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#444

NOTES ON SAKE

25 Jan 2017 By

We learned a few new things about sake at Shukuu Izakaya.

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.

shukuu-izakaya-sake

“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.

Shukuu Izakaya sake

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:

Shukuu Izakaya sake

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:

Shukuu Izakaya sake

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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