Enter through the bullet-sprayed roller doors and emerge into Bang Bang, an izakaya emulating the gritty alleyways of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. Tucked in to Darling Square’s Steam Mill Lane, Bang Bang invites you in with an open kitchen where you can grab a stool at the yatai stand, escape into a hidden tatami room or drink enough and you might find yourself in the glass karaoke box, belting out a few tunes.
“We’ve woven traditional elements like the yatai stand, which is where for decades locals in Tokyo have pulled up a stool to devour a bowl of hot ramen, through to the modern-day karaoke box, which is very much Tokyo right now,” highlights head of operations, Ayako Sugimura.
Head chef Kokubo Yuji’s casual lunch menu is an array of Japanese favourites. Think omelettes, udon, curries, signature donburi and “The Bang Bang Tebasaki”, a tower of double fried chicken wings doused in a peppery soy glaze.
After lunch, the menu is filled out with everything you’ve come to expect from an izakaya including: gyoza, robata, sushi and sashimi, tempura and salads along with a selection of doria gratins, noodles and rice.
To complement the flair being offered in the kitchen, Bang Bang has curated a list of Japanese and international whiskies that are available alongside sake, local craft beers and their trademark Bang Bang lager. To really get a feel for Japanese back alley roijura drinking culture, try shochu and whisky cocktails like the citrcus bombard which is a seasonal citrus juiced inside its own skin and infused with shochu.
“In food and drink, old-school teriyaki chicken sits alongside the more modern carbonara udon. The team had a lot of fun immersing themselves in the street culture of Tokyo’s vibrant alleyways in order to bring that to life here at Bang Bang,” explains Sugimura.
The visage of the 85-seater emulates the details of Tokyo’s alleyways with vintage neon shopfront signs, Japanese vending machines and plenty of intelligently designed seating arrangements and experiences. Combining traditional and modern fare might seem like a collision, but Bang Bang aims at offering guests Japanese vibrancy no matter which Tokyo they seek.
14 Steam Mill Lane
11.30am-10.30pm Mon - Sun