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
by Alex Vega
A roof terrace in the heart of Shibuya is a find for summer
|Photos courtesy of Den
Two surprises greeted us at Den Rokuen-tei, located on the
eighth floor of the Parco Part 1 department store. First,
it had a huge terrace overlooking downtown Shibuya. Second,
the terrace was completely empty. Strange, because when we
had made a reservation, we were told would have to sit at
the counter. Although it was a warm evening, the concerned
staff said, it was getting cloudy and it might rain.
We decided to take the risk, and were led by our enthusiastic
waiter (fluent in English) through the smooth, dark-wood interior
outside onto the terrace, dotted with plants, to a table beside
a decorative pool. Peering through the safety fence we could
see the bustling streets eight floors below, while the huge
neon Parco sign loomed overhead. To the right of our table
was a fully lit Christmas tree. By order of Parco management,
said our slightly embarrassed waiter.
After some much-needed Friday-night beers (Malts, ¥683)
we perused the extensive drink menu, which is in English and
covers all the baseswine, cocktails, shochu, etc. The
length of the wine list is impressive, but wanting only a
glass we were forced to go for the crisp house white wine.
On asking for its origin, the staff (in every other way superb)
could give us little more information than France.
As for cocktails, most were simple mixers, such as Amaretto
and ginger ale (¥830).
Anything lacking in the drinks department was more than compensated
for by the creative food, including sasami chicken and avocado
spring rolls (¥977), shreds of sweet potato in a delicate
gorgonzola sauce (¥819), and pork grilled with Saikyo
miso (¥1,200). So, is Den Rokuen-tei a bar or a restaurant?
Like many Japanese eat-and-drinkeries, its hard to tell.
Does it matter? Not one iota.
By now we had been joined on the terrace by several other
groups bravely defying the weather forecast. We agreed it
would be a good location for a private party. The terrace
is for hire, we were told, and parties are included in Den
Rokuen-teis philosophy of the six meanings
of en (the Rokuen part): garden, party, circle
(representing unity), charm, connection and performance.
In that case, we would judge Den Rokuen-tei on its own criteria:
beautiful garden, perfect for parties, uniformly charming
waiters, and we definitely made a connection with them and
their bar-or-restaurant. Performance? Well, five out of six
aint bad. And with that, the heavens opened. We grabbed
our drinks and ran for cover; the rainy season had arrived.
8F Parco Part 1, 15-1 Udagawacho,
Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6415-5489. Open 11am-midnight. Nearest
stn: Shibuya. www.denstyle.com
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