Jazz & Blues
Star Bar Ginza
May 11, 2018
When you descend the narrow wooden staircase into the dimly lit Star Bar in Tokyo’s Ginza district, you will immediately be struck by the attentive service and holistic experience on offer. The ambience in this bar in Tokyo is on the quiet side, and while the bartenders’ proper dress suggests formality, the welcoming atmosphere and gentle murmur of conversation create a space that is both relaxed and intimate. Meanwhile, the curved brown leather sofas and Victorian-style ceilings and wallpaper suggest a nostalgia for a slower time.
Once you have been led to your seat, you are likely to receive a hot hand towel and an amuse-bouche while you settle in. In the Japanese tradition, there is no menu, so a bartender will ask what you like and take it from there. This Tokyo bar’s speciality lies in rare Japanese whisky so request a cocktail built from a whisky base to receive something extra special. The knowledgeable bar staff will suggest and create bespoke potions according to your tastes. The attention to detail and precision cocktail making hail from the bar’s owner, Hisashi Kishi, award-winning bartender extraordinaire.
The meticulousness of these cocktail masters is exemplified by the bar’s insistence on serving drinks with their so-called ninja ice, a cube that is so glossy and clear that you cannot see it in the glass, and so slow melting that it does not dilute your drink. For concoctions so precisely mixed and brewed you will inevitably pay a premium, so attend with an open mind for appreciating potions and cocktail craftsmanship to get the best value for money.