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GINZA SIX EDITORS

ファッション、ジュエリー&ウォッチ、ライフスタイル、ビューティ、フード…
各ジャンルに精通する個性豊かなエディターたちが、GINZA SIXをぶらぶらと
歩いて見つけた楽しみ方を綴ります。

GINZA SIX Group Barhop: Looking Back on the First Meet-and-Wander with Mackey Makimoto

GINZA SIX

GINZA SIX Editors

The GINZA SIX EDITORS series has appeared on the official GINZA SIX website since September 2017. Our conception was to set various editors, bringing expert knowledge in fields ranging from fashion to beauty to food to art, wandering about GINZA SIX in a manner recalling the traditional Ginza stroll. Based on their respective perspectives, they would pass on their thoughts and observations in ways intended to spur the imagination of those visiting GINZA SIX.

This was the goal when the project got underway. The 23rd editor to make an appearance is the eminent Mackey Makimoto, a foodie highly respected among food writers and self-proclaimed Tabearukist (walk-and-eat tourist), who says he eats out 600 times a year.

“Say a group of people working in Ginza dropped by GINZA SIX to barhop and eat and drink, with each person spending around 10,000 yen. Wouldn’t that be fun?”

Mackey’s idea is that one can barhop at and enjoy GINZA SIX on just 10,000yen and that GINZA SIX isn’t just about luxury stores. It’s perfectly OK to wander and eat at places where you feel comfortable, this idea proclaims, not just at Michelin-starred establishments or popular restaurants where food lovers fight for reservations.

This introduction has gone on for longer than intended. In any case, Mackey’s idea is taken for a spin, so to speak, in a witty essay with the plainspoken title “Barhopping at GINZA SIX.” If you have yet to read it, I encourage you to visit the GINZA SIX website to check it out.

What we came up with next, based on the above, was the first Meet-and-Wander GINZA SIX Barhop: The Dreamy Edition. Ten readers of GINZA SIX EDITORS who met the double requirement of enjoying food and drink and being perfectly capable of holding their liquor were chosen to go around and barhop with Mackey himself. (On a humorous note, “Dreamy” was Mackey’s idea.)

The stage for this first memorable meeting to be was the second belowground floor, the Food Floor. It’s the pride of GINZA SIX and an area where almost all eateries are first-time establishments or established names presented in novel formats.

We begin at 10FACTORY, which offers juices, jellies, jams, and other products made from mikan oranges harvested in Ehime Prefecture. 10FACTORY seeks to promote Ehime’s mikan industry to a new generation, especially through its vaunted Mikan Beer. “Cheers!” we all say, as everyone introduces themselves.

The next stop is Imadeya, a liquor store with a choice selection of Japanese sake and wines. At a stand-and-drink bar in one corner of the store, one of Mackey’s favorite places, you can casually order Japanese sake and wine by the glass. “I drink sake with dinner every night, 365 days a year,” says renowned store manager Shohei Okawa. We enjoy two varieties of sake he carefully chooses to serve, along with a snack of dried firefly squid from Tsuriya, a preserved seafood brand from a fish wholesaler based in Himi, Toyama Prefecture.

At the Enoteca wine shop, our next stop, we enjoy our fill of 15 types of snacks from the stores and eateries on the second belowground floor, all scrupulously scoped out beforehand and selected by Mackey. We enjoy four varieties of wine carefully selected by Nobue Akasaka, Enoteca’s female sommelier. In place of dessert wine, we drink a sake-based lemon liqueur made with Ikuchishima lemons, Japan’s leading lemon by production volume. This liqueur is an original from Heisuiken, a gourmet grocer based in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, who gathers gourmet items from around Japan. All participants are truly in a dreamy state of mind by the time we leave.

To top off the evening, we take over the eat-in counter at PHILIPPE CONTICINI, the namesake of the man known by many as the world’s most innovative pastry chef. Everyone partakes of the Verinne Parfait—its blissful flavors previously extolled by Mackey in “Barhopping in GINZA SIX”—and the three-and-a-half-hour nonstop barhop comes to an end. None of the participants are, as the saying goes, visibly three sheets to the wind, and as you can see in the video, the outing is remarkably pleasant from beginning to end, enlivened by Mackey’s amusing anecdotes, drawn from his many years of experience and reportage.

For example…

“I do eat out 600 times a year, but there are other specialists out there as far as bread, ramen, and sweets go. They’re not in my wheelhouse. [laughter]”
(Mackey introducing himself at 10FACTORY)

“The vessel you drink from changes how sake tastes. Try trading with the person next to you and comparing.”
(To participants trying sake in different types of vessels at the bar inside Imadeya)

“Jingoro sells rice crackers in various unique flavors like cilantro and curry, but their cheddar cheese rice crackers, I’m told, require the most in the way of technique. That’s because, unlike the other ingredients, the cheese has to be kneaded rather than blended in. [When eating canapé with cream cheese on a black sesame rice cracker] You feel the full texture on your bottom teeth. Flip the canapé over and it tastes different!”
(On the snacks provided at Wine Shop Enoteca)

“Don’t mix anything. I want you to eat everything in the right order, starting from the top. This parfait unfolds like a symphony, from prelude to climax to coda.”
(On the parfait at PHILIPPE CONTICINI)

That’s the gist of it. Basically, when you’re eating and drinking with Mackey, the flavors combine with his charismatic presence to make everything twice as good. His desire to communicate how best to enjoy food and drink to those he happens to be with for this particular meal is in distinct contrast to the rather ordinary pursuit of gastronomy. Once again, we recall the reasons for valuing our daily gatherings with family, partners, friends, and colleagues.

Some people are just fun to eat and drink with. At the upcoming second Meet-and-Wander, we’ve added that participation requirement. We sincerely look forward to receiving your application!

Yuka Okada
Editorial planning for the GINZA SIX EDITORS

The menu for the first Meet-and-Wander can be found here.

Yuka Okada
Editor. Born in 1974. Graduated from Waseda University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences with a degree in literature. Interned in the editorial department of anan (Magazine House) while enrolled, then apprenticed under editor Jiro Ishikawa. Began freelancing in 2003. Her activities tend to transcend media and genre boundaries and include essays, online media and TV program direction, and project production with luxury brands and creators in various industries. She’s the editor of several recent books, including Work (Shueisha) and Learning from Science & Tech. Majors (Diamond), both of which are dialogues with Genki Kawamura. Currently serves as editor-in-chief of GINZA SIX magazine.