Sake on the Side

Sake on the Side


Enmaru, Jakarta’s hottest and highest Japanese restaurant, recently held an exquisite sake pairing dinner to show how the rice wine can enhance dishes just as beautifully as its grape-derived cousin.

ENMARU2The team at Enmaru, the hot new Japanese restaurant in the Altitude complex in Jakarta, set out to educate the capital’s foodies about the joys of pairing rice wine with fine Japanese cuisine at a sake pairing dinner held on September 18th.

Guest chef Katsuhiko Yamamura from Akane restaurant in Singapore collaborated with Enmaru’s Executive Chef Takashi Tomie to produce nine courses of exquisite Japanese food served alongside seven premium varieties of sake. Each pairing revealed a new aspect of sake’s complex character and versatility.
A few highlights from the memorable meal include a glass of Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai sake paired with a petite portion of sea urchin served with grilled eggplant and yam; Karatanba Honjozo, a fragrant sake brewed with added water and alcohol, served with sashimi flown in fresh from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market as well as a steamed foie gras embellished with radish and soy sauce.

The grilled wagyu beef, seasoned with shaved yuzu salt, was especially memorable. It was paired with a hard-hitting Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo (the number on the bottle meaning the rice of the sake is polished down to 23% of its original brown rice, giving it a bold and fruity flavour).


Finally, the sweeter side of sake was revealed with a glass of Kawasemi No Tabi, a dessert variety brewed in Niigata prefecture in northwestern Japan. Matched with a hand-rolled mochi cake filled with red bean and strawberry, the Kawasemi showed its characteristic long aftertaste, providing a sweet finale to the meal.

It may be some time before sake achieves the same level of global appreciation as wine, but as Enmaru’s pairing dinner managed to show, the drink has the diversity and versatility to make connoisseurs of us yet. (