban modern izakaya opened its doors (to the public) for the first time last night. Yours truly, along with his always gorgeous and almost always hungry wife, and four friends, were among the first to check out Club Street’s newest (dare I say hottest?) arrival. Continue Reading →

Chef Diego Oka, expanding the Peruvian culinary empire

Diego Oka

Diego Oka is a chef who started his culinary career with direction at a young age, but his trajectory as a chef has been quite different compared to most.  He quickly skyrocketed to roles of high responsibility, travelling the world, managing restaurants in North and South America from the young age of twenty-one.  Diego studied hospitality while working in one of Lima’s oldest traditional Japanese restaurants, Ichiban, where he spent three years learning all the essentials, from dishwasher to working behind the sushi bar. Continue Reading →

Understated flair, untamed fare – The Ledbury in London

The Ledbury cover photo

Experiencing The Ledbury in London is like taking a hike in the wild. For one, traveling there takes you out of Zone 1 and into raw Westbourne Park (or Notting Hill, depending on which line you’re taking), where the streets are mercifully quiet and the grass in the gardens of the low-rise housing developments is untrimmed. For another, the typically cheery London weather (read: rainy with biting winds) made my girlfriend K and I look like a pair of inept hipster hunter-gatherers after the brisk walk from the tube station to Ledbury Road. Then there was the food itself; each of the eight courses on our lunch tasting menu took us on a sojourn, past bubbling rivers, through pungent loam, into the very heart of some unnamed countryside. Continue Reading →

Cheeky fare: Le Sergent Recruteur in Paris

Le Sergent Recruteur egg

“Foie gras is boring,” were the epigrammatic words of Antonin Bonnet before my dinner at Le Sergent Recruteur in Paris. Or at least, that’s what I think he said; it’s hard to recall bits of conversation after being plied with bubbly and Riesling. But it would be completely in keeping with the chef’s cavalier demeanor, and with the feel of this lively new place, which served up some of the most playful cuisine of my weeklong stay in the city. Continue Reading →