66. Montoak – Tokyo, Japan

Cocktail – Cucumber Saketini
cucumber infused sake, gin, orange Curacao

Date Visited – April 2018

Look for a glass building and where possible take someone fluent in Japanese to accompany you.

Nestled within the shopping haven of Shibuya is this three storey cafe/restaurant/bar. I climbed the stairs to find the floor which most closely resembled the latter. However, during a busy Sunday afternoon the whole venue is mostly cafe, especially when a bento brunch is being served. The food part of my order was simple, the cocktail far more challenging. I knew it was very much a long shot that they would still be infusing cucumber into the sake, but I thought I would do the best with the resources at hand, which unfortunately didn’t even include a cucumber, or an English speaking waiter! Thankfully though I had a screenshot from the book on my phone and he had Google on his.

The waiter departed to liaise with the bartender and promptly returned to confirm that a Sake Martini aka “Saketini” was possible, but without the cucumber infusion or a cucumber slice. Forget “Bring Your Own Cocktail”, the #BYOC in this instance stands for “Bring Your Own Cucumber”. With the traditional Japanese culture of Omotenashi (fulfilling the guest’s needs), my waiter was most likely more upset about the lack of cucumber than I was. This particular guest was grateful from the moment she found out the venue was still open for business and additionally grateful for all his help in trying to provide her with the correct cocktail.

It was a shame that with the language barrier I couldn’t explain to him my reason for visiting, but I left my card when I settled the bill, and I left the venue with a warm feeling inside, thanks to both the sake and the accompanying Omotenashi and Ichigo Ichie for this “one time, one meeting”.

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