Due to close tomorrow and scheduled to be reborn as Kihachi Honten in the Spring of next year, Selan is a popular lunch spot situated between Aoyama-Itchomo and Gaienmae stations, on the Ginko tree-lined promenade (Gaienmae Ichonamiki) leading into the Jingu Gaien park.
Thanks to the comfortable terrace looking out onto the avenue, and the neighbouring Royal Garden Café, the atmosphere is more European than might be expected.
Sitting out on the terrace in early Spring or late Autumn, looking forward to or desperately hanging onto summer is always a pleasure.
Although the drinks are a tad over-priced (although standard for the area), the mid-range set lunches offer value for money – three courses followed by tea or coffee.
The food is generally good, although it would be nice if the pasta dishes featured something other than spaghetti.
On occasion, the choice of ingredients combined miss the mark… Smoked mackerel and aubergine in a rich tomato sauce being particularly jarring.
On the whole, Selan is at its best with simpler (perhaps less adventurous) dishes, such as the kyo jidori pasta, or seafood pasta dishes.
The salads are sizable, fresh and well presented, the soups delicious and filling.
Although not exactly stingy with the bread, I can’t help but wish they’d leave a basket full on the table and be done with it, instead of making offerings with each course.
Today, the pate was excellent, but needed something to spice it up a little, perhaps chutney/s and a more robust "home-cooked" style bread.
When busy, the atmosphere is pleasant enough. The service is okay, but drink orders take overlong to arrive.
Still, not a bad choice for a relaxed lunch. Looking forward to trying Kihachi next spring.