Monday, January 24, 2011

Rio, Kanda

Aaaaah, how many times have I written this review? "Average quality European-influenced owner-chef-style restaurant where too much Japanese influence has crept in over time and standards have crept down." Too bad, because the door looks nice. This is exactly the kind of place my team would go for a work dinner.

Looking at the food below, I guess this wasn't that bad, really. It was the atmosphere that made me the most unhappy - the darkness and yellowness and smokiness and the racks of shochu bottles. Call me a grumpy purist, but the presence of inappropriate liquor makes me think the food will be inappropriate too. Or: if you're catering to the smoky salaryman set for drinks, surely you are on food too. And I prefer to think of myself as belonging to the OL set, at least in terms of restaurant preference.

Lunch sets include a pasta or two, then some outright yoshoku-style items, and finally a grilled meat or fish. Most of them come with a cup of soup (lots of onions and pepper) and a salad (I love canned tuna, so I kinda liked this...).

While walking around, I was thinking of Italian and yoshoku, and they almost both showed up on the same plate - a fish croquette (nice filling, very chunky, I think fish and shrimp) and a piece of salmon (would have thought this was deep fried from the crispness, but I guess it was panned). The white sauce was OK. The sprig of ruccola and the kernels of pink pepper are signs that someone's halfheartedly trying to spruce things up.

Eh, it wasn't awful, and there was coffee afterwards.

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