Following a preview event held at Eve Bar at Frog by Adam Handling, The Joy of Sake will return to London next week.
Taking over the Barbican Centre on Friday 28th September, the largest sake-tasting outside Japan will showcase 478 sakes – all available to taste – accompanied by a selection of dishes from 14 London restaurants involved with this year’s unique event.
Reflecting the city’s growing appreciation for the versatility of Japan’s craft drink, chefs from 14 restaurants have created sake-inspired appetisers to be served at the event – complementing the flavours of the many sakes showcased, at the request of the organisers.
“The interplay of food and drink is especially interesting with sake,” says The Joy of Sake organiser, Chris Pearce. “The range of flavour and aroma notes varies tremendously, often enhanced with umami. Rather than presenting bold contrasts, sake subtly complements the dishes it accompanies.”
For The Joy of Sake 2018, the Barbican Exhibition Area will be divided into four sections, each corresponding to a category of sake. The junmai section, for instance, will champion robust, full-flavored dishes; while for the ultra-premium daiginjo areas will showcase more nuanced expressions.
Of those dish pairings, Ginza Onodera will serve venison sushi with Sharon fruit compote; Yen will serve homemade creamy tofu with soy sauce jelly and ginger; while Sake no Hana has prepared Cornish mackerel nanban with carrot, onion and yuzu vinegar. Not all dishes will be Japanese, however. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park’s appetiser is a slow-cooked lamb shoulder with fresh mint and roasted rhubarb; StreetXO will serve their Pekinese dumplings with strawberry hoisin sauce; and Frog by Adam Handling will serve a chocolate and tofu mousse with crystalised chocolate soil. La Fromargerie has also prepared a sake-inspired cheese selection, including Comte D’estive, truffle cheese, Regalis Blue and goat’s cheese
As for the 478 sakes available to taste, all are fresh from recent bottlings at 192 breweries across Japan, transported to The Joy of Sake in an unbroken chill chain. The selection includes 134 labels deemed ‘exceptional’ in a three-day blind tasting by judges at the U.S. National Sake Appraisal in Honolulu (marked by gold stars).
The Joy of Sake London will take place on Friday 28th September from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Barbican Centre, Exhibition Hall 2. Tickets are priced at £75 and include unlimited samplings of sake and small plates from 14 participating restaurants. Further information can be found here.