Akasaka Inter City Air is a recent addition to the Tokyo cityscape. Not far from Roppongi and accessible through Tameiki Sanno station, it’s a huge complex of restaurants, bars and offices.
On the 3rd floor is the second Japanese outpost of the legendary Beverly Hills rib chain Lawry’s The Prime Rib. Founded in 1938, the restaurant has branches as far flung as Singapore, in addition to its US and Japan bases. The brand new Akasaka restaurant follows the opening of a site in Ebisu, which is already popular with both locals and meat-loving expatriates.
Don’t confuse Lawry’s with your bog-standard steak houses or hipster rib joints that can be found around the city. Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Akasaka is a stunning venture and a welcome addition to the capital’s gourmet scene. The interior is opulent and incredibly sophisticated with chandeliers, mood lighting and a superbly stocked bar. Suitable for after-work dinner and drinks with colleagues or business guests, as well as families and even romantic dates, it’s an aesthetically sumptuous find.
The quality of food on offer thankfully matches the lavish interior. Lawry’s is renowned for its “Original Spinning Bowl Salad,” which the server will bring out to prepare in front of diners. A salad bowl (filled with greens, eggs and croutons) is placed on top of a huge bowl of crushed ice and spun around, allowing the salad to blend smoothly with the dressing and chilling the salad bowl. This is served with an ice-cold fork.
To follow this comes the creamy and fairly orthodox New England Clam Chowder, which is a subtle and tempting introduction to what comes next. The “Lawry Cut” of prime rib is a gargantuan piece of meat. Cut inside a mammoth silver cart, tableside, it’s accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy and a humongous Yorkshire Pudding which is used for mopping up the juices. The prime rib comes in at a hefty 10oz and is the go-to cut for any red-blooded carnivore.
The Yorkshire Pudding, while not exactly the same as the traditional UK type, is an American super-sized dedication to its British cousin. The meal also comes with homemade bread and butter, which is a perfect accompaniment.
The food and interiors are both winners, but the service is also impeccable, with a very tightly-managed crew of cooks, servers, sommeliers and front of house staff. Polite but not too intrusive, they are attentive and especially useful when describing the dishes and various accompaniments.
Luxurious and comfortable, Lawry’s The Prime Rib is a real culinary and aesthetic experience, slap-bang in the heart of the city.
Lawry’s The Prime Rib: 1-8-1 Akasaka, Intercity AIR, 3F, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Lunch: 11.30 – 15.00 (Last Order 14.00)
Dinner: 17.00 – 23.00 (Last Order 22.00)