Recently I was invited to ALZE as a monitor to sample their food and report about it on WanderTokyo. Be sure to check out the free offer at the bottom of this article if you plan to go to ALZE!
“So, what does ALZE mean?”
The friendly waitress grinned a little bit.
“Actually, it’s just the name of the parent company with the letters rearranged.”
Fair enough. If I had been told that it meant “chicken” in French, I would’ve believed it.
The poultry-less name aside, ALZE specializes in chicken-based dishes, and, boy, it sure does have a lot of chicken. To use a French term, “le plat principal” was the main reason I decided to take on the monitor gig:
An entire rotisserie chicken.
As I was warned beforehand, roasting a chicken takes about an hour. Perfect. That’s just enough time to sample some of the other dishes at ALZE.
A few minutes after the sparkling wine and salads came out, the waitress placed a sampler plate in front of us. Upon the plate sat crab croquette, chicken “ham,” potato salad, and chicken liver paste.
Our waitress, who was fluent in both English and Japanese after having lived in the US a while, brought out the menu to show my dinner partner and me how the menu describes the dishes in English.
“It’s a little difficult to explain exactly what a crab croquette is to someone who has never had a croquette,” she said.
I thought “Deep-fried ball of creamy crab” seemed like a decent description – emphasis on the delicious creaminess.
While the cook was probably pleased about our comments on the sashimi-like softness of the chicken “ham,” properly called chicken galantine, he broke out of his initial reservedness only upon seeing that we had ordered a second serving of rusk to finish the chicken liver paste.
“People who love liver generally like the liver paste, but some customers will only eat the rusk.”
Over the onion soup, the waitress regaled us with the story of how she had seen Avril Lavigne across the street from the shop, near Roppongi Hills. Roppongi is well known as a mecca for overseas visitors and has a wealth of media companies.
The last dish before the main course was a half-size chicken-over-rice dish with yogurt sauce, which is popular at lunch.
After an hour of anticipation, our waitress brought over the grand finale: whole chicken, with a side of roast potatoes.
Of course, I like chicken, but I had never ordered an entire chicken before. Not to mention that while you can usually buy it at a supermarket in the US, rotisserie chicken is somewhat of a rarity in Japan. The chef told us that it’s a point of pride that they only use young chicken, raised in Japan.
Personally, my dinner partner and I really enjoyed the original herb flavor, but the curry sauce and Japanese-style sauce that came with it added some flavor to the inner meat that the herbs hadn’t quite penetrated.
We weren’t quite able to finish the chicken (lunch tomorrow!), but as they say in Japan, we definitely have a “betsu bara” (separate stomach) for sweets!
The recommended dessert was the hand-made French-style ice-cream called nougat glacé, so we went for that.
Our stomachs full of chicken, we said our thanks and headed out into the illuminated Roppongi night.
Shop name: Rotisserie Chicken ALZE
Hours: 11:00-24:00, all year round
Address: 〒106-0031 Tokyo, Minato, Nishiazabu, 3−2−13, Court Annex Roppongi 1st Floor (Next to Grand Hyatt Tokyo)
Map: Google map to ALZE
Website: ALZE Official Website
Facebook: ALZE Official Facebook
Eat-in (walk-in and reservation), delivery and take-out are available at ALZE. I’ll do a report on take out from ALZE later in the month.
ALZE has an English and Japanese menu. Some of the staff speak English, so you may be able to make a reservation or order take-out over phone (although reservations aren’t required).
ALZE Promotional Offer (Exclusively for readers of WanderTokyo!)
As a promotion coupon, if you let the staff at ALZE know that you saw this article on WanderTokyo, you can receive one of the following for FREE:
- Glass of wine
- Glass of beer
- Glass of any other alcoholic drink
- Soft drink
This offer is available until July 31st, 2015.
Have you visited ALZE? Let us know in the comments!