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Food and Japanese sake pairing

In this issue, I’d like to pass on to our readers a trick that enhances one’s abilities to pair sake with food.
First, please select three brands of sake with very different properties. The differences in properties are hard to tell without drinking the sake, but first, let’s select the sake according to the information listed on each label.
For example, please select a Junmai Daiginjo, Tokubestu Junmai, and Junmai Kimoto, all produced in different regions like Akita, Niigata, and Hyogo prefectures, etc. Sake produced in the U.S. are reasonably priced, for including a few of these brands in the mix may also be fun.
Once we have the sake, please grab some wine glasses (white wine glasses are better). Please be sure to use the same shaped glass for each of the three sake brands. It’s best to store the glasses in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours and to maintain their temperature at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
And now, for the cuisine. Those who have time can prepare the food yourself, of course. However, I recommend takeout for those who want to compare the sake with many dishes from various types of cuisine. There’s no need to stick with Japanese cuisine, for it’s fun to also pair sake with Chinese and Italian (please avoid excessively spicy or strong garlic-flavored dishes) cuisines.
Please be careful to compare the balance between the sake and the food upon consumption, the changes detected in the umami flavors, and any changes in the aroma particular to that food, and aftertaste. If these factors in the pairing are satisfying, then it’s safe to say the pairing was a “success.”





니혼슈(일본술)와 음식의 페어링

오늘은 니혼슈와 음식의 페어링 실력이 좋아지는 방법에 대해 소개하고자 합니다.
먼저 되도록 성질이 서로 다른 니혼슈 3종을 준비합니다. 사실, 성질의 차이는 마셔봐야 알 수 있지만 우선 라벨에서 확인할 수 있는 정보를 바탕으로 선택해 봅니다.
예를 들어, 준마이 다이긴죠(純米大吟醸), 도쿠베츠 준마이(特別純米), 준마이 기모토(純米生酛) 등 원산지가 전혀 다른 것들로 찾아봅니다. 아키타, 니가타, 효고 등이 있을 수 있습니다. 미국산 니혼슈도 가격이 저렴하기 때문에 비교해보면 재미있습니다.
니혼슈가 준비되면 와인잔 (화이트 와인잔을 추천)을 준비합니다.
3종의 술은 반드시 동일한 형상의 와인잔을 사용할 것. 이때 3 시간 정도 냉장고에 보관하여 약 55°F로 차게 해둡니다.
요리는 시간에 여유가 있는 경우, 직접 만드는 것도 좋으나 여러 종류의 음식을 먹어보고 비교하기 위해서는 테이크아웃을 권합니다. 일식뿐만 아니라 중식, 이탈리안 등 (너무 맵거나 마늘 맛이 강한 음식은 피하도록 한다)으로 시도해보는 것도 재미있습니다.
이때 주의해야 할 점은 니혼슈를 마셨을 때 음식과의 조화, 맛의 변화, 음식 특유의 냄새 변화, 뒷맛 등입니다. 이러한 점이 음식과 함께 했을 때 좋았다면 페어링하기 ‘좋다’고 표현할 수 있습니다.

#sake #pairing

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"New Sparkling Japanese Sake [Awa Sake]" Part 2

President Nagai of sake brewery “Mizbasho” in Gunma prefecture developed a production method inspired by champagne that produces new sparkling Japanese sake by secondary fermentation inside the bottle, producing clear sake that is then pasteurized. Nagai acquired a patent for this production method combined with traditional Japanese sake production techniques in 2008.
Selling sparkling sake under the product name Mizbasho “PURE,” President Nagai was working hard on his clear, sparkling Japanese sake similar to champagne commonly toasted with - produced by secondary fermentation inside the bottle and pasteurized for worldwide transportation - as his next step to enter the global market.
However, blazing the trail alone to develop this new sake genre poses many challenges. Rather than facing these challenges alone, Nagai dreamed of recruiting members and forming a large team to develop his sparkling sake together, to introduce this new sparkling sake for the world to toast with.
Therefore, I was called upon as a long-time friend of the same age, also pursuing the same goal to expand overseas. Since I shared the same ambition, we collaborated together and produced the new Japanese sparkling sake “Awa Sake,” and founded the “Japan Awa Sake Association” in November 2016 to distribute this product.
Currently, our association consists of twenty-one sake breweries, each working on various projects to introduce and distribute our new sparkling Japanese sake both domestically and abroad.
Our next issue will describe the characteristics, etc., of “Awa Sake” in greater detail.

