Hasekura Restaurant, in Rome’s historic Monti district, has been serving some of the best Japanese food in Rome since 1993.
Situated in the picturesque via dei Serpenti, a stone’s throw from the Colosseum, Hasekura was founded in 1993 by Kimiji Ito and Franca Palma. Today this family business is manged by Franca and her son, Jun, with an incredible attention to detail.
The restaurant takes its name from Hasekura Tsunenaga, a Japanese samurai who, in 1615, after landing in Civitavecchia, managed to obtain an audience with Pope Paul V in Rome, and delivered a historic letter symbolising the union between the two countries.
Today, the philosophy of the restaurant’s cuisine is faithful to Ito’s vision. The disciplined approach combines an extraordinary respect for high quality ingredients, prepared with simplicity and aesthetic grace.
Courses don’t follow a precise order, but are savoured in smaller but numerous portions, to ensure variety of choice.
One of Hasekura’s hallmarks is it bijoux, well-appointed dining room. Booking is almost always required as the restaurant quickly fills up with local diners in the know. At lunch, look out for well-priced specials, including the ample bento boxes containing a range of sushi and sashimi as well as cooked Japanese food, that allow diners to taste an extraordinary range of perfectly presented dishes.
The unique conditions of summer 2020 have meant that Hasekura has had to temporarily pause dining-in. However, the restaurant is offering an ample Japanese takeaway and delivery menu, which reaches diners in all of Rome.
Expect a 10% discount on menu prices if you plan to pick up your meal as a takeaway, with Hasekura food available via deliveroo.it, and through a handy order button on its Instagram profile. Or, call the restaurant Tuesday-Saturday, 18.00-22.00, on +39 0648 3648.
I recently had the chance to try one of Hasekura’s most intriguing takeaway options – the Temaki KitKen, which offers diners the chance to rapidly assemble fresh sushi at home from the finest ingredients.
The kit contains 12 dressed, sticky rice balls; 12 sheets of nori algae; and an expertly filleted selection of fresh, raw fish. The beauty of the Temaki KitKen is its versatility. It is designed so you can make hand-rolled temaki, which are best served just folded and fresh, eating a whole sheet in a few bites.
But for variety, the ingredients are also ideal for rolling up maki, with each sheet enabling you to prepare a maximum of four maki, for a total of 48 pieces.
Overall, the kit is ideal for a dinner for two, or an aperitivo for three or four people.
What is really striking about the kit is its simplicity: with the rice cooked and dressed, it only takes a few minutes to transform the ingredients into the perfect home sushi dinner. It also takes all the hassle out of sourcing fresh fish of a suitable quality to eat raw.
I had a lot of fun with the Temaki KitKen, and highly recommend it for curious diners who can’t get enough of quality Japanese food, but want to try something new as well. The kit costs €70 and makes for a generous dinner for two.
It can be ordered by calling the restaurant, which is happy to accommodate individual tastes, should you have any fish preferences.
In the meantime, if you’re not quite ready to graduate to hand-rolling your own sushi, Hasekura remains the best choice in Rome for Japanese takeaway and delivery, thanks to its impeccable attention to detail, and use of the finest quality fish. Order online right here.
Hasekura Restaurant |Via dei Serpenti 27 |Rome| Tel +39 0648 3648