Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tsubakiya, Roppongi

Visit Tsubakiya for a guaranteed shot of nostalgia that will take you straight back to the Taisho years (if you were alive and living in Japan, of which I was neither). Pleasingly, this place manages to pull off the requisite ambiance without feeling as if it hasn’t been remodeled since Taisho – which is a problem that I think happens a lot based on my informal survey of looking in the windows of coffee places and deciding that I would never set foot in them. It's a small chain, and they explicitly state their desire to recreate a 'Taisho chic motif', so I guess that explains it all.

I go to lunch places to eat lunch, not to soak up the ambiance (usually. Actually there’s at least one other place where the food is OK but the ambiance makes it for me, and that’s Harrod’s, where the coolosity of the surroundings makes it a real trip outside Roppongi every time you go. Hmmm, Umaya used to be in that category too. OK, I take it back). The food here is pretty good (based on my highly scientific and reliable single-point survey – all three of us had the beef curry lunch). Small salad of iceberg lettuce with two pieces of red bell pepper on top to make it look serious, then you’re on to the main event.

Curry lunch (Y1300) comes with a fair amount of fanfare – a plate of yellow rice with some raisins on top (I bet there's a name for this), then a small silver tray with a china serving dish of curry and a glass dish with two kinds of pickles. Everyone gets one of these, which is…special. The curry itself was amply-supplied and had a lot of nice soft-n-fatty beef in it. It’s not any kind of luxury curry, but it was tasty! There are also sandwich sets.

Coffee comes with more fanfare (since they specialize in it), starting with china cups delivered to the table in advance of the coffee’s arrival, presumably to increase excitement. The coffee is vacuum-method brewed (the kind where the machine uses two glass globes, also described as the ‘science experiment’ method!), and they bring the beaker with attached stand to the table before putting the cups back on a tray and pouring carefully. Dramatic and civilized!

Cakes look good too (Y500-600 separately, Y1050 with coffee, I think) but curry and coffee was enough for me.

Group home page 03 5785 3323

No comments:

Post a Comment