「日本酒の新スパークリング【awa酒】とは その2」


#SparklingSake #AwaSake

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Sharing the greatness of Sake with our Customers

By Yuji Matsumoto

Even if it is good tasting, if you're not able to relay that, customers will not try it. Also, if the timing to relay the information and contents are not sufficient, this will not lead to sales. We like to talk about how we can relay the appeal of sake to customers with the right timing and ideal content that will lead to sales.

Who are we relaying the information to?
Are you providing sufficient training separately for chefs, servers, and bartenders? Just by giving a little taste, there is absolutely no way you can explain the fineness of sake to customers. You need to make them thoroughly understand why a particular sake is delicious. Also, you can only understand 10% of the fineness of the sake if you drink it as a single item, so you definitely need to make them try the sake with the right dish.

We certainly feel that instead of a server asking "What would you like to have?" when taking a drink order from a customer, change it to "How would you like a cold, very delicious glass of sake?" It will make a big difference when you ask this.

Content we are relaying

For example, "Would you like to try AAA brand of Niigata which is dry and refreshing?" or
"Would you like to try BBB brand of Akita which has the fullness that goes well with teriyaki etc?" etc, to think of sales talk that is easy for customers to understand and to make them want to try.











고객에게 니혼슈(일본술)의 훌륭함을 전하다

아무리 좋은 것이라도 알리지 않는다면 고객은 시도하지 않습니다. 게다가 그 정보를 전달하는 타이밍과 내용이 적절하지 않다면 판매로 이어지지 않습니다. 그렇다면 어떤 타이밍에 적절하게 니혼슈(일본술)의 매력을 고객에게 전달하여 판매로 연결해나가는 게 좋을지 생각해봅시다.

정보를 전달하는 사람은 누구인가
전문 셰프, 서버, 바텐더, 각각 적절한 교육이 이루어지고 있는지 체크해봅시다. 단순히 한 두 모금 마신 경험 가지고는 절대로 니혼슈의 매력을 고객에게 설명할 수 없을 것입니다. 이 술이 왜 맛있는지를 정확하게 공부시킬 것. 또한 술만 마셔서는 그 술의 장점을 전혀 이해할 수 없으므로 반드시 음식과 함께 시음하게 할 것.

서버가 주문을 받을 때 고객에게 하는 "술은 어떻게 하시겠습니까?" 이 한마디를 "정말 맛있는 시원한 니혼슈 한잔 어떻습니까?”로 바꿔 볼 것. 이 한마디로 인해 큰 변화가 생길 것입니다.

고객에게 전달할 내용
예를 들어, 드라이하고 깔끔한 맛이 있어 초밥과 아주 잘 어울리는 니가타AAA 등급은 어떻습니까? 또는 구이요리에 잘 어울리는 바디감 있는 아키타 BBB는 어떻습니까? 등등 고객이 이해하기 쉽고 시도해보고 싶어할 만한 세일즈 토크를 고안해보면 좋을 것입니다.

#Sake #customers

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"New Sparkling Japanese Sake [Awa Sake]" Part 1

By Kosuke Kuji

Sparkling sake in Japan is broadly divided into 2 main types.
The first type is “bottled sparkling sake clouded by secondary fermentation.”
The other type is “clear sparkling sake with added gas,” the common and delicious, long-established type sold in Japan.
However, looking outward to the world, sparkling alcohol consist mostly of “clear bottled alcohol by secondary fermentation” with French champagne as the most common of brands.
Clear bottled alcohol by secondary fermentation is higher in value than clear sake with added gas, with the clear sake showcasing beautiful bubbles.
To introduce Japanese sake and compete on the world stage, I foresaw over 20 years ago that champagne would become the beverage to ‘toast’ with, to be followed by white wine according to the world standard.
To get non-Japanese nationals to taste Japanese sake in this setting, I was convinced that Japanese sake had to be the first beverage served. However, although toasting with sake is normal in Japan, non-Japanese nationals typically toast to “sparkling” alcoholic beverage, which I knew would be difficult to achieve with the two types of sake described above. That was when I received a call from Noriyoshi Nagai, President of the sake brewery “Mizubasho” in Gunma prefecture.



