IN the old school izakayas of Osaka they wash down outlandish Japanese oddities such as fermented squid guts, fried testicles and co sperm with sweet potato-based imo schochu, twice the potency of sake.
Don’t build up your hopes for anything so challenging at Manchester’s upcoming ‘true taste of Tokyo after dark’ robata grill bar, MOSU, set to open this spring beneath the Barton Arcade in what was Be At One and before that The Circle Club (and for those with long memories Ganders Goes South jazz bar).
The £2 million MOSU concept (CGI image above) is apparently inspired by Japan’s backstreet izakaya bars, though at 70 covers it is bigger than many of those pub equivalents. Izakaya literally means ‘to visit a sake shop’ and the new venture promises a premium sake list. Its open kitchen will feature an open kitchen and robata grill where meat and seafood will be cooked over Japanese binchotan coal.
Inevitably sushi is also on the menu “using British seafood alongside daily imports from Tokyo's Toyosu market. That kind of carbon footprint seems at odds with our current concerns for the planet. Let’s hope the kitchen team do such supreme produce justice. The promised menu 'focuses on traditional Japanese elements fused with an elegant twist where refinement rules over invention’.
MOSU is the brainchild of Vincent Braine of The Milton Club, and Hassan Marius Kamara from Victoria Warehouse. Both were part of the team who set up NQ bar Dive four years ago. Expect a similar late night emphasis from their new bar/restaurant, albeit with a lot more glitz.