Beacon, Shibuya ビーコン 渋谷

Beacon is located in the same space where another restaurant called Lunchan used to be. I never really understood what happened to Lunchan. It was a pretty decent American style restaurant pitched at the expat community serving good honest grub with broad appeal including, if my memory serves me correctly, a rather nice meatloaf. They also had quite a good champagne brunch on Sundays and I frequented there many a time for business or pleasure when I couldn't quite think of anything better. Then one day it was gone and in its place was a Royal Host. What the??? Anyway, thankfully the Royal Host interlude did not last long and in its place is Beacon which bills itself as an "urban chop house". Although it's shockingly ignorant of me, I don't really know what a chop house is, but I assume it's a slightly pretentious allusion to a traditional American steak house. I recently had a very pleasant dinner there with friends and can report that it is indeed a decent American style dining experience.

Our evening started off a little slowly as one member of our party had mistakenly gone all the way to TY Harbour Brewery at Shinagawa. Be careful with their website - the Beacon site does indeed say TY Harbour all over it so if you're not careful you may think you're going to the famous expat haunt at Shinagawa, not Shibuya. Anyway, the wait allowed us to sample a rather large and rather spicy (the way I like it!) Bloody Mary with a huge celery stick for swizzling and munching. The only problem with this was that it really filled us up before dinner so when we eventually moved to our table and were reviewing the menu, the set menu for 7,300 yen looked like altogether too much food. We ordered instead à la carte.

For my entree (sorry - my "starter") I ordered soft shell crab. One of our party ordered crab cakes and insisted on making a trade, which I was reluctant to do as I wanted the soft shell crab all to myself. However, I have to say the crab cake was very good as crab cakes go so it was indeed worth giving to receive in this particular case. For my main I ordered scallops wrapped in prosciutto. These came with steamed vegetables. To be honest the paper thin prosciutto wrapped around the side of the scallops did not really add anything to the flavour. The scallops were large and nice enough, but the sides we ordered of Portobello mushrooms with thyme, and mash potato with lashings of butter really completed the meal for me. I followed this up with a lemon tart with raspberry sorbet.

Including two bottles of white wine - a Dog Point 2007 from Marlborough, New Zealand and a Silver Stone 2006 from California (Dog Point was voted the clear winner), our aperitifs, starters, mains, sides and shared desserts the bill came only to 10,000 yen per head among five of us. Whilst it's far from cheap, I think this is pretty good going in terms of value for money. Their food is not really that challenging or interesting, but the upside of this is that you can take anyone there without intimidating them. Also the fact that the service is in English must be a real plus for the less adventurous. In this way, Beacon is really just a more stylish and up to date interpretation of Lunchan - and there's nothing at all wrong with that in my book.
Tel: 03-6418-0077


Terry said…
Dom: There's a good reason why Beacon is a better version of Lunchan - David Chiddo operated Lunchan, and now is VP of TY Brewery. I'm glad you liked Beacon - I heard that it was pretty ordinary, but now I shall pop along brimming with expectations!

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