Breakfast at Lauderdale, Roppongi Hills
Breakfast and brunch places are in no short supply in Tokyo, but ones that open earlier than 10 or 11 a.m. most definitely are. That's why I was so happy to find Lauderdale, and why it has since become a regular stop on my monthly circuit. Not only does it open early enough for a real breakfast (not a mid-morning snack or an early lunch), but the food is also pretty great and extremely reasonably priced.
Lauderdale is located on Keyakizaka in Roppongi Hills, just up the hill from the big Louis Vuitton store. While you won’t see huge lines like those outside of the currently trendy pancake places in Omotesando, it’s still a popular place, as evidenced by the number of people there at 8 a.m. on a recent Tuesday. And with breakfast this good, there’s certainly no reason it shouldn’t be popular.
With a sunshine drenched dining area and a small outdoor terrace, Lauderdale does get crowded at times, especially when the weather’s nice. The dark wooden furniture, retro fittings, and unique items adorning the walls will make you feel like you are in a cafe in New York’s East Village, and the jazz music playing in the background creates a relaxed yet cultured atmosphere. It’s an equally good venue for early morning business meetings, breakfast with friends, and weekend family brunches.
Lauderdale opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends. The menu includes morning staples such as buttermilk pancakes (¥700), omelets (¥650 to ¥850) and a variety of freshly made soufflés (¥650 to ¥800). Lighter options include an açai berry energy bowl (¥950) a design-your-own salad (¥800 to ¥1,100).
On our most recent visit, my friend and I both decided on omelets. I chose the “Mama’s Garden” (basil infused eggs, tomato and gruyere cheese) and she went with a plain omelet. Both were very light and whisked to perfection. I enjoyed how the basil gave a new twist to the usual egg omelet, although with the heaviness of the cheese, I was only able to finish half my meal. The accompanying bacon (sausage is also an option) was crispy and full of flavor—my friend described it as the “real deal.”
On the table next to us I spied the pancakes, and they looked amazing. I made a mental note to try them on my next visit. In the past I’ve also had some of the soufflés, with the mushroom and cheese and the salmon and spinach being two of my favorites. The menu notes that you need to allow 20 to 25 minutes to make them, but if you’re not in a hurry they are well worth the wait. Light yet creamy, perfectly formed, and with a slight sweetness to the egg mixture, they are sinfully delicious.
Some of the waitstaff at Lauderdale speak English, and they are happy to accommodate slight variations on the menu items (swapping bacon for smoked salmon, for example) when possible. Coffee and tea lovers will also be pleased to learn that Lauderdale offers bottomless cups, a rarity in Tokyo, for just ¥150 with any breakfast item. The coffee is better than most, so we were pleasantly surprised when our waiter transferred ours to go as we were leaving. It was a nice touch, and one that further solidified Lauderdale’s spot on our list of favorite Tokyo breakfast places.
Address: Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka, 6-15-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat, Sun & hols, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
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