Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Food On - The Dentsu Tokyo Cafeteria

Let me indulge in a bit of self promotion here. I work for a company that is housed in this huge, architecturally impressive building -- Dentsu Inc. in Shiodome is one of the 20 tallest buildings in Tokyo and it is the second tallest in the Shiodome area.

Designed by a French architect, the building was finished in 2002, about a year after I had joined Dentsu.
One face of the building is completely occupied by scenic elevators, bringing more than 5,000 Dentsu employees up and down the floors each and every day.
Aside from basements one and two which house the Dentsu Ad Museum and a mini mall of shops and restaurants, and the 42nd floor which has a slew of fine dining places -- the entire building is devoted to Dentsu alone.

With such a large number of employees, you would think that one main problem would be where they could take their lunch break. Most of the restaurants on the basement floors are quite small and also are well patronized by diners from other buildings in the area.
It was no surprise to me then, given the scale of Dentsu's headquarters, that the entire 4th floor of the building is devoted to the company cafeteria
-- a large scale food court called Food On.

Food On has five distinct restaurants and dining zones -- there are two Japanese restaurants, a Chinese place called Den Den, a western type cafeteria called D- cafe and Seagull, a fusion of Japanese and western food.

Each outlet's featured specials, which are changed everyday, are laid out at the entrance of Food On so that employees can easily and quickly choose their lunch.

In addition to very low prices for such attractively presented dishes, menu cards even carry the caloric content of each dish so that everyone knows that they're eating nutritious, balanced meals.

Once you have made up your mind from the many food choices available, in this case, I opted for a sakana tempura meal, you line up at the counter, where in assembly line fashion, cafeteria employees serve up your lunch choice.

Ocha or tea, is complimentary and dispensed from a machine. You have a choice of hot or cold tea to go with your meal.

Here is my assembled lunch tray. The sakana tempura was actually quite good and not at all oily. The fish which was asohos, was fresh and came in a generous serving of four whole pieces.
A miso and vegetable soup was part of the meal but the best part was the table with various tsukemono offerings, all complimentary, which really made my day.
I scooped a spoonful of cucumber tsukemono on my rice and then went back for a second serving!

Some outlets feature a very high tech, state of the art payment system.
After your meal, you take your tray to the self serve payment counter and place it on top of a scale.
This reads the amount you have to pay plus even the calories you ingested!
Truly efficient and amazing!
Since you can pay only if you have a Dentsu Tokyo employee ID card, my lunch was on the house, courtesy of a kind colleague.
Now, who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?

1 comment:

  1. Cool Pictures! And they look much better than what it actually is!!;p I love your blog since there are a lot of food pics. Hope you had a great time with us! We miss you! -Risa