Shukuu Izakaya has not one, but two certified sake sommeliers, which shows you the commitment they have to providing the best sakes (and best value sakes) for punters. In fact, a lot of the sakes they carry are unknown yet still unique, under-the-radar yet uniformly great. And they don’t just push the grand junmai daiginjo range.
“People think that just because a sake is a junmai daiginjo it’s of the best quality,” says co-founder and somm Luis Liu (above). “I want to show them that even a regular junmaishu can be equally delicious.” And in turn, better for the wallet as well.
A good example is the Kaze no Mori Akitsuho Junmai Shiborihana sake ($128++ per bottle, above), a light sparkling sake that’s fruity and zesty as well. This is the kind of quality stuff that one might mistake for a junmai daiginjo, but in a good way. Its fine acidity will buzz through most of the beef or heavy dishes.
Another one we were impressed by was the Tokubetsu Junmaishu (above), bottled for Shukuu by a brewery in the Nikko in Tochigi prefecture. At just $53++, it’s well worth it for its flavourful umami notes. Pair it with the Pork Jowl Charshu or this:
Can’t review an izakaya without mentioning its food, obvs.
The team here do a lovely job of matching their dishes with the sakes, so I’d advise you go with their call. One of my favs, though, is this Aburi Shimesaba ($13), a torched mackerel pickled in vinegar salt and sugar overnight for a full blast of flavours and fill.
Okay, back to the sakes:
This Bodaimoto sake from Imanishi Brewery ($118 bottle) is made with water sourced from a stream that flows behind a temple, it is then used for brewing after ceremonial chants by monks. Of the 1,200 to 3,000 breweries in Japan, only six are allowed to sell this sake – and in Singapore only Shukuu Izayaka has this. It’s a rich sake yet not very dry, and is filled with umami flavours. Great with kishitoris and saltier foods.
*Luis Liu is a double certified SSI International Kikisake-Shi (國際唎酒師) and SSA Certified Sake Sommelier. When you’re here, you might as well leave it to the expert.
Shukuu Izakaya, 8 Stanley Street, Tel: 6327-9240 (reservations recommended)
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