Tabetomo’s Sake Pairing Dinner
Held on the 25th and 26th of June 2018, the Sake Pairing Dinner, hosted by the elite team behind Bijofu (Gentlemen) sake, Nomitomo Sake House, and Tabetomo was a sensationally cosy event. The introduction to the various forms of sake was done effortlessly, to an eager crowd of sake enthuasists and sake noobs.
The inviting ambience of the tabetomo outlet, with dimmed yellow lights, created the perfect atmosphere for a night to remember. The event, which was attended by Bijofu Sake’s very own brewers, all the way from Japan, was aimed at introducing and educating us on the significance, and importance of sake to the Japanese culture, with hopes of sharing this alcoholic beverage to Malaysian, bridging the cultural gap of this two countries.
Sake, is a very complex drink. Although it appears simple, sake served at different temperatures unveils itself very differently on the human tongue. Although served chilled, if we were to cup our palms on the sake glass, and gradually warm up to sake, you will find that the very same sake, now tasted slightly lighter.
The food we eat, while sipping on the sake, also affects it’s taste. By attending a sake pairing, we were bestowed the unique pairings, that made our sake drinking experience, a sophisticated one. For instance, the fruity, light bodied Yuzu Shuwa sake, paires incredibly well with the kurimuchizu to kurakka (Crackers with cream cheese). Two completely different elements, when mixed together in the taste buds, resulting in something rather spectacular.
The wagyu aburi sushi served with ponzu (garlic butter with soy sauce dip) was an incredible experience. The tender, juicy meat and rice combo, carefully complements the mild aftertaste of the Junmai Daiginjo Hina sake. Meanwhile, the fruity taste of the Junmai Ginjo Tama sake, goes well when paired with the crispy exteriors, and tender interiors of the butabara asuparagasu maki (Asparagus wrapped in pork). It’s impressive how the opposites make for a delicious team when matched on a food palate.
Something as simple as satsuma imokari (sweet potato fries) can be thoroughly enjoyed when paired with the lightbodied, Junmai Daiginjo Hina sake. The mild aftertaste of the sake, washes over the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, making it a combination that is hard to stop munching on. On the other hand, the crispiness of the saba no rilette (Fried tofu served with tuna) worked well with the Tokubetsu Honjozo sake. This particular sake has a slightly stronger aftertaste, which blends in well, with the oil in the fried tofu, masking and mixing the ingredients in the mouth, results in something very pleasant.
In my opinion, sake is a simple, yet complex drink. It’s essentially an enigma, where it’s taste changes, based on the perception, and preference of the drinker. A sake, enjoyed on its own, is something extraordinary. But sake, paired with the right food, could bode well, and make for a night to remember.