Every corner you turn in Tokyo, every neighborhood you walk through, has izakaya, dining bars, restaurants and cafes that serve all kinds of regional Japanese cuisine, and flavors from all over the world. You’ll find some familiar eateries from back home, but you’ll also find locally-owned specialty shops run by foreign residents. Rangitoto, just a short walk from Ochanomizu Station, is a casual and friendly wine bar where the Kiwi proprietor and his staff curate a great selection of quality New Zealand wines and craft sake.
Wayne Shennen, a New Zealander and long time resident of Tokyo, brings his expertise as a certified sake specialist and sommelier to his specialty wine bar. Wayne has hands-on experience working in sake breweries all over Japan, and shared his knowledge in an e-book, Demystifying Sake. Wayne has gained a lot of recognition for his experience and diligence. He was named second runner up for New Zealand Sommelier of the Year, and is the first Kiwi to be awarded as Advanced Certified in sake.
He shares this knowledge with his customers, asking about their preferences and choosing sake to suit, and also providing a window onto new tastes with his recommendations. There is always a story behind the sake, and Wayne and his staff can fill you in while you sample and savor high quality products from breweries in Japan and from abroad. Rangitoto also offers New Zealand wine classes to provide a more in-depth exploration of the regions, vintners, and flavors of the wines on offer.
The selection of 100 New Zealand wines and a number of beers and liqueurs mean there is something that suits every palate. If you’d prefer something non-alcoholic, Rangitoto can pour you a cup of Allpress Coffee, a brand well known to Australians and New Zealanders, served with the same care and attention as their wines and sake. Kiwi-style coffee favorites – long black, flat white, and piccolo – are available for dine in or takeout.
To accompany your drink, Rangitoto has an imaginative menu of main dishes, such as his partner Makie’s Bolognese spaghetti, shiso spaghetti, and New Zealand lamb with wasabi mashed potato and drizzled with the house’s special ume sauce. For lighter fare, try Naprese with eggplant, shiso, pesto and mozzarella, or truffle grilled edamame.
Rangitoto Tokyo is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to closing (Saturday from 2 p.m.), which makes it a great place for an afternoon respite from walking around the Ochanomizu area or a nice evening out after a busy day.