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Buffet Dinner, Roppongi Hills Club

The Star Bar, RHC 51st floor, Roppongi Hills,
Thursday, 22nd June, 2006 (18:30 – 21:00).

Roppongi Hills Club opened in 2003 and was still something of a novelty when we held an event there in July, 2004. As far as we knew, there were no RHC members in C&O, but Huw Williams, one of our Honorary Secretaries, knew Ian Powell, who was. Through the latter’s good offices a location within the Club (Meridiana) was assigned, the date (Friday, 9th July, 2004) was fixed, and we started accepting applications to attend. Frankly, with all due appreciation to Ian, it was a slightly disappointing event: the attendance was better than average (46), but the food was pretentious, overpriced and, more to the point, insubstantial. The evening was redeemed to a large extent by the wonderful views, company and the fact that the then Australian Ambassador, John McCarthy, had very kindly arranged to have the 37 bottles of excellent Australian wine left over from his party for C&O the previous month delivered to the Club. Needless to say, RHC levied a heavy corkage charge on these, which was part of the reason we had to charge our self-imposed maximum attendance fee (except for extraordinary events like the Centenary) of 8,000 yen. We decided that, interesting as it had been to see RHC, it was not a venue we would use in the future.

We heard earlier this year, however, that the Club was now under new management, and Ian Powell assured us that we would be better looked after if we organised another event there. Three of the Hon Secs joined Ian Powell for a visit to the Club on 23rd March to meet one of the new management team. We were shown The Star Bar and told that we could have it for our exclusive use and that if the event attracted more than forty people we could also have the adjoining library/sitting room. We mentioned that the last time we had used the Club everyone had left hungry and were assured that this would not happen again. We wondered aloud whether it would be necessary to bring in our own wine, as we had done last time. No, we were told: wine and other drinks would be served on a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) basis. By this time we felt that we were on a rather strong footing, so it was time to discuss the price. To cut a long story short, we settled on 6,000 yen per person, which struck us as a very good deal!

The Star Bar is so named because of the large number of small white lights embedded in its ceiling, presumably. It is in a self-contained area of the Club and offers panoramic views of central and northwestern Tokyo which, due to the rather misty weather, were not perhaps quite as marvellous as they often are. The adjoining library/sitting room is wood panelled and contains several sofas, bookcases and a huge TV. All in all, a comfortable venue for the 46 people who attended (the same number as last time, coincidentally). There should actually have been 49 people there, but three failed to show up. Three of those in attendance were visiting undergraduates from Oxford, Sam Adamson, Alexander Gordon and Andrew Smith. Another, Shizuko Ou, was unfortunately called back to her office almost as soon as she arrived! There were three new members in attendance, Andrew Daniels, Katherine Hill and Chris Parry.

The new management lived up to their promises: the food was varied, substantial and excellent (menu below), and there was no shortage of drinks. We will definitely visit again if they will have us. One wonders how much (how little?) profit they made!

TDM, June 2006

Cold Selection: Vichyssoise Soup
Bell Pepper Mousse with Clear Tomato Jelly
Profiteroles with Salmon Rillette and Mango
Wild Duck and Pork Liver Rillette
Marinated Seafood with Honey and Lime Dressing
Prosciutto and Organic Green Salad
Cheese and Dried Fruit Canapes
Home Baked Breads and Olive Bread

Hot Selection: Mushroom and Chicken Flan with Cepe Mushroom Sauce
Pan-fried Scallops and Steamed Cabbage with Creamy Shell Fish Sauce
Roasted Organic Chicken with Couscous Light Rosemary Jus
Spaghetti with Seafood, Tomato and Cream Sauce

Sweets: Assorted French Pastries and Cakes
Assorted Seasonal Fruits

Posted in | Submitted by tim.minton on Thu, 2006-06-22 03:12.
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