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Fall Food and Sake Tasting Menu with Tatsuriki

Once a year in October, Tatsuriki has a very special sit-down dinner pairing their sake with very nice Japanese food. This Tokyo event is something I truly look forward to; it serves as one of my signals that autumn has begun, or it is sake season.

Tatsuriki is a very popular brew and is frequently featured at tastings or other special events. However, this pairing dinner hosted by the brewer presents a unique opportunity to fully enjoy and compare eleven Tatsuriki-crafted drinks. This starts with Akitsu, which is 15,000 yen for a 720 ml bottle, leading to Gion, which is unique in the sense that it is milled to only 92%–all paired with wonderful dishes.

Here’s a bit about Tatsuriki’s approach to Yamadanishiki rice–they have some bottles brewed from Yamadanishiki a very carefully selected district. This is somewhat similar to the concept of terroir in approach.

They have three brands are named for certain areas in Hyogo Prefecture’s specially designated District A, where premium Yamadanishiki is grown. Akitsu, Kamimikusa, and Yoshikawa Yoneda are both the names of very small rice farming settlements and the sake made from each of them individually. In each area, only a few producers are contracted by Tatsuriki for this high-grade Yamadanishiki. Over the last several years when I have had the opportunity to do the same type of tasting, I always picked Kamimikusa as the finest of Tatusiki’s offerings. This year, as well, that was my pick out of these three very special bottles that I would never imagine purchasing for a taste-test on my own!

These delicate sake that change their character at different temperatures were complemented by some seriously good food presented with a fall theme. This was a true feast for all senses.

1. Tofu with uni, shrimp, vegetable ohitashi, and whelk served in duck shaped jars

These are not just any ducks but a male and female pair!

First:Tofu with <em>uni</em> and shrimp, vegetable <em>ohitashi</em>, clam

2. Sashimi, karasumi, and assorted dishes in a bento box
Personally, karasumi, or salt-cured mullet roe, is my favorite of all otsumami to pair with any sake!

Second: sashimi and karasumi

3. Grilled salmon, ikura, daikon, namasu, and kikka kabu, or flower-like turnip on a shell dish

Third: roasted salmon, ikura and daikon namasu, kikka kabu

4. Unagi an-kake

Fourth: unagi an-kake

5. Kani, wakame, and cucumber with vinaigrette dashi jelly sauce served in a kani shell

kani, wakame, cucumber sunomono^very nice version

6. Kuri gohan, or rice with chestnut, miso soup and tsukemono

Sixth: kuri gohan

7. Dessert:kaki


I thought this tasting course combined with good conversation is the best thing I love about sake!

Oh, speaking of good conversation and sake, what do these men have in common?

Junmai boys

More pictures on Flickr


One Response to “Fall Food and Sake Tasting Menu with Tatsuriki”

  1. both are sake otaku!

    Posted by et-chan | October 21, 2008, 8:55 am

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