Izakaya Sensu+Chotto Matte
posted by Stephanie in Indulgences
We walked up a inclined narrow Tokyo street, void of any commerce. In the distance, red lanterns swayed invitingly from side to side and smoked puffed out the front doors every time they were opened. It looked like the head of a friendly dragon, waggling, luring you to come in. The place was warm, crowded and pleasantly busy, with businessmen sitting on bars, smoking their cigarettes, tie knots loosened after a long day. They were either huddled together chatting and laughing oblivious to the number of glasses of whiskey and soda that were constantly being emptied and refilled or alone by the bar, languidly winding down, enjoying their sake sip by sip.
Either way they were all nibbling, deftly picking at small plates with their chopsticks and continuous stream of dishes being passed then emptied, then passed again. This was my first real “izakaya” experience. At first I was a little confused by the pace, then I realized it was a lot like the concept of Spanish “tapas”. You drink, you nibble, you drink some more, and you nibble some more. Rather than ordering one or two large dishes, everyone orders a little bit of everything in a haphazard manner. It doesn’t matter, you’re enjoying so you’ll just go with the flow.
Recently opened Izakaya Sensu + Chotto Matte have the same driving principles behind it but with a fresh twist. They don’t try to emulate the ambience of these traditional Japanese izakayas with faux pastiche décor, but more channel the energy and the vibe into a younger and more contemporary concept. This is a signature of the Raintree Group – never content to simply emulate but always trying to innovate and create something unique. Add that driving principle to their signature well mixed cocktails and rocking DJ nights – this is a great stop to start your weekend right.
Above all, come if you’re looking to have a good time because these guys know exactly how to do it. Remember M Café Thursdays and the great beats of Rocket Room? It seems like Friday night at Chotto Matte is the new place to be. Great music, whiskey cocktails, sushi and a smashing chocolate cake? Get ready to be saying – Kampai! – all night long.
Love and Light, Stephanie
Izakaya Sensu+Chotto Matte: G/F Net Park Building, 28th Street corner 5th Avenue BGC; 02-2820442
Here are some of my favorites:
They pride themselves in super fresh fish for sashimi and sushi sourced from markets early in the morning.
Love, love, love their sesame crusted chicken karaage. Pair it with a really refreshing grapefruit and whiskey soda.
Their chocolate Miso Cake is absolutely to die for. Like a more savory, umami rich salted caramel chocolate cake.
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.