Getting decent Italian food in Roppongi is real easy for those willing to throw value out the window, as the area is packed with fancy and reasonably tasty but rather overpriced trattorias and ristorantes. But for the cost-conscious diner, there are only a handful of eateries to choose from. Among these is the welcoming Sakura, found right behind the station in the same building as budget bistro Le Petit Marché and the Sommelier wine shop, which is actually the force behind the entire operation. A casual ‘wine diner’ (as the name suggests), it offers plentiful lunch options: everything from the wood-fired, quite competent pizzas to the voluminous roast beef donburi we opted for on our last visit goes for around ¥1,000, while you can add a half size salad for ¥100. Lunchtime is also happy hour, when wines by the glass start from ¥300.
In the evening, you’ll find a long list of dishes made with fresh fish and meats from all over the country; we’re particularly fond of the pastas and pizzas that incorporate hinai-jidori chicken from Akita and pair nicely with a cheap red from the restaurant’s admirably well-stocked wine cellar. While you can usually walk straight in at lunchtime, Sakura often gets very crowded on weekend evenings, so book ahead if you’re looking to score one of the tables by the big windows and show off your plonk-fuelled evening to everyone passing by outside. More modest types will have to make do with the smaller tables and counter-like spots lining the oblong space. A down-to-earth atmosphere, decent, homely Italian grub and ample quantities of budoshu may not sound like your average recipe for an evening in Roppongi, but do give this spot a chance next time. You’ll be sure to leave satisfied – and with your bank balance still intact.
|Venue name:||Budoshu Shokudo Sakura|
21 Roppongi Bldg 1F, 6-1-12 Roppongi, Minato-ku
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 11.30am-1am (last orders 12midnight), Fri, Sat 11.30am-4am (3am), Sun, Mon & hols 11.30am-11.30pm (10.30pm)|
|Transport:||Roppongi Station (Hibiya, Oedo lines), exit 3|