Overall Experience - 8.6
Summary : One of the most aesthetically funky pizza places I've visited, this spot is worth checking out just for the space. Take the spiral staircase up to the top floor and enjoy what also happens to be some tasty pies.
When I told friends I’d be spending my spring break in Japan, one of the most common questions was whether or not I was going to try any pizza there (answer: of course). I was only going to be there for a couple of days — mostly in Tokyo — and knew I would have to develop a strategic plan to hit up the city’s best spots. I did some online searches, e-mailed with some Japanese food writers, read a bunch of blogs, and ultimately came up with a shortlist of potential places to visit. The number one spot on my list? Seirinkan (Kami-Meguro 2-6-4) in the Naka-Meguro neighborhood.
I visited with two friends on a Wednesday evening shortly before they close at 9:30PM (they even close this early on Friday and Saturday). Even before I stepped inside, I knew there was something special about this place. The architecture was mind-blowing. I felt like I was walking into a Tim Burton film. A spiral staircase connects three floors — the bottom for the oven and a few counter seats, and the top two for more traditional dining areas. The structure would not pass New York’s building inspection. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine a cooler setting to be chowing down on a pie.
Seirinkan keeps things simple. Extremely simple. They have two pies: a margherita and a marinara. Each will run you close to $20 depending on the exchange rate. Da Michele in Naples is the only other place I know of which serves only these two types of pies, but in Naples each pie will run you less than $5. Prices aside, the pies at Seirinkan are better than at Da Michelle. The Margherita contains some whole tomatoes which were delicious. The marinara, although not better than the margherita, was one of the best marinara pies I have ever had. The thick and flavorful sauce was accompanied by tomato, garlic, and basil. These added flavors gave the pie some punch.
If you’re in Tokyo and you want some pizza, Seirinkan is a must-visit. Good pies and good vibes in what is one of Tokyo’s most exciting neighborhoods. Time would only tell if this experience would be topped by any of the city’s other places.