Katana Kitten

New York

Dive bars serving craft cocktails are nothing new, but Masahiro Urushido’s Katana Kitten takes the concept to the next level. Welcome to a Japanese dive bar serving some serious drinks. Walking into the space, one is surrounded by Japanese posters of 80s US blockbusters and the sounds of upbeat music. Behind the long bar, the hospitable staff broadly smile at each guest. Don’t be fooled by the jovial atmosphere – the team is fanatically serious about its craft. Its menu is divided between highballs, boilermakers and signature cocktails along with a healthy assortment of sake, beer and wine.

An impressive command of Japanese techniques and ingredients merge to produce familiar cocktails as you’ve never tasted them before. The Amaretto Sour starts with rye and amaretto, before salted plum, honey, lemon, egg white and yukari (dried red shisho leaves) make an appearance. The trademark Meguroni #2 features shochu, genever, aged umeshu, caffo red bitter and kinome. The kitchen raises the concept to another level. Karaage-style calamari is served with shrimp chips and a chilli lime dip while crinkle cut fries come topped with ao-nori and Japanese curry sauce, should you wish. Kanpai!