Showing posts with label Sake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sake. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ballymaloe House embraces excitement of Rugby World Cup with Sake Dinner

press release
Scrum-tious Sake
Ballymaloe House embraces excitement of Rugby World Cup as they present a Japanese dining experience that is not to be missed

As the excitement of the upcoming Rugby World Cup grips the country, Japan is the destination on everyone’s mind and the topic on everyone’s lips. To coincide with this momentous event, the award-winning Ballymaloe House have decided to bring a taste of Japan to their famous venue, with a dining experience that will see a carefully curated menu paired with five varieties of sake.

Taking place on Friday 11th October, the event will kick off at 6:30pm and will take guests on an educational and palatable journey through the process of sake production, from its origins in the paddy field to final presentation. Sake expert Honami, Head of Marketing for KEIGETSU, a range produced by the family owned Tosa brewery, will be on hand to guide guests through the entire taste experience as he introduces a selection of sake that varies from sparkling to cold to sweet. Ballymaloe House’s Head Chef Dervilla O’Flynn will create a tailored menu specifically suited to sake pairing, ensuring that the overall dining experience is enhanced and thoroughly enjoyed by those attending.

Created from rice through fermentation, sake is a Japanese wine, which has been brewed and manufactured by KEIGETSU since 1877. The company’s quality product is as a result of the brewers’ expertise combined with the clear waters and fresh air to be found in abundance within the Tosa-Cho region, where the brewery is based. The area is surrounded by a serene natural environment near the Sameura Lake and KEIGETSU sake is handmade in small batches using this high-quality, soft water from the locale. The creation of sake, from fermentation to production, will be explored by Honami during the upcoming event at Ballymaloe House, as he takes diners on a rare gastronomic journey they are unlikely to forget.

Tickets for the event cost 105 per person and advance booking is essential as places are limited. For more information on the event visit Tickets can be purchased by emailing or calling 021 4652 531.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Kampai! The Twelve hosts exclusive sake dinner!


Kampai! The Twelve hosts exclusive sake dinner 
on Thursday October 10th as part of TwelveFest 

Sake, the uniquely enigmatic and versatile Japanese fermented rice drink, is at the heart of an exciting dinner created by chef Martin O’Donnell at The Twelve’s West restaurant on Thursday October 10th, celebrating TwelveFest and #12is12 as part of the hotel’s birthday year celebrations.

Hosted by Honami Matsumoto on behalf of Keigetsu by Tosa Brewing Company in Japan, Honami will share some of her expertise and tell a little of the fascinating story behind the five distinctly different and delicious sakes being served on the night, with each variety paired with one of Martin’s specially created dishes.

A Kikisakeshi-qualified sake sommelier, WSET-certified educator for Sake Level 3, and an International Wine Challenge(IWC) Panel Judge in the sake category, Honami has been working with sake and wine for over 15 years, and will introduce and describe each of the five Keigetsu sakes on Thursday October 10th in West.

Producing a remarkably diverse range of sakes for the past 142 years since it was founded in 1877, the family-owned Tosa brewery that makes Keigetsu sake is set in a particularly beautiful, mountainous region in the northern Kochi prefecture. Not dissimilar to the clean environment and high-quality ingredients chef Martin O’Donnell and his suppliers have to work with in Connemara, Tosa brewery uses locally-grown organic rice from a region prized for its soft water and cool climate. The name of the sake range, Keigetsu, is a Japanese term which describes the beautiful evening scene created when the moon hangs over Katsurahama shore — just like the moonrise over Claddagh!

Thursday October 10th sees the Keigetsu sakes from Tosa brewery paired with five courses of Martin O’Donnell’s exquisite food, where he takes exceptional local ingredients and creates Japanese-inspired dishes to enhance and complement the flavours of each sake.

With an amuse bouche of chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard) with calamari, oyster crackers, dill and caviar paired with Keigetsu Sparkling Sake John, next is a course of Galway mackerel with gyoza, dashi and tempura seaweeds served with Keigetsu Tokubetsu Junmai A. To follow there is a course of oxtail with morels, fermented black garlic and smoked beef jus paired with Keigetsu Junmai Daiginjo Gin-no-Yume 45, then Thornhill duck with beetroot and spices matched by Keigetsu Sake Nature. Finally, the dessert of lemon yuzu espuma, blackberry, lemon cream and Velvet Cloud yoghurt is served with Keigetsu Yuzusake, a sake made using locally grown yuzu. Kochi prefecture produces around half of Japan’s yuzu, and the yuzu used to make this sake is grown organically by the brewery owner’s relatives.

