Japanese-style bar Moto to open in Covent Garden

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Moto, a new Japanese-inspired bar and retail space, is preparing to open in London’s Covent Garden.

The 25-cover bar will serve a range of independent craft sakes and Japanese spirits sourced direct from breweries, which can be enjoyed alongside a contemporary Japanese food and snacks offering.

To create the concept, the venue’s founders spent years researching the category before embarking on a series of trips to Japan’s finest independent and hard-to-reach sake breweries. Moto’s name itself is derived from the name for the fermentation starter, crucial in the initial stages of the brewing of sake.

A selection of established and lesser-known sake varieties, ranging from light and aromatic to rich and savoury, will be on offer, while for customers who are unfamiliar with the category, Moto will provide educational sake tasting flights.

The food menu at Moto has been built around the drinks offering. As well as the expected Japanese fare, it will incorporate flavours from the West to demonstrate how to pair different flavours with different sakes.

As well as the bar, Moto will also house a retail space, where guests can buy and take away any of the drinks on offer. Each bottle purchased will be accompanied by a tasting card with suggestions for food pairings, serving temperatures and more.

Moto’s owners and founders Brandon Chin and Erika Haigh said: “This concept is so incredibly exciting for us. We’ve been on a long road of research and development of not only our menu but our knowledge behind Japan and the drinking culture there.

“We feel we’ve created a menu like no other in London and that other Japanese-inspired bars will have to work hard to match our sake and spirits.

“We love this historic and diverse industry and we’re really excited to bring it into the mainstream, educating our customers as much as possible through classes and tasting cards.”

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