Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roy's, Roppongi

Did someone say 'hula'? Roy didn't. I think the menu here was exciting a while ago (either the 80's or 90's; before my time in any event) but now suffers from being done by many people in many restaurants. 'Ahi Tuna Tartare' was already a cliche by 2000, I think.

Roy's DOES have a lot of things going for it; I don't mean to be dismissive. The setting is a bit classy ('tablecloths' connote class for me in a lunch place, in case you were wondering) even if it also gets noisy with tables full of moms and babies (and ukulele music overhead). The service is pretty good too. Even when it's busy they don't forget you inappropriately. There's something of a view out the windows, over the roof of Asahi TV. The food also isn't bad.

The general pattern is that Y1500-2000 gets you a salad, bread, main dish, dessert and coffee (there are more expensive course options with assorted appetizers and better mains, but you don't really need to spend Y2500+, do you? Times are uncertain. Save your money.) The salad is quite nondescript compared to, say, La Brace or l'Osteria, but they do give you fresh pepper from truly enormous grinders (we're talking 50 cm+. I read one time that you can judge the quality of the food by the size of the pepper grinders - the longer they are, the more the restaurant is trying to distract you with theatrical elements so you won't notice the lackluster food.). The mains are sometimes good, sometimes lacking. I had a grilled chicken risotto recently where the chicken was great. There are also other pastas that are interesting and tasty. But my most recent main was grilled salmon with asparagus in lobster sauce (this for Y1600, I think. Seems like they're moving the better things a little down-market to keep more people coming in?). The salmon was moderate, the asparagus was peeled and quite good, but the lobster sauce was none of those things (who ever heard of peeled lobster sauce anyway?).

Still, as a slightly leisurely lunch with a decent chance of good food and fair value for money, and the added benefit of being inside and not out in the rain, this is worth your dollar. Yen. Do remember to book or at least call ahead; it gets full especially when it's raining.

Mahalo!
03-5474-8181

Geez, I had no idea that so many of the restaurants in Roppongi Hillz were operated by the same group. That's disappointing. It's also suspicious that I think all the other places are quite boring...

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