The origins of Tokyo Pizza
continuously handed down
Savour the flavours of the very first
- artisan Susumu Kakinuma
In 1995, pizza artisan Susumu Kakinuma opened Savoy, the predecessor to Seirinkan, in Nakameguro. At that time, pizza in Tokyo was all the same - there was little difference between Italian and North American pizza, let alone between Napoli and Roman pizza. Few people cared to go to a pizzeria expressly for pizza.
Before long, however, the restaurant gained a reputation for both delicious food and a good atmosphere, and that's when the trendy people started to come.
Kakinuma brings in the customers with only two types of pizza - margherita and marinara.
The dough is compact, chewy, perfectly salted and good enough to eat on its own. The margherita combines an exquisitely-balanced sauce with bold mozzarella, basil, and fresh tomatoes, and it is baked to perfection.
Kakinuma wants to make his customers get their pizza hot and fresh, so he makes it a priority to get the pizza to the customer straight from the oven.
"There is only one flavour - any time, any place."
So says Kakinuma, the man who raised the bar of pizza culture in Tokyo.
Nothing makes him happier than when he hears a customer who hasn't visited in a while say, "It's delicious! It never changes."
Why is this? Because he believes it is necessary to continually evolve in order to always offer the same flavour, which is why it's difficult to keep o perfect his skills in order to maintain that sense of deliciousness.
“I think about how to bring the ingredients together without hurting the flavours. And the fire itself is almost sacred. I wouldn’t think of changing that. It’s been 20 years and I still haven't mastered it," Kakinuma says. Even with all his experience, he still feels like he has much to learn.
“When creating pizza, it's about the combination of shape, colour, and sound. To me, it's the ultimate expression of art. That's why every day is fun and I never get bored.”
There is no mistaking that this is the pinnacle of pizza in Tokyo.