This is one of the most relaxing spaces I’ve ever had a drink at. There’s something soothing about aquariums, and the Den Aqua Room is full of them. It’s almost like going to the Aquarium, but with booze, food and no children around.
We arrived on a Thursday night and even though the place was about 3/4 full, there was surprisingly little noise. In part this is because the tables are not cramped together like many Tokyo restaurants do, but also because most groups seemed to be whispering into each others’ ears (and so did we after a while).
Our meal started with a yuzu mojito (900 yen) that inexplicably had not mint in it, but tasted good nonetheless and an American lemonade (850 yen), which was a mix of lemon juice and red wine; stay clear from this unless you enjoy an overdose of tart.
On the food side, we tried the Tuna tartare (980 yen), a crab salad (900 yen), a salmon gratin (950 yen), a tomato/octopus risotto (1200 yen) and fried ragu (800 yen). Though it might seem a lot for a party of two, be warned that the portions are very small. In most cases, I was able to polish half of the serving in one bite. Having said that, the little bites you do get are very flavourful. I particularly liked the fried ragu, which was tender fork beef in a deep fried casing served with pear sauce...succulent and awesome! The salad was the lowest point of the meal, and I wouldn’t bother paying so much for what seemed 1/4 of a can of crab together with random green leaves. Likewise, stay clear from the desserts unless you want an uninspiring concoction like the one we received in the form of a soulless chocolate cake with ice cream on top and wrapped in philo pastry (700 yen).
Returning to drinks, we continued our night with a Kamikaze (900 yen; vodka, lime and cointreau), a Kir Royal (1200 yen; sparkling wine and cassis), an Italian ice tea (800 yen; uloncha with amaretto) and a pina colada (1000 yen). The bartenders are very professional, and all the drinks were good, if a little bit slow to execute.
The main aquarium has four tables for two right in front of it; imagine you were watching TV really close and that’s how they look. It goes without saying that they are popular and you might need to book weeks in advance to get one of them. At the counter you can also request a table by the aquarium, which is smaller, but no less interesting.
Be warned that the bill can pile up quickly, especially since it will take a lot of food to put together a meal. Furthermore, we were surprised to find out at the end a 700 yen seating charge that we were not aware of and didn’t see anywhere explained.
This is a place to keep for special occasions. The experience adds up to something not easy to forget so make sure you book in advance to enjoy a soothing and relaxing space.