31 January 2018 saw the official launch of Johannesburg’s first 100% bartender-owned craft bar. Devin Cross, Peter Good, Denzel Heath and Dom Walsh – 4 renowned bartenders with vast international experience in hospitality – are the brains behind one of the hottest new drink holes in Jozi.
With 120 seats, an outside rooftop deck, open air alley seating and a private lounge, Mootee Bar is a place of healing for the soul. The barmen set out to bend creative boundaries by challenging customers’ understanding of local food and drink culture. Through serving unique food and creative drinks that form a perspective that is described as an authentic, yet unconventional interpretation of modern Africa. “Africa as we know it and not Africa as the world interprets.”
The cocktail menu, that has taken 8 months to develop, is described as a sort of “Rorschach Test”. Each cocktail has a visual representation of taste, designed by artist Jared Hurwitz. The illustrations are designed to trigger an emotional response in the customer which leads the consumer to place their order. Unlike traditional cocktail menus, the recipes of the drinks are not displayed in the menu, and customers are enticed to explore the 12 cocktails through this unique visual interpretation technique. Each drink is inspired by a classic African tale.
Mootee Bar’s one of a kind cocktail laboratory, which is situated in the middle of the restaurant, is something one would expect to see in a later episode of Breaking Bad (sorry, we just had to go there). In brief, it contains a Rotary Evaporator Distiller, an Ultrasonic Prep, refrigerated Centrifuge and many other gadgets all used to produce Mootoo Bar’s creative concoctions. Expect to sample their milktart brandy, sparkling Umqombothi or the crystal clear brandy and coke.
Whilst the food and drinks are serious, the environment is relaxed and fun. With cocktails priced at R 85 each and a meal for 2 costing you around R 200 per couple, Mootee Bar aims to be accessible to all ages and income ranges. Their well-balanced wine list and vast selection of spirits further demonstrates the team’s dedication to providing a well-rounded product. It was Madiba who said: “It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world and with myself…” So, be sure to drop by for some good food, good drink and good company- accompanied by good music.
By Shawn Greyling