#Sake #Sparkling #AwaSake

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“Pâtisserie Fouet” Enjoy pairings of desserts and sake stylishly

“Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou... “Pâtisserie Fou...
By Aya Ota

There is a clean and pure-looking restaurant, located on a corner of the Union Square/Greenwich Village District, which makes you feel like stopping by. As you step into the place, absorbed and sucked in by the warm light overflowing from inside, an art nouveau style elegant space unfolds in front of you. You don’t feel any Japanese elements from either its exterior or interior, but here at “Pâtisserie Fouet”, you can enjoy French sweets and desserts accentuated with Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, sesame, and green tea.
This restaurant’s specialty is its rich menu that changes depending on the time of the day. After 11 a.m. is the Savory, which consists of sandwiches, salad, soup, Tapas dishes, etc., between 12 and 4 p.m. is Afternoon Tea, and after 4p.m. is prefixed dessert tasting. In the evening, you can enjoy meals and bar drinks. There are 4 peak times a day. You can order patisseries all day, and can also take them out.
What especially needs to be paid attention to, is the paring of dessert tasting and alcoholic beverages. You choose 1 out of the prefixed main 3 desserts of your choice, and pair it with Japanese sake, shochu, Japanese whiskey, wine, etc. as an option. “Yuzu Sugar Sugar” is a visually gorgeous item. You crack the globe made of sugar to reveal a refreshing sour yuzu mousse. “Green Tea Souffle” is eaten hot-out-of-the-oven with cold ice cream. An excellent harmony is created with the mild-bitterness of the green tea, sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, and sourness of the strawberry sauce. Flavors becomes enhanced when these delicately flavored desserts are paired with Japanese sake or shochu, which brings the goodness out of each other. 50% of the pastries are gluten-free, and there are many vegan items, which are very well received by highly health-conscious New Yorkers. All the sauces and ice creams are made in-house, which is reflected on the name of the restaurant (Fouet means a whisk). Their signature items are the souffle items. New flavors reflected upon each season; coconut, passion fruit, white sesame, etc., appear every month.
The Savory menu is also worth paying attention to. The tapas menu had existed since the opening, but from August of this year, they added more voluminous items such as beef stew, and hard liquor such as Japanese whiskey and shochu, to enrich the menu. Since then, more customers started to come to enjoy the place also as a restaurant or a bar, which has been contributing to the growing sales of the Savory and Alcohol beverages division.

“I had a long dream of having a kind of place where you can casually drop by to have a light meal with a glass of wine, and finish with souffle,” says Yoshie Shirakawa, partner/executive chef. She came to the US in 2008 as the executive chef, when a Japanese confectionery/cooking school came to New York to open a café. After the café closed, she launched her own business, selling whole-sale pastries, working at restaurants and cafes to brush up her skills. She is a well-rounded expert pâtisserie with a total of 28 years of experience both in Japan and the US. She said that she met a Taiwanese owner who runs sushi kappo and udon restaurants a few year ago, which triggered the opening of “Pâtisserie Fouet”.
It has been a little over a year since its opening. In the meantime, she had applied a trial and error process many times to hours of operation, menu structuring etc., and finally settled with the current form. I think you can hardly ever find a place where you can have various enjoyment in various times of the day without sticking to the image of “Pâtisserie”. They say that they want to further enhance the area of Japanese sake, shochu, and Japanese whiskey selections. I look forward to seeing their future changes.


