Jul 13, 2012
Francesco Agresti

Mado Lounge

By Steve Trautlein

Perched 52 floors above Roppongi, Mado Lounge is Tokyo’s highest-altitude dining room. It also shares space with the city’s most talked-about museum, and it’s well-known among club kids thanks to frequent late-night dance parties. With all that Mado Lounge has going for it, the kitchen could still attract a following even if the food was mediocre.

Don’t tell that to Satohiko Iida. The boyish executive chef, whose culinary education has taken him from one tip of Italy to the other, has made the restaurant a compelling destination not just for sightseers, art lovers and clubbers, but for foodies as well.

Take, for example, his “appetizer wagon.” Local diners might be accustomed to cheese, desserts and even cuts of beef being carted out for their delectation. Iida instead provides a flourish at the very start of the meal. The daily selection may include olives, terrine, pate, ceviche, oysters, prosciutto with figs, and insalata caprese. Diners can choose four items when ordering a course meal (¥6,300, ¥8,400 and ¥12,000).

More economical plans are on offer during the day, when the views out the floor-to-ceiling windows stretch over the entire Kanto plain. Lunch starts at ¥1,890 for a three-course plan that includes appetizer, pasta and dessert; our ¥2,740 lunch came with a choice of meat or fish. And what a meal: the colorful kampachi salad, with lotus, shiso, ice plant and tomato, was as painterly as anything next door at the Mori Art Museum. Next came fettuccine with chicken ragu and pecorino cheese—outstanding in its simplicity. The expertly grilled ayu, coated with lardo, sat next to a swirl of eggplant puree that was as intensely flavored as tapenade. The sweetly seasonal ending was truffled almond gelato with a Macedonia of forest fruits and almond biscuit.

The only down side: visitors must pay a ¥500 fee just to ride the elevator up to the restaurant.

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[Menu] Menu in English and Japanese

[Price] Lunch from ¥1,890; dinner from ¥6,300

[Smoking] Entirely nonsmoking

[Seats] The window-side tables offer unbeatable views

 

52F Mori Tower (Tokyo City View), Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tel: 03-3470-0052
Open: Open Mon-Sat 11am-2:30pm & 6pm-1am (food LO 10:30pm), Sun & hols 11am-2:30pm & 6pm-midnight (food LO 10pm)
Nearest stn: Roppongi
http://www.ma-do.jp
www.metropolis.co.jp

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