EVENT REVIEW: An Introduction to Sake: How it is made and its place in traditional Japanese culture

Marinated Snow Crab with the event was a roaring success. We were treated by Shirley Booth to great sake talk to begin. We then tried a variety of Sake, all well paired with the food. Great Sake, and amazing food courtesy of Matsuri restaurant.  Thanks go to the Japan Rice Export association, Hakutsuru Sake and Matsuri Restaurant. The menu included:

Flying Fish Roe

Wagyu Tataki

Poached Tuna and Wasabi


Sea Bream Marinated in Kelp


Two kinds of “Hatta” style tempura


Japanese Wagyu (Kagoshima)

Seasonal Vegetables

Egg Fried Rice


Fireball Ice Cream

Comments from attendees:

“You did a great job, congratulations!”

I really enjoyed your seminar – you are a great teacher”

“I want to say a big ‘thank you’ for the brilliant event

” – Chiyoko-san and I really enjoyed it. “My favourite was Junmai Nigori she Sayuri”

“I never knew there was so much to Sake, you gave a fascinating talk!”

“Very many thanks for an excellent evening  at Matsuri “

” It was such a wonderful experience…the Sake was beautiful.  I feel I learned a lot more about Sake in than I knew before, the food was fantastic and I thought that the pairings worked really well.”

“Best sake talk I have ever attended! “

United Ramen and Sake Dinner

gyoza united ramenUnited Ramen logo

Another first for British Sake Association members

The first event of the year was a successful Sake and Ramen Dinner, held at the end of January, at the recently-opened United Ramen in Islington. The weather didn’t disappoint: it was a distinctly chilly and wintery night – perfect for bowls of warming ramen noodles.

Once again BSA members and their guests were able to enjoy some innovative sake and food pairings and learn more about different sakes and how they taste, all in the enjoyable company of fellow sake enthusiasts – and, as usual, priced competitively.

The sakes were introduced and presented by Asami Tasaka from World Sake who did a sterling job whilst struggling with a lost voice and recovering from a sore throat. Her most important work though had already been done beforehand – choosing the sakes and pairing them with the food. And this she did magnificently.

Aaron Resch from United Ramen laid on a generous feast, and willingly catered for the vegetarians amongst us. We started with spiced edamame, which was paired with Dewazakura’s Oka Ginjo, sometimes seen as the signature sake of World Sake, which was served chilled. Next came delicious light and tasty handmade pork gyoza: these were described by Giles Coren as gyoza to ‘make your day’, and indeed they were, especially when paired with Kamoizumi Shusen- a junmai sake served at room temperature.

The generous and uber-tasty Asian BBQ pork ribs (modestly described as a ‘side dish’) were then served alongside Sentoku Bessen, a remarkable futsushu from Gunma prefecture.

The main course – a huge bowl of ramen – was paired with the Shusen again. But this time served warm, which seemed to really bring out the woodsy, mushroomy aromas of this junmai from Hiroshima. It’s always fascinating to taste the same sake at different temperatures (and of course alongside different foods too). Something you can try at home.

Finally we were treated to a sumptuous dessert of two mochi ice creams, with fillings of yuzu, and mango. Delicious on their own, the flavours were only enhanced by the Kamoizumu komekome ‘Happy Bride’; – a low alcohol and mildy sweet sake, rich in amino acids and described as Riesling-like, again from Hiroshima.

After short words of thanks we all left vowing to come back for more ramen, and to avail ourselves of February’s Two for One offer. http://www.unitedramen.com

Save The Date: our next event, in time for Easter and, for those in the know, for White Day, will be A Sake and Chocolate Pairing

Led by Oliver Hilton Johnson of Tengu Sake and Chocolatier Chika Watanabe

Monday 9th March at Tombo. Details to follow



(Photos used with thanks – all rights reserved – United Ramen, UnitedRamen.com)

Event – An Exclusive Evening of Japanese Culture and Sake from Fukui 17/09/14

UK debut of Hakugakusen Award-winning sakes

Hakugakusen logo

We are delighted to announce the first UK visit of the Yasumoto family, including Master Brewer Takeshi Yasumoto, from Hakugakusen Brewery, who will present an exclusive selection of their Premium sakes, aided by SSI-certified  Sake Sommelier Ms Hitomi Kimura.

This a special preview for British Sake Association members and guests, of sakes which have never been available here before. *

 A selection of Japanese food, prepared especially by our hosts to match the sakes, will be served.

In addition the evening will include a presentation of exclusive sake ceramics by Ms Kazuko Sashita from Tokyo’s Space Q Gallery; Ms Kazue Shinohara will demonstrate Japanese Calligraphy and Ms Fumiko Kikuchi, Origami, with originals for you to take home as gifts.

All are coming over from Japan just for this event. This promises to be a very special evening, but places are limited so book early.

*soon to be retailing here in the UK, available through JFC


Date:     Wednesday 17th September 2014
Venue:  Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD. Tel: 020 7388 4539

Time:    6.45- 8.30pm

Cost:     £25 members / £30 non-members.  All Welcome.


To book email events@britishsakeassociation.org, stating the number of tickets, the names of attendees and whether a member of not.  You will then receive a payment request via email.

FULLY BOOKED: Sake & Cheese matching, London 13/11/13

13th November – Sake and Cheese matching at La Cave à Fromage, South Kensington, London

Sake and Cheese

A great friendship has been struck between us and the cheese connoisseurs over at La Cave à Fromage. We’ve done two tastings with them now – one earlier this year at their shop in London, and one at the Brighton branch.

The events have been so popular that we’re returning to the London branch on Wednesday 13th November to match five new cheeses with five different sakes. We’ll be playing with flavours, styles and temperatures to bring you some pretty amazing pairings (truffle honey with rich, velvety, warm sake, anyone?!)


  • Wednesday 13th November 2013
  • 7pm for a prompt 7:15pm start (finish 9pm-ish) at La Cave à Fromage in South Kensington, London (24-25 Cromwell Place, Kensington, London SW7 2LD.  Nearest tube: South Kensington)
  • Places limited to 20 people


  • £30 to BSA members, £35 to non-members.  All welcome.  Price includes sake & cheese.

To book, email events@britishsakeassociation.org, stating the number of tickets, the names of attendees and whether a member of not.  You will then receive a payment request via email.

Event: Sake & Cheese matching, Brighton 19/09/13

19th September – Sake and Cheese matching at La Cave à Fromage, Hove, Brighton

Sake pairing with cheese

Following on from the sold-out event we held last year with our friends at La Cave in Kensington, London we’re running the event again, this time in their sister shop in Hove, Brighton.

Following on from last time we will match five sake, provided by Tengu Sake, with five distinct cheeses from La Cave.

This event will take place on Thursday 19th September, 7pm for a prompt 7:15pm start at La Cave à Fromage in Hove, Brighton (34-35 Western Road, Hove, Brighton BN3 1AF)

£30 to BSA members, £35 to non-members.  All welcome.  Price includes sake & cheese.

To book email events@britishsakeassociation.org, stating the number of tickets, the names of attendees and whether a member of not.  You will then receive a payment request via email.