Kentaro Kobayashi is one of Japan’s best-known TV chefs. He has his own show on TV Tokyo, Danshi Gohan (Men’s Cooking), which he co-hosts with pop star and self-proclaimed cooking novice, Taichi Kokubun. Kobayashi is also a prolific author of cookery books, specialising in easy to prepare meals that even the most inexperienced cook can attempt, such as Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love. He writes a weekly recipe column for the Chunichi Newspaper and another for the Sankei Express called “Kentaro’s Hitosara Shobu” or “Kentaro’s One plate challenge”. He is also an illustrator and member of the band Skunk Kyodai.

The venue

La Bisboccia

An old-school Italian restaurant, La Bisboccia opened in Tokyo’s Hiroo district in 1993. It’s always packed and photos of famous patrons line the wall. The day’s cuts of meat and fresh fish are wheeled to the table on a trolley. Florentine head chef Giovanni Cenni cooks central Italian recipes with the odd speciality.
Hiroo SK Building 1F, 2-36-13 Ebisu Shibuya-ku, + 81 (0)3 3449 1470


To eat

Courgette flower fritters with mozzarella
Tuna carpaccio
Grilled lamb chops
Radicchio with anchovy sauce
Summer porcini and clam pasta
Beef ravioli with butter sauce
Dessert selection plate

To drink

Surgiva sparkling water


Courgette flower fritters with mozzarella

Makes 4 courgette flowers

4 courgette flowers
120g mozzarella
Anchovies, minced
For the batter (makes 4 fritters): 100g plain flour, 1g sugar, 1g salt, 1-2g yeast, 100ml water
Vegetable oil (not olive oil as this is too heavy)

The method

  1. Start by making the batter. Mix flour, sugar and salt together. In another bowl pour water on yeast, add the flour mix and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Take the pistils out from inside the courgette flowers.

  3. For each flower you will need a spoonful of minced anchovies and 30g of mozzarella roughly mixed together. Use this to stuff into the flowers.

  4. Close the flower and dip it into the batter.

  5. Deep fry in oil at 170C for 4 minutes.

Monocle 24

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