Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Aquatic Dreams in the City

Everyone knows about the calming properties of water and fish tanks.
Yet in a city partially surrounded by water, Tokyoites have little
interaction with either (excluding the sashimi and gallons of Evian
guzzled here each year, that is). There’s no reason you can’t, though.
Just a few blocks off the posh Aoyama-Dori, there exists an underground
oasis, in the truest sense.
Den Aquaroom is a gorgeous subterranean aquarium where tropical fish,
soft lighting and minimalist French-Asian cuisine make for a
sophisticated drinking evening.

On arriving, we are ushered in
off the street via a red carpet, past the matching velvet curtains and
down a flight of stairs, where slick leather sofas and plush velour
armchairs await. Alluring floor-to-ceiling fish tanks line the back
wall. The room is aglow with low-hanging modern chandeliers, suspended
from cream rafters. Nondescript ambient music pipes softly through the
speakers.
The diverse menu is as impressive as the door. The drink selection
alone runs to nearly 100 items, including beer, a wide selection of
cocktails and a vast wine list (mostly available only by the bottle).
Wine goes for �800 a glass, while beer ranges from ¥600-800. A
specialty is the seasonal fruit cocktails (¥900); our kiwi cocktail
comes exquisitely presented, dressed with a bright purple orchid.

While
sipping your beverage, it would be a shame not to sample something from
the menu. We choose steamed veggies with an anchovy dipping sauce
(¥980) along with some crunchy crostini and bread. Adventurous palates
might like duck and white liver sausage with spicy mustard (¥1100), or
even caramelized foie gras served with vanilla-flavored cappuccino
(¥2250). Both food and drink menus are available in English.

Beware
of two things, though. Firstly, a ¥1000 cover charge for each person ―
a little bit cheeky, really. Also, Den Aquaroom is a popular locale for
wedding receptions. This particular visit was my third attempt at
getting in on a Saturday night. Weekday evenings should be less
of a problem, but if you want to impress your friends or love interest
with this elegant nightspot, make sure to call ahead so your plan isn�t
thwarted at the red carpet.

Den Aquaroom

FIK Building B1
5-13-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku
(03) 5778-2090

18:00-2:00 Mon-Thu, 18:00-4:00 Fri/Sat, 18:00-23:00 Sun and Holidays

Take
exit B1 from Omotesando, walk 3 blocks along Aoyama Dori, cross and
turn left onto Kotto Dori, and walk 4 blocks. Look for the red carpet
and sign out front.