Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Da Paulo, Marunouchi

Many's the time I've been mistaken, and many times confused. And many's the time I've thought of having lunch at Da Paulo, but all the seats were being used. Today Linji and I were luckier. Being 1:30 had something to do with it. Da Paulo turned out to be pretty good, but less exciting than I had hoped after months of looking at it occasionally.

From the outside it's very promising - some European touches like a wine barrel and a small standing bar near the entrance are surmounted by the kind of pub-style signage over the entry that I always find incongruous when it appears indoors, let alone in a basement.

There's always a blackboard outside with the daily specials. The gratin-of-the-day was sold out when we got there (barely; the woman next to me was eating one), so I got the half-and-half lunch and can thus talk about most of the menu. The pasta was shrimp and [insert vegetable here; I've already forgotten it], which was pleasantly oily and threaded with herbs, and the shrimp were juicy. It was dusted with (pre-grated) cheese, which of course calls the authenticity of the place into doubt instantly - heavens, the put cheese on seafood?! The other half of the plate was their version of hayashi rice - which was white rice delicately napped with a ragu of sliced beef cooked in thickened demiglace sauce. Meh. The included dessert was a small piece of cake teamed with a tiny dollop of whipped cream and an even smaller mint leaf, plus hot tea.

Reviews describe the place as a 'French-Italian bistro-bar', and their own web site adds Spanish to the mix. I think it's safe to sum this up as 'Undistinguished Pan-European'.

That's all I'm trying, to get some rest.

Incidentally, I'm toying with the idea of taking on someone else's style for a while, hence the use of words like 'surmounted', 'threaded', 'napped' and 'teamed'. It's just a lot of effort, and you know how lazy I am.

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