In Tokyo, where the majority of restaurants and bars merely offer generic red and white wine by the glass or bottle, discovering Arossa put my troubled palate at ease. A small but cozy wine bar that overlooks a glistening Ginza from its eighth story setting, Arossa boasts a phenomenal wine selection, with over 150 different labels on the menu. With a New Zealand flag adorning the entrance and a stuffed-toy kiwi bird taking pride of place on the bar, it is no surprise to learn that all but a select few wines available at Arossa come from New Zealand.
I was rapt to immediately spy one of my favorite drops, a Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc, sitting on the bar. But after perusing the wine list and noting its price tag of ¥7,800, my dining partner and I stuck to those wines available by the glass. For between ¥840 and ¥1,260 per glass, we could choose from a sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay, merlot, pinot and cabernet sauvignon, all from a range of vineyards. We were thrilled to finally be in a regular Tokyo restaurant and have some distinction between the reds and whites!
Although the English translation of the menu made the food on order sound boring, in reality this was a far cry from the truth. We ordered an avocado salad (so good we ordered it again), pasta in olive oil, and a vegetable salad to share, as our main focus was the wine. Mains including steaks, fish and chicken are also available. The avocado turned out to be mixed with zucchini and soaked in balsamic vinegar and olive oil—so delicious. The vegetable salad was a colorful minifeast of roasted veggies and greens. Along with the pasta, the simplicity of these dishes complemented our wines perfectly.
All up, our meal and drinks (three glasses each) came to just under ¥9,500. Drinking by the bottle is also an option, but could prove expensive, with most bottles going for between ¥3,700 and ¥37,800. Yet Arossa does have the good stuff on hand, including some of the best: a bottle of Penfolds Grange shiraz will set you back ¥73,500. Check, please!Open daily for lunch (11am–3:30pm)
and dinner (6pm–11pm) 8F, 2-4-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku
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