Chefs across the capital have created an array of delicious seafood-based dishes as part of the Sake Seafood Sensations campaign throughout the month, following World Sake Day on 1st October. Their carefully designed menus will showcase the compatibility of different Sake styles with a variety of global cuisines, including Modern British, Mediterranean and Fusion styles, as well as contemporary Japanese.
An eclectic range of London establishments will be getting involved, including three 5-star hotel restaurants, a floating barge restaurant/bar and a 75-year-old deli. All have worked closely with a WSET qualified Sake expert and UK Sake distributor to develop their tailored menus and select a range of Sake to complement their dishes perfectly, enabling the ingredients and flavours to really shine through.
Produced by carefully polishing and fermenting sakamai rice, Sake has been brewed in Japan for over 2,000 years. Unlike wine, where much of its quality is decided in the vineyard, the most important factor in making Sake is in the technical production process used in the brewery. Today’s brewers are merging tradition and innovation to create high quality, versatile Sakes that come in a range of styles and flavours.
We went along to try some of these combinations for ourselves and it is remarkable how the pairing enhances the flavour and complexity of both seafood and sake.
Sake is a particularly good match for seafood dishes thanks to its high umami factor and low levels of iron and acidity. Some of the specially created pairings that have been developed by restaurants involved in the campaign to highlight this Sake-seafood compatibility include:
Mediterranean rice with cuttlefish, red prawns, seabream and seafood stock, paired with Yauemon ‘Silent Forest’ Junmai Ginjo
Classic fish and chips (haddock, chunky chips, pea purée, tartare sauce, chargrilled lemon), paired with Dewazakura Izumi Judan Ginjo Sake
Chilean sea bass with shiso salsa, paired with CEL–24 Junmai Ginjo
Smoked salmon served with a toasted bagel, cream cheese and pickles, paired with Nishinoseki Classic
More details, including the full list of bars and restaurants taking part, will be updated on Instagram at @sake_sensations which will also include a brief guide to the different styles and categories of Sake.
Curious about sake and wondering where to start? Watch this space for some introductory articles coming soon.
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Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David
Amanda David is a freelance food writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. She is the Events Editor for London Cheapo and a regular contributor to Palate Magazine.
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