Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tokyo Eats - Roppongi Area Part II (Picture heavy!)

Alright, I can't procrastinate on this post anymore because it's growing too long. More food ahead, folks. In the Roppongi area, same old, same old. Took some photos over the holidays too, trying to get just that special one for the holiday cards. Too bad they all turned out meh so no cards this year. Oh well.

Over the past few months, I've been frequenting the Midtown Tower out of convenience. Because hubby works nearby so we often meet here for lunch ^.^ There was some neat decorations over the holidays too!
There's Sugimoto, a meat specialty shop located in the Galleria that also serve up some beef dishes. There are only 3-4 choices like sukiyaki, hamburg (meat loaf), and a couple others I don't remember, each with 2 grade options, "regular" wagyu that's cheaper or Matsuzaka beef that's super expensive, like 3,500JPY.

Delicious but super fatty!

There was a Saikabo mini shop here too that hubby loved (we love our Korean food). Too bad the location closed as of December 25, 2015, which was a shame because it was delicious also. The portion was generous too :(

And then there's the unfortunate Pho Nam, which parades as "Vietnamese" pho but nothing there tastes like Vietnamese or Thai food. More like a crappy attempt at Vietnamese-Thai fusion, which is just sad because I've had some great Thai food here. These photos are from the one time a group of 6 of us came in for a very late lunch, because otherwise the place wouldn't be able to accommodate that many people. It's tiny and seats about a dozen diners at most!

I frequent this Uniqlo branch at Midtown too, because the 12-floored store in Ginza are always overran with pushy and loud tourists. J. and I have had some unpleasant encounters there, with people touching and examining the clothes we were trying on our bodies! Umm...boundaries, anyone? Got this faux fur-lined hoodie vest for 1,200JPY (less than $10)! Looks boring and ordinary, I know, but super warm :P

Every once in a while, there'll be a random design exhibition there at Midtown too, both inside and at the park outside too.

This area has a lot of tables and chairs. It's in the shadow of the building, so on a warm day it's a great place to have a slow lunch and watch the children play on the lawn.

Another design exhibition.

Over the holidays, there was some really awesome lights, particularly an LED light show by Toshiba, "illumination" as they call it, open and free for public view until December 25, 2015. The space is now an ice skating rink, operational until March 6, I believe.

Also behind the Midtown Tower is a Japanese-esque park, complete with bridges, a stream, a shallow pond, and an empty hall where people can sit and have lunch. It's so peaceful back there, you'd forget you're in the middle of a sprawling metropolis.

Tried a few more places inside Roppongi Hills Mori Tower as well, again out of convenience. Due to hubby's work location, we can't venture far and it can get frustrating sometimes, because the food options inside this building aren't great. And funny enough, holiday decorations here are also dismal. Hmm...may be there's a correlation.

First up is Rigoletto Bar & Grill, an obvious choice not because it's excellent but because it's huge, with a menu for burgers, pizzas, and pastas. The food is not bad, but they allow smoking inside the restaurant, supposedly in a "separate smoking section" but circulation is terrible so the cigarette smoke permeates the whole place all the same. So despite the decent food, it's always our last choice reserved for when we're desperate and in a hurry.

This chicken Tikka salad was very decent!

Went to Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant for dinner after our afternoon at the Mori Art Museum for the Murakami Takashi exhibit. I liked a few things but overall was not impressed, especially considering the price. Hubby's been here twice, the first time with his colleagues and he really liked the food then. But when he returned for dinner with me, he didn't like it as much. So the food quality is inconsistent.

Hubby loved the soup dumplings when he first had them with his colleagues. However, when we ordered ours, they were, umm, stinky. As in they didn't spice or marinate well (or at all!) the meat, causing the soup inside to be smelly. No, it didn't smell like rotten or bad meat, it just smell like, umm, non-marinated meat. Did they run out of garlic or pepper? The fried wonton were good, but they were super expensive, 700JPY/3 bite-sized pieces of fried wonton, basically 230JPY which is ~$1.75 for a bite of wonton! Ouch.

Another fried dumpling with crab meat, which was okay. This fried chicken plate disappointed me the most, because how can you screw up something as simple as fried chicken? But yeah, it was tasteless and came out in a gigantic plate, double the portion you'd normally expect for fried chicken (versus the 3 bites of wonton above!), so the portioning here is off as well.

The stir fried water spinach and the pork belly were both good, but the pork was chewy and stringy, nowhere near the tenderness it should have been for this style of caramelized black pork.

Mapo tofu was decent, and the almond tofu was probably the best thing I had that night. So yeah, we won't be coming back.

Saving the best for last! Momodori is in the basement of the building and is our favorite (along with Dashi Chazuke En in the basement of the North Tower). This place is a hit among hubby's colleagues too! So we all try to limit ourselves and not coming here too often, as to not get sick of the food ^.^"

The simple menu is another reason to limit ourselves coming here. There are only a few choices: variations of fried chicken, grilled chicken, or oyako-don LOL! But trust me, if you're partial to fried chicken like I am, you must try this place. Here they have the art of frying chicken down pat. It's not overly floured and the meat inside is so flavorful and juicy despite being breast meat. See for yourself how juicy that chicken breast is. Yum!

Of course there are many apparel shops inside the Roppongi building. I particularly like two of them: United Arrows, a clothing store that's out of my price range (ha!) and Odette e Odile, a shoes store that's a little more affordable when on sale xD Over the holidays, I found this 100% cashmere reversible long hoodie jacket at United Arrows, but it was also $500. Yeah, no. I'm not that fancy.

I did buy these Odette e Odile sneakers though (at 40% off :P), the black pair. I do like the gray pair a lot, but the black pair had texture instead of just being fuzzy gray felt, and it makes my feet look smaller :P

Likey these leopard oxfords also although I much prefer them in black patent like my loafers (right foot). Did not buy though, because the design of these oxford was such that they cut into my feet right below the ankle. It hurt to even try them on, which was a disappointment.

This Tenshinyatai Gyopao is right at the mouth of the Roppongi Crossing so hubby and I just walked in one evening. It's not a "restaurant" per se, more like a where you go to snack on small plates and drink.
The food was decent and the atmosphere is very casual. The only thing I didn't like that night was our chirpy waitress. She meant well but ended up patronizing us as if we're dumb tourists, giving us the usual BS like OMG, your Japanese is amazing! (I barely said thank you), or OMG, you  brought your own chopsticks and napkins! (well, we eat out a lot and could probably save a tree or two...), or OMG, blah blah blah! (go away already, we want to eat our dinner!)

I was impressed though that they had Taiwanese shaved ice (雪花冰)!

Very close to the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, there's a Meiji-Ya grocery store where I go to get my fix of Suzune sparkling sake. They even had the winter-spring limited edition sakura flavor!

See my previous Tokyo Eats - Roppongi Area post.


Citrine said...

I think I should bring my own utensils (gotten too lazy to cook my own lunch nowadays). I should find a little case/pouch for them (more excuse to look for craps I don't need...

D. said...

LOL, I love buying nice handkerchiefs and portable chopsticks (on sale, that is...) ^.^ My next goal is to wean myself off of using kleenex. I mean, I do have a lot of handkerchiefs...

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