One glimpse at Café Tosca at night made us glad we decided to visit. With an open view of the Sakuragicho waterfront area and a phalanx of palm trees sprouting up around its dim interior, the restaurant is like an indoor amusement park mixed with an eye-catching theme bar. For couples on a date or those of us with children in tow, that’s a winning combination.
Rotating seasonal course menus start at ¥3,675, while more elaborate dinners chime in at around ¥10,000. The menu, chock full of domestic favorites like salmon, maguro, wagyu beef and sweet potatoes, is designed to please the holidaymakers, couples, young families and foreign conventioneers who make up the Pan Pacific Hotel’s clientele. Standouts in our meal included a thick sautéed salmon filet with genmai (brown rice), and tuna carpaccio with greens and matsutake and eringi mushrooms. Grilled New Zealand beef with autumn vegetables went well with our red wine, Salice Salentino Riserva 2000 (half bottle/¥3,150).
Café Tosca maintains its charisma during the day as well. Floor-to-ceiling windows admit cheery amounts of light, and a lunch buffet offers enough variety to please all palates. Dubbed “Food Stadium” because of the show-like atmosphere created by cooks preparing dishes to order, the all-you-can-eat lunch (¥3,045 weekdays, ¥3,645 weekends) includes dozens of salads, stews, pasta, rice, seafood dishes, fruits, pies and tarts.
The highlight for us was a two-chef team whipping up spaghetti carbonara by drenching the pasta in cream and swirling it in cheese shavings inside a large wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. Small made-to-order servings of omuraisu were also a delight, with the eggs cooked in healthy (that is, unhealthy) amounts of butter and topped with demi-glaze sauce. We also enjoyed white-meat fish caponata, marinated eggplant with basil, Thai red curry, and the several desserts
on offer, including amande café, white chocolate mousse with orange, and yogurt with fruit toppings. Japanese items included a pot-au-feu with leek, hasu (lotus root), gobo (burdock root), kabu (turnip), onion, potatoes, cabbage and carrots.