Gekkeikan Sake Food Pairing Night @ Aoki-Tei Japanese Restaurant, Sunway Nexis Kota Damansara
I did not discover my new liking for sake until earlier this year when I tried a really smooth bottle at a local Japanese restaurant. Premium sake is hard to find as not every Japanese restaurant offers them in their menu. Thankfully, I had the chance to taste a few bottles of really great sake during the Gekkeikan sake and food pairing dinner at Aoki-Tei in Sunway Damansara hosted by the principle from Gekkeikan Sake – Masahiro Nagata who hails from Kyoto, Japan.
Japan’s tradition of sake making began more than 2,000 years ago shortly after rice cultivation was introduced from China. The first few centuries yielded a beverage quite unlike that of today, however, years of experience perfected brewing techniques and increased sake’s overall appeal and popularity.
In 1637, Gekkeikan’s founder, Jiemon Okura established his sake brewery in the town of Fushimi, a location well-known for its high quality of water. Access to the ideal ingredients combined with a convenient location enabled Okura and his successors’ business to thrive in the years that followed.
In 1905, the brand name GEKKEIKAN (meaning “crown of laurel”) was adopted as the company’s formal pledge to excellence. Through this commitment, the company became a true leader in the industry and pioneered a number of research and development efforts, making Gekkeikan one of the most popular brands in Japan.
Masahiro Nagata of Gekkeikan Sake
Horin Junmai Daiginjo
The ultra-premium sake line in Gekkeikan Sake uses only Yamada-Nishiki and Gohyakumangoku rice milled to 50% ratio. This classic example of a Fushimi style Junmai Daiginjo has a delicately fruity nose, its subtle flavors are well-balanced, and it is exceptionally smooth with a long clean finish. Best to serve during chilled or room temperature. Paired best with fresh seafood such as sashimi or sushi.
Cho Tokusen Tokubetsu Honjozo
In Japan, sake with gold flakes is usually consumed during occasions such as new year or wedding party. This sake is full-bodied with hints of honeydew, papaya, anise and roasted nuts. Well balanced, long and smooth finishing. This luxurious sake be enjoyed warm, room temperature or chilled. Food pairing goes well with lightly-seasoned meat or seafood.
Most of all sake manufacturer in Japan produces Karakuchi (Dry type Sake), but Gekkeikan Josen Karakuchi has specific character of dryness with full-bodied taste and subtle fine aroma. It can be served hot, warm and cold. Pairs best with grilled or fried food such as yakitori, tempura, meat soup.
Black & Gold Junmai
Junmai-shu mostly are full-bodied and thick because it’s made only with rice & wate. Gekkeikan Black & Gold Junmai is crafted to be slightly mellow and buttery so consumers can enjoy this luxurious sake smoothly. The sake is best served either cold or hot, and is best paired with lightly grilled seafood such as salmon, scallops and charbroil meat.
Aoki-Tei Japanese Buffet Restaurant is a sister company of the Umai-Ya Japanese Restaurant Group. Currently they have outlets in Kota Damansara, Sunway Nexis and Pusat Bandar Puchong.