Arata caused quite a stir when it opened in Roppongi Hills in July last year. The setting—swish contemporary decor and a terrace that looks straight out onto Mohri Garden—was impressive enough, but it was surpassed by the food menu, which offered a radical fusion of two Japanese staples. On the one side, there’s a kushiyaki counter, serving up skewers of yakitori and other treats from just ¥230 per piece; on the other, there’s a robata charcoal grill, offering succulent wagyu beef, seasonal fish and vegetables. Nothing beats having your meal cooked before your eyes—especially when it tastes this good.
Arata’s menu doesn’t stop there, mind you. Tapas-style dishes run from a wallet-friendly ¥300, although you’ll probably find yourself tempted by the selection of sushi rolls (all ¥650). Everything is made from carefully sourced ingredients: the seafood is purchased directly from fisheries, while the vegetables come courtesy of specially contracted farms, meaning that only the best produce makes it to your plate.
Anybody who’s strayed to Roppongi Hills in the wee hours of the morning recently might have noticed that the area is turning into a buzzing nightspot, and Arata is right at the center of the action. As of this month, the restaurant is now open until 5am every day Monday-Saturday (and Sunday, if the following day is a national holiday). If you’ve been caught late at the office or missed your last train home, it provides a healthier alternative to a night of boozing—although if it’s alcohol you’re after, they’ve got plenty of that too, including a range of ¥2,500 bottled wine, nihonshu and shochu, and some devilishly good original cocktails.
B2F Hillside, Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3478-5881. Open Mon-Sat & day before hols 11am-5am (food L.O. 4am, drinks L.O. 4:30am), Sun 11am-11pm (food L.O. 10:30pm). Nearest stn: Roppongi or Azabu-Juban. www.a-ra-ta.com