After 15 years, chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s eponymous high-end restaurant in Aoyama needs no introduction or further plaudits, and nor does his innovative, superlative cuisine. But there was always one area that needed addressing: the lack of a bar inside his compact premises.

Consider that handled. Just a couple of minutes stroll away, Bees Bar by Narisawa — the name is a nod to the restaurant’s logo — is ideal as a place to limber up with aperitifs or close out an extended meal with a few postprandials. But it’s just as worthy of an evening detour in itself.

Opened in early April, it occupies an impressive and spacious basement that is decorated with powerful images of forest, ocean and mountains taken around Japan by Brazilian photographer Sergio Coimbra to illustrate Narisawa’s Satoyama project to promote sustainability in Japan.

As well as superior cocktails and spirits — look for the gin infused with Gifu Prefecture forest botanicals — there’s also a substantial food menu, ranging from simple dishes of oyster or charcuterie to stews and platters of excellent dry-aged wagyu grilled over firewood.

If you’re in need of greater sustenance, look no further than the beef bowl, curry, or hashed rice. This is far from the cuisine served in Narisawa’s restaurant, but the attention to quality is every bit as rigorous.

Closed Mon. (also Sun. in May & June); cocktails from ¥1,600; dishes from ¥600; English menu; English spoken

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.