Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2014
Sitting at Fish Bank Tokyo with a prime evening window seat, it’s hard not to feel on top of the world. Located on the 41st floor of Shiodome City Center, the stunning Blade Runner-esque cityscape is amplified by the unusually high floor-to-ceiling windows and vaulted post-and-beam decor. The dim nighttime lighting makes the whole city yours to behold.
We rolled in one wet and foggy night, eager for the storied view and a taste of the venue’s oft-recommended menu. We slipped out of our wet clothes and into glasses of some dry white wine (¥852), a slightly citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from Callaway vineyard in California, and one glass of Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial (¥1,700) for someone pairing their drinks with the view before ordering the seafood platter (¥7,410). Fresh oysters, crab legs, ebi (prawn) and salmon roe arrived over ice on two plates—but the standout was the fresh uni (sea urchin) flan served in the shell. This was not your ordinary mushy orange kaitenzushi-style uni. Chilled and a deep tan color, with a firm creamy texture and a taste like a soft pâté, it disappeared almost as fast as the crab.
A brief interlude and another glass of wine later, our salad courses showed up. The smoked bacon and crispy potato salad (¥1,722) was nothing special, with a few greens and a light oil vinaigrette over crisped slices of spud, but the crab cakes with tomato mousseline (¥2,160) were done well with a crisp deep-fried coating that cracked and crunched satisfyingly as it broke open to reveal the simply seasoned crab meat stuffing.
Splurging more than a little, we decided we had to try the Matsuzaka steak (¥16,000/200g or ¥8,000/100g) just to say we’d had it. Unbelievably marbled and soft, the meat practically dissolved on the tongue. Those who like Japanese-style wagyu beef will be impressed, but steak purists may find the Matsuzaka somewhat too marbled—melting in the mouth, the lingering flavor is one of rendered fat rather than a grilled cut of meat. The wagyu fillet (¥6,667/200g or ¥3,435/100g), on the other hand, was superb: lean and grilled to a perfect medium, crusted with a layer of charbroiled salt and pepper, it was the last thing we expected at this Tokyo seafood establishment—and a far better value.
We ordered a strawberry Bavarian, a fresh chou cream (both ¥1,148), a small chocolate soufflé (¥1,333) and espressos (¥502) to finish off the meal.
Absolutely stuffed and satisfied, table talk receded. We were once again entranced by the near 360-degree night view of the city as a heavy mist rolled in to shroud the nearby skyscrapers and envelop us even more in our postprandial fog.