Nanbu Bijin was featured in Japanese TV show Mirai Vision




Special Dassai Sake-Kasu Nabe Week at Sakagura

Tuesday to Saturday,  January 25th to 29th, 2011

Have you ever had Sake Kasu Nabe? If you haven’t, we have a good news! We will serve Sake Kasu Pot Dish using Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo’s sake lees from Asahi Shuzo
( since Tuesday, January 25th to Saturday, 29th of January.

Sake Kasu is what is left after sake has been pressed out of the mash. It is quite nutritious and flavorful and the fragrance (especially daiginjo sake kasu) is very fruity. It is used in home cooking in many ways to create wonderfully complex flavored dishes during the winter. Many traditional Japanese confection uses lots of sake kasu to flavor some of their products.

You will also get a complementary glass of Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo sake when you order Sake-Kasu Nabe! Not finished exciting announcement yet! Mr. Kazuhiro Sakurai, executive director of Dassai Brewery will bring Dassai 50 Hatsu Shibori (freshly brewed unpasteurized sake) and those sake will be served with Nabe as a complementary ONLY Friday night, 28th!
Nabe and Daiginjo sake are limited every night. Please hurry to make the RSVPs in advance!

“DASSAI SAKE-KASU NABE” served with a glass of Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo (Friday: Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo Nama) $25.00
Variety Kinds of Seafood and Seasonal Vegetables Served with Dassai 23’s Junmai Daiginjo Sake Kasu Infused Soy Sauce In an Iron Pot

RSVP Hotlines : 212-953-SAKE (7253)
*RSVP will be taken on a first-come first-serve basis. We cannot hold orders in advance.

NEW YORK, NY 10017
(bet 2nd and 3rd Avenue)
212-953-SAKE (7253)

Try HOT Hakkaisan Honjozo at Aburiya Kinnosuke!

Do you still believe Hot sake is cheap or bad sake??

That’s NOT true!

Unfortunately, some of restaurants still don’t know how to make Okan sake. (warm sake)

Basically, I love NOT heated-up too much one called “Nurukan” (about 100F – 115F) when I have Okan sake, but if you try Hakkaisan Honjozo warm, I highly recommend a little higher temperature than Nurukan like 130F. It’s about between “Jokan” (about 120F ) and “Atsukan” (about 132F).

Recently, I visited Aburiya Kinnosuke in midtown NYC for a dinner, and they were serving best temperature for Hakkaisan Honjozo! Their grilled dishes are absolutely all great for Okan sake! You should try the great combination! I enjoyed hot Hakkaisan Honjozo with a grilled Eihire, dried skate fin, a deep fried soft boiled egg Onsen tamago with sea salt, and a Washu beef hanger stake on a salt rock plate. Omg, sooooo good!!!

They are serving Hakkaisan Honjozo hot sake as Atsukan special until end of January. Why don’t you try?

Also, I recommend some of more great Japanese restaurants where serving best temperature for hot Hakkaisan! Try try TRY!!

Go to Hakkaisan’s website!

Midtown: The Hot Spot For Sake Hopping


Photos and text by Chamagraphy

More photos available on Flickr

211 E 43rd Street, NY

On December 22, Hakkaisan hosted a holiday sake party at Sakagura in Midtown East. The evening included a special-feature sake Nama Genshu, which was not sold in USA and hand carried over from Japan for the event. In addition to the special sake, 3 other popular Hakkaisan sakes were served; Ginjo, Tokubetsu Junmai, and Honjozo. Sakagura prepared 5 dishes to pair with the sakes, including “omusubi” style rice ball made with the most expensive Japanese rice on the market – Niigata Uonuma Koshihikari.

As a special holiday gift, every guest received a beautiful hand-crafted ceramic sake cup “Guinomi Kagami Mochi” created by Misato Fukuoka. The cup came with a tiny cute orange made of ceramic. Turn the sake cup upside down, put the orange on the top, it becomes an ornament of a traditional Japanese round rice cakes used for celebrating New Year. Ms. Fukuoka was on hand at the event to debut her ceramic creations in New York.

