Sake in its myriad forms will be the star of the show at a new series of quarterly tasting dinners at St James’s Japanese restaurant Ginza Onodera, being held in collaboration with World Sake Imports. Rare bottlings will also be available to buy on the evening, including the Tsuyusanzen Nama Daiginjo, of which only 1,500 are produced a year (with only 24 imported into the UK ); guests will be invited to bid for one of three in a silent auction.
Kicking off on October 19, the menu (£120) has been dreamed up by head chef Ryosuke Kishi, head sommelier Angelo Lorea and sake brewer Yoshida Shuzo-ten, and will pair different sakes and a green tea with each of the five courses. Delicacies will include marbled tuna with truffles marinated in nikiri soy sauce, scallops with myoga and truffle oil, yellowtail with tororo kombu, tuna with kinpun, and prawn with caviar.
The roll call of sakes, meanwhile, will include Tedorigawa Yamahai Daiginjo, a chilled version alive with pear and herbal notes, and Iki Na Onna Daiginjo, created for the Association of Female Sake Workers.
“The Tsuyusanzen Nama Daiginjo will be the star,” says Lorea. “Often featured in sake competitions, this rare variety is made by polishing the rice up to 40 per cent to remove all external proteins and fats, so the starch – or shinpaku in Japanese – alone is used. The resultant sake is neat, clean and full of fruity ginjo-ka characteristics. Furthermore, this is a namazake unpasteurised sake, which makes it even more fragrant, refreshing and lively.”