Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fireking Cafe, Yoyogi

Arrrrr, the King of Fire. No idea what this has to do with fire and kings, but a comprehensive walk around Yoyogi Uehara has led me to believe that this is the coolest place going. I want to say this is like being in hip parts of Brooklyn, only I've never been there.

Somehow I felt bad just snapping off pictures of the bar, so I took this from outside. Dig the retro storefront - wood framing, paned windows. It's right under the rail tracks, but a lot of things in this neighborhood are close or under the tracks. It's not as intrusive as the comparable places in, say, Yurakucho. The whole back of the bar is taken up by that wall of plates and cups, all in light green glass. Not Vaseline glass, which I'm also fond of, but a milky light green that must surely have a name to those who collect it. They don't seem to use the glassware for the food, but I saw coffee come in the mugs. I wouldn't use my vintage glassware collection for restaurant service either (if I had one). Of course, going somewhere for the glassware reminds me instantly of the B Bar in Roppongi, whose sole attraction is the ability to drink out of Baccarat glasses (and I strongly recommend avoiding it).

Outside the bar area, it's still quite stylish - leather banquettes faced by chrome-framed, overstuffed leather chairs. The connecting doorways are mainly done with arched tops, and when combined with the 2 or three palm trees brightening the corners it gives you a subtle North Africa feel (not that I've been there). The walls are covered with huge photographs, a rotating exhibit that's currently very pleasant long-exposure pictures of Tokyo (e.g., something taken from around the east veranda of Sensoji, looking into the courtyard toward the incense burner and shops, where you could see many ghosty people due to the long exposure.). The waiters were all adjudged to be very good looking - dress shirts, skinny ties, facial hair.

No attempt made to pretty up this picture; that's what the lighting was like, so you can't see the pale green color resulting from the elegant mixing of coconut, pineapple, Midori and rum. A very well-made drink; if the bartenders are this careful, the food must be pretty good too, but I'm not the one to tell you what's wrong or what's right on that score. Interestingly, it appears to be Southeast Asia-themed, with a lot of Indonesian elements (and chicken caesar salad).
Livin' for givin' the devil his due...

Well, I'm a knob - just realized that the dishes are in fact...Fireking. Duh. It's like Pyrex, discontinued in the 70's.

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