Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pasela, Ginza

As in the previous (really rather embarrassing) post, I'd like to ruminate on some things. I'll get back to food eventually, I promise, and hit it hard over the weekend for the benefit of all and sundry.

In Australia, people liked to say 'horses for courses' to mean that different things are appropriate in different situations. They also liked to say 'how to suck eggs', but that's a different expression altogether. And I'm forced to admit that some restaurants can be quite suitable for some occasions, even if the food is downright...not all that good.

Pasela is familiar to Roppongi denizens as a karaoke spot. They have a fair few branches around town, and tend to go with the buy-a-building-and-convert-it-into-a-destination-spot theme. The Ginza branch follows this theme, with a 'darts lounge' floor, several karaoke floors, private rooms, and a general dining area. They know their market, and they seem to hit it well - for instance last night there was a big wedding party of low-to-mid-20's revelers. I think the sort of people having a nijikai on a Wednesday night at a big karaoke room are not necessarily the same type that would be attracted to fine dining establishments, nor would they be all that concerned about food, but they might well be concerned about price and atmosphere.

There it is, then! Pasela promises 'resort dining', and in fact we had a nice, big table next to a water-wall feature, in front of the semi-private room with a thatched roof (two floors underground). The long hallway leading to the dining room was lined with faux Asian statues (sorta Cambodian, unless they were really Javanese and I'm just ignorant). The food was 'Asian', the drinks were fruity and frozen, and every item came with a flower in it. It was even sorta dim in there; simulating an exotic Tahitian twilight? The overall effect was like Bali (if I had ever been there) until they served the nasi goreng and it tasted like Mexican food. Then we consoled ourselves by thinking it was Cancun.

The food was really not good. But it was really quite substantial considering the prices. I have a theory about this too, like I have a theory about lots of things: Free Pizza. When you're a student, free pizza is a draw to get you to an event. Yowza, I get to save $10!?!!? I am SO THERE!! Once you start working, I think there's a natural withdraw from this sort of thing. And I've withdrawn to the point where I'd prefer to pay more for less, as long as it's better. Howzabout I don't complain about the food any more? You don't need to read me complaining one more time. There will be more opportunities in the future.

The drinks deserve a special mention though. Each of our party had some species of frozen drink at some point. Judging by the taste of mine, and the reactions of the other members of the party, they were miraculously free of both taste and alcohol. And they had been made in a consumer-strength blender that couldn't crush ice properly, so were full of small cubes. Other than that, they were great!

Due to the atmosphere and company, it was very pleasant in context. Just make sure you're in context.
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