This April, cocktail lounge and bar Maison Ikkoku has made a come-back after a quick hiatus, to unveil a brand new look – complete with swankier design and more spacious venue (having switched location to level two.) The revamped bar now features lush greenery, with vines winding their way around the venue, and a brand new drinks menu, sure to pack a punch or chill you out according to the occasion.
First published on . Updated on 17 Apr 2013.
Taking its name from a 1980s Japanese romcom, you won’t be surprised to find this bijou rooftop suited to starry-eyed lovers on a date. It’s the latest outlet for the fertile imagination of Ethan Leslie Leong, formerly of Drink Culture and nearby Bar Stories – and clearly, this isn’t your average Beach Road dive. Soft jazz and Gallic chanson (think Edith Piaf) float over lush greenery from the building's second level. Highly personal service fits the amour-laden ambience – staff will guide you through the swish menu with a touch perfectly pitched between knowledgeable and good-humoured, never condescending. The MI Long Island Ice Tea ($28) comes with a choice of tea leaf, and while initially tasting too sweet – even tame – a few sips reveal how the Earl Grey and lemon temper the vodka and gin’s harshness. Regular cocktail slurpers might balk at the prices (although they absorb GST), but there’s certainly no stinting on measures: the Blood Orange Caipirinha ($20), a super-moreish scarlet fireball, comes amply filled and has a lingering spicy-fruity kick. Small but perfectly formed, Maison Ikkoku’s divine hideaway brings new sophistication to our rooftop drinking scene. Not even bad weather could dampen our spirits: should it rain, an indoor refuge, with its dimply grey wraparound couch, offers shelter from the storm. Jonathan Evans