ユニオン・スクエア/グリニッジ・ビレッジ地区の一角に、ふと足を止めたくなる清楚な佇まいの店がある。中から漏れる暖かい光に吸い寄せられるように足を踏み入れると、アールヌーボー調の優雅な空間が広がる。外観や内装からは一切、日本的な要素は感じられないが、ここ『Patisserie Fouet』では、柚や胡麻、緑茶などの和食材をアクセント使ったフレンチ菓子やデザートを楽しむことができる。
 特に注目は、デザート・テイスティングとアルコール類のペアリング。3品のデザートで構成されるプリフィックスで、メインのデザートを自由に選び、オプションで日本酒や焼酎、日本産ウィスキーやワインなどを合わせることができる。『柚シュガー・シュガー』は、砂糖で作られた球体を割ると、爽やかな酸味がきいた柚ムースが現れる、見た目にも華やかな一品。『緑茶のスフレ』 は、焼きたてのスフレに冷たいアイスクリームを合わせて食べる一品。緑茶のほろ苦さとバニラ・アイスクリームの甘さ、イチゴソースの酸味の調和が見事だ。これらの繊細な風味デザートに日本酒や焼酎を合わせると、お互いの風味を引き立て、格別の味わいとなる。ペイストリーの約50%はグルテンフリーで、ヴィーガンのアイテムも数多く取りそろえ、健康意識の高いニューヨークの客にも好評だ。また、ソースやアイスクリームなど、すべて店内で手作りしており、そのこだわりが店名の『Fouet(泡立て器)』に込められている。同店のシグニチャーはスフレで、ココナッツやパッションフルーツ、白胡麻など、季節の食材を活かした新フレーバーが毎月のように登場する。
「気軽に立ち寄って、ワイン1杯飲みながら軽く食事をつまんで、最後はスフレでしめる…という店を作りたいと、長年夢を温めていた」と話すのは、パートナー兼エグゼクティブ・シェフを務める白川仁恵氏。同氏は、2008年に日本の製菓・調理専門学校がニューヨークに進出し、カフェを開店した際、エグゼクティブ・シェフとして着任した。カフェ閉店後は、自身の企業を立ち上げペイストリー類を卸したり、レストランやカフェに務めたりなどして、活躍の幅を広げてきた。日米通算28年もの実績を誇る大ベテランのパティシエだ。数年前に、寿司割烹やうどんレストランを経営する台湾人オーナーとの出会ったことがきっかけで、『Patisserie Fouet』の開店に至ったという。

Patisserie Fouet
15 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
Tel: 212-620-0622
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am-9pm
Wednesday-Saturday: 10am-10pm
Sunday: 10am-9pm

#PatisserieFouet #pairing #dessert #sake

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Sake Q&A

By Yuji Matsumoto

Sake Q&A

1. Cold or Hot
Many people think that high quality sake should be enjoyed cold but this is wrong. Compared to fine quality sake which you can drink without worrying about the temperature, sake that has poor balance should be enjoyed extremely cold.

2. What is good sake?
Certainly one standard is the price, but we need to think if we can find a sake that has the value to satisfy ones taste. It is important to find a "sake that suits me" instead of a good sake. There would be a tendency for one that likes fully body red wines to prefer a Junmai-Kimoto or Honjozo type, and one that likes a young, fruity chardonnay to prefer a gentle, strong aroma Daiginjyo type.

3. Tasting method
Sip it with air like you would with wine. For the glass, it is important to pour a small amount into a glass for white wines type and swish it around lightly to come in contact with air.

4. Drinking container
It is amazing that the taste can totally change with the glass you use not only for sake but for wines and beers also. If you want to enjoy the taste, especially examine the aroma, it is good to use a small white wine glass. If you are having it hot, it is good to use a smaller ceramic type container that doesn't have the shape to be smothered with alcohol steam and doesn't cover your nose when you put it to your mouth.


1. 冷か燗か

2. いいお酒とは

3. テイスティング方法

4. 飲む器


1. 冷飲?熱飲?

2. 何謂好酒?

