time, the crowds at other Roppongi Hills establishments may dissipate, but at
the complex's coolest cocktail bar, Bamboo-one third of Soho's
Roppongi J interconnected trio-the hype is likely to live on. A prelude
to American super chef Todd English's first Tokyo venture, Olives, and
international restaurant Xen, this sleek watering hole on the fifth floor of the
West Walk is the brainchild of New York avant-garde architecture firm the David
Rockwell Group, and hard to miss with its perpetual line of decked-out drinkers
On our first visit, a bilingual hostess guarded the roped
off portal to posh tippling, giving Bamboo a New York's finest feel, where
name dropping and schmoozing-and we're not above either-gets
you in the door on weekends. After playing politics with the stylish sentinel,
we took a seat at the glass bar aglow in orange light and stocked with name-brand
liquors and liqueurs. The menu contained cutting-edge cocktails and martinis,
such as orange and saketini (¥1,200), as well as the standard concoctions
that appear on most drink lists. We put in our orders for a couple of cosmopolitans
(¥1,200 each) and sat back to admire the Rockwell Group's work and
survey the crowd.
to its namesake, Bamboo featured illuminated floor-to-ceiling trunks of the Japan's
native plant shooting up in bunches from tiny rock gardens scattered around the
place, with strings of silver beads streaming down from above like sci-fi waterfalls.
Like Rockwell's famous Hairspray set, it all was a bit surreal. Between
the bar and the beads sat a dozen tall, platinum-colored cocktail tables packed
with fashion-conscious city dwellers.
Our pink drinks soon arrived in hefty
martini glasses rather than the petite variety that reign in Tokyo's drinking
dens, and just as we began to sip, we had a frightful flashback from a recent
trip to a trendy SoHo-as in South of Houston-dive, where we were
witnesses to spring debauchery. Two fashion victims received a lashing from 100
drunken patrons who suddenly chanted in unison, "Same shirt! Same shirt!
Same shirt!" when someone noticed they were clad in matching paisley button-downs.
When we spied a woman sporting our Jean-Michel Basquiat collector's edition
D & G jean jacket from our Bamboo barstool perch, we counted ourselves lucky
we'd narrowly escaped a similar scene-even if the Tokyo variety
might have consisted of stares and snickers. On our next trip to this happening
spot-and we will be back-we'll think twice about donning
Roppongi Hills West Walk 5F,
6-10-1 Roppongi. Tel: 03-5413-9577. Open Mon-Sat 7am-5am, Sun 11am-11pm. Nearest
Photo credit: Nobby
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