Benihana, the Japanese Steakhouse, invited some members of the Press for a tasting of five Japanese Sake’s, calling the event “Discover the Flavor of Japan” in which they matched some high quality Japanese snacks with some high quality Japanese sake.
The Benihana people, led by Hisakazu Sato, started us off on a refreshing, lightly effervescent version called Bijofu Yuzu Shuwa with 6 percent alcohol. This was taken with salted green beans, dried seafood and soba noodles over ice. Like all Japanese food, the presentation was amazing with the noodles on a mat over the ice, for example.
The second sake had an alcohol level of 16-17 percent was a Yuki No Bosha Hiden Yamahai Junmai Ginjo which came with an oyster and Japanese sauce and Sashimi. This was more like the style of sake one is used to.
Lining up for number 3 my eyes almost fell out of my head when the tasting notes said the alcohol content for the Kirinzan Junmai Green Bottle was 15-167. We all hoped the 167 was a typo! It came with Sushi and California rolls and a small “oil can” to squirt soy sauce on the Sushi.
Nothing daunted we were then presented with a Yuki No Bosha Yamahai Honjozo, only a mere 15-16 percent, and accompanied a wonderful Butterfish Miso, which was my favorite of the night.
Our last sake was ‘only’ 15 percent and was a Kirinzan Dantou Karakuchi which washed down the Teppanyaki beef cooked in front of us with all the usual Benihana theatre.
A very interesting evening which showed that perhaps we all could show a bit more bravery with sake selection, and I’m sure the 167 percent was a typo. Surely!