Joy of Sake Info & How-To Guide

July 18th, 2014
By

Tonight, at the Hawaii Convention Center, the world's largest sake celebration outside Japan takes place, offering the opportunity to taste 370 premium labels in peak condition and eat ono kine grindz from 19 top restaurants from Hawaii and California! I think it's still not too late to purchase your Joy of Sake tickets for the event, so go getum!

Joy of Sake
Joy of Sake

The following is a guide for those who will be attending this year.

Joy of Sake how-to guide - (from Frolic Hawaii's Mari Taketa)

  1. Nobody gets through all 370 sake, so stop worrying about that. Thirty to 40 is a very good sampling.
  2. If you've never tried sake, start with a daiginjo A. It'll be floral, nuanced, gentle, a good intro.
  3. Check the card in front of each sake: It'll tell you if judges awarded it a gold or silver star in its category. No star doesn't mean it's bad. The overall level of sake entered in Joy of Sake judging is impressive and hard to match even in Japan, where the JOS tour ends this fall after a stop in New York next month.
  4. If you see a black star, that sake isn't available in the U.S. The card also tells you where it was made, in case you're interested in sake from a particular region.
  5. If you're a novice, don't worry about searching for the harmony of taste, aroma, body and texture the pros look for. Everyone will have a different personal favorite. Just sip to find what you like.

Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans - from Kaiwa
Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans - from Kaiwa

And here's the list of restaurants and their featured dishes for the night!

  • Banzai Sushi Bar - Seared Opah marinated in vinegar, dashi and soy sauce with lemon, garden vegetables and needle-cut chili peppers
  • BLT Steak - Torched Steak Tartare with rice crisp & horseradish
  • Buho Cocina y Cantina - Slow-cooked Pork Belly Tacos with pineapple pico and achiote aioli on homemade tortillas
  • Cakeworks - Plum Wine, Pikake & Green Tea Gelee
  • Chef Chai - Shrimp Salad with lemongrass mango dressing on a crispy wonton chip
  • Doraku - Dashimaki Tamago with minced scallop, shrimp, Kona kampachi and yamaimo mountain yam
  • Gokujo Sushi - Gokujo spicy ahi or California temaki sushi
  • Halekulani - Olive Oil-poached Cubed Salmon with horseradish and watercress salad
  • Hoku's (The Kahala Hotel & Resort) - Roast Pork Summer Roll with umeboshi honey paste & Asian slaw
  • Hopscotch (Oakland) - Tri-tip Yukke with pine nuts and quail egg
  • Kaiwa - Crab Parfait with dashi gelee, soy milk mousse and crunchy green beans
  • Koko Head Cafe - Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu
  • Memphis Minnie's BBQ Joint (San Francisco) - 18-hour slow-smoked Texas Beef Brisket
  • Migrant Maui - Migrant Adobo with mushrooms, bay leaf rice, atchara pickled green papaya and Boy Bawang
  • MW Restaurant - "Spam" Musubi of mochi-crusted smoked pork and arabiki meatloaf
  • The Pig and The Lady - Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat
  • Pili Group - Molokai Venison with Namihana Hawaiian Shochu and fresh pa`i`ai
  • Three Fat Pigs - Featured Dish: Kauai Shrimp Poisson Cru
  • Vintage Cave Honolulu - Featured Dish: Oyster with yuzu & ginger

Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu - from Koko Head Cafe
Mazemen Soba with crispy chicken skin, parmesan dashi cream and carmelized onion tsuyu - from Koko Head Cafe

Joy of Sake Honolulu
Friday, July 18, 2014 from 6:30pm-9pm (5:30pm for early bird ticket holders)
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat - from The Pig and The Lady
Freshly grilled layers of betel leaf, minced garlic beef and a shiitake cap filled with sake and a drop of artisan Red Boat - from The Pig and The Lady

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One Response to “Joy of Sake Info & How-To Guide”

  1. carokun:

    Thanks for the sake lesson, Sugimoto Sensei! :) That soba from Koko Head looks good. I ate there once for bfast and enjoyed their take on bi bim bop. Kinda pricy and small portions, but definitely yummy! If get line there, I usually just go to the default --> Koa Pancake House.

    Have fun at the event - you not part of Frolic yet?

    Happy @loha friday! Btw, my friend wore her new blue VH07V tee that i got her for her birthday last night and I got a text - "thanks! it's soooo comfy! love it!"