Time Out says
Not shaken, not stirred, but swirled. Famed bartender Shingo Gokan’s latest venture is a particularly interesting one as it’s based around wine cocktails – hence the name Swrl. It references the movement one does to open up a wine’s aroma before tasting. More appropriately, it’s the unique approach the Swrl bartenders take in making drinks. The mixes, which always include a type of wine, are usually swirled, rather than shaken like a conventional cocktail, to preserve each component’s delicate nature.
It’s a unique concept and methodology, and it shows. The first thing that hits you is the nose of the cocktails – they are unusually fragrant and aromatic, making them more well-rounded and dimensional. On the menu, the drinks are divided into ‘Light Body’, ‘Medium Body’ and ‘Full Body’, with prices starting from an easy ¥1,210. They are all inspired by a destination, each championing a wine handpicked by Motohiro Ogoshi, the owner and sommelier of modern Japanese-Vietnamese restaurant An Di.
Athens is a refreshing mix of gin, cucumber, olive, tree sap and sauvignon blanc while London is a decadent concoction of gin, earl grey, orange and champagne. Samui, on the other hand, fuses rum, kaffir lime, chilli, coconut and chardonnay whereas Edinburgh uses the incredibly peaty Ardberg whisky together with raspberry, cacao and zinfandel. The interpretation of each destination as a cocktail is spot on.
For the most part in the evening, Swrl also operates as a restaurant, offering updated Latin American cuisine created by chef Fumio Yonezawa of popular Tokyo grill restaurant The Burn. You’ll find the classic tacos, carnitas and guacamole, but also bold and punchy flavours like grilled prawns with uni lime butter, roasted cauliflower, fried chicken, and spare ribs with Pedro Ximenez sherry, just to name a few. You could also opt for a six-course tasting menu at ¥6,050.
On Friday and Saturday, Swrl opens till late. The venue amps up its atmosphere with dim lights and up-tempo music after the kitchen closes and the bar takes over completely.
1-7-9 Jinnan, Shibuya
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 5pm-11pm (food last orders 10pm, drinks 10.30pm), Fri & Sat 5pm-3am (last orders 2.30am). Tasting menu last order 9pm|