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EATING OUT

Atago Green Hills
Stuart Braun

More than a high-rise residential and office complex, Atago Green Hills house’s Tokyo’s latest culinary collective. Stuart Braun gets his fill.

T
he recent completion of the Atago Green Hills (AGH) development-featuring two vast office and residential towers-in Kamiyacho, east of Roppongi, represents, apart from a new urban vision for the city, a significant change to Tokyo’s culinary landscape. Following in the wake of similar developments such as ARK Hills in Akasaka-home to Andersen and Aux Bacchanales among others-AGH is a one-stop treasure trove of Tokyo’s best eateries.

Broad appeal
With no fewer than 15 restaurants and cafés, an organic fruit and veg market and the obligatory Family Mart, AGH accommodates a multitude of tastes and budgets. While the executive apartments comprising the 43-story AGH residential tower are aimed at the top end of town, the melange of restaurants spread between the 1st and 42nd floor of the AGH office tower caters to twentysomething OLs and Armani-clad bankers alike. Ultimately, AGH remains a stylish venue throughout, with the marble interior and meticulously landscaped surrounds lending an air of opulence to the cafés, ramen shops and fine dining eateries dotted around the complex.

The competition for places in this upwardly mobile food emporium has been intense. The SOHO hospitality group, with names like Seiryumon, Roy’s and Nobu on its roster, has opened up two restaurants-Roy’s CafEand Le Dragon Bleu, the latter a Chinese fusion eatery that recreates the scene of a French colonial mansion in 1930s Shanghai. Roy’s New York-style cafEand restaurant, with well-established venues in Ebisu and Aoyama, will continue to present Roy Yamaguchi’s distinctive blend of “Euro-AsianE cuisine that fuses flavors from China to Hawaii, Thailand to Italy. This addition to the

Le Dragon Bleu" sumptuous 1930' Shanghai
Courtesy of SOHO's

Yamaguchi empire is sure to be a hit with the AGH crowd, as is Le Dragon Bleu, incorporating authentic Chinese cuisine with elements of Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian in lavish surroundings. This new venture is designed to provide an upscale complement to the Taiwan-themed Seiryumon chain, a move evident in the addition of a cigar bar-with humidor and well-stocked wine cellar-into the Le Dragon Bleu tableau.

Top of the town
Mori Building, who developed AGH, tell us that the complex “is a unique and modern array of offices, residences and shops that benefits from the unique harmony of beautifully forested Mt Atago and the time-honored temple of Seisho-ji.” Roy’s has the

The sleek lines of Tokyo's latest Roy's cafe
Courtesy of SOHO's

benefit of looking straight out onto the traditionally landscaped temple grounds, as does the adjoining fusion restaurant, Calm. While Calm has a relaxed, breezy atmosphere, things are a little more austere at club XEX on the 42nd floor. Comprising a bar and several restaurants, including Salvatore Cuomo Bros. (Italian) and the aburaki (hibachi-type grill) and sushi restaurant An, the renowned Roppongi members-only XEX has opened a second branch in AGH. An upmarket Japanese-style restaurant, An will feature seasonal goodies prepared on the charcoal grill along with its usual sophisticated décor-and fantastic view. Expect the set menu to include fried appetizers, sashimi, grilled beef tongue, yakitori and organic vegetables with An's special miso sauce, oden and dessert. In addition to the promise of Napoli-style pizza cooking on the lava rock grill at Salvatore, the XEX lineup is rounded off by The Bar, a swank, upscale lounge bar that should sit well with the local glitterati.

Space-age booths at Salvatore's
Courtesy of Salvatore

Among the more standard lunch fare, one can enjoy traditional soba and ramen at Sojibo, or tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets) at Tonkatsu Wako, which features an earthy interior of stucco and roughly hewn beams and a view out to Tokyo Tower. Also in the traditional wa vein is a branch of the Japanese curry house Bistro Kirakutei, which, a step up from your average Yoshinoya, is filled with off-beat curios-Run DMC album covers-and art works. Around the corner, sushi connoisseurs need look no further than Kita no Shun.

Meanwhile, the weight-conscious OL crowd is well-catered-to by Salad Bag, an oasis of fresh fruit and vegetables wrapped and offered as light and healthy take-away “office meal” fare. The accent here is on clean and green-chemical-free food, 100 percent vegetable oil, recycled paper and minimal packaging. Along with Mother’s organic market, Salad Bag is sure to go down well with the lithe, blow-waved, Louis Vuitton-adorned girls who will well complement the AGH aesthetic.


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ISSUES 349-
ISSUES 299-
Atago eateries


Roy’s cafe (Euro-Asian)
Tel: 03-5733-3400. Open: 11am-11:30pm daily

Le Dragon Bleu (Chinese and Asian)
Tel: 03-5733-3771. Open: 11am-11pm daily

Tonkatsu Wako (tonkatsu)
Open: 11am-9:30pm daily

Salvatore Cuomo Bros. (Italian)
Tel: 03-5777-0065. Open: 11am-3pm, 6pm-2am daily

Calm (Western fusion)
Tel: 03-3578-1136. Open: 11am-11pm daily

The Bar
Tel: 03-5777-0065. Open: 11:30am-3pm, 6pm-2am daily

Kita no Shun (sushi)
Tel: 03-3435-8880. Open: 11am-3pm, 7pm-10:30am daily

Bistro Kirakutei (Japanese curry)
Tel: 03-3410-5289. Open: 11am-11pm daily

Sojibo (soba)
Tel: 03-3578-1136. Open: 11am-10pm daily

An (aburiyaki and sushi) 03-5777-0065. Open: 11:30am-3pm, 6pm-2am daily Omusubi Gonbei (rice balls) Open: 7am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8pm-3am Sat
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