Iconic Tokyo Restaurant Den Kushi Flori Plans First US Expansion For NYC

The legendary team behind Asia's number one restaurant is launching their first NYC concept this year.
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One of Tokyo’s highest-rated restaurants is currently getting ready for its first expansion into the US.

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Den Kushi Flori is well known in Japan as one of Tokyo’s finest restaurants and began as a concept founded by chefs Zaiyu Hasegawa and Hiroyasu Kawate. Hasegawa established themselves as one of the region’s top chefs thanks to his work at Den, which was rated Asia’s Number One restaurant by 50 Best Restaurants. Kawate meanwhile is known for their work at Florilege, which was rated as Asia’s Number 3 restaurant. Both chefs have received two Michelin stars and are considered by many in the industry to be absolute masters of their craft. Launched in late 2020, Den Kushi Flori offers an exclusive tasting menu of French-Japanese fusion cuisine served on a Japanese skewer known as a kushi.

The theme of Den Kushi Flor revolves around the idea of “connect, tie, stick”, where the skewers connect diners to the chefs and the cuisine at large. The restaurant was designed to act as a kind of stage, where the performance of the chefs can be enjoyed while savoring a variety of dishes that represent the best of the two worlds. After only a few months of operation, Den Kushi Flori earned its first Michelin- star, and fans wouldn’t be surprised to see the restaurant earning its second in the near future.

Now though, some exciting plans are in place to bring Den Kushi Flori to NYC for the first time. Entrepreneur and restaurant owner Jannik Wambsganss is currently slated to bring Den Kushi Flori to its first US location at 107 Norfolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington Streets. Wambsganss, who is based out of Germany and currently lives in Japan, forged rare bonds with Japanese masters of crafts, including Culinary Director Ayako Watanabe, a highly respected pastry chef and hospitality veteran with a network of some of the region’s most legendary culinary professionals. Together, Jannik and Ayako opened up the now-iconic Den in 2007, where they met many of DKF’s current staff.

Speaking of Den, Den Kushi Flori’s US expansion will also feature the work of Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, who launched the original DKF in Tokyo. According to Hasegawa’s vision, the ground floor of the space will house an elevated multi-course omakase experience, while the cellar floor will function as a more casual Japanese restaurant, with an exclusive menu curated by Chef Hasegawa. Den Kushi Flori will also offer an expertly curated beverage program that will focus on simple and craft cocktails with herb liqueurs as well as beer and wine.

At the moment, Wambsganns and the team are currently getting ready to meet with the community board to acquire a full liquor license for the space. They are currently proposing operating hours of 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM for the cellar restaurant and 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM for the omakase restaurant on the ground floor. For more information, you can follow Den Kushi Flori on Instagram.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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