Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Orchid, Otemachi (Oazo)

Day 2. There are a decent number of big buildings around. It's a little too far to walk to Maru and Shin Maru, but there's that Sankei building where we went yesterday, this First Square place, and Oazo, among others. This may have been my first time in Oazo - it was trying to do the Maru Biru concept, but for some reason I don't think it's been as successful. When's the last time you got excited to go to a restaurant in Oazo? Whereas Maru, Shin Maru, and Tokia all have worthwhile venues. Let me check it out a bit more.

There are restaurants on 5 and 6 of Oazo, as well as the basement and some other smaller associated buildings. We went to 5, since I figured that would be most like the nice-but-slightly-casual atmosphere in the Marus' 5th floors. Not really sure how The Orchid came to be, since I don't usually pick Chinese willingly...

A well-decorated place, it must be said. If anything, I thought of an expensive restaurant that's slightly disorganized or mildly going to seed. The carpets felt plush, the wall seating was a 6-foot-high, cushioned, purple bench affair, the tablecloths were present, the servers were dressed up. I also had the odd feeling (due to the big purple bench and also the carved driftwood sort of ornaments on top of it) that The Orchid had taken over a mildly swish nightclub and not redecorated, or that the place would turn back to champagne lounge from 6 PM.

The food is too expensive, let's get that out there right away. There's a weekly lunch, first 30 people per day only, and that's OK at Y1250, but generally even simple things like fried rice are Y1800 and up. The weekly lunch this week bore no resemblance whatsoever to the pictured one, which was OK, but I was kinda hoping for chicken with cashews at that point! It turned out to be wheat noodles (Chinese linguini, unless someone sets me straight) in thick sauce with strips of soft pork. Came with corn soup, rice, pickles, and your choice of springroll (not the manju in the picture) or almond tofu. One nice thing worth noting was that the noodles, despite coming very quickly, seemed to have been sauced freshly, and the springroll was clearly fresh-fried, which delayed it a few minutes. Things tasted generally fresh, if not overly flavorful, and even the pickles were a cut above the usual chemical abominations that Chinese restaurants serve.

Not sure I'd go back for dinner.

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