Had the fortune of attending the titled dinner at Sake.
A shot with Kinoshita san from Amabuki, Kozaemon san from Kozaemon, Miriam from Sake.
A shot with head chef Maeda san.
Starters, Sakura cocktail using Amabuki ‘s rice shochu and oyster shooters.
Snapper suimono. Really dense yet pure and clean dashi. Authentic fine dashi.
Marron and scallop sashimi. Beautiful to the eye and pleasant plumpness.
Tamago tofu with asparagus julee. Just sublime…
Rabbit terrine with Jerusalem artichoke. The matching of game vs egumi (bitter), hats off.
Strawberry Zukushi dessert plate w strawberry sauce. A delicate ending to a stunning 8 course degustation.
Amabuki Junmai ginjo.
Kozaemon Junmai Daiginjo. This is the one!!! Striking ginjo aroma so strong you can smell it from across the table. My trade being ramen, I like delicate but straight forward flavors. This sake is oozing with the noble ginjo aroma in a way I have never experienced. I went across the table to talk with Kozaemon the 14th. He told me of his passionate sake making ways purchasing rice direct from farmers to ensure quality and safety is protected. Sounds simple but buying rice from the established government route takes a lot of effort in Japan. He markets his sake to sake specialty retailers rather than dumping his products main stream wholesalers. Also started marketing his sake in France to establish international recognition. The taste of this sake makes me appreciate his words are true.
Kozaemon. Sakura sake. Master sake brewers created a light sweeter sake to match Sake’s theme of Sakura.
Amabuki Junmai made with strawberry flour yeast. And a shochu made with the same sake. A discussion with Kinoshita san, who follows his heritage of being the 11th generation of bearing the Amabuki Brewery name. His Amabuki brewery’s characteristic is using wild yeasts from particular flowers this time with strawberry flowers. First time for me to hear of such yeast collecting and what a romantic process. And magically you do taste hints of strawberry from a rice wine made purely out of rice and yeast. This sake is raw, meaning not pasteurized. There are a bunch of sake out there bearing the “Nama” label but according to Kinoshita san, it usually only means they skipped one of the usual two pasteurization processes, once upon transferring to the tank and once at bottling. By avoiding both, you get fuller complex flavors associated with the live cultures whilst risking maintaining quality and spoilage. Apparently, the difference is more evident for junmai, nigori, etc which the taste is more characterized by the yeast.
Just an eye opening evening and wonderful to be able to hear first hand how much passion is poured in to create the ultimate pour. Respect to both sake makers.
Thank you Maeda san also for the beautiful food! Always an inspiration to see your top level skills.