16 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4TL , United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 287 9111
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Fri noon-midnight, Sat 12:30pm-3:30pm & 5pm-midnight, Sun 1:30pm-3:30pm & 5pm-10:30pm
Door: Open door
Style: Cocktail bar
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Images By: diffordsguide.com
A Japanese specialist whisky bar hidden below restaurant Bincho Yakitori, the bar's presence is not exactly a secret, but it can only be reached by walking through the restaurant to stairs at the rear. It is named for the Japanese whisky highball serve which is theatrically and slowly diluted over several minutes over hand-cracked, crystal clear chunks of ice, and which appears at the top of the drinks list (£9.50). It is accompanied by a varied range of whisky cocktails that articulate delicate flavours through three- and four-ingredient serves, made expertly by knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Incorrectly billed as a dive bar, it's actually a rather refined, candlelit space, with Japanese adornments and ornaments around the place and some rather fancy whiskies from Suntory, Nikka, Ichiro and Karuizawa, the country's smallest distillery, ranging from £8.50 to £24 a shot. Still water, decanted in former Hibiki whisky bottles, contains strips of charcoal to create a softer mouthfeel and better complement whisky if you take it straight. A range of skewers cooked on the open fire charcoal upstairs are a tasty accompaniment.