Tazu bar (Antwerp)

© Tazu

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An Antwerp antiques dealer, art collector, wabi-sabi-esque decorator, exhibition curator…. And then one fine day, Axel Vervoordst decided to take on cocktails! Down a 16th-century alley tucked away in the heart of the city, a secretive door leads insiders to Tazu’s den, a sublime mixo-maniac bar with timeworn walls, enigmatic volumes and intriguing objects. That’s where Julian Youssef (ex-Central Station in Beirut, probably one of the best mixologist clubs in the world) shakes up his sophisticated Japanese-inspired creations (€18): the Horio, named after the Japanese artist responsible for the artwork displayed on the walls, composed of sake, gin, yuzu and matcha, served in a simple coupe, or the umami-rich Spechless, made with tequila, porto, green Chartreuse, cucumber and oyster leaf… Sip them all peacefully with some (rather pricey) sushi or spirited small plates – tuna tataki with yuzu; wagyu with beetroot and black garlic purée; octopus with buttermilk mashed potatoes, paprika coulis and shiso oil; sake sabayon and matcha ice cream (tapas €15-20, plates €15-60). // Bobbi Rossi

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