Thursday, June 14, 2012
I can’t believe I’ve never written about Hasekura before. This Japanese restaurant was the first ‘ethnic’ restaurant I ever went to when I moved back to Rome full time in 1990. At the time it was one of the only ‘foreign’ places in Rome, and was - together with Hammasei - one of the first sushi places to open.
Going there was a no-brainer, since it’s right in the heart of Monti. Going there often was another issue, since - like all other fish restaurants in Rome - it was prohibitively expensive.
But can I say something about the cost? I think that’s a good thing. Today, twenty years on, Hasekura is still at the high end of things. And even though there are at least a hundred other much cheaper places to get sushi, Hasekura remains one of the best. Even Monti has several to pick from. While Emma and Sophie get take out sushi at Daruma down the street, and I head to Doozo on a regular basis for lunch with the girls or dinner in their garden, Hasekura is our 'special occasion' sushi place for sure.
The attention to extraordinary quality of the fish is what sets this place apart. And quality costs, especially when it comes to fish.
One way I get around this issue is to go for lunch. Emma and I went the other day, and had their special lunch. For 16 euros each we were treated to a beautifully orchestrated series of small plates that not only filled us up, but included just right mix of textures, tastes and - most importantly - pitch perfect sashimi.
If you have never been to Hasekura lunch is a good way to start. I’m sure you’ll end up going back for dinner. But whether it’s lunch or dinner, make sure you reserve. I’m not the only one who thinks this is the best Japanese restaurant in Rome.
Via dei Serpenti 27