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499: AGAVE
498: Miss Sixty Café
497: The Pink Cow
496: Cantik
495: Billiard Bar Cosmo
494: Soma
493: Hajime
492: Rm.39
491: Coopers
490: Bar Nemesis
489: Franziskaner Bar & Grill
488: NOS
487: Diego
486: Sekirei
485: Bonny Butterfly
484: So Ra Si O
483: Maduro
482: Space Punch
481: Cento Cose
480: Bamboo
479: Heartland
478: Sign
477: Yoshino
476: Omamori Cafe
475: So Bar
474: Traumaris
473: Naka Naka
472: Tsuki no Akari
471: Bar
470: These
469: Atomic Heart Mother
468: Soft
467: Milano Bar
466: Mother
465: Omocha
464: Insomnia 2
463: Lucusfloor
462: Pulse
461: Mahna Mahna
460: Ten
459: Trees'
457/8: Mayu
456: Lounge Sinner
454: Ja Ja Bar
453: See
452: Republica
451: Shanghai Bar
450: Tsuki no Kura

Issues 500+
Issues 449-
Issues 399-


by Georgia Jacobs


As seasoned reporters of the bar beat, it only took us only a week after the celebration aftermath of Roppongi Hills' opening parties had been swept away to check out the much talked-about Maduro on the fourth floor of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Though conflicting reports had filtered in, ranging from dead Sunday nights and weak drinks to tippling with the stars, our first venture, on a Tuesday, seemed to confirm the latter. After arriving dazed and confused, through the maze of Japan's largest entertainment complex and the hallways of Tokyo's hottest new hotel, over bridges and past man-made ponds and pathways to a non-descript slab of boards, we were, to say the least, ready for a stiff cocktail.

The wooden door magically moved aside as we stepped up, and a smiling host welcomed us into an airy, low-lit 86-seat room, booming with live blues and packed to capacity with suited business travelers and local black-clad urbanites. Directed to the last remaining spots at the bar, we were more concerned with whetting our whistles than surveying our surroundings, and in our hurry to belly up, we nearly bumped into a startled Hugh Grant, in town to promote Two Weeks Notice, coming out of the bathroom.

Subsequent visits have been celeb-free but nonetheless enjoyable. The two-month-old place had already garnered a reputation for subdued and sophisticated partying, much as the name suggests-maduro means mature in Spanish. The cozy leather seats surrounding small cocktail tables, punctuated by the occasional high-back chair, plush velvet sofas, soft chandelier-lighting, tasteful glass pillars and stellar wine list are the perfect elixir to a hard week at the office. On a recent visit, we made our way through the creative cocktail list, beginning with a couple of cosmopolitans (¥1,300), moving on to gin-and-tonics (¥900) and finishing up with Hemingway's poison of choice, minty cane-alcohol mojitos, which came in two varieties-traditional and the house version jazzed up with berry juice (both ¥1,300 each). All the while we munched on peppered cashews and debated the rise and fall of domestic and overseas stock markets.

While the stars never came out that night, the ambience felt ripe for a cameo, and had our stomachs not begged for a famous chef's wiener schnitzel, we might just have bumped into another Hollywood heavyweight or celebrated captain of industry passing through town. But there's always next time-and there will be a next time.

Open daily 6pm-2am. 4F Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi. Tel: 03-4333-8888. Nearest stn: Roppongi.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo

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