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bar news and views
word of mouth

Have you heard? Monday, August 4 is Beer Hall Day at The Dubliners’ Irish Pub. What is Beer Hall Day, you might ask? For one day only, pints of draft beer will be sold for just ¥500. At which branch? All six of ’em! And if you can’t wait until then, stop by any of the locations (in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akasaka, Shinagawa, Toranomon or Ikebukuro) between July 28 and August 3, and for every pint you drink, receive a ¥100 discount ticket redeemable on or after August 5.

It’s easy to grow tired of visiting the same Roppongi watering holes week after week. Opened last month, Zero Bar (1F Roppongi 410 Bldg, 4-10-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-5775-0100; www.zerobar.jp) promises something fresh—and refreshing. This new champagne bar just steps from the Tokyo Midtown complex offers a selection of over 100 bottles of bubby and wine. The small-ish space is dimly lit, with a wood counter and comfy low-back bar stools and the drinks illuminated under red lights. To find it, look for the number “0” in the bar’s ground-level window.

Up for some live jazz, pops, bossa nova, samba or chanson from leading Japanese musicians? At Boston Dreams (B1 Roppongi Five Bldg, 5-18-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-3583-3988), just off Gaien-Higashi Dori, you can enjoy three sets of live music (7:40-11pm) six days a week. Stop by during happy hour (5:30-7:30pm) and pay ¥1,000 for two drinks and popcorn, with additional drinks just ¥500. Entry starts at just ¥3,000, but mention Metropolis and get in for half-price. BJM

776: Kissako
775: Zoetrope
774: Bauhaus
773: Broc&Coli
772: Respekt
770-71: Beer Garage
769: The Aquarium
768: B Bar
767: Cazadores
766: Gekkoh
765: Duranbar
764: Galali
763: Glass Dance
762: Ultra Lounge
761: 3 x 3 Dining Lounge
760: Catalan Spanish Bikini Tapa
759: Shokudo Bar Kasumigaseki
758: Stein Haus
757: Café & Bar Hideaway
756: Rhythm Café
755: The Amazon Club
754: GalaDear
753: On The Spree
752: Joshu Tokoton Sakaba
751: Shun Rolls
750: Benny’s Place
749: Sonny’s
748: Time Shower Brewery
747: The Kamiya Bar
746: Charcoal Bar Tunnel
745: Salon de Champagne Vionys
744: Ocean Deep
743: Delirium Café Reserve
742: Bar Jam
741: Piccadilly
740: The Cantina
739: Vento Bar and Grill
738: Grail
737: Architect Café
736: NOS Ebisu
735: Ushi-Tora
734: Nakame Takkyu Lounge
733: Free Factory
732: Horoyoi & Saiki
731: Beer Café Gambrinus
730: Fiesta
729: Seamus O’Hara
728: Ai Ai
727: Brown G
726: Sake Bistro W
725: Meguro Chaya Kitchen Bar
724: The Footnik Osaki
723: Swallow’s Nest Shibaura
722: Loiter
721: Time Machine
720: Cool Train
718-719: Castillo
717: Voco
716: Popeye
715: Donguri
714: WW
713: J-Pop Café
712: The Old Imperial Bar
711: Briongloid
710: Suifu
709: Bar Jam
708: Hibiya Bar
707: Planetarium Bar
706: Bar Rage
705: Forest Avenue Bar
704: Zizo Bar
703: Franz Club
702: The Aldgate
701: Elements Bar
700: The Cluriaune
699: King George
698: Grand Royal Green
697: Hachi
696: Cabaret
695: Crocodile
694: Mother’s Ruin
693: Standing Bar Joe
692: Billy Barew’s Beer Bar
691: Nidaime Hanzo
690: Patrasche
689: Club Romantico
688: Wodka Tonic
687: Zetton
686: Frigo Est
685: Trader Vic’s
684: Fuunji
683: Kuimonya 12-6
682: Nuchigusui
681: Lime
680: Cardenas Charcoal Grill
679: 73 Bar
678: Tachinomiya
677: Here Scenes
676: Bois Vert
675: Izayoi
674: The Oak Door
673: Ichido
672: The Full Monty
671: Tableaux Lounge
670: Legends
669: The Morrigan’s
668: Manpachi
667: Zipangu
666: Hare no sora no shita
665: Franziskaner Kamiyacho
664: European Beer House Cheers
663: Thunderbolt
662: Kaguwa
661: Ubcra
660: The Sad Café
659: Hijouguchi
658: Bar+dcb
657: Chano-ma Yokohama
656: Standing Lounge O
655: Saizou
654: Plate of Pie.Pop
653: Xen
652: Tower Café
651: Bottle Café
650: Tsuzuri
649: The Garuda
648: Asia de Cushion
647: Udagawa Cafe
646: Esogie
645: Yuuki-ya
644: Spain Bar Tapeo
643: Standing Bar S
642: Twenty Eight
641: Jazz Pub Michaux
640: Pub Cardinal Marunouchi
639: Shanghai Bar
638: Issui
637: Café California
636: Nakata.net Café
635: Bisty’s
634: German Beer & Wine Stein Haus
633: Dining Bar Jade
632: Bar Den Inmu
631: Waterline
630: Robutaya
629: Absolut Icebar Tokyo
628: Rock Factory
627: Jicoo
626: No Borders
625: Buri
624: Albatross G
623: Museum Café and Bar
622: Unice
621: MTV Café Studio
620: Ginza Kamadogami
619: Coopers Marunouchi
618: Eats and Meets Cay
617: Sanen Buta Zo
616: Café Java
614-615: Pandoras
613: Shichimencho Café
612: Antwerp Central
611: Stair
610: Xbox 360 Lounge
609: Tsubakido
608: Gallery éf
607: Takara
606: Sin City
605: Curtain Call
604: Franziskaner Nihonbashi
603: Oceans Café
602: DonQ Marunouchi
601: Chez Aburiya
600: Roppongi Finger
599: R gath
598: Munch-ya
597: Athlete Café S
596: Champagne Garden Lotus x Montoak
595: Veranda
594: Picador
593: Roundabout
592: Limapuluh
591: Jyu
590: The Peak lounge
589: The Rose & Crown
588: Za
587: Hills Café and Bar
586: Den Rokuen-tei
585: Hakobune
584: Trinity
583: Mako Lounge
582: Agoo
581: American Bar
580: Spuma
579: Café Baraka
578: Sakanatei
577: Akaoni
576: Bora Bora
575: German Farm Grill
574: Bar 2000
573: La Scala
572: Le Dragon Bleu
571: Belgo
570: Bane Bagus
569: Mu-Mu Nishi Shinjuku
568: Rubber Soul
567: Kamakura
566: Soul Sonic Boogie
565: Beep Forest
564: Re’cue
563: Triple Twenty
561-562: Bull
560: Kamikaze House
559: D-ray Grill & Bar
558: Nagoya Modern Bar
557: Lounge 21
556: Donzoko
555: Oasis
554: Amanis Cafe
553: Ratia
552: Quons
551: Tools
550: Kewl
549: Sononi
548: Darbre’s Bar
547: Nakamura Keita
546: Orblight Café
545: The Zen
544: Breeze of Tokyo
543: Lo-d
542: Mask
541: Obi Supper Lounge
540: Lounge
539: Insomnia Lounge Ginza
538: Chaos Lounge
537: Cantina La Fiesta
536: Juntak
535: 3mm
534: The Maple Leaf
533: Table
532: Mu-Mu
531: Zaru
530: Bon
529: Bubble3
528: Cozmo's Café and Bar
527: Jam Jam Drag on the Market
526: Espore
525: Usagiya
524: See Bar
523: Silva
522: Enyen
521: Favori
520: Rose Demode
519: Faro
518: Café Life
517: Piper’s Lounge
516: Bar Swanky
515: M Bar
514: Bar Bourbon Street
513: The Lobby
512: Vodka Bar
511: Posso Fumare?
509/10: Snodeck
508: Bandol
507: Celeb
506: Tenement
505: Clubhouse
504: House+
503: Pierrot 2
502: Azool
501: Lee Scorpion
500: Neo

