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Thursday, March 28, 2013

The amazing Ahiru Store in Tokyo

Happy sausage drinking Foillard "Cote de Py"
Getting ready to eat, standing at one of the 3 wine barrels in the tiny restaurant
Pork rillette
Avocado and octopus salad
Hues of cloudy yellow
Spinach quiche
Pork sausage
Onion and cumin flatbread
Squid and squid ink stew
Seaweed and potato croquettes
Lamb sausage, daikon and cous cous
Chicken, potatoes and beef tomtao

Pistachio ice cream, caramel tart and something with prunes that was delicious
Owner outside Ahiru Store
Friendly sign
Natural wine wall of fame with messages from Pacelet, Pfifferling, Dard et al.
Friendly light/sweet/heavy/dry taste compass
The 2 chefs working behind the bar
LOCATION: Ahiru Store, 1-19-4 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
CATEGORY: Japanese, French, Wine bar, natural wine 
DRINK: Lots of wine, including:
Whites and sparkling:
La Grapperie "La Bueilloise" petillant naturel (2011)
Domaine du Moulin "La Bodice" Cheverny (2009)
Jean-Pierre Robinot "Fetembulles" L'ange Vin Chenin Blanc (2010)
Julien Courtois "Originel White Blend"(?)
Jerome Jouret "Sueurs Froides" grenache (2009)
Christain Venier "La Pierre Aux Chiens" Cheverny Pinot Noir (2011)
Bois Moisset "Cuvée Marguerite" (?)
Domaine Les Bois Lucas "Cuvée Kuniko 2nd" Touraine Gamay (2007)
Philippe Bornard "La Chamade" Arbois Pupillin Ploussard (2011)
Jean Foililard "Cōte de Py" Morgon Gamay (2011)
Bénédicte and Stéphane Tissot "Vieilles Vignes" Poulsard (2011)
WE THINK: We love this place so much that we went twice on our last visit to Tokyo and it didn't feel like nearly enough. Now, all we want is for Ahiru Store to exist in New York and it's killing us that it doesn't. The restaurant/wine bar, which is located on a tiny side street in the Tomigaya section of Shibuya, is microscopic and focuses on serving a small but well curated list of natural wines and a selection of dishes to go with the wine--more like hyper-elevated bar snacks. Such as the sausages (both pork and lamb) and marinated daikon that explode in your mouth with flavour, the ridiculously tasty rillettes and home-baked savoury breads and the wonderful salad of tender octopus with avocado. The bar is the only place to sit in the restaurant, with 8 stools that overlook the tiny kitchen where 2 chefs cook up magic--the type of kitchen that makes you embarrassed for ever complaining about the size of your kitchen at home. Next to the bar, in a cramped hallway too narrow for health and safety approval in most other cities, are 3 wine barrels on top of which food and wine are also served to standing guests. We spent many hours, happily huddled around a barrel on our first visit, and were lucky to get some seats at the bar on our second visit where we befriended one of Japan's most legendary actors and his film director daughter. This is an underground hipster magnet, but Japanese style--more happy, measured and unpretentious. Most of the wines are served by the glass so it's possible to taste a lot of different wines. So awesome.


  1. This place looks interesting! I will be making a trip to Tokyo in January and will like to give that place a try. May I know how much is the price range?

    1. Hi Michelle
      I'm jealous!!
      I don't remember exactly, but it's not bad at all. Food is fairly inexpensive and the wine comes in all price ranges. It's a very casual place, run by young wine nerds, so it's not a fancy affair. I hope you'll get to to there.


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