01.21.2019

Liquid Rice

Discovering Tokyo’s sake culture between ancient rites and contemporary inspirations

  • Liquid Rice

Understanding sake requires a full immersion into one of the great little mysteries of Japanese culture. The mystery lies in the alchemy that allows the creation of koji rice, a variety obtained by inoculating a natural mold into the rice. From kojirice, sake is then obtained by fermentation. Its organoleptic properties vary considerably depending on the production area and the specific quality of the basic raw materials. The temperature at which sake should be served depends precisely on these elements, so that each quality of sake has its own serving temperature, which is why in the restaurants and on special occasions there is always an expert whose sole task is to determine and obtain the right temperature that will enhance the specific features of each sake.
 
Because of its delicately sweet and savory flavor profile,sake perfectly matches with food without adding acidity to its taste: mild sake is a great complement to delicate dishes, whereas for structured foods the recommendation is to go for a sake with more thickness and body. Like many other aspects of the Japanese food culture, sake is a veritable ritual to be experienced in everyday life as well as on special celebrations.
 
Izakayais the name of the classic sake bar that the Japanese traditionally head to after work to enjoy sake accompanied by snacks and small bites, but lately even restaurants have taken to reviving and deepening the ancient art of sake.
 
Here’s where to enjoy the sake ritual in Tokyo in different styles. 
 
Nihonshu Stand Moto (Shinjuku)
5-17-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Close to Shinjuku Golden Gai and Hanazono temple, plenty of sake qualities to try sitting at the huge U-shaped counter side by side with the many sumo wrestlers that love to come here.
 
Shu-Shu (Kanda)
Yano Building 1F, 5-5 Kanda Konyacho Chiyoda Tokyo
Among electric equipment and anime stores, an unusual Spanish-style sake bar where a sake sommelier will help you choose the quality that suits you best. 
 
Sake Hall Hibiya Bar (Ginza)
Miyuki Bldg B1F, 5-6-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku 
Unique cocktails based on traditional sakes from all over the country to be enjoyed with a superb selection of small bites. 
 
Sakeba (Shibuya)
3 Chome-15-2 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Sake and sake cocktails along with delicacies from Kuramoto, Kyushu island, where the local water apparently adds a special taste to everything. 
 
Bar Gats (Shinjuku)
17-2 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku  
Founded by the vocalist of a much-loved jazz, this is the right place for enjoying sake and otsumami(snacks) pairings in a laid-back atmosphere.
 
Kozue (Shinjuku)
3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku
Here’s an amazing venue on the 40thfloor of the Park Hyatt building in Shinjuku where you can taste sakes from all over Japan paired with dedicated menus and a stunning view.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

SlowearTags.

sake  | Japan  | wine  | Tokyo  | bars  |

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