Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Acquarium at Dunhill, Ginza

Ever since I saw a picture of this place on someone else's site, I wanted to go. It's not the food, as you'll see below, but it IS the ambience and location.

Similar to Harrod's Brompton in Roppongi, this captures some refined English atmosphere in the heart of Tokyo. It's very different; in fact the common touch, and maybe what gives me a warm feeling, is the overstuffed leather furniture. Dunhill goes one better on Harrod's by importing their furniture from the main store in London, and in fact it's 'pre-loved' or antique, but certainly worn and slightly scruffy in an appealingly English way. It's set up in groups of four, all of which are different, and the rest of the decor is similarly antiqued (except the walls, which are painted with shelves of books to further the atmosphere without taking up space or giving off an old-book smell). All of this, plus the floor-to-ceiling windows look out from the third floor onto Chuo Dori directly across from Tiffany's...or Bvlgari if you look right, or Melsa if you look left. It's especially nice on a Sunday or holiday when the street is closed and full of people - busy street, quiet interior.

The food's appealing 'English picnic' - light, quaint, not especially satisfying, and of course you pay a premium for the location. At left is the 'Afternoon Picnic Set' - sandwich, scone, cream and jam, cheesecake, raspberry cream dessert, chocolate square. Served with your choice of teas and coffees (Dunhill Blend for us).

We also split a cake set; the strawberry tart was described as available, then the offer was cruelly revoked after we ordered...the chocolate cake was fine, neither great nor worth criticizing. The cream and chestnut cheesecake were actually very good.

Not cheap, but excellent to while away a solid 2 hours on a Sunday just drinking tea and looking out the window.

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