Jason Allen 07/04/22
Mu | Live Music & Japanese Food in Dalston
The team at Brilliant Corners are obsessed with three things: music, natural wine, and Japanese food.
And now, they’ve opened Mu – a venue right next door that specialises in music, natural wine, and Japanese food.
And yes, this might strike you as a massive missed opportunity to call the place ‘Deja Mu’. But there is a very important difference here: while Brilliant Corners traffics in DJs & vinyl, Mu is all about live music, every night.
The venue itself is up on Kingsland Road, literally within sight of Brilliant Corners itself, in the unique space that used to be home to Stevie Parle’s Rotorino. Outside, it’s completely covered in graffiti (and you can still see Rotorino’s last menu pinned to the wall). Inside, it’s all housed on one floor, with a modernist bar overlooked by beautiful globe lights, and a striking curved ceiling looking down on the performance area. No, there is no stage: the musicians do their wonderful thing a couple of feet away from the diners surrounding them, making Mu one of the most intimate bars with live music in London.
Having spent years at Brilliant Corners perfecting the art of curating their musical acts, unsurprisingly they’ve curated some pretty great musical acts for Mu, too. Regular acts include Yohan Kebede (a self-taught pianist/keyboardist from north-west London), Ruta Sipola (a 22 year old flautist from Latvia who has played Ronnie Scotts), and Tom Herbert (a Mercury Award nominated jazz bassist). Don’t worry if you haven’t heard any of those names, the acts are frequently young, up-and-coming musicians who blaze with raw talent. For a lot of them, the fact that you haven’t heard of them is almost the point.
The food they’re drumming up comes mostly off Mu’s shiny robata grill, which uses live fire to scorch the likes of asparagus with nori dressing, cherrywood smoked salmon teriyaki, baby gem with sweet miso, and beef with shishito pepper & yuzu koscho. There’s a short list of classic cocktails to help ease this all down (martinis, gimlets, palomas, and a “perfect” Manhattan, etc.), as well as the aforementioned bevvy of natural wines.
There’s a small optional cover charge for those dining amongst the musicians, but if you simply wander in from the street, you can pitch up at the bar for free and listen along. And as for the name of the place? It’s from a legendary album by jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, who helped to develop the genre-blending concept of world fusion music.
But that’s a Mu point.
NOTE: Mu is open now – you can find out more, see their listings, and make a booking at their website right here.
Mu | 434 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA
Like vino? Check out London’s best natural wine bars
434 Kingsland Road, Dalston, East London, E8 4AA
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8.3 | Great
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