12月22日、「八海山 ホリデー日本酒パーティー」 がNYミッドタウンにある酒蔵に て開催されました。アメリカでも人気の八海山吟醸、特別純米、本醸造の3種類のお酒が飲み放題。そして、もう1種類、アメリカ国内未発売、日本でも一部で しか販売されていないという、八海山しぼりたて原酒「越後で候」が振る舞われました。八海山のお酒を味わいながら、酒蔵の食事、唐揚げ、焼き鴨などの5品 を楽しむ、そのうち1品は八海山が特別に用意された最高級米「新潟魚沼産 こしひかり」を使ったおむすび、となんとも美味しいイベントでした。

今回のホリデーギフトとして、陶芸家の福岡光里さ んが八海山とコラボして製作された「ぐいのみ鏡餅」が参加者のみなさんにプレゼントされました。白くて丸みのあるおちょこですが、ひっくり返して付属のオ レンジ色のみかんの飾りをのせると、鏡餅の置物になる、というお正月にぴったりの素敵なおちょこです。今回のイベントにあわせて福岡さんもNYに来られ、 ゲストのみなさんとともにパーティーを楽しんでいらっしゃる様子でした。

Sake For Seasoning


Photos and text by Chamagraphy

More photos available on Flickr

Gohan Society Modern Kaiseki Dinner
@ Sakagura 211E 43rd Street B1F, New York

The Gohan Society is a non-profit organization bringing Japanese culinary culture in US through outreaching to chefs, culinary arts professionals, and all who admire and enjoy Japanese culture. They had more than ten inspiring educational programs in 2010. For example, “Mastering Fish the Japanese Way” with Sushi Zen’s chef Toshio Suzuki, “American Chefs to Japan” where the chefs exchanged culinary cultures, and “Washoku 101” for local high school students learning Japanese cuisine.

On November 16, The Gohan Society hosted a first annual fund-raising dinner event to celebrated their accomplishments at Sakagura in Midtown, NY. The evening featured “10 Course Modern Kaiseki Style Dinner Prepared by 10 of NY’s Most Celebrated Chefs” paired with 5 kinds of selected sakes. Lee Anne Wong, one of the last four contestants on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 4, organized and led the chefs to accomplish the 10 corse dinner.

It was 5-hour meal, and over 100 guest indulged the beautiful prepared dishes. The chefs had some time to sit down at tables, and taste the other chefs’ dishes during the dinner. All the meals looked beautiful and so much love in the individual dishes. Great food created by 10 talented chefs, and endless well selected sakes during the 5-hour dinner, what a special occasion!

Modern Kaiseki Dinner Menu

1st course Sakizuke by Michael Romano (Union Square Hospitality Group)
Kindai Tuna Sushi, Fregola, Avocado Sardinian Olive Oil

2nd course Hassun by Seamus Mullen
Hamachi, Arbequina, Yuzu, Togarashi
Sashimi of Kobe Beef, Horseradish, Wood Ear Mushroom, Uni
Littleneck Clam, Chorizo, Crosnes, Piment D’Espelette

3rd course Wan Mono by Ben Pollinger (Oceana)
Roasted Barley, Monkfish, Nappa Cabbage, Ginger

4th course Mukozuke by Brad Farmerie (Public)
Tasmanian Sea Trout, Piccalilli, Shichimi, Shiso

5th course Futamono by Michael Anthony & Paul Wetzel (Gramercy Tavern)
Matsutake Mushrooms, Winter Squash, Duck

6th course Yakimono by Chris Rendell (Double Crown)
Grilled Black Cod, Cashew-chili Relish, Hijiki, Soy-Mirin Dressing

7th course Su-Zakana by Craig Koketsu (Park Avenue Autumn)
Fuyu Persimmons, Black Sesame, Ginger

8th course Shiizakana by Pierre Thiam (Le Grand Dakar)
Spice Crusted Lamb Loin, Sake Sauce

9th course Tome-Wan by King Phojanakong (Kuma Inn)
Miso Soup, Glutinous Rice and Sweet Pork Sausage, Pickled Bitter Melon, Mushrooms, Radish

10th course Mizumono by Dominique Ansel (Daniel)
Apple Confit with Green Apple Wasabi Gelee and Yuzu Sorbet

Cocktail Reception
Mixology by Nils Noren & Dave Arnold (French Culinary Institute)
Brooklyn Brewery Beer
Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12 years (サントリーシングルモルトウィスキー 山崎12年)
Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai (南部美人 特別純米)

Paired Sakes for Dinner
Daishichi (Minowamon / Yuki-Shibori) 大七 箕輪門 特別純米 / 雪しぼり 本醸造にごり
Dassai (Junami Daiginjo 39) 獺祭 純米3割9分
Tengumai (Yamahai Junmai) 天狗舞 山廃純米
Hakkaisan (Tokubetsu Junmai) 八海山 特別純米

11月16日、NYを代表するミッドタウンの酒バー&レストラン「酒蔵」を貸し切り、「五絆ソサエティ」 主催によるモダン懐石ディナーパーティーが開催されました。「五絆ソサエティ」は日本の食文化をアメリカでより理解してもらおうと、ニューヨークの一流レ ストランで活躍中の若手シェフ達を招き、日本の食材や技術のワークショップやレクチャーなどを開催したり、アメリカ人若手シェフを日本に派遣して食の文化 交流を行ったりと、日本食文化を伝える目的で活動している非営利団体です。

