While Japanese cuisine may be one of the city’s hot trends this year, co-owners Miyuki Nakahara, Takashi Omi and Simon Denton have been ahead of the curve for a while now, having launched Izakaya Den more than nine years ago. Chef Kunihiro Nakajima leads the team of chefs in the kitchen.
The word ‘den’ is rather fitting, as this is a restaurant that can be a challenge to find. Down several sets of stairs, and beyond a thick curtain, the space is long and minimal, with Japanese projections playing on the concrete walls.
The menus come rolled up as scrolls, and there is much to browse through, a job made easier with a number of chef’s menus and sake recommendations on offer, taking the difficulty out of decision-making. Den fried chicken with a spicy mayonnaise is chopstick-licking good, and the sweetcorn kakiage is crunchy and more-ish. Beyond the fried bar-style snacks, there is some serious work going on in the sashimi station, with the cured kingfish with Asian dressing a standout.
PSST! Check out the Den Classics menu for a well-priced lunch option.