Issues 499-
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by BEAU MILLER

Sakanatei
Sake is the name of the game at this homey Shibuya pub

Photos BY Jorge Larrañaga

The pristine white lotus flower thrives in the dark and murky environs of a swamp. This image entered our minds upon stepping into Sakanatei, a quiet izakaya in the heart of Shibuya’s sullied Dogenzaka district.

With the nihonshu-brewing season coming to a close, we heeded the recommendation of Metropolis Sake Man John Gauntner, along with his veritable bible on the drink and all things related, and decided to learn a little about Japan’s national brew in the off-season.

Some in our group were meeting for the first time, so after a few introductions we started getting to know the menu. The kanji-filled matrix of sake options, however, necessitated a couple of the two sampler sets (¥900). Soon we were looking down at a half-dozen varieties of junmaishu, which, so says The Sake Handbook, means that no additional alcohol has been added during the brewing process.

After an hour of taste testing, the Nanakamba had endured the longest of the smattering of glasses on the table, transforming from bitter to better as our evening progressed. First to go, with its sweet, fruity aftertaste, was the Yukisuzume. Overall, the Kamikokoro, from one of the many famed breweries of Okayama, was perhaps the easiest going down. After (again) consulting TSH, we learned the Fukunishiki, hailing from Hyogo Prefecture, is best when paired with food, and we dutifully obliged.

Photos BY Jorge Larrañaga

The requisite bowls of edamame (¥400) were fresh, but the real treat came in the form of the warm rice balls (¥250 each), which were made just-the-way-Mom-used-to.

Forging on with our studies, we ordered up the dangerous-sounding Senchu-hassaku (¥600), with its neon orange label touting it cho-karakuchi. It was probably a good decision that this was our one heated option of the night. After the plates were cleaned, someone ordered up the crown jewel of the evening, an emerald green bottle of Suzune “champagne sake” (¥1,500).

With a good amount of sake and down-home bar fare now settling in our stomachs, we took to musing about the eccentricities of the small bar: the Beatles belting out “I am the Walrus” while the dimly lit wood-themed interior was assaulted by the sounds and fluorescent glow from beyond the window panes.

The highlight of the experience was the staff, three nice folks who had the dish on sake down pat and made us feel at ease, perhaps even transported back to simpler times. Our dining mates that evening included three couples spanning the generations—perhaps a few of whom remember Shibuya from its more humble days. Therein lies the beauty of Sakanatei: The city-dwellers who wander through the door can escape all that is modern about Tokyo, keeping the Japan of ages past alive, one sip at a time.


4F Koike Bldg, 2-23-15 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3780-1313. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight. Nearest stn: Shibuya, Hachiko exit.


 

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