BACKGROUND Three veterans of the hospitality industry from Ghana, Australia and New Zealand opened this ultra-stylish restaurant near the upscale fashion avenue of Omotesando, in the lifestyle hub AO Building. The leather-and-wood interior consists of two sections – hence the name – seating up to 171 guests. On one side is the dining area with an open kitchen with granite counter and seating; on the other, across a water-terraced bridge, is the 54-seat bar and lounge featuring a large artwork by Masashi Ozawa. An outdoor terrace completes the package. It’s a beautiful place frequented by the trendiest Tokyoites.
THE FOOD The restaurant is famed for its prime steaks and seafood, and although the food is definitely western, Japanese influences are found from time to time in dishes such as fine buri (yellowtail) carpaccio with pink shiso, Marcona almonds and sweet brown sauce. I visited at brunch time when a simpler menu with breakfast items and simpler dishes were on offer. The teppan-grilled Hokkaido scallops tasted every bit as heavenly as they looked, with the bacon highlighting the sweetness of the shellfish. Even something as simple as spaghetti with spiced spinach velvet cream was superb: the noodles had the perfect consistency and the sprinkling of very finely grated Parmesan added just the right kick. Our only complaint was the steak frites (with Australian black Angus hanger steak) – they made it look like a kid’s meal. But all in all, this place offered excellent fare.
DRINKS As is instantly apparent from the glass walk-in cellar with 1,800 bottles, this restaurant has a serious wine list. A lot of emphasis is put on the New World, including one of the largest lists of US wines I’ve ever seen. There are 14 by-the-glass options including a Louis Roederer champagne and a sweet De Bortoli Noble One from New South Wales, Australia. Cocktails are also famous here.
Verdict: With great food, a nice ambience and attentive service, this restaurant is a must-try for people who frequently travel to the Japanese capital.
Prices Brunch with two courses and tea or coffee starts from ¥2,950 (US$38); cocktails ¥1,400 (US$18)
Contact 5/F, AO Building, 3-11-7, Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; tel +81 3 3498 0002; www.tworooms.jp
Opening Hours Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm; dinner 6pm-10pm, Sunday until 9pm; lounge and bar 11.30am-2am, Sun until 10pm