I told you that I love Sake before and I am even certified as a Sake Sommelier too. I’m a bit concerned that if I say so it might sound like I drink a lot of Sake everyday😆. On the contrary I have it only on a very special occasion. In that way I think I can appreciate the special taste more. Anyway, Sake is the Japanese Rice Wine and becoming very popular in the world. It has started being brewed outside of Japan lately and I have recently met British people who have their own ‘Sakagura’ (Sake brewery) in London. It was so unthinkable until very recent that I see Sake made in the UK with my own eyes.
So, this week was one of those special occasions that I had Sake. I went to one of Sakaguras in London, however, this one is not a Sake brewery. It was a Japanese restaurant which has a huge selection of Sake to serve. The occasion was for attending ‘Sake Experience’ event which was organised by Japan Centre. It was designed for Sake lovers to discover new great Sake or for people who don’t know much about Sake but want to try something new. It is also the occasion to suggest people how to match what kind of Food with different kind of Sake.
At each table, people were greeted with a glass of Sake cocktail. It was a Sake & Gin cocktail with Pineapple Juice with a hint of Yuzu (Japanese citrus). It was very smooth and tasty. It was a great start.
Soon after the first Sake was introduced to our glasses and the event commenced. The person explaining all about that evening’s Sake was Atsuhide Kato, the CEO of Kato Kichibee Shoten Brewery in Japan. He brought the best selections from their brand “Born” series.
The line-up of that evening was as follws and each Sake was served with a particular dish.
梵 BORN Junmai Daiginjo, Ginsen
with Sea Bass Ceviche Ume-Shiso Ponzu Truffle Oil Drizzle
梵 BORN Junmai Daiginjo, Gold
with Chargrilled Wagyu Beef
梵 BORN Junmai Daiginjo, Tokusen
with Sakagura Fish & Chips Yuzu Aioli Dip
There are several types and grades in Sake and ‘Daiginjo’ is one of the best. It has full of Umami and it’s best served chilled. We were so lucky that all the Sake we had was the top grades in Mr. Kato’s range. The room was quite dark and my camera did not take great photos but I am going to share some of them here.
The first Food which was matched with the first Sake was “Sea Bass Ceviche Ume-Shiso Ponzu Truffle Oil Drizzle”. Basically it was Sea bass Sashimi and some vegetable garnish with soy sauce-vinaigrette sauce. I loved the cucumber flower on the top. It was a nice touch!
The fresh fish and Chilled Sake is certainly the traditional combination but the Shiso (Japanese Basil) was adding the great flavour and aroma to the dish.
The chef started chargrilled our Wagyu Beef behind the counter so whilst waiting for him cooking that, we had the second dish “Fish & Chips Yuzu Aioli Dip”.
It came with Sweet Potato & Lotus Root chips on top of fried noodle. It was an interesting way to serve the fish. We were served the next Sake. That was another Daiginjo and this one was ‘Tokusen’ which means the special selection.
Before finishing my fried Fish our “Chargrilled Wagyu Beef” was ready. It came with some rock salt and freshly grated Wasabi.
The Sake served with this dish to us was called Gold. As its name suggests it had a slightly golden colour and also some fruity flavour too.
By following the menu the event should have ended here, but our drinking continued. Because Kato Kichibee Shoten has so many award winning great Sake, Mr. Kato brought more Sake he is very proud. He said some bottles got broken in his suitcase but opened the valuable one for us to taste.
The event had a wonderful atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I met someone who was from the same small residential area where I was born. It’s so weird! I haven’t met anybody from there even in Japan. Anyway, because the evening was so pleasant I think I might have drunk a little too much (-_-;). However, one amazing thing I can say is that I did not get any headache the following day! These days I quite often get headaches almost every time I have alcohol so I can’t enjoy drinking as much as I want. I believe the reason I did not get any pain this time was because I had only Sake (OK, there was a little Gin in the cocktail though) and all the sake was the best quality. I think every attendants had a really good time and if you don’t know much about Sake but want to try some of the best ones, it is very recommendable to attend one of these events.
Japan Centre: https://www.japancentre.com/en