The eponymous bar of Gen Yamamoto is not a bar in the way you might be thinking. It’s an eight-seater, utterly minimalist space – there’s no art on the walls, no colour, just a beautiful, deeply dark slab of oak, which serves as the bar counter. And behind it, the man himself.
The drinks Gen Yamamoto crafts are seasonal, sensational, and seriously well made. There’s no “menu” as such. You don’t rock up here and order a martini, dirty or otherwise. Or watch him present a twist on a Manhattan. No, you sit back and let him know whether you want the tasting menu of four or six drinks. And then just wait for the magic to happen.
The drinks will be bespoke, made while you wait, and petite in size. This is quality, not quantity, which is why you can relax into the tasting menus without worrying about over-indulging. Instead, you can enjoy each mouthful – letting the parade of flavours dance across your tongue. One minute there might be a drink starring Japanese yam, with a delicate dark chocolatey snowfall adorning the top. The next, Hokkaido grapes. Or Dassai 50 jungmai daiginjo sake. With the emphasis on seasonality and craft, each drink is a revelation, and all the drinks come together to create a perfect whole. Much like the bar itself, they’re small, but perfectly formed.