Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tokyo Travelogue #9: If it's full of locals, it must be good

As our Lonely Planet had warned us, Roppongi is a peculiar Tokyo neighborhood - part tourist trap and part modern (predominantly Western) high end. So when we were looking for a place to lunch after a visit to the Mori Art Museum, we found ourselves left with the choice of $50+ entrees at some fanciful French bistro or a strip of fishy eateries serving up a sad mix of kebab, Chinese and anything deep fried to suit the foreigner's palate.*

Naturally, we settled on Mickey D's, which turned out to no longer be serving up fast food of unknown origin, but rather farm-to-table burgers, fries and nuggets. It was all very convincingly staged: Sleek interior design, sculptures of poultry and cattle all around, drawings of fresh-from-the-ground potatoes and lettuce, etc. And to top it all off, no single Ronald MacDonald or golden arches were in sight - apart from on the wrapping, which was branded as usual.

Very interesting, I think. And I wonder if the long-term corporate plan is to give all their stores an overhaul?

Acute observers will perhaps note the blue balloon in the bottom picture, thinking to themselves: "Hey, at least kids still get a balloon with their happy meal". I too thought that for a second before noticing that that its proprietor had received it after at visit to handbag heaven Furla.

*Disclaimer: I'm sure there were better options around - we just couldn't find them:O)

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