Shochu Lounge

Bars and pubs Fitzrovia
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 2 out of 5 stars
(3 user reviews)
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 (© Jonathan Perugia)
© Jonathan Perugia
 (© Alys Tomlinson)
© Alys Tomlinson
 (© Alys Tomlinson)
© Alys Tomlinson
 (© Jonathan Perugia)
© Jonathan Perugia

Beneath landmark Japanese Roka, this buzzing, chic bar specialises in drinks built around the vodka-like spirit from which it takes its name.

The decor is right out there – some of London’s wackiest murals adorn the walls – but the abundance of lovely dark wood and the low lighting give a total visual effect that’s not just soothing but subtly seductive. And the seating reinforces it, with lots of places where two people can settle in and feel they’re in their own little nook. One wall is lined with big demijohn-like tanks of shochu, the traditional Japanese spirit, which takes centre stage – it comes flavoured with interesting additions like plum or sweet potato and forms the basis of many of the fine cocktails. There’s nowhere else like this in London.  

Venue name: Shochu Lounge
Address: Basement, Roka
Cross street: 37 Charlotte Street
Opening hours: Open 5.30pm-midnight Mon-Sat; 5.30-11pm Sun. Food served 5.30-11.30pm Mon-Sat; 5.30-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road tube
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Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
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  • 1 star:1
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Staff WriterStaff Comp

Always great for a pre or post dinner cocktail. Last night we had a fab meal at Roka followed by a G&T in Shochu Lounge. I love the ice block that they cut for your cocktails, good atmosphere and ideal for a date night


Not the greatest service at this bar, it’s not very big and rammed in the evenings. The staff are somewhat moody and not very approachable, the music was super loud and when we popped in, the DJ was primarily playing dance/trance music which I’m not particularly partial to when just out for a drink. Probably wouldn’t go back for drinks but still need to eat at ROKA, so will definitely go back for that, stay tuned!


I like drinking shochu, but it's hard to find in the UK. A bottle which is typically a couple of pounds in Japan can go for as much as thirty pounds in an asian supermarket. I've been to this bar and the upstairs restaurant a few times. Roka, the restaraunt is nothing special and hideously overpriced. The Shochu lounge is quite atmospheric and if you just want a couple of plates of yakitori and a beer, it's overpriced but bearable. However, I went there last night just to have a glass of shochu. When I asked for this the waitress said "Which flavour?" Now the drink shochu is made from either barley, sweet potato or rice, each with its own distinct flavour. My surprise came when the waitress said "Rasberry or jasmine?" Er, just straight on the rocks please, I asked...To which the waitress said "We just have rasberry and jasmine." followed by "Shochu doesn't have any taste so you have to flavour it." My companion went for the jasmine, at £7 a glass! Tasted horrid. This is like going into a wine bar and being offered 'banana or avocado' wine as 'wine has no taste.' I mean, of course you can mix it, but why not be able to just drink it straight? Snooty staff who don't know what they're on about, and a bar called shochu that doesn't sell it. Decor's quite nice, but otherwise pretty naff all round.