When his local source cut off his supply of jumbo hand-carved ice cubes -- the accessory no self-respecting Japanese single-malt whiskey ordered on the rocks could possibly do without -- Tei Tei Robata Bar general manager Takuya Hirano did the only sensible thing: "I checked on YouTube to see what Japanese bartenders do."
It was a year before he nailed the technique inspired by star Tokyo barman Hidetsugo Ueno. Now, wielding a Masamoto Yanagi Ba sushi knife, Hirano puts on his own mesmerizing show in Tei Tei's lounge, sculpting a crystal-clear hunk of glacier into a dazzling 18-facet ice diamond. A $3 upcharge is the ticket to having one melt (slowly!) in your very own glass of 18-year Yamazaki single-malt.