Food & Drink - April 7th, 2006

by Melanie Kamdar

Nestled very close to the Roppongi Hills complex is a res­taurant I have often walked past and admired but never actually eaten in before. I don’t know what I was waiting for. I finally stepped into Roti, and it was worth the wait.

If the drinks menu overwhelms you, I strongly rec­ommend trying the ‘beer sampler’ for ¥1,500. This is a selection of three of Roti’s specialty beers. Rogue Ale Oregon’s Buckwheat and Amber ales as well as Red-hook Brewery Seattle’s Porter ale whose coffee flavor and color is not so far away from Guinness. I chose the fruity Buckwheat ale although my partner preferred the Amber ale as it was more similar to some of the Eu­ropean lagers. The wine list is exquisite and extensive which is something I really wasn’t expecting. We or­dered the Montes Alpha Chilean chardonnay (¥6,000). This dry wine from the Casablanca Valley was lovely on its own and was a superb accompaniment to the food we ordered.

The appetizers were all large portioned and would have easily made a filling lunch for most people. Three large crisp crab cakes, slightly curried, in a remoulade and lemon sauce on a small but tasty bed of mashed potato both looked and tasted divine (¥1,700). Maya, the assistant manager, gave the apple and blue cheese salad with apple-walnut dressing a strong personal rec­ommendation (¥1,000 starter, ¥1,500 main course). The sharp Roquefort was wonderfully complemented by the crisp apple and spiced pecans. Red grapes and onion gave lots of variation to the taste and texture.

For the main course the signature rotisserie chicken is a must (¥2,200). Fresh free-range farm raised chicken from Tottori Prefecture in southern Japan is marinat­ed in fresh herbs and spices before being roasted on the rotisserie. With a choice of side dishes, eating out doesn’t have to mean piling on the calories.

If you are too full after your starters and main courses for desert, then you are going to miss out. The range of traditional desserts at Roti is delightful and includes bread pudding, New York cheesecake, pecan pie and apple tart.

We opted for the bread pudding with whiskey cara­mel sauce and whipped cream (¥700) and the warm pecan pie with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon (¥800). The bread pudding was moist and incredibly light, and the pecan pie certainly left us pining for more! A defi­nite must for all pecan lovers.

The night was rounded up with a glass of the Grant Burge, 10 yr. Tawny port from the Barossa Valley in Australia (¥800). This was incredibly easy to drink and was the perfect finish to a wonderful meal. There is also a cigar menu for those who indulge.

Piramide Bldg IF, (above Tipness gym near Roppongi Hills). Tel. 03-5785-9671.