KANPAI! – ‘Cheers’ in Japanese

Last night saw us host a special sake pairing evening for social influencers at Japanese ‘washoku’ restaurant and sake cellar, Sakagura, on the buzzing Heddon Street in Mayfair.

It was a wonderfully educative evening. The special guest speaker was Natsuki Kikuya, founder and director of Museum of Sake, judge of the International Wine Challenge’s sake category and the Chief Educator of WSET Level 3 Award in Sake. In other words, a very well decorated figure in the sake world!

Set around the wooden kappo counter in the basement, our guests watched on as masterful Head Chef Jin Yakshin prepared the carefully selected tasting dishes, while Natsuki delivered a wonderful masterclass on the history of sake, its production and its importance in Japanese culture.

We sampled five different sakes throughout the evening, all wildly different in taste and smell, including sparkling, unpasteurised and a warm sake, which were paired with some of Sakagura’s signature dishes – the delicate sea bass carpaccio with plum ponzu paired perfectly with the Zaku-Ise-No-Hana while the Gekkeikan sparkling sake was a match made in heaven with the ika karaage (squid tempura).

With each sake served in its own individual cup and the dishes adorned with seasonal cherry blossom, the evening was an Instagrammer’s dream whilst providing us all with a hearty dose of education.

We’ll raise our sake cup to that.