If ever you want to show off to an out-of-town friend, or a younger sibling, that you’ve got the low-down on the coolest underground hot spots – talking like that won’t help, but bringing them here would.
Let me set the scene; it’s early evening, it’s raining and if you don’t get a drink in the next 5 minutes you’re going to start throwing punches – or, at least that’s my average Thursday. Take a turn from Exchequer Street on to George’s Street and before long a door appears on your right. Atmospheric funk music and anime wall art draws you down below street level. Your eyes adjust – and you’ve arrived.
Izakaya is the dirty little secret of it’s better-known sushi sister Yamamori. Tucked away beneath George’s street (an also behind the Ormond Quay branch), surrounded by tea lights and vintage Asian movies, it’s exists in its own little bubble where time seems to stand still.
There’s all the usual cocktails up on chalkboard above the bar, Mai Tais and Mojitos and the like – but that’s not what you want, get your hands on the proper menu. This menu has been lovingly designed and tested and has some of the most beautiful drinks I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming (on many occasions).
In the mood for something sweet? Get yourself a Cherry Blossom (the last person I recommended this too is still talking about it). The Muddled Morning is a very berry haven. For guaranteed refreshment it’s the Basil Smash; gin, elderflower and fresh basil. So good, my own mother ordered a second round while I was in the bathroom. No matter what the occasion, first dates, date nights, girls night, work drinks, you name it.
For those in the mood for a beer, Boyfriend highly recommends Nipponia – a Japanese craft ale available on draft or by the bottle, ranging up to 8%. Hardcore whisky drinkers can enjoy an unique selection of whiskies from around the world. It’s somewhere you’d easily underestimate, but never ceases to surprise you. There’s something for everyone, and yet I guarantee it’s not like anywhere you’ve been before.