Moto Arrives in Covent Garden

Moto will serve artisan beverages direct from Japan’s best and most exciting craft producers, in the heart of London’s Covent Garden

This October, Covent Garden is set to welcome an amazing and unique new Japanese-inspired drinking spot. Moto will open to the public in late October and, alongside serving a range of independent craft sakes and Japanese spirits sourced direct from breweries, will embark on a journey to educate the British public about this time-honoured industry.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from midday, Moto will house 25 covers with additional seating at the bar. The name ‘Moto’ is derived from the name for the fermentation starter, crucial in the initial stages of the brewing of sake, and in most Japanese people’s view without Moto, there would be no sake.

The founders of Moto spent years researching the category before embarking on a series of trips to Japan’s finest independent and hard-to-reach sake breweries in their quest to create a completely unique and balanced menu. The finished article includes bottles of rare sake, shochu, and a variety of other Japanese craft spirits, with something available for every taste.

The food menu at Moto has been built around the drinks offering and contemporary snacks will be available to accompany the different drinks, changing seasonally as new flavour pairings are discovered by the team. As well as the expected Japanese fare, the food menu will incorporate flavours from the West, to demonstrate how to pair different flavours with different sakes. Functioning as a retail space as well as a bar, guests will be invited to purchase and take-away any of the beverages on offer. Each bottle purchased will be accompanied by a tasting card with suggestions for food pairings, serving temperatures, and more, to ensure an elevated experience whether a purchase is enjoyed at Moto or at home.

With choices of sake ranging from light and aromatic to rich and savoury there’s sure to be a sake for those in the know as well as first timers who want to explore the category. For customers who are unfamiliar with the category, Moto will be offering sake tasting flights which are a great place for learning about the different aromas and flavours in this diverse world. At all times, knowledgeable and passionate staff will be on hand to give anyone who wants it a sake 101 which, also, is handily on the Moto website for studious guests to read about before visiting.

Owners and founders of Moto Brandon Chin and Erika Haigh commented: “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.”

Ben Freeman, Leasing Agent at Shelley Sandzer added: “An upmarket, desirable location was on the agenda for Moto’s UK debut, and using our understanding of the London dining scene, we were able to secure a fitting site in Covent Garden for this unique brand. Maiden Lane represents the ideal spot for Moto to bring their bar and retail concept to the UK for the first time, where we fully expect Londoners to drink, buy, and learn more about the intricacies of saké.”

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