Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fifty Seven, Roppongi

I decided to buy myself a steak for my birthday. I dunno why, but that's what I was fixated on. This was probably unfortunate for my friend visiting from Singapore and his HK girlfriend (who may well have been expecting Japanese!), but they were good sports about it. Roppongi is challenging to me for nice dinners, especially after I learned that Monya has closed their restaurant here (which have met the fancy-yet-affordable-washoku bill perfectly, and been ideal for visitors!). But since my schedule was unpredictable on Friday (as predicted), it was good to stay close, and 57 really seemed to meet the requirement for 'steak'.

This is a place with two faces. The front bar is big and potentially glamorous. In fact you could be forgiven for not knowing there's a restaurant in the back (pay no attention to the people behind the windows...). This means that even as the night wore on and the bar got crowdeder, the dining area still wasn't so noisy. I think the bar gets more crowded even laterer though; it was fully empty when we got there for dinner at 7:30, perhaps half full when we left at 10:30. I feel like the space is made for something bigger: the bar stools are an awkward-sized step up from the main floor, and I feel like the multi-level-ness is potentially awkward for picking up (but obviously have no experience there). This carries over into the dining area too, which has good negative space between tables but also a very high ceiling and surprisingly strong lights that made me feel a little lost. Now that I think about it, the strong lights also showed off the floor which was bare and a little tired-looking - in my mind it feels a little bit like a bar during the day, when there's no glamour from darkness and you can see that everything's well-used.

The food was pretty good. The steak in question was all there, 300g (you can choose in 100g increments) of American-style NY strip, cooked really perfectly for my tastes (warm pink center, a little burnt outside, in case you're grilling). The 'rare poached salmon' was, well, rare, yeah. I like sashimi more than the next guy, but I don't need a whole filet of it; I think the two people who ordered it felt the same way but were polite about it. Today's carpaccio was decent (isaki?), better than the salmon. Steak tartare with Home-Style potato chips was bland and just not as fresh as the one I had at Viron...(aside: geez, I love Viron). The sides of 'sugar snap peas with mint' and 'spinach and parmesan' were really good! Desserts, not bad; white chocolate cheesecake definitely New York-y. 10% service charge.

I started this review feeling more positive, but now I'm thinking that I just liked the steak and peas.

Crowdeder is SO a word.

1 comment:

  1. So since when is 'crowdeder' a word? Thanks for the reassurance.