R2 Supper Club
Revamped Venue Brings New Light to Tokyo's Dining Scene
Every expat community needs their own sacred place — that home away from home that never fails to impress. The recently revamped R2 is exactly that kind of place.
I had known of R2 Supper Club long before I actually made my first visit there. Since its opening in 2011, this elegant international lounge has served as a key hub for the Tokyo expat community scouring Roppongi’s streets in search of a sophisticated dining experience in a rather unsophisticated area of the city. I had heard many admiring its New York-style ambiance and its wide variety of drinks and bites. I had also seen gorgeously dressed patrons enter the lounge, like something out The Great Gatsby.
So when I was recently invited to visit R2, I was nervous — scared that I wouldn’t fit in at such a slick venue and worried that my off-the-rack black dress might not be in keeping with the sartorial tastes of the regulars. But my visit to R2 was an eye-opening experience: not only did it add a new location to my list of top restaurants and bars in the capital, but it also broke all the former stereotypes I had held of the place.
But my visit to R2 was an eye-opening experience: not only did it add a new location to my list of top restaurants and bars in the capital, but it also broke all the former stereotypes I had held of the place.
Boasting a staff from across the globe, R2 is a small world unto itself, one where you can feel welcome as soon as you step in. On my recent visit I was greeted warmly by the restaurant’s manager, who guided me to my seat while we casually chatted about the weather and my work; the crazy busy hours we all fall prey to and some upcoming events at the bar — as if we had known each other for years.
I sat in the lounge’s newly introduced private area — an elegantly designed sofa accompanied with private seats replacing the formerly rather simple open-dining area — and ordered a Fresh Kiwi Martini (¥1,600), followed by the venue’s signature Valrhona Chocolate Martini (¥1,600), which I was told I shouldn’t leave without tasting. Without going into detail, I will tell you that the drinks’ signature price was worth it and that I wished I knew the mixologist’s secret so I could make these myself — every night.
Officially reopened in September, the dining lounge carefully preserves its original class and style, while introducing a more casual atmosphere perfect for a casual drink after work or even a solo dining experience — including a happy hour that runs between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. when select drinks are offered at half price. The entirely revamped menu also has a full-course “After Work Free Flow” (¥4,500) option that includes unlimited beer, wine and tapas. R2 is now a viable destination for those who long for a quiet, elegant venue away from Roppongi’s busy nighttime craziness.
An inviting atmosphere that makes you feel at home, yet incredibly special under its soft spotlight.
It’s an inviting atmosphere that makes you feel at home, yet incredibly special under its soft spotlight. And it should be. The second creation of ECN Holdings, the company behind Aoyama’s Two Rooms as well as Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse & Bar, this restaurant aims to treat its customers like family. The trio that founded the place have long worked together at some of Tokyo’s most prestigious diners: Matthew, the Chef Director, is behind crafting the cuisine; Nathan, the Managing Director, makes sure you’re treated to the highest standard; and Eddie, also Managing Director, assures that you get the best drinks in the house — mixed from an 18-page menu of the world’s classiest booze!
The lounge’s new menu features a long list of internationally-inspired cuisine, each carefully crafted by chef Matthew to work on your five senses of dining pleasure accompanied with top class cocktails. Starters range from natural oysters (¥600) to fancy nibbles (a Grey Goose vodka yuzu kosho Bloody Mary oyster shot, anyone?), 18-month cured Jamón serrano (Spanish thin-sliced ham, ¥1,150) and sizzling garlic shrimp (¥1,200) — the list is long and creative. The wagyu sirloin steak, offered with a choice of wasabi butter, shishito (small green pepper) chili and lemon (¥1,800), however, is a personal recommendation. It’s served straight from the grill and is the perfect choice for any true carnivore. Finish with the chef’s own baked-to-order cheesecake (¥950) to your culinary adventure — just the right amount of sweetness needed to cap your culinary adventure.
As I sat in the lounge sipping another martini to a soundtrack of live cabaret jazz from the 1930s and ’40s fused with some new electronic jazz and soulful funk, I found myself transported momentarily to a world of luxury and splendor. Eccentric and sophisticated, yet down-to-earth and inviting, the current incarnation of R2 supper club felt refreshing and uplifting.
Eccentric and sophisticated, yet down-to-earth and inviting, the current incarnation of R2 supper club felt refreshing and uplifting.
A well-attired crowd steadily grew after 9 p.m., and I lingered for quite some time, enjoying the lavish surroundings and feeling fabulous in my own skin for the first time in a while.
And yes — that off-brand, little black dress I wore did just fine.
R2 Supper Club
Address: 1F Centrum Roppongi Building, 7-14-23, Roppongi, Minato-ku
Business Hours: 4 pm – 4am (Sun: 2am)
An elegant and stylish restaurant and lounge bar based in Tokyo's Roppongi, serving a higher-end drinks, food and wicked tunes spun by high calibre DJs.