The best and most enjoyable way to enjoy Japanese sake is with food and this was the sake journey experience was all about.
3 fabulous nights to take you a sake journey through Northern Japan, guest were excited and ready to go for a ride.
So to start off we are going to visit the Prefecture Hokkaido .Now the fastest way to go Hokkaido is by flight which is Famous for their winter ice sculpture and Sapporo Snow Festival and thats where they make the famous sapporo beer.
Otokoyama's sake is made thanks to the nature of Hokkaido.
Otokoyama which means Man’s Mountain .A Masterpiece of Japan cherished by historical figures through Japan since the Edo era .This sake is made with underground water from the perpetual snows by the mountain Dai-set-su-zan mountain which there the climate is cold.
Otokoyama Tokubestu Junmai is the name of the sake . Junmai meaning pure rice , Tokubestu means special.so any sake that has Junmai means its a
pure rice sake. The Polishing ratio is @ 55% suggest its premium
hence the texture is super smooth . In the aroma is fruity ,in the palate .Light smooth with rich feeling at room temperature Refreshing dry acidity that smooth and clean in cold temperature .So the taste you will feel is semi sweet with quick round finish.
Paired with fresh Tuna, salmon and fresh scallops with cod roe.
Eat on its own the tuna is soft and the scallops are fresh with natural taste ,with the cod roe bubbles which pop juice in the palate with abit of salty and sweet taste. With the sake it all melts in the palate beautifully without any aftertaste.
So the next sake comes the prefecture Iwate ,Nanbu Bijin Brewery, located in Ninohe city. This area of northern Japan is blessed with beautiful natural reserves–pristine ground water, two national parks, and a lake.
Paired with Wagyu and vegetable roll with teriyaki sauce.
Lotus root chip is a healthy nibble that makes you want to eat more. A creative approach to the Wagyu. Made into a roll, outside with lovely teriyaki sauce. Wagyu roll inside mashed carrot with a lovely sweetness and cucumber for freshness. With the sake the elegant sweetness compliments the teriyaki sweetness of the wagyu and dryness forms to cleanse the palate through eat bite.
The Next sake is from Miyagi Prefecture
So the Aroma that you may sense is fruity aroma on the nose with hint of toasted nuts. Palate is very smooth and well-balanced mouth- feel not too sweet nor dry and perfect straight road type of sake.
Paired with Namban Chicken with egg tartare sauce.
This dish actually has an interesting story behind it because of the name Nanban refers to 16th century when the portuguese came to Japan with their ships bringing in different foods and spices which had change japanese cuisines forever. Outside you have delicate crunch and tender juicy chicken inside. You can taste the seasoning in the chicken.
The egg salad is Mon taste take on tartare sauce. Light and creamy Dip with the chicken you have a lovely combination of salty and creamy coats the seasoned chicken and cuts through the oils. With the sake cleanses the palate with the dryness and umami and has smooth taste finish.
The last sake we be having is from Hakkaisan Sake Brewery from Niigata prefecture. Niigata the most famous sake brewing regions.
Hakkaisan Sake Brewery is located in Minami- Uonuma, an area known for producing the finest quality Koshihikari rice. Hakkaisan uses “Spring water from Raiden” which is usually use for all brands of Hakkaisan. The spring water is brought to Kura which is the (Sake factory) from the foot of Mt. Hakkai through pipe line.
Hakkaisan beliefs were, Sake that has full body but clear and smooth which does not interfere or disturbs the taste of food.
Using the sake specificrice Gohyakumangoku, Miyamanishiki, Yamadanishiki the flavours create the clean and clear character and crisp depth. It’s a touch dry with tremendous balance and a crisp refreshing finish. The last dish really highlights the origin of this prefecture.
Believe or not if you go to Niigata the best foods to eat are the vegetables. You never will taste fresh vegetables like in Niigata. Now you may notice the green powder next to you please sprinkle some ,on the tempura and you will get another flavour sensation . Paired with sake it compliments the tempura and cleanses the palate inviting you to enjoy the fresh vegetables inside the tempura.
Highlighted sakes of the night were Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai from Hokkaido prefecture & Urakasumi Junmai from Miyagi Prefecture.
News have been spreading all throughout Perth for the hot new venue in Yagan Square.
Shy John Yum & Brewery. Definitely the first we have seen in Perth ,it is definitely a venue you have yet to experience. Shy John alone have the capacity to bring huge numbers being a 2-storey venue. The microbrewery is downstairs serving 5 different beers which you have never tasted before. Where the Yumcha is on the top floor which you can access straight from the train station.
