Match of the week | Sake and food pairing: Chilean seabass hobayaki with warm daiginjo sake

Match of the week

Sake and food pairing: Chilean seabass hobayaki with warm daiginjo sake

I was always taught the best sakes were served chilled but the other evening at London's Sake no Hana I got to taste a super-premium daiginjo sake at room temperature with a dish of grilled Chilean seabass and it matched perfectly.

It was part of a menu that is served as part of the restaurant’s new Introduction to Sake course* which has been devised by Hakkasan’s head wine buyer Christine Parkinson and wine writer and sake enthusiast Anthony Rose.

I’ll be writing more about the course which starts this month* but just wanted to highlight this pairing of a very delicate, fragrant clean-tasting Tamagawa ‘Kinsho’ daiginjo sake made (very surprisingly) by a British brewer Philip Harper for the Kinoshita brewing company with a piece of grilled Chilean seabass with white miso.

The sake was served warm and chilled but interestingly the warmer version was, I thought, the better match with this hot savoury dish. (And the chilled version with the sushi that followed it although it’s not traditional, as I understand it, to serve sake with rice-based dishes.)

Sake is a natural pairing for umami-rich Japanese dishes like this.

*The half day courses will take place once a month on Saturday mornings and include a tasting followed by lunch at the sushi counter for £60 per person. For dates check out the restaurant website.

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