Let’s Eat - - WHAT'S INSIDE -

The first thing you have to know about Kam­pai is that it’s ac­ces­si­ble via a semi-hid­den stair­case; there still wasn’t a sign on the frosted glass door last time I was there, so you’ll have to be alert, and spot it in be­tween the air con­di­tioned area of Tam­bai and the queue out­side Wan­tu­sawa. Find the door and take the stairs to what used to be two sec­ond floor apart­ment units, merged into a di­choto­mous party space with a Ja­panese Steam­punk vibe. There are two drink­ing ar­eas, two sep­a­rate bars, and even two re­strooms, but ev­ery­thing is per­me­able; the crowd moves and sways as one as the mu­sic and the con­ver­sa­tions get louder as the night out­side gets darker.

The sec­ond thing you have to know about Tam­bai is that two of the most es­teemed and most ex­pe­ri­enced bar­tenders in the coun­try are be­hind the coun­ters: Lee Wat­son of ABV and Vanessa Rabadon, back home af­ter a stint at the Luna Bar in Shang­hai. They each have their sig­na­ture mixes: Lee’s, the “Kam­pai Gim­let” with Hen­drick’s, matcha syrup, cala­mansi, and nori strips. Van­nie has the “Cu­cum­ber Wasabi Martini” which has a Bom­bay Gin base, cu­cum­ber syrup, topped with a wasabi foam and gar­nished with black sesame. The wasabi doesn’t over­power the cock­tail, but in­stead, teases with an sly samu­rai’s threat. The ge­nius of this cock­tail? You’ll ac­tu­ally want to chase the sub­tle wasabi fla­vor, so go ahead, and order an­other. And hap­pily shout to the crowd chant­ing be­hind you, “Kam­pai!!!”

03 1 Cu­cum­ber Wasabi Martini 2 Stair­case 3 Bar­tender Lee Wat­son



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