Qwang has been serving up quality cocktails and mouth-watering Thai food in its cosy Roppongi basement since 2000. Don’t let the address fool you – the bar is a world away from the more touristy spots the area is known for. In a part of the city often dominated by restaurants, shops and clubs as ephemeral as they are expensive, Qwang’s more casual vibe and straightforward service are a breath of fresh air.
The key to the bar’s longevity is its husband-and-wife owners, Yasuhiro and Junko Hasegawa. The duo have created the perfect space to show off their talents: Yasuhiro with drinks and Junko with food. A veteran of several Thai restaurants in the city, Junko serves up an impressive array of dishes on a menu that changes weekly. These are more than simple bar snacks, too. Expect classics like green curry (¥1,540) and an excellent pad thai alongside unorthodox options like Thai-style okonomiyaki (¥1,650). Not looking for a full meal? Grab some shrimp crackers (¥770) or a slice of homemade almond cake (¥660) instead.
Behind the bar, Yasuhiro offers an equally intriguing list of cocktails. Drinks range from 19th-century highballs like the Mamie Taylor to the bar’s own concoctions such as the Gingerbread Manhattan (both ¥1,760). There’s a definite tropical slant to the menu – we love the piña coladas and daiquiris – which compliments the Southeast Asian food perfectly. Keep an eye out for the specials board to find the more experimental stuff, or just opt for some beer or wine. For an old-school cocktail bar, there’s a surprisingly long list of low- and no-alcohol options, too.
The inclusive menu points to what really sets Qwang apart: outstanding hospitality. From the moment you walk in, you’re made to feel like a regular. Whether you’re sitting at the polished wooden bar or one of the small tables, Yasuhiro and Junko will take the time to make you comfortable. The friendly atmosphere makes this feel like a neighbourhood hangout – one that you’d never imagine existed in this ritzy part of town.