Meiji Dori has been looking less than glamorous
lately with all the subway construction going on, and it's
the last place we'd expect anybody famous to be hanging
out. But recently we spotted one celeb not too far from Shibuya
Celeb is one of those new kinds of hybrid bars, which suffers
from a personality disorder of not knowing exactly what it
wants to be, or more likely, wanting to be everything. At
street level, it takes on the role of a café, complete
with a glass display case of various desserts and cakes. On
a recent visit, a host in a black suit greeted us, and although
he was only trying to sell us on their new ¥4,000 per
person fixed menu, we couldn't help but feel like he
was a bouncer who was about to tell us, "Sorry, you're
not on the list." We passed on the offer, and he showed
us up a staircase lined with red padded walls.
Loud Indian trance beat music and lockers on the second floor
suggested that we had entered a club, except we couldn't
spot a dance floor. In fact, most of the floor consisted of
water, and we had to watch our step as we walked on the boardwalk
that horseshoed around the shallow pool in the center of the
room. We had to watch our heads next, since our table was
on a catwalk area that was so close to the ceiling. Below
us, young, casually dressed couples were enjoying themselves
in tiny cubicles, not unlike the TV game show "Hollywood
Despite the tight quarters, we relished the
inflatable feel of our white love seat. The palm trees and
flowers, the disco balls and hanging beads, and the private
lagoon littered with bottles of champagne felt like a fantasyland,
albeit one that a Japanese high school girl might have decorated.
The bilingual drinks menu was extensive, from draft beer (¥650)
to fresh fruit cocktails (¥1,000), as well as a long
list of standards. The tackiness didn't quite get us
in the mood to splurge superstar-style on a bottle of Cuvee
Dom Perignon (¥20,000), but the goofy atmosphere did
make us feel bubbly enough to order glasses of the Castellblanch
Brut Zero (¥750). The food menu was an all-Japanese
affair. Nibbling the two crackers with nama-ham mousse placed
on our table, we ordered a large crab-and-tomato-sauce pasta
(¥1,180) and a small baby leaf salad (¥680).
We chose to wash down our meal with a China Purple (¥550)
instead of a Resort Cocktail (¥800-¥1,000). Although
we knew we weren't in Club Med or LA, we had at least
found a nice poolside place to drink in Shibuya. At the end
of the day, that might be worth more than fame.
Matrix 2 Bldg, 1-24-6 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-5766-6633. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-2am, Fri-Sat 11:30am-4am,
Sun and hols 11:30am-11pm. Nearest stn: Shibuya.
Photos by Martin Hladik
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