The Oriental Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is located on the same floor as Signature, and as such shares the same breath taking views across Tokyo. This makes it an ideal location for afternoon tea, evening cocktails, or a light meal.
Philip and I ate/drank here a number of times during our stay, as it was the perfect place to relax after our long days in Tokyo. The décor of Oriental Lounge is very understated, and reminds me of a gentleman’s club, with dark woods and cream chairs setting this off quite nicely. The large picture windows that run the length of the walls make Oriental Lounge a great place to just sit and take in the view, and is arguably the best place to simply watch the sunset over the metropolis.
Staff here were generally excellent, with a few issues that can be put down to the language barrier, but overall I would say they are up there with the best that the MO brand can offer. They were attentive without being overbearing, and – as was typified with all the staff we encountered – gracious to our requests.
One thing the Oriental Lounge is particularly renowned for is its afternoon teas, which it does exceptionally well. These are served from about 2pm to 5pm, and meet all the expectations of what one would consider when thinking about the Great British tradition that is afternoon tea. A series of finger sandwiches is followed by a splendid selection of pastries and cakes, all sourced from the fantastic Gourmet Shop, located at the bottom of the Nihonbashi Mitsui tower – where the Mandarin Oriental is located at the top of. Afternoon tea also comes with an extensive selection of teas, both hot and cold – or coffee if you prefer – all for the very reasonable price of ¥22000.
The Oriental Lounge really comes into its own during the evening however, with the night time lights of Tokyo creating the ideal backdrop to a casual dinner accompanied by a few drinks, the selection of which is very good, and reasonably priced for the market. Cocktails are fun and inventive, with interesting twists on the classics; the Mojito is particularly good, with Japanese mint and aged rum. Food quality is good, with a large number of smaller dishes that are perfect for sharing; the Spanish ham selection was exceptional, as was the Caviar with traditional accompaniments.
My only criticism of the Oriental Lounge is that smoking is still permitted, however this could be said for anywhere in Tokyo, where it is still seen as socially acceptable. That being said, this isn’t a reason to not visit, if only to savour what really is – arguably – the best afternoon tea in Japan.