Bunny Cafe Yokohama – 3/12/15
Although I had swung through Yokohama on a few day trips over the years, I never really spent a great deal of time in the city until late last year when I took a night or two to explore. During my stay, I decided to swing into the TRA-Kyoto affiliated Bunny Cafe and see what a night on the town could be like in this quiet little city.
Situated around 15-20 minutes walk from the centre of town, and relatively close to a freeway overpass which serves as a good landmark, the cafe was fairly easy to find on-foot. I didn’t really know what to expect when I set off at 10pm that night though … I hadn’t really heard much about the place other than what was mentioned in a SpeedHunters article. Still, when I arrived and saw that things were still open, I knew I was going to have a good evening.
Inside the bar things were mostly pretty typical of a small cocktail bar. Intimate lighting, good conversation, friendly people and just a really cool vibe. But it was also hard to look past the obvious automotive focus the place had. From the compressor turbine on the shelf behind the bar, to the projector playing (and I’m not kidding) Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
A glance at the drinks menu revealed more of the same. The entire original cocktail list was named after cars or engines. By the time I actually noticed the cocktails I was already one beer in, but decided to have a crack at finishing every cocktail on the menu in one evening. I knew deep down that this was going to make for a really rough night, but …. I figured if I could do it, it’d be worth the story.
So instead of this just being a small post about a cool little cafe I went to one time, this just became a drink review based on the completely and utterly unreadable notes I made myself when I got back to the hotel. In other words, please take the following with a grain of salt.
Every drink at the Bunny Cafe had its own unique personality and character, each highball really capturing the essence of it’s namesake. As much as it would have made sense to, I didn’t work down the list, but rather just hit drinks as I felt like it, stumbling through the menu like a drunken Australian trying to walk 20-minutes home after drinking a complete cocktail menu.
I began with the ‘2JZ-3L-6’. Having no Idea of what I just ordered, I was happy to see a typical margarita glass being poured for me behind the counter. What I wasn’t anticipating was the light green/aqua coloured cocktail being poured. Carrying a distinct chock-mint flavour, the ‘2JZ-3L-6’ proved itself to be a bit of a party. With a bright, colourful spirit, which still packed a punch.
Moving through the menu, the next I tried was the ‘Skyline GTR’, shortly followed by the ‘Silvia’. Both of these drinks were served in Schooner sized glasses, both of which made me instantly reconsider the plan. But I was already well over $30 into drinks, so the plan continued. Both of these drinks were really tough, hearty cocktails. The ‘Skyline GTR’ carried a bitter flavour, whilst the ‘Silvia’ was dry and spicy with plenty of ginger.
From there, I jumped straight to the ‘Supra’ which I found to be a refreshing, simple, traditional Martini. All class, nothing more. After which I tried the ’86’. For some reason I anticipated that the ‘Supra’ would carry a similar flavour to the ’86’, much in the same way that the ‘Skyline GTR’ and the ‘Silvia’ carried the same essence. Nope. Lychee cocktail in a margarita glass. Nice drink, but really nothing behind it. No oooomph. Which … I guess really does encapsulate the ’86’ doesn’t it.
Finally, I finished with a ‘Fairlady Z’. To be honest, this was the nicest way I could have ended the night. The ‘Fairlady Z’ reminded me of a similar drink we have locally in Brisbane known as a ‘Clockwork Orange’. Just a really nice, slightly fruity, bitter highball. Although I’m lead to believe that the Bunny Cafe also makes an awesome burger, I didn’t really each much that I can tell you about during the evening. That said, I was offered a few traditional, steamed radish snacks from the guys, which were just amazing.
And with that, I staggered out of the Bunny Cafe. But not before snapping a few photos (yes, all of these photos were taken whilst completely tanked with a manually focused lens at F1.4) and grabbing some shirts and stickers from the merch table in the entrance. The guys inside were pretty much convinced I needed a taxi home, but after making a joke about ‘being Australian’, all was understood and I was free to toddle away with some amazing memories of a great night in Yokohama.
Check it out if you have a chance