Bar TRAUMA 恵比寿 (Ebisu)

Ebisu, Tokyo

Filtering by Tag: grimm

Press: TOKYO HIP BAR [Review]

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↑ 日本語

↓ English Translation

A Taste of the Brothers’ Grimm.

Authentic bars are all well and good, but where do you go if you fancy a taste of something different? Something a little darker? Cocktails thought up when, for instance, a bartender from the east meets a bartender from the west...?

Take two very different people, have them cross paths and something new will surely come of it. Such was the case when a Japanese bartender, born in the Year of the Tiger (tora-doshi), met an English bartender, born in the Year of the Horse (uma-doshi): together, they’ve opened a bar with a difference in Ebisu.

Named after combining the pair’s respective zodiac signs (tora-uma), it is no coincidence that Bar TRAUMA 寅午’s name becomes an English word of shadowy meaning. Step past its cordoned-off smoking room in the foyer and through its gothic arched door, and you’ll be greeted by a stage-like interior, dark and flanked on all sides by red velvet curtains; a twilight zone in which you can either unwind or be tempted to plot your next wicked design. 

You’ll be in need of fuel for your ruminating, and Bar Trauma 寅午 offers eight original cocktails that wouldn’t be amiss nestled amongst the pages of Grimms’ dark fantasies. One, the ‘Strega Cauldron’, is a treat from the witches of old, a mysterious potion concocted in the depths of the forest. Another, the ‘Panacea’, is an elixir blending the healing properties of quinine and honey.

Inspirations don’t stop there, however, as the invigorating ‘Lily White’ blends Marilyn Manson’s own brand of absinthe with Old Tom Gin. A famous Jim Jarmusch film even lends its name to the ‘Coffee & Cigarettes’, for those who like shots of more than just espresso.

In keeping with the red velvet of the curtains, however, I opted for the ‘Anemia’, a vampiric bloodshot of a drink. It’s a mix of cranberry, grenadine and egg white, with a measure of iron-heavy sea buckthorn juice thrown in. To garnish, yukari (Japanese red perilla) is sprinkled on top in the striking shape of a platelet. Very much close to blood in appearance, the sourness of the sea buckthorn marries the sweetness of the grenadine and the softness of the aerated egg white.You will certainly feel like a vampire getting a hit of bloody energy when drinking this cocktail.

“Being a bartender means to be constantly reflecting on your own skills and where or how next to improve,” explains Bar Trauma 寅午‘s Master Bartender, Yusuke Ouchi. “With that in mind, I wanted to open this bar with a partner whose background is completely different to my own.”

That partner stands by his side (above), the English-born Tom Bradnam.

Indeed, the Orient and the Occident differ in a great many ways, from their styles of bartending to their customer service, but these two gentlemen represent a balance of the two in their own right: Yusuke worked a long time bartending in Australia; Tom has created a life for himself in Japan. What unites them is not only their love of bar culture, but how well they both successfully blend different cultures into one.

By all means, come and experience their worldview for yourself, a touch of the out-of-the-ordinary close to home, where dark stories become great cocktails. You’ll be sure to enjoy it.


Mon. - Sat. 19:00 - 5:00
Sun. 18:00 – 1:00