Monday, September 17, 2012

Shimbashi Station: Izakaya Mecca

These sakes are a gift to mankind from a higher power. Okay, I actually stole the sakes...Don't tell Zeus. 

Sixteen sakes and everyone blessed one was not only new to me, every sake was amazing. I can't easily wrap my head around this, but suffice it to say this was one of the best nights enjoying sake in the last 20 years and not one easily matched...though I will endeavor to try.

What is a greater gift are my friends Ted and Etsuko, who met for dinner in what is a hotbed for izakaya-style dining in Tokyo near Shimbashi Station. If you are at all curious about sake, you should really consider a tour of a sake brewery in Japan. Etsuko operates a business offering sake tours and her ability to speak perfect English and Japanese + her great intelligence and passion for sake make her the ideal tour guide! I give them both my highest recommendation

Our server this evening was a great host. The food was outstanding and he gave us a lot of attention. We were fortunate to be here this night, for there was a national holiday keeping folks at home. Let that be a lesson to enjoy what might normally be busy izakayas that are open on holiday! Oh, and the server gave me a bottle of water that a sake brewery markets and it was very satisfying: server -- the grandchildren I will never have will sing songs around the campfire about his kindness -- gave me such a gift...A huge fold out map -- published ten years ago, so not entirely up to date -- of every sake brewery in Japan!!!...I can't tell you how awesome this map is, but I will show you on another time.

For you sake geeks, we tried namazakes (no pasteurization -- very rare); hiyaoroshi sakes (pasteurized once, seasonal autumnal sake); and many sakes brewed by the next generation of brewers. Thanks to Etsuko and Ted who knew a great deal about all of these mysterious sakes -- sakes that I have never tried before, as they are not exported. No fair keeping the good stuff to yourselves, Japan!!!

A favorite, both in taste and concept, was the sake brewed with a blue tint (achieved by *not* adding anything to the sake such as coloring, rather, through cold-brewing and with rice flour) called "Blue Hawaii". The owner of the brewery is from the music industry and actually invited a highschool class to come to brewery and actually brew one sake (not seen here) macho is that? sake stud!?!

Here's to Ted and Etsuko! It was one of the best nights I ever spent drinking and socializing. Good gravy we had so much fun! Kanpai!!!

1 comment:

  1. We had this many sake!? It was so much fun and Nozaki Sakaten is really good to get the latest of what's happening with sake.