Friday, November 28, 2008

Sakura Shokudou, Roppongi (Sakura 食堂. Really.)

This pleasant place opened during the 'renewal open' period a while back (errr, it may be 6 months already, but the last 6 months have been kinda surreal as you may have read). It has all the elements of a 'healthy cafe' that you might expect to find in a side street of Shibuya or Nakameguro, but is oddly wedged between a steamed bun shop and the old-record-albums-and-reel-to-reel-tape-player counter ramen shop in the passage of the Metro Hat in Roppongi Hillz.

I think you've seen this kind of place before (on Saturday morning shows aimed at late-teen girls, if nothing else). Pleasant light-blue woodwork on the doors, cute slogans painted in white on the windows (including the charming 'Let's drink!'), waitresses wearing clever little caps and carrying small handbags as part of their uniforms (sort of '1920's newsboy' chic), menu advising what's healthy, brown rice instead of know the drill.

In fact, the food is tasty and the sets are good value from a volume perspective. My colleague's sukiyaki looked quite tolerable, and my tofu meatloaf with fried egg (any accidental overseas readers will be even more puzzled at this point...) was juicy and tasty, topped with a leaf of shiso and some roshi'ed daikon. These came with a choice of regular rice, salad and side dish or else ochazuke (brown rice, some leafy vegetables, and your choice of two toppings out of 4 or 5).

Time for the obligatory complaint: the place is small and packed. The tables are almost too small to fit the trays plus drinks plus napkins. They're close together, and the place is full. I grant you that not everyone is 185cm, but I felt packed and uncomfortable and eager to eat and get out. Not only is this not my concept of lunch, it's oddly opposed to the healthy, bright, ごゆっくり atmosphere the place is trying for.

Izakaya by night.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, I can see we are starting out with a busy day at the office today.