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Shanghai’s Shochu Spot

May 05, 2014

Mokkos Lamu

When one thinks of Japan and alcohol, almost the first thing that springs to mind is sake, but the Japanese actually consider a lesser known liquor to be their national tipple – shochu. The typically clear spirit is made from raw produce such as barley, rice, sweet potatoes, or buckwheat, and in myriad styles depending on how many times and where it’s been distilled (with mold, in aged wood, etc). Hardly surprising then that Kanoko Murakami and Kyushu-born husband Kuma decided to launch a bar devoted to their beloved national grog when they moved to Shanghai...

Formerly known as simply Mokkos, the owners of this popular little watering hole recently handed over the reins to a Tibetan friend, who has rechristened the venue Mokkos Lamu (Lamu being her name) while they upped sticks to a second branch on Jinling Dong Lu (Mokkos Jiao). The original is lined with shelves of indecipherable bottles including Junmasei kuma-shochu, Bikkiri, and Syu Excellence, but for beginners, the staff always recommend one of the shochu-based cocktails (with soda water, orange/lemon/grapefruit juice, and sugar). To accompany, pick a small bowl of edamame and soak up the atmosphere bar-side, where if you’re lucky you’ll catch one of Lamu’s impromptu singing renditions, or grab a tatami mat in a private room. Arrive early!

1245 Wuding Xi Lu / +86 21 6212 1114 / 7pm-2am daily / cash only