Exactly a year ago, on November 30th, 2019, we opened our doors as the UK’s first independent Japanese sake bar, shop and eatery in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. Which makes today our one year anniversary!
Moto was born out of a desire to introduce more people to authentic Japanese beverage drinking culture. That is what motivated us to source sake, beers, and spirits direct from artisan producers from throughout Japan. We wanted to showcase the plethora of aromas, flavours, and food pairing options available within this expansive world of craft beverages. All while championing our hero producers who pour their hearts and souls into brewing and distilling pure works of art.
Thus, education is and will always remain at the heart of what we do. Don’t get us wrong – we are all about letting loose and having a good time! Yet given our belief that knowledge truly is power, we have been striving to break down the barriers of entry into the exciting world of sake by demystifying products which at first, may seem foreign to a Western audience. Yet with a little bit of context, you will discover are simply amazing products made by amazing humans! Or at least, this is what we hope you have found when tuning in to one of our social media posts, enrolling in one of our Moto Sake School courses or when chatting to a member of our team when visiting us at Moto.
Speaking of food pairings, we originally started off with a handful of homemade Japanese nibbles. A minimal yet authentic Japanese tapas menu, if you will. Since then, our menu has grown further to include a selection of Japanese obento boxes, which have thankfully turned out to be crowd favourites. It makes sense, considering how they are flavourful, nutritious, and gluten-free (just like our sake)!
We would not be portraying authentic Japanese beverage drinking culture in its entirety without shedding light on its world-renown cocktail scene! That is why we pride ourselves in our seasonally changing and ever-so-unique cocktail menu. Each and every cocktail has had a story to tell… which Moto cocktail has been your favourite thus far?
Throughout the course of the year, we were ecstatic whenever we received recognition from many notable press names such as Timeout, Hot Dinners, Design My Night, The Resident, and Food and Travelled, to name a few.
But more importantly, it was the tight-knit relationships we built with our guests along with the bond we built with our Moto team that make us believe that it has been a successful first year. Sure – launching our bar a few short months before a global pandemic hit was less than ideal. Having to close our doors TWICE, for two lockdowns, was brutal. We have definitely had our fair share of lows during our inaugural year!
With that being said, there were definitely more highs than lows. And if there is anything we learned from this tough yet fruitful year, it is the importance of health and happiness. As we venture onwards, we sincerely hope to be the destination where you can come together with loved ones to celebrate all that is good in the world – over good drinks, food and company.
With the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the reopening of our doors this Wednesday, the 2nd of December, we very much look forward to making another year’s worth of memories (sans lockdowns, we hope)!
All in all, we cannot believe how far we have come in the past 12 months and want to thank each and every one of you for your support. We would not be here without you!
Here is a huge kanpai from the entire Moto family, to hopefully many more sake-filled years to come!