Monday, April 13, 2009

Rigoletto, Marunouchi (新丸7階)

Shin-Maru's 7th floor is an adequate late-night destination, should you not be the old, withered type who prefers to be safely tucked up in bed by 1, 2 or 3 (like me). The semi-open plan and plethora of mildly-interesting destinations, few of which EOITwJ has yet visited. The year is young...

Rigoletto also has an outlet in Roppongi Hillz, which we have thankfully not blogged about previously (though certainly we've visited). It opened in the 'renewal open' period a few years after the main complex (seems like only yesterday) and was briefly popular for offering decent burgers and lunch sets at cheap-ish prices. And then it became the in-building drinking locale of choice - site of going-away drinks and going-out-of-business drinks for various friends and firms.

The two outlets are linked by their menus, but also from the outset due to their entrance styles - they make you walk through the wine cellar to get in. This always seemed funny in Hillz, because the wine cellar would be cold and a little cigar-smelling - were they trying to make you happy to get into the warm restaurant? - and in point of fact you could have walked more easily through the bar to get to the restaurant. But that's not stylish, and we sacrifice uncomplainingly for style. The Shin-Maru store is of a completely different shape and size, but you still walk through a chilly wine cellar-like corridor, with the same rough floor, to get in. Oddly, the line to get in forms in this room, which sorta defeats the purpose of temperature and humidity control...but not style!

Today a large crew met to celebrate Shaft's birthday (surprise!) in the private room, so we were able to slip around the side of the cold, unhappy people who were discovering that the restaurant was already full at 11:40. In fact, as we walked to the private room, there were already people finishing their lunches. What is wrong with these people?! Lunch should be 2 hours starting from 1 PM, in EOITwJ-land. Ideally followed by an afternoon off, but that's a completely different kettle of nabe. The private room was entertaining - one large oval table in a huge booth, capable of seating about 14, a very high ceiling, pretty mosaic patterns on the walls, and a big 4-panel screen that I suspect was for karaoke (or, as they say in America, カリオキ).

The menu is divided into 'pasta/pizza', 'course' and 'salad'. Burgers are inexplicably absent, which I don't think is an excusable oversight. Having gotten a salad today, I can safely recommend that you not repeat my mistake. But having seen the pizzas, that seems like the clear way to go. With the extra Y300 pizza supplement, you get a massive and tasty-looking pie (my end of the table didn't have any to steal from!), plus a 'Wonder Salad' (that's what they call it!) and a coffee or tea. The salad lunch did come with a nice piece of bread, some oil, and a cup of good soup, but the quality of those items wasn't sufficient to outweigh the blanditude of the salad itself - American-style grilled chicken slices, slightly yucky orange dressing, very average lettuces, other chopped items.

This has been a fairly overblown review; I'd summarize with "go here for a normal lunch, and make sure to get the pizza".

Here, this link for the 7th-floor 'House' complex is kinda cool and interactive...
But this is the official group link

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