A slice of pizza: Seirinkan
Editor's Note: You hear the scary stories about the corn and mayo on pizza served in Japan. But all pizza in Japan is not like that. Check out our Restaurant section for more reviews like this one to find out the best place to get a slice of 'za.
Alan Richman courts controversy. When the noted food writer visited New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, he hardly minced words: “[It] was always a three-day stubble of a city, and now, courtesy of Katrina, it’s more like ﬁve.”
But the notoriously tough critic had nary a negative adjective for Seirinkan, a pizza parlor in Nakameguro he recently described as his “favorite place in Tokyo.”
At first glance, it’s hard to know what to make of this eatery, formerly known as Savoy. The outside of the free-standing restaurant is Gothic, with a three-story iron front crafted by blacksmith Kogoro Kurata, famed for his retro Steampunk laptop and two-ton Scopedog robot. Seirinkan’s interior evokes that of a submarine, with gunmetal grey walls and the odd military radio.
On a recent visit we were lucky to nab two of the best four seats in the house—at the small counter on the first floor, facing the oven. The pizza menu is two-deep: margherita or marinara (both ¥1,575). We ordered one of each, along with a bottle of 2006 Francis Ford Coppola Presents Rosso Classic (a steal at just ¥3,150). We watched in eager anticipation as Susumu Kakinuma—who spent a year in Italy eating pizza—sprinkled ripe Roma tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, garlic, and a few leaves of basil onto hand-kneaded dough, then placed his creation into his 900-degree, wood-fired oven.
Sixty seconds later, he removed the bubbling margherita, sliced it thrice and served it piping hot. He repeated the move with the marinara. Then we ate—in silence and ecstasy.
2-6-4 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3714-5160. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm and 6-9:30pm (LO), Sat noon-2pm and 5-9:30pm (LO), Sun & hols noon-2pm and 5-9pm (LO). www.seirinkan.jp