Roppongi is famed for bars, clubs and restaurants, and just off the main street is a great venue combining all three. Dom Perignon bubbly flows in the second-floor Ultra Lounge, the basement houses the lively Tantra nightclub, and tucked away on the ground floor is a cozy little Italian restaurant: Sala Ferrari. The restaurant used to be members only, but recently opened its doors to the public. Its intimate size and a karaoke machine in the center of the room make it the perfect setting for a private party of up to about 20 people.
Newly instated chef Michael Armitage-Fudge had just returned from Tsukiji market when we arrived to sample his food. The Canadian moved here last year because, “Tokyo is the best city in the world to cook and eat.” It was great to meet someone who is so passionate about his craft. “If you don’t get inspired and you’re a cook, you’re in the wrong industry,” he said.
While Sala Ferrari’s cuisine is Italian overall, it reflects the diversity of the international community in Tokyo, as well as that of the restaurant’s staff. We started with a yakitori-style Caprese salad (¥1,800): skewered buffalo mozzarella and yellow and red cherry tomatoes drizzled with a light pesto sauce. The tomatoes were so sweet they reminded us of fruit, and the mozzarella melted in our mouths. This was followed by a delicious carpaccio made with raw beef and fresh parmesan cheese.
For our main dish, the chef served handmade ravioli smothered in a rich prosciutto and truffle sauce. This was a great pasta dish that really partnered very well with the house wine, a smooth red from the Veneto region of northern Italy. While this particular dish is not on the menu, the chef is making changes little by little, so it could very well pop up soon. A similar handmade ravioli plate goes for ¥1,900.
To finish off the meal we opted to indulge in the tiramisu (¥1,200). The now classic Italian dish is always a good barometer of a restaurant, and Armitage-Fudge’s version passed our taste test with flying colors. Made with fresh egg yolks, mascarpone cheese, a liberal dash of liqueur, and topped with an assortment of berries, it was silky smooth and rich without being heavy; possibly the best tiramisu we’d ever tasted. “It has to be rich; you can’t cheat customers on ingredients,” said the chef. I couldn’t agree more.
(7pm–5am, closed Sun)
3-9-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku
View Tokyo Weekender Map in a larger map