MeSo: Japanese bar where you dress up to visit


Beer in a mug on wooden table near brick wall. PHOTO | SHUTTERSTOCK

What you need to know:

You will learn a new word today, like I did; Izakaya. That’s Japanese for informal Japanese bars that serve alcohol.

But this bar at Westgate Mall is anything but informal. It’s actually quite formal. It’s fine dining but with a bar at the end of the room. Its seating is formal. Its colours, limes and whites are quite swish.

It’s bright without being blinding. The waiters take orders from their tablets. I found myself there because I wanted to have a cocktail before a movie.

I had seen online that they had a 3 pm to 6 pm happy hour, but most importantly they had a collection of Japanese whiskies.

The cocktail that I wanted wasn’t available because the particular whisky wasn’t available. I settled for a single Hibiki Master's Select (Sh1,050 a tot), which was great but because what’s the use of a single experience, I tried the Hakushu 12-year Single Malt (Sh1,050 a tot), not as good as the Hibiki.

There was a wide selection of wines and mocktails as well. We sat at the bar. The staff were just preparing for the evening shift and they gathered next to the bar in a small circle and prayed.

I loved that. Because running a restaurant must be daunting, what with all manner of people who come to eat, some on flying brooms.

MeSo (the S is capitalised) is the type of restaurant that you dress up to visit. Everybody who came in was spruced up.

A small group of girls walked in with one carrying a massive bouquet. They laughed and pulled chairs and smiled through their lipsticks and blushes and eyeliners and looked at the menu with smiles on their faces. Women truly value their quality time.

I had one last single of Hibiki to chase away the taste of Hakushu and then climbed off my chair and went for my movie, Mission Impossible, which was too long and too tedious and expected. Tom still squinted under his good hair and ran with the vigour of a teenager.

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