Omotesando: Wine bar
Zoogunzoo (Omotesando: Wine bar)
Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
decor: Notable decor

There's nothing wrong with drinking wine in a cave, especially one as stylish and comfortable as this. The interior here is a Tokyo-exotic mix of baked-mud walls, heavy wooden furniture, and organic-looking extra-terrestrial lighting fixtures like something from the set of "Alien".

The background music runs from African roots to acid jazz, occasionally punctuated by the sound of crickets off in the distance. If you want an even cozier setting, you can reserve the tiny private room tucked away in the back.

Candles and pinpoint spotlights are strategically arranged to allow you to read the wine list, which is definitely worth studying - there are around 100 different wines, from all parts of Australia and New Zealand, organized by varietal. Most are available by the glass, although for some of the more expensive bottles there's a two-glass minimum. If you're not sure exactly what you want, the smart and helpful staff are ready to give you advice once you tell them your budget range. (Bottles start at Y3000-5000, and glasses are usually 25% of the bottle price.)

The food menu plays a supporting role to the wines, with fairly straightforward dishes like lamb chops, grilled fish and pastas. We recently enjoyed a fascinating avocado and marscapone spread with garlic toast, woodsy sauteed eringe mushrooms, and a lightly dressed carpaccio of tai (sea bream). Late at night there are cheese and other snacks. (The bar is often open past 2am.)

Seating is limited, so it's a good idea to call ahead. The wine list, food menu (Japanese only), and floorplan can be inspected on their website (http://www.unitedf.com/zoogunzoo/). They even explain the bar's name (they claim it's a mythical African fish).

by Robb Satterwhite
Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 2-9-11, Aoyama City Bldg. B1F.
東京都渋谷区渋谷2-9-11 青山シティビルB1F
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended