A drop of Malbec from down south

May 9, 2008

A drop of Malbec from down south

Despite being the fifth largest producer of wine in the world, when it comes to quality wines, Argentina has long been in the shadow of neighboring Chile, where spicy Shirazes and surprising Chardonnays have consistently outshone anything from the other side of the Andes. ...

Authentic Argentine in Azabu

May 9, 2008

Authentic Argentine in Azabu

Nestled in the backstreets of Higashi-Azabu is El Caminito — which means the little path — a bar-cum-restaurant that serves authentic Argentine food. Owner Keizo Asai was formerly the chef at the Japanese Embassy in Argentina. During his time in the country, Asai managed ...

A manga drunk on French wine

Apr 11, 2008

A manga drunk on French wine

Hearing a 2001 Mont-Perat described as “just like a rock concert by Queen” is enough to make any self-respecting Frenchman expel a snort of derision from his finely-tuned nostrils. But the enormous impact the wine manga “Kami no Shizuku (The Drops of the Gods)” ...

A purrfect place for fanciers of felines

| Mar 16, 2008

A purrfect place for fanciers of felines

The 20th of this month marks the first anniversary of Cat Cafe Calico’s opening to the public. The cafe’s 34-year-old owner Takafumi Fukui, having managed to hit on a revolutionary yet simple idea at just the right time, has good reason to celebrate. His ...

Noriko Tujiko: not merely sweet, cute and aggressive

Mar 14, 2008

Noriko Tujiko: not merely sweet, cute and aggressive

N oriko Tujiko meets me in Shibuya wearing a multicolored outfit of clashing greens and reds. On her feet are velvet slippers. The Paris-based singer and electronic musician is not one to make choices based on others’ opinion of her, and this kind of ...

A guide to how to wine 'n' dine

Mar 14, 2008

A guide to how to wine 'n' dine

Taking your own bottle to a dinner party is a tricky business. Dashing to a convenience store for some plonk that’s below ¥1,000 might save cash, but it won’t save your blushes if the stuff acts like paint-stripper on the palate, ruining the meal ...

'Streetfighter IV' leads the coin-op charge

| Feb 20, 2008

'Streetfighter IV' leads the coin-op charge

Making their debut on the arcade-entertainment scene at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe exhibition venue on Saturday were Crimson Viper, a redhead with a predilection for cross-dressing and ultraviolence, and Abel, a Teutonic blond whose rippling physique seemed to bear the hallmarks of some serious steroid ...

Savor the sensation of being a 'princess'

| Jan 20, 2008

Savor the sensation of being a 'princess'

My handsome butler, resplendent in his smart black waistcoat and bow tie, greets me at the door. “Hello princess,” he softly intones as he manfully leads me to a rose-strewn alcove. Romantic music swells and I sit down and thumb through the menu, feeling ...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Dec 21, 2007

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Don’t expect any seasonal cheer from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. For almost a decade, the Los Angeles-based three-piece’s dark brand of bluesy garage rock has been burning a trail across the music scene. The demons that fuel the band’s successes are the same ones ...

Absolving their sins

Jan 5, 2007

Absolving their sins

Following in the footsteps of the U.K. band Oasis, Kasabian — from Leicester, England — have set themselves up as working class heroes. Making as much noise off-stage as on, they have delighted press and fans by slagging off the competition (Brighton’s The Kooks ...