Who is Shy John? well he is Chinese settler who first settled in Australia named Mak Sai Ying, he later known as John Shying. A carpenter who feel in loved with the culture and the beer.
The legend Shy John is Ian Chin, well known for Hiss & Smoke , Ramen Boy and Noodle Forum . Ian will definitely look after you to give you an genuine experience at Shy john.
The Venue experience:
Well it definitely has the wow factor first off I mean when have you ever seen a chinese yum cha microbrewery in Perth? The atmosphere when packed its like being Hong Kong , dim sums coming out non-stop , waiters moving around in quick steps to keep up with demand. Bringing food from the kitchen to the top through a food elevator genius . Definitely they nailed down the execution of service. The waiters did feel overwhelmed for opening day trying to keep up with orders but I loved how polite there were you don't get waiters like these nowadays.
I had my lovely girlfriend and her mum were visiting Perth from Japan at the time the waiters had another skill up their sleeves they could speak japanese what a way to welcome my friend and her mother they definitely the warm welcome close to home.
Oh this is best part following from the launch which was spectacular the main menu itself had some more exciting dishes to try.
We selected the following:
You definitely want to try all the signature dumplings but if you unsure what to try for your first time you have choice to get a dim sum platter which is really creative you can choose 4 serve or 8 serve .
For the dim sum platter we had the signature dumplings.
I love the presentation of these dumplings it really invites you.
"Eyes that want to eat"
Charcoal activated dough to make it black with edible golden dust. Not your ordinary dumplings. Inside lovely fresh prawns as a dumpling should and you don't need sauce to give it more flavour it is perfectly delicious on its own.
Other dumpling selection were
Truffle & scallop dumplings
Pork & chive dumplings
and I think it was Coriander and prawn dumplings
You definitely can taste the freshness in each and that want makes the dumplings so tasty.
A lovely delicate premium sake with clean and smooth taste would definitely highlight these dumplings because of lovely fresh prawns.
Okies I couldn't resist this at the launch party and definitely needed to have again with my guest. Peking duck pockets what creative way to highlight the tradition peking duck. Using the pockets similar pastry like hong kong wife cake. These pockets were crispy and light the same time. Inside the peking duck with cucumber for freshness and you dip in the peking duck sauce to add more flavour .
For this dish I would choose a sake to highlight the duck and the sauce. A lovely smooth rich mouth-feel sake will go nicely.
Deep Fry Jumbo Oysters , BBQ Tonkotsu sauce and Kewpie mayonaise. I was actually expecting the oysters to be cooked inside but it actually had that raw freshness as if you were eating a raw oyster with a crispy element to you. The crispy batter was lovely an light and not oily feel. Inside you have the beautiful creamy but oyster is still inside which didn't lose its original flavour. Delicate in the mouth which was enjoyable to palate.
With this dish I could really have fun in many ways. You could choose a lovely Junmai sake with high umami to compliment and match the oyster inside. You could have it lightly warmed or even cold to enjoy both sensations.
Another way we could play with a premium sake like ginjo or daiginjo the clean and smooth style will cleanse the palate of any oily taste feel from the fry batter allowing your tastebuds to invite that lovely fresh creamy oyster inside. The lovely clean rich aftertaste would want you pick up another one.
Szechuan Beef tartare well it was definitely presented differently to the launch style but look at that presentation doesn't it just make you want to eat ? Another eat with your eyes moment. :)
So I had to order this for my girlfriend and her mum to try, as they haven't experience good meat regular. They even told me they couldn't eat beef especially raw style but they gave it a go.
The beef tartare itself is marinated with vinegar and soy sauce the raw egg creates a creamy texture to mix well with the beef tartare. The sourness and saltiness takes care of the raw taste of the beef .
The crispy culler is great to eat by itself but you definitely have to make your canapes . Add the beef tartare topped with pickled ginger and garlic and put in your mouth. Divine you would love the pickled ginger and garlic with the beef tartare with crispy crunch of the cruller . Perfect combination.
What sake ? hmmm again alot of ways you could play with .
Refreshing Junmai it refresh the palate high acidity at cold to take care of the beautiful creamy richness of the beef tartare.
A premium Junmai Ginjo or Daiginjo to have a super smooth finish and cleanse the palate to soften the texture taste of the beef tartare.
We definitely had to try one of the beers Summer Ale is refreshing and smooth has some fruity flavours . Are you ready for Summer?