Since Lauderdale opened on Keyakizaka-dori in Roppongi Hills last year, it has been a favorite among locals for its imaginative lunches and brunches. The bottomless coffee and wireless internet access has some regulars easily whiling away several leisurely hours on a weekend morning or afternoon. But on my first evening visit recently, I discovered that this little restaurant has much more to offer than omelets and baguettes.
It was a perfect Tokyo summer evening, so we took a seat outside on the terrace, which has just enough greenery to block out the passing cars while still affording a lovely view of Mori Tower above. For drinks, we ordered from the signature cocktail menu, and chose a mojito (¥800) and a concoction called ‘passion vibes’ (¥850), a refreshing non-alcoholic blend of tropical fruit juices. We decided to share an appetizer, so asked for our server’s recommendation. He immediately suggested the mussels, which were cooked in a white wine, garlic and herb sauce that was both flavorful and light (¥1,700).
Next came the soufflé, a Lauderdale trademark. There are six varieties on the menu, and our waiter informed us that the one we chose, gruyere and mushroom (¥1,100), is the most popular. We were instructed to make a hole in the center of the soufflé and then pour in the provided cream for the best taste. We obeyed, and the result was an airy yet indulgent mix of sweet and savory flavors.
For the main dish, I chose another recommendation by the waiter: a juicy chicken breast served with mashed potatoes (¥1,700). The chicken is baked at a very low heat for 100 minutes before being quickly pan-roasted to give the skin a light crispiness. “This dish is healthy and juicy,” bragged the server. My dining partner opted for the fresh fish of the day (¥1,900–¥2,400), which happened to be skin-on salmon with a cauliflower cream and red wine sauce. It, too, was perfectly cooked to a crisp outside and tender inside, and the medley of flavors were pleasingly unexpected.Open daily (7am–10pm) 1F Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka-dori 6-15-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku Tel: 03-3405-5533
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