Roppongi Nouen
Roppongi: Japanese
Roppongi Nouen (Roppongi: Japanese)
Roppongi Nouen
Open noon-3, 6-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Sustainable cuisine is the core philosophy and mission statement of this farm-focused restaurant in the heart of Roppongi. The menu offers a good selection of organic sake and wine, and dishes are made with organic ingredients, some of them grown in the restaurant's own backyard garden. The food is generally very good - original, creative, and quite appetizing - and while the overall dining experience can be uneven, the quality of the food is worth returning for.

Unless you're either very indecisive or very hungry, ordering a la carte might be a better option than the rather filling prix-fixe menus, at least giving you a chance to try more different dishes. Recommended starters include the delectable "one-spoon uni" with fresh tomato gelee, and the caprese salad, made here with domestic mozzerella, sun-dried tomatoes and spicy nuts.

The Farmers' Welcome Vegetable Platter is also a fun way to launch a meal - an ample selection of very fresh vegetables sourced from various partner farms, served with a sublime white-miso warm dipping sauce.

The presentation here is artistic and often quite imaginative - for example an asparagus-risotto dish is styled to resemble a bird's nest (and topped with a poached egg), while the Vegetable Platter is served on a bed of panko, okara and coconut flakes, and comes equipped with tiny farm-style rakes. The excellent roast pork was served on a rustic-looking black platter with a side of color-contrasting greens and a tiny dish of sea salt.

The drinks list includes some nicely chosen sake from smaller craft breweries, and these might be a better option than the organic wines, unless you happen to see something you know and really like.

Seating is spread out over several areas with very different atmospheres - a grotto-like basement with a private dining room, a nicely decorated main floor (with a small bar area), an outdoor "yard" area, and a mysterious "farm" zone comprised of four greenhouse-like rooms encased in plastic sheeting plus eight glass-enclosed cube-like towers where vegetables are grown.

Budget around Y6000 or so for dinner with drinks, with lunches priced from Y1500. No lunch on Mondays.

Roppongi
Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-6-15.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended