Tucked away underneath Roka Charlotte Street, the Shochu Lounge showcases the very best of Japanese spirits and cocktails in a sultry subterranean drinking den. Like the restaurant above, Shochu Lounge is an easy walk from nearby Goodge Street station, or Tottenham Court Road station.
This is certainly one of the most striking bars in London, with eyes immediately drawn to a cherry tree that sprawls over the top of the tables and chairs, carpeting the ceiling with pink blossom. The design aesthetic is very different to upstairs as well - simple, sturdy tables are built from polished dark timber, whilst the dark red upholstery and low lighting gives Shochu Lounge a moody after-hours vibe.
As you might guess from the name, shochu sits at the heart of the drinks menu. Shochu remains one of Japan’s most popular spirits - it is a distilled spirit made often from rice or barley, but it can be made from all sorts of other ingredients, including sweet potato, chestnuts and buckwheat. Shochu Lounge serves its own shochu made from barley, alongside a list of other Japanese producers. Typically around 25% alcohol by volume, shochu sits in between spirits like vodka and whisky, and drinks like wine and sake, making it suitable for drinking neat over ice, or in cocktails. Shochu Lounge offers both, and the range of shochus available covers a huge array of different flavour profiles. Meanwhile, the cocktail list includes drinks such as the Negroni San, made with buckwheat shochu, campari, vermouth and cedar wood.
Shochu Lounge also offers bar snacks to go with your drinks, including spicy edamame, Wagyu sushi with oscietra caviar, tiger prawn tempura and spicy beef and padron pepper skewers.