Oregon Bar & Grille…Tokyo Cheapo is Movin On Up

Melissa Uchiyama

Treat yourself to an ear-popping elevator ride, a deluxe view, & a fair lunchtime buffet. It is your modest vehicle to this special space, Oregan Grille.

Okay, so it goes like this. Dinner at Oregon Bar & Grill? Not for the Cheapo, unless said Cheapo meets one or more of this criteria: Cheapo has just earned a fabulous raise, or Cheapo’s significant-other has taken home their bonus. Or perhaps it is your anniversary, big birthday, or you just need to spend some hard-earned cash to show your visiting brother that you really are okay in this big city.

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You will feel catered to & special with Oregon’s prime service, vaulted ceilings, almost one-eighty view, & delectable, amazing courses. Their martinis are also phenomenal.

Lunch is different. Service is fiendly, but buffets do not provide a real-glimpse at a restaurant’s finery, by any stretch, not in way of service or food. (All servers must do is kindly refresh your water, unless you ask for something more). The lunch-buffet, is however, an upstanding deal for being in such a lovely, free-feeling space, and for a hint of what the kitchen does do well.

Butted-up to high-rise windows, or seated in a loungy-area, Oregon’s space is tops.

“This is the best view”, promised the waitress as she led me to my private table at the farthest nook of the restaurant. Indeed, it directly looked towards Tokyo Tower. A large dinner group had been seated in that very spot when I came for my own anniversary fete. That group of men had maybe three wine-glasses apiece and spared nothing. For my 1,500 lunch, I was in “the spot”. Not bad, girl.

Of course, with such a far table, came walking. This is a buffet, afterall. I may have walked-off my lunch just sauntering back and forth from the salad bar, drink & dessert area. In such a wide, spacious layout, one makes these buffet-trips worth it. Against all grace, I did pickup some dessert-items along with my second lunch-plate.

I was a bit confused at first with the buffet-cost. It is 1,260 yen for the buffet, but an additional 320 yen for a main-dish selection. Every day, two mains are offered. I visited on a “grilled salmon or grilled BBQ chicken day. All in all, my full lunch of drinks (alcohol-free), salad bar, dessert, and my main, came to 1,580 yen. Oregon seats 96. Even with many happy lunchers around me, I was not hurried, and I could have easily stayed much longer, sipping coffee, reading, and going back for more panna cotta.

Window-side panna-cotta at 42 floors up. Ahh, city life.

LIving in a city, I often feel the need for new perspective–whether getting around trees and the smell of dirt, or climbing into a speedy elevator; you need to eaither dine with the ants, or look down on them. Enjoying one of Oregon’s rice balls, plentiful salad bar, great tureen full of soup, marinated shiitake salads, and even their somewhat dry cakes, are a perfect city-antidote at 42 floors-up.

Just follow the massive signs for Sky View restaurants. Yes, this is your nighttime “celebu” view at Oregon Bar & Grille.

Again, lunch is not the high calling of Oregon, but do find a way into their fine dinner. I did  spot this beauty of a sign: Happy Sunset–half-off drinks Mondays-Sundays, 5 PM-7 PM. That’s taking-in the sunset, alright.

Cursory “fill-you” potatoes at a buffet-lunch, but Oregon offers the little things, like herbed salt.

There are additional options in building your buffet. For 590 yen more, you can also select a hamburger, assorted seafood, or sirloin steak.

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Lunchtime drinks: Included in your buffet are hot herbal & caffeinated teas, hot & iced coffee, iced oolong tea, and regular iced tea. 550 yen brings a cocktail, while 420 yen brings a soft drink. Beer & red/white wines are 630 yen. Been hunting down Oregon beer? 950, dear. Sparkling wine is 1260 yen, the same price as your meal.

Oregon also welcomes families, i.e. kids. They have children’s buffets starting at 300 yen. (I wouldn’t think of bringing the whole familia to dinner, unless you are the militaristic Von Trapps, pre-Maria).

To further break it down, the basic lunch package? 1260 yen (no official main, but plenty of food).

GIve it a shot. Get those ears popping as you climb. Bring visitors, bring yourself. This is a lookout to know, your own little nest.

Where it’s at. City Center Building, as high as the elevator goes.

*I should mention that this establishment is in partnership with Oregon’s Smith & Wollensky’s restaurant, a favorite of mine. All the best along your Oregon Trail.

Name:Oregon Bar & Grille
Location:Shiodome City Center Bldg.42F, 1-5-2 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Closest Station:3 min. walk from Shmbashi Station; 4 min. walk from Shiodome Station. Look for Sky View restaurants & then take the elevator from the 1st floor.
Business hours:11am – 11:30pm (LO 10pm)

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