brunch at the metropolitan edmont
Over the weekend Jessica and I visited the Beltempo buffet at the Hotel Metropolitan Edmont in Iidabashi for their brunch buffet. Her husband had received a few vouchers redeemable at various restaurants around Tokyo as a reward for his cellphone plan, and she was kind enough use one of these vouchers to take me out to brunch. She said that she chose the Beltempo buffet in part due to good reviews of their bakery items.
Our reservation was for 11:30 and was supposed to include 90 minutes of access to the buffet, but the dining room was not terribly crowded when we arrived and no one actually ever asked us to leave. Of course, we stopped eating long before our 90 minutes were up and just sat there talking over just tea and coffee for a while, so I suppose there was no real reason to ask us to leave unless they needed the table to make room for another party.
The buffet itself was rather good. There were a lot of meat and fish items (several Japanese style curries, bakes, sandwiches, and finger foods) that I couldn’t eat, but I actually like that as it allows me to more freely sample the items I am interested in without having to be overly cautious about hitting my limit before I have tried them all.
In total we hit the savory food buffet twice. We used the first pass to try out small tastes of as many different items as we could, and the second pass to get a few more bites of the ones we really liked. My first plate included a small olive tapenade sandwich, cheesy lasagna (which we agreed was not very lasagna-y but still good), broccoli, inarizushi (sushi rice stuffed into a sweet fried tofu pouch), a small piece of pizza, roasted vegetables, a spicy chicken paté toast topped with sesame seeds, creamy turnip soup (not pictured), and half of two kinds of bread; a hearty mini grain loaf, and a lightly sweet brioche-like bread.
The breads were amazingly good, as was the toast, but I think Jessica and I were most impressed with the turnip soup. We agreed that it was hard to taste the turnip, but as a generic creamy soup it was fantastic. We both got more of that on our second pass, along with a super flaky buttery croissant, a different roll to split, and a few other items, such as this small pasta dish:
Of course, being the type of people that we are, we did not hit the savory buffet too hard, so that we would have enough room for the desserts. We’d taken care to case out the dessert table on our way to get food earlier, and noticed a wide selection of very good-looking options available for the day. We did the only thing there is to do when faced with that kind of situation: we took one of everything.
Well, almost. We decided to split the fondant chocolat, as it was slightly larger than other cakes, and skipped the two sorbets of the day, but we did grab one each of every single other item on the table. This included slices of cheesecake, caramel pear tart, and pumpkin flan, as well as three layered cup desserts: mango sauce over a cheesecake-like filling, strawberry-raspberry sauce over a very similar but slightly different filling, and a coffee mousse with a cake-y center.
As if that wasn’t enough, they had also put out a chocolate fondue station between our initial peak at the desserts and our actual dessert run. I took our plates back to the table while Jessica procured us one skewer each of the offerings, which today included banana & pineapple slices, as well as madeleines.
We were both convinced we’d overdone it upon returning to the table, but over the next 30 minutes surprised ourselves by not only finishing everything we had taken, but not actually feeling overfull in the least. I managed to capture Jessica’s likeness this time around as she was dipping into the fondue, so I guess there’s a possibility she might not actually be a vampire after all. Maybe.
We both thoroughly enjoyed all of the desserts, but I would definitely have to say that the clear winners of the day were the cup desserts and the fondue. The cakes were all good, but also very standard as cakes go. In contrast to that the cup desserts were more interesting and intensely flavorful, and the fondue was just plain fun. I think my absolute favorite of the whole lot was the coffee mousse cup. It was deep, slightly nutty, slightly bitter, not too sweet and had a certain earthiness that I really love in my desserts.
I think I could have easily eaten several of these had we not hit the dessert table so hard. In the end, though, I’m glad that we went for variety and were able to sample almost everything that the buffet had to offer on our visit.
On the way out we were handed a bag containing two of the brioche rolls we’d tasted on our first pass of the buffet earlier on. I thought this was a really nice touch and a good end to a nice experience at the hotel, but it didn’t stop us from hitting the bread shop conveniently located near the exit on our way out. Most of the breads that had been available at the buffet were also available at the bread shop, and Jessica and I each chose a few of the best looking items to take home with us; including one of those amazing croissants each, of course.
The food from the buffet held me over through most of the rest of the day as Jessica and I walked and window shopped around Iidabashi and Harajuku, but by the time I returned home a little later that evening I was feeling ready for a little bit of a dinner-time snack. So I broke into the bakery bag and assembled a very simple, yet very satisfying combination for Eric and I to snack on.
One fried egg, a few slices of sharp cheese (Old Dutch Master in this case), and half of the croissant I’d brought home from the hotel. I absolutely love the combination of egg, cheese, and bread all served together and eaten separately. Growing up it’s something that we had a lot for breakfast, though usually with either an english muffin, toast, or some other bread in place of the croissant. I don’t have this type of meal nearly as often as I’d like anymore, so it’s nice to work it in from time to time.
Tonight after work Eric and I are having a date night and stopping for dinner at Roti Roppongi before seeing Harry Potter 7 part 1. I won’t lie, I’m really very nervous. It’s hard to believe that the 7th movie is finally here. I expect the wait for part 2 to be nothing short of excruciating.