Brought to us by mixologist Gen Yamamoto (@), this intimate cocktail bar is unlike any other. It’s an omakase experience but for cocktails.
The tiny cocktail bar is located in Azabu-Juban, Tokyo and only seats eight people. Reservations are highly recommended, if you don’t want to be disappointed. Since we didn’t make one, we arrived at opening (3pm) and were the only customers during the entire visit. It’s a very clean and minimalist space – I loved the gorgeous oak bar counter.
There’s no music playing in the background so it’s a very intimate and serene experience. Thankfully, Gen Yamamoto is fluent in English so we were able to converse with him. He’s originally from Japan but worked in New York for a number of years before coming to Tokyo to open up his own bar. It’s really just a one-man show plus an assistant.
Gen Yamamoto offers a tasting menu of either four cocktails for ¥4,500 ($45 CAD) or six for ¥6,500 ($65 CAD). There’s also a cover charge of ¥1,000 (or $10 CAD). The cocktails are constantly changing with the seasons and availability of ingredients. According to his website, “the tasting menu reflects “shiki”, Japanese seasonality, using fresh ingredients while building on a progression of flavors and harmony.” He’ll ask you in the beginning if you have any allergies or if there are things you don’t like as he can tailor the menu to your liking.
We decided to go with the four cocktail tasting since it was 3 in the afternoon and we had the rest of the day ahead of us. But I later regretted not going with the six since the cocktails were so delicious! Each cocktail is much smaller than a full cocktail, so you’re not going to get smashed on four.
Here’s a look at our cocktail tasting:
Konatsu (Japanese citrus fruit) with rice wine shochu and cucumber
Strawberry with sweet potato shochu and basil
Ginger with barley shochu
Fava bean with milk and sweet dessert sake
For cocktail-lovers visiting Tokyo, Gen Yamamoto is an absolute must!
At a glance:
- Omakase-style cocktail bar by mixologist Gen Yamamoto
- Cover charge of ¥1,000; Four cocktails for ¥4,500 or six for ¥6,500
- Very intimate; no background music; only seats 8 people
- Reservations recommended
- Accepts credit cards
- Closed Mondays; open from 3pm Tues to Sun
Ratings (out of 5):
- Cocktails: 4.5
- Service: 5 stars
- Atmosphere: 4 stars