by Kelly Wetherille
Hidden amongst the side streets between Nishi Azabu and Hiroo is the Kimono Wine Bar, just opened in September. A charming, cozy little place with room for only about 20, the bar takes over the space that houses Notting Hill Cakes during daytime hours. Come evening, the bright lights are turned down, a thick red velvet curtain is drawn across the back wall, and the pictures on the walls are replaced by Art Deco paintings of women in kimono. Any sign of baked goods disappears, and were it not for the sign on the building outside, most people would probably never realize the dual identities of this chic little spot.
Owner Lauren Shannon has handpicked an impressive selection of New World wines, accompanied by small bites such as cheese, nuts, olives, and bruschetta. There is also a weekly dinner menu courtesy of Shannon’s catering company. On the day we visited one of the specials was black bean chili and corn bread, paired with a Villa Mt. Eden Vinfindel. The chili had just kick of spiciness, and the wine was just full-bodied enough to stand up to it. We followed this with a glass of Meditrina from Oregon state’s Sokol Blosser Winery. A blend of Zinfindel, Syrah and Pinot Noir, Meditrina is an organically-grown non-vintage wine, meaning it is pulled from all different years. It was a rich yet juicy red so easy to drink that we ordered a second glass.
Despite its name and extensive wine selection, Kimono also offers a wide range of craft beers (including Belgian and American varieties) and a full cocktail menu. There are even four original cocktails on the menu for those looking to try something new. Shannon is also planning a series of events over the coming months, and for groups of 15–25 the entire bar can be booked out for a private party, a perfect way to celebrate in style.
Kimono Wine Bar
4-18-20 Nishi Azabu,
Kimono Wine Bar