Sunday, March 6, 2016

Private Sake Tasting Night at SHIKI Beverly Hills

I was invited to a private sake tasting dinner, featuring craft sake breweries from different regions of Japan. The dinner was at a popular sushi restaurant, SHIKI in Beverly Hills.

 photo thumb_IMG_7470_1024_zpsejbsqeqv.jpg
I went there with a friend of mine who also loves sake, so we were both excited to try what they were going to offer. We sat down at a table where intriguing sake bottles were already lined up.

 photo thumb_IMG_7471_1024_zpsbvxtmgd6.jpg
The host also gave us very helpful catalogue and information booklet.

 photo thumb_IMG_7472_1024_zpszypenur9.jpg  photo thumb_IMG_7473_1024_zpsncvykjya.jpg
Each small dish was served to pair with different sake. SHIKI's head chef, Shige-san made very tasty appetizers of goma-tofu (sesame jelly) and grilled eggplant with dashi broth.

 photo thumb_IMG_7475_1024_zpskptbn3jf.jpg  photo thumb_IMG_7478_1024_zpsxrka7vov.jpg
Kabu (Japanese turnip) in sweet vinegar sauce was also very good. Then, we had spinach ohitashi.

 photo thumb_IMG_7476_1024_zpsyw5gdgae.jpg  photo thumb_IMG_7479_1024_zpsiqxe5ncc.jpg
As we tried more kinds of sake, we were feeling even happier. Squid shiokara was deep in umami flavor and great with deeper-flavor "yamahai" sake.

 photo thumb_IMG_7481_1024_zpsetujmuob.jpg  photo thumb_IMG_7482_1024_zpskdhzufdk.jpg
The grilled A5+ rank Japanese wagyu beef was melt-your-mouth tender. The miso-marinated beef was served on a lettuce, so we wrapped with the shredded radish, taco-style. So good.

 photo thumb_IMG_7483_1024_zpseopossms.jpg  photo thumb_IMG_7485_1024_zpsqrlf1yer.jpg
The sake expert at SHIKI explained each bottle really well.

 photo thumb_IMG_7492_1024_zpsopybgaoa.jpg
To finish, we had a beautiful array of nigiri-sushi and miso soup.

Here was the sake line up.
Junmai Daiginjo, Kansansui (Kitaya from Fukuoka)
Tsukinokatsura Junmai Ginjo, Yanagi (Masuda Tokubee Shoten from Kyoto)
Special Junmai, Souden (Kitaya from Fukuoka)
Junmai, Kitaya (Kitaya from Fukuoka)
Sasajirushi Junmai, Muroka Namagenshu (Sasaiwai Sake Brewery from Niigata)

What a great lineup and the pairing with the food was fantastic. Chef Shige-san's dishes were all really delicious, too. I had such a wonderful experience!