If the bar's name doesn’t tip you off to the theme, the wreaths on the wall will. The massive arrangement of plants in varying states of decay signal that Memento Mori is all about the window between life and decomposition. Shuzo Nagumo – a pioneering mixologist who previously opened bars in Tokyo specialising in shochu cocktails, tea cocktails, and culinary themed re-distillations – this time sets out to capture the essence of fruits, herbs, flowers and seeds just before they perish. He uses rose petals in a fizz, Peruvian huacatay with ice wine, and Brazilian jambu in a gimlet, but the plant that takes center stage is cacao. In his chocolate-coloured bar, he offers a choice of six single-origin cacao tonics or highballs, and uses every part of the seed, from pulp to bean and even the husk for original creations like the Amazon Cacao Flip and Cacao Vesper Martini.
The bar is located inside the multi-use Toranomon Hills Business Tower, which is also home to a craft distillery, and the two team up to create a cacao-nib gin that makes for a tasty Negroni. The all-day operation has hot chocolate and cafe mochas, both boozy and non, and ex-Pierre Hermé patissier Amelie Hidaka makes the chocolate terrines and Basque cheesecakes for the dessert-and-cocktail pairing course. And because every Shuzo Nagumo bar needs at least a little off-the-wall gastro-inspired fun, you’ll find cocktails featuring Bolognese, bagna cauda and food of the future: giant water bugs.