3. 品嚐方法

4. 酒杯

니혼슈(일본술) Q & A

1. 뜨겁게 마실 것이냐, 차갑게 마실 것이냐
대부분의 사람들은 고급 술은 차갑게 마시는 것이라 생각하지만 이는 맞지 않습니다. 질 좋은 술이야말로 온도와 관계 없이 마실 수 있는 반면, 균형감이 좋지 않은 술은 오히려 차갑게 마시는 것이 좋습니다.

2. 좋은 술이란
물론 가격을 하나의 기준으로 꼽을 수 있지만, 자기자신이 스스로 진정한 가치를 느낄 수 있는 술인지를 생각해 봐야 합니다. 좋은 술보다 “자신에게 맞는 술"을 찾는 것이 중요합니다.
풀바디 레드 와인 계열을 좋아하는 사람이라면 아마 쥰마이 기모토(純米生もと)나 양조 계열을 좋아할 것이며 젊은 감각의 과일향 샤도네를 좋아하는 사람이라면 깔끔하고 향기로운 다이긴죠(大吟醸)를 좋아하는 경향이 있습니다.

3. 테이스팅 방법
와인과 마찬가지로 공기와 함께 홀짝 마십니다. 화이트 와인 잔에 소량 따라 가볍게 돌리며 공기와 접촉시키는 것이 중요합니다.

4. 술잔
니혼슈뿐만 아니라 와인이나 맥주도 술잔에 따라 맛이 완전히 달라지니 흥미롭습니다. 맛, 특히 향기를 음미하며 즐기고 싶다면 크기가 작은 화이트 와인 잔이 좋습니다. 따뜻하게 데운 술의 경우, 마실 때 알코올 증기가 올라오지 않도록 입에 댔을 때 코를 덮지 않는 모양의 작은 도자기 잔이 좋습니다.

#sake #japan #japanese

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A pasta specialty restaurant from Japan is gaining popularity in Little Tokyo!

A pasta specialty restaurant f... A pasta specialty restaurant f... A pasta specialty restaurant f... A pasta specialty restaurant f... A pasta specialty restaurant f...
By Keiko Fukuda

The guide map of Japanese food restaurants of Little Tokyo is becoming livelier and livelier every year featuring more and more ramen, sushi, okonomiyaki, izakaya places, etc. In addition to the groups such as Daikokuya and Shinsengumi, which have launched the business and have been expanding locally, there are many other restaurant businesses which came from Japan, and are flourishing successfully here. One such business is “PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGRO”, which is located in the Honda Plaza.
Their parent company is “Restaurant Bank”, which has developed and is running 16 locations mainly in the Kansai area of Japan including the current 2 in the US. Their business models are diversified, which include oden-izakayas, and standing room only drinking bars, soba-izakayas, Italian restaurants, and Italian dessert specialty restaurants. They even do consulting for curry and yakiniku restaurants. After their President, Mitsuhide Hayashi opened sushi izakaya “JINBEI” in Irvine in Orange County as their first overseas restaurant, he talked to Masaki Tsuzuki, who is currently managing PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGRO, and decided to open PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGRO in Little Tokyo. Mr. Tsuzuki’s title in the company is General Manager, Overseas Businesses Division.
This restaurant is about to enter the third year since its opening, and Mr. Tsuzuki says that he felt good responses early on in the second month. “Since the very first day the restaurant was introduced in an online medium called DineLA, people started to come, and we got really busy. Then, after getting an interview by LA Weekly, we got even busier!” He said that those 2 times they were featured in the media, is what really caused the sudden boost in the number of customers.
“ALLEGRO” in Japan, which is run by the parent company, serves pizza and pasta, taking advantage of the President’s experience of winning 6th place in the pizza chef competition in Naples, Italy. However, here at PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGRO, they concentrate on serving only pasta dishes. Tsuzuki explains the reason as follows; “First, I thought it was necessary to simplify the operation to efficiently run the restaurant. Also we disclose the pasta recipes openly within the company, so anybody can score at least 80 out of a perfect 100 points. In our system, absence of the chef would not disable the making of the pasta dishes.
Mr. Tsuzuki also insists on the principles of making the operation simple, and the authenticity of the recipes. “Our pasta is not a fