Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lauderdale, Roppongi

Tokyo needs more brunch places. This is manifestly true. Fujimama's closed recently, and while Suji's remains open, I think the food and cost performance is kinda cynical (as in, "We dare you to find another place that will serve you American-style brunch, and until you do we're not making much effort."). Hotels are not an option. Lauderdale is.

One might also say, cynically, that the last thing Roppongi needs is another foreigner-friendly cafe. To anyone who says that, I say "Well, Lauderdale is full...". It has a quirky theme - American standards and French bistro classics. That means your brunch could be pancakes, or an omelette, or a duck confit. Que? If you've covered the Americans and the French (and by extension, the British and Australians and Italians) you've got the foreign scene handled (I promise, there's a mildly-acceptable rationale for why you can group them like that). And thus Lauderdale is doing well of a Sunday, perched at the top of Keyakizaka (the other side of the building with Hugo Boss and Burdigala).

The concept is main-plus-sides, which is confusing. Mains are basically souffle, omelette, pancakes, burger, or duck confit (a few others), while sides, which can be freely matched, include fries, chili, ginger-orange carrots, falafel, pickles and drinks (that's right, drinks are cheekily included as a side dish). The souffle looked very nice. The omelettes were really good, thick and tender and crammed with herbs and stuff, with some salsa for variety and a few pieces of baguette. The carrots were also nice, but it's quirky to get a small dish of carrots 20 minutes before your main course, and a plate of 6 tiny falafel (which were also quite good) 10 minutes after that. The fries looked great but were iffy.

Still, I think the ability to eat a nice omelette in a pleasant setting will make this place victorious. Inside, the high ceilings and concrete floors are warmed up with snazzy touches like a big wood counter and mismatched hooks all over one wall, holding up a selection of mismatched hats. Outside, there's a small dog-able terrace with heaters and flowers. I'm not saying you should go here, but if you're the type of person who like this type of place, you'll like this place. Maybe for dinner too, but that's outside the scope of my review.

Man the Fort!

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