After Hours: Lauderdale
For the record, any place that spends eight hours each Saturday and Sunday serving brunch is my kind of place.
Add to that roast chicken, puffy salmon-filled omelettes, savory souffles and build-your-own-hamburgers, and you’ve got a good guess as to where I’ll be hanging out for the next few weekends.
Lauderdale, just next to the Roppongi Hills complex, offers French cafe food with generous portions of cheese, cream and good service. The mix of food is intriguing — appetizers range from mini-falafels to chili. The mix of entrees — from duck confit to steamed mussels to baked fish with clams and tomato sauce — is downright mouthwatering.
Four of us went to brunch on a recent Sunday for a sampling: two omelettes (one spinach and Gruyere, one salmon, dill and lime) two orders of roast chicken and mashed potatoes, and a table-full of appetizers (orange-glazed carrots, cream of vegetable soup, pork pate and French fries).
The salmon omelette was my favorite. A close second was the chicken, though you should be warned: it’s cooked to Japanese tastes and might look a little underdone to American eyes. If you’re willing, you’ll be delighted. You can almost cut it with a fork.
Another caveat: forgo the Bloody Marys and try the more interesting concoction of a ginger-flavored gin cooler. It’s my new Sunday morning cure.
Lauderdale serves something (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks) all day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brunch is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. If you’re brave, you could almost have two goes on one day.
Alas, we were pretty full after one round of brunch, so for dessert we opted to split one apple and cinnamon souffle. It was delicious, though next time I’m going for the banana and black pepper one. In fact, my next visit may be sponsored by the letter "b" altogether — I’m going straight for the buttermilk pancakes with my choice of blueberries, bananas or bacon.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, 8 a.m. to midnight on Sat. and Sun. Last order at 11 p.m.
Prices: Breakfast — 500 yen to 800 yen per item; lunch entrees — 950 yen to 1,400 yen (includes soup); dinner — 700 yen to 1,600 yen for appetizers and 1,400 yen to 2,300 yen for entrees; brunch entrees — 1,500 yen to 2,300 yen (includes two appetizers).
Specialties: French cafe fare: souffles, both savory and for dessert; build-your-own salads and hamburgers; baguette sandwiches at lunch, roast chicken or pots of stemmed mussels at dinner; omelettes and pancakes at brunch. Chef’s specialties, homemade soups and American-sized sundaes for dessert anytime.
English menu: Yes
Dress: Casual to business attire
Clientele: Shoppers, after-work crowd, tourists, people who need breakfast at 3 p.m. on a Sunday.
Directions: Roppongi Hills, Keyakizaka Dori 1F, 6-5-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. From Roppongi Station, take exit 3 and go up the long escalator inside the round glass building. Once on the terrace (which is part of the Roppongi Hills complex), follow signs for Keyakizaka. You’ll walk through the first floor of the mall and go down a short escalator and back outside. Lauderdale is across the street, slightly to the right.
Web site: http://www.lauderdale.co.jp/