World Sake Day on 1 October kicks off a month-long celebration of the brewed beverage in London, but though the drink might be traditionally Japanese, what you pair it with doesn’t have to be.
Among the capital’s restaurants taking part in the celebrations are: 8 at The Londoner, Akira, Aqua Kyoto, Arros QD, Engawa, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Mei Ume, Inamo (Covent Garden and Soho), InterContinental London Park Lane, London Shell Co. (Prince Regent and The Grand Duchess), Moto, My Neighbours the Dumplings (Clapton and Victoria Park), Panzer’s, People’s Wine, Plume and Wagtail. Further participating restaurants will be confirmed soon.
Each of the restaurants taking part has worked with a WSET-qualified sake expert and UK sake distributor to ensure that they are creating the perfect pairings. Seafood is well-known to bring out the best in sake, and vice versa, but it does not have to be a Japanese dish – among the combinations that will be showcased over the next month are fish & chips with Dewazakura Izumi Judan Ginjo Sake and Mediterranean seafood rice with Yauemon Silent Forest Junmai Ginjō.
Sake expert Christine Parkinson explained: “Most people don’t realise how versatile sake is, and how delicious it can be with all sorts of cuisines. It has an umami component that always brings out the harmony of flavours in food.”
“I think people will get a surprise when they try some of the pairings, especially with seafood dishes if they haven’t ever thought to try sake with these before. I’m particularly pleased that we have such a wide range of restaurants involved, with seafood dishes in lots of different styles. It’s going to be a real eye-opener,” she concluded.