The Twelve sake dinner in West on Thursday October 10th is an opportunity to learn about this amazingly versatile pairing choice in the very best way — by drinking great sake with great food. It begins with an introduction at 7.30pm followed by dinner at 8pm and costs €70 per person. A true taste of Japan in Connemara, as per Japanese custom, always pour for your dining companions before filling your own glass. Sláinte — Kampai!

Menu and Wines €70 per person
P: 091 597000

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Izakaya Evening with Echigo Saké at Ichigo Ichie

Izakaya Evening with Echigo Saké at Ichigo Ichie

Smashed cucumber with Bonito flake.

For one night this/last week, Michelin Star Chef Takashi Miyazaki turned his Ichigo Ichie restaurant into a Japanese style gastro-pub with a lot of help from Mr. Ono from the Echigo Saké Brewery in Japan. 

It was the first Izakaya evening here and a delightful experience that began with a glass, sorry, that should read masu, of Echigo Koshi No Happo. The Masu is a square wooden cup used to measure rice in Japan during the feudal period. It holds 180ml of that first saké so that was quite a substantial aperitif. Quite a lovely one also, smooth, almost savoury with a slightly syrupy texture giving it a rich mouthfeel.
First pour

There would be more sakés as the pleasant evening went on, with Mr Ono on hand to explain the various types. Perhaps the outstanding one from my point of view was the Ozeki Karatamba Honjozo Namachozoshu. Here, we were told that the brewing technology brings out the crisp and rich flavour yet dry taste of “Karatamba” that pairs well with any cuisine, indeed the prefect saké to indulge your taste buds. It certainly did that!

Of Japan’s major saké-producing regions, Niigata is regarded as the most prestigious and well-known. And deservedly so. Known long ago by the name Echigo, modern-day, Niigata is the region of small craft producers from the countryside. It is also the origin of the light and dry tanrei-karakuchi style of saké that has become so popular amongst saké lovers today. And we did indeed enjoy the Echigo Karakuchi, “a very hearty saké”.
Sashimi selection

At the end, we had a taste of the Amakuchi, the sweet saké. But not that sweet! From the delightful, if limited  (we didn’t have all night!), tasting, it seems that the dry to sweet range of the Japanese drink is much narrower than is the case with wine! Open to correction on this one.

And how did we get on with the square cup? The masu? Quite well actually. It stands on a saucer so, when  it is full to the brim, you can lift the saucer and sip, “not rude” says Mr Ono. Being Cork of course, there was one “complaint”: we couldn’t make those cups clink! Well, if you really want to get that cheerful sound, you may drink it from a short clear glass also!
Pork belly with bean sprout

The special Izakaya Menu was a multi-course treat. Hard to keep track of all the courses and Mr Miyazaki also added in a couple of bonuses. So, from the Smashed Cucumber at the start to the delicious pannacotta at the finish, we were more than well fed.

Highlights? Well those two already mentioned for a start. The Sashimi was an early highlight for me with salmon, tuna and sea-bass in the mix. The Prawn (a substitute for squid) and Padron Pepper Tempura was another as were the Chicken Tatsuta. And an unexpected one - it was additional to the 12-course menu - was the swordfish towards the end.

CL also enjoyed the meal from start to finish especially that little Smashed Cucumber at the start. The next dish, the Pork Belly, was another of her favourites along with the Sashimi. But all were appreciated.

Izakaya Menu

Peanuts Tofu (peanuts, wasabi)

Kyuri Tataki (smashed cucumber, bonito flake, crushed garlic chilli)

Chashu and Moyashi Namuru (pork belly, bean sprout, shichimi, sesame oil)

Sashimi (Corvina, Organic Salmon, Daikon, Shiso, Wasabi, dashi shoyu)

Yakitori (tsukune tare sansho and egg yolk sauce, pork belly)

Buta Shabu Salad (Pork, Mizuna, Silken Tofu, Radish, Sesame Ponzu)

Grilled Asparagus Yakidashi (asparagus in dashi, bonito flake, chilli)

Ika and Shishitou Tempura (squid and Padron Pepper). Ika (squid not available so we had prawns instead).

Chicken Tatsuta (Fried chicken thigh)

Satoimoni, Tori Soboro Sauce (Taro Potato stew with minced chicken sauce)

Tamago Maki (Egg Roll Sushi)

Amazake (White chocolate pannacotta, cherry)