今回のディナーパーティーのメニューは「NYで活躍中のシェフ10人が作る懐石10コース」というなんとも豪華な内容。Bravo TVで人気のリアリティー料理番組 Top Chef 4 でセミファイナルまで残った Lee Anne Wong 指揮により、Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, Park Avenue Autumn, Oceana, Public などNYで人気レストランのシェフ達が、懐石スタイルの料理を一品ずつ用意しました。参加者100人を超えたディナーは5時間にも及び、それぞれの料理に合わせてペアリングされた日本酒とともに一品一品を楽しんでいる様子でした。

October 2010 Hakkaisan Restaurant Week

Join us to celebrate Hakkaisan Sake Week from October 25th – 31st in NYC. During this time you can get some amazing specials that feature Hakkaisan Sake paired with some delicious food! The Participating restaurant this month is Kasadela.

They serve 4 kinds of Hakkaisan (Ginjo, Tokubetsu Junmai, Honjozo, and Futsushu) comes with 2 kinds of appetizers for just $20!! I was served Korean salted dried seaweed nori and super soft home made deep fried sesame tofu the other night.

Also, Kasadela is very popular for THE BEST Japanese Chicken Wing in NYC! If you haven’t tried it yet, you MUST try!!


647 E 11th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 777-1582


Photos and text by Chamagraphy

More photos available on my Flickr

Daishichi Night
Midtown and East Village, NYC

On Oct 15, Daishichi (Big Seven) sake tasting event was held at NYC’s biggest sake bar, Sakagura in Midtown. Daishichi Brewery was established in 1752, located in northeast of Japan, Fukushima prefecture. Daishichi makes rich and mellow sakes whose outstanding reputation comes from an insistence on a strictly orthodox brewing tradition: the “Kimoto” method.

For the tasting event, 3 types of selected Daishichi sakes (Junmai Daiginjo/ Honjozo/ Nigori) were served at bar. The guests had an option to purchase a Daishichi brewery’s original Masu – wooden sake cup for $20, and drink their favorite sake from it. The event was organized by my friend sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton, welcoming a sake expert Mr. Ad Blankestijn from Daishichi sake brewery who has been living in Japan over 30 years and speaks fluent Japanese.

A night before the Sakagura event, I had an opportunity to join the Daishichi tasting event at Robataya restaurant and Decibel sake bar in East Village. At Robataya, the same 3 types were served with a small chicken and crab meat appetizer. We ordered some warmed-up Kimoto Honjozo sake with some appetizers; chilled tofu with ginger and pickles, grilled sea urchin, snow club dumpling in soup, etc… Then we moved to Decibel across from the Robataya for another Daishichi sake tasting. Decibel is a little underground bar, small tables and chairs under dark red light with graffiti on the walls, like a retro pop sake bar could be somewhere in Tokyo. It was a damp chilly Fall night, but sake lovers came out to enjoy the hand-crafted Daishichi Kimoto sakes.

10月15日、NYを代表するミッドタウンの酒バー&レストラン「酒蔵」にて、大七酒造 海外担当取締役 Ad Blankestijn 氏をお迎えして、大七の酒テイスティングが行われました。大七酒造は江戸時代の1752年創業以来、日本酒の最も正統で伝統的な醸造法である「生もと造り」で現在も同じ方法で日本酒が造られています。

今回の酒蔵でのテイスティングでは、3種類の大七生もと酒:純米大吟醸箕輪門、本醸造、本醸造にごり雪しぼり、が用意されま した。イベントと同時に、大七オリジナルのマス ($20) が特別販売され、実際に大七マスで大七のお酒を楽しめる、という大七ファンには嬉しい、日本酒にあまり馴染みのないお客さんたちも楽しんで大七のお酒を味 わっていました。

このイベントの前日、イースビレッジの炉端焼き専門店「炉端や」とアンダーグラウンド酒バー「Decibel」でも大七酒テイスティングが行われ、大七ウィークを企画した利き酒師チズ子さんと Mr. Blankestijn 一緒に参加させてもらいました。オランダ出身の Mr. Blankestijn は日本に30年以上滞在しておられ、流暢な日本語以外にも英語と中国語も堪能で、翻訳家、トラベルコンサルタント、利き酒師、などのマルチタレント、日本 の文化についても詳しい方でした。

「炉端や」では酒蔵でのテイスティングと同じ3種類がアペタイザー1品が ($18) でセットとして用意され、先着20名には大七オリジナルのマスがプレゼントされました。私たちはセット以外にも、大七のお酒に合いそうな、冷や奴っこ、雲 丹の塩昆布焼き、蟹焼売スープ仕立てなどのお料理と一緒に、生もと本醸造の擱かんもいただきました。その後向かい側にある酒バー「Decibel」へと移 動。 Decibelは狭い階段を降りてすぐの地下にある酒バーで、赤い暗めの室内は昭和っぽいレトロな感じがして壁中グラフィティで落書きされており、隠れ家 的な酒バーです。この夜は、秋の終わりを感じさせるような肌寒い夜だったので、温かい大七のお酒が体に染みわたりました。


Photos and text by Chamagraphy

More photos available on my Flickr

Tengumai Marathon Night
Midtown / East Village, NYC

On Oct 6th, a night before the Tengumai event at Japanese Culinary Center, I had a great opportunity to meet with Mr. Shata who was promoting his sake to Japanese restaurants in NYC, along with my sake sommelier friend Chizuko Niikawa-Helton, and sake teacher Timothy Sullivan.

First, we started “Tengumai Marathon Night” at Aburiya Kinnosuke in Midtown East, which offered limited $30 Tengumai sake testing set (Umagin/ Yamahai/ Umajun). We paired the sakes with fresh sashimi platter, grilled tender Japanese beef, and steamed red snapper. Then we moved to downtown, East Village. After quick stopping by a liquor shop dedicated to Japanese sake & shchu Sakaya, we had dinner at Robataya. $17 Tengumai sake tasting set (Umagin/ Ko-Koshu/ Yamahai) was offered with a free appetizer, chopped raw mackerel marinated with miso paste. In addition to the tasting set, 3-year-aged sake Ko-koshu was paired with grilled fish/ meat/ vegetables, and ended with a king of mushroom Matsutake soup.

The marathon night continued to Japanese Izaykaya Kasadela where we had warmed-up Kanzake Yamahai paired with their popular Nagoya style chicken wing dish. Then we moved to a sake & shochu bar Uminoie which carries more than 50 kinds of shochu and sake, along with Nagasaki Goto Island home made dishes. We had chilled Yamahai, paired with their popular Goto udon noodle soup, and a bit spicy Ma-po tofu dish. Then finally the last stop was at a secret members-only bar lounge restaurant Bohemian, ended with chilled Umajun.

My favorite Tengumai sake is Kanzake Yamahai, not hot, nicely warmed-up. The same sake in chilled tastes good but when it’s warmed-up, it brings out the Umami of rice and rich flavors. I love sake that pairs with various food, and Tengumai Yamahai would be the excellent choice of sake, that goes well with various kinds of food and be able to keep drinking all night.

10月6日、天狗舞で有名な車多酒造8代目蔵元 車多一成氏、NYで酒と言ったら利き酒師チズコ、そして酒サムライ/酒先生 Timothy Sullivan が、NYで天狗舞を取り扱っているレストランのうち5軒を訪れる『天狗舞マラソン』決行、ということでフォトグラファーとして完全密着同行させてもらいました。

ミッドタウンにある炉端焼きで人気の「炙り屋錦乃介」 では、「天狗舞旨吟 (うまぎん) / 旨醇 (うまじゅん) / 山廃」の3種類 ($30) を奇麗なプレゼンテーションの冷やできりっと。それに合わせて新鮮なお刺身の盛り合わせ、小鯛の煮付け、和州牛のグリルを堪能しました。その後イーストビ レッジに移動。まずNYで唯一の日本酒専門店「SAKAYA」に立ち寄り、オーナーの Rick さんとヒロコさんにご挨拶を。そして、炉端焼き専門店「炉端や」では、「旨醇 (ぬる燗) / アメリカ未発売の Alexander Gelmen ラベルデザイン古古酒 (常温) / 山廃 (上燗)」の3種類の天狗舞にアペタイザー付き (秋刀魚のなめろう) ($17) のセットを、さらにお燗にした天狗舞酒に合わせて新鮮な魚介や野菜の炉端料理、松茸の土鍋蒸しなどを堪能。

まだまだ『天狗舞マラソン』は続き、次に訪れた名古屋風手羽先で人気の居酒屋「笠寺 (Kasadela)」では、手羽先と一緒にお燗にした「山廃」を。そして、60以上の焼酎とお酒と長崎県五島列島の家庭料理あごだし料理が自慢の「海の家」へ。マーボー豆腐とツルツルした食感の五島うどんと一緒に「山廃」を冷やで。最後に、住所非公開の隠れ家的ラウンジバー「Bohemian」にて、お店でも人気の天狗舞「旨醇」をワイングラスで頂きました。

冷やで飲んでももちろんおいしい天狗舞ですが「山廃」を燗酒で飲むのが一番気に入りました。温かくするとまた違った奥深い旨 みが出て、一晩中飲んでも飽きることのないクセになりそうなお酒です。お刺身や焼きもの以外にも臭みのあるチーズや味の濃い料理にも合う、食事と一緒に楽 しむのに抜群のお酒です。

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