Tokyo-born Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa created a culinary buzz in Tokyo with his two Michelin-starred restaurant Den, giving Japanese fine dining a quirky, playful and highly skilful name.

His inspiration in fine dining Japanese cuisine started at a young age while watching his mother, a geisha, entertain customers in a traditional high-end restaurant. However, Hasegawa moved away from the traditional Japanese degustation, kaiseki, forming his own style. His unique interpretation is to ‘talk’ to his diners through his cooking, and this has evolved into an edible fun-filled mimicry that is contrary to the high art of kaiseki.

Since opening Den in 2007, Hasegawa has received two Michelin Stars, and in 2018, it ranked no. 14 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Den is currently awarded as The Best Restaurant in Japan, and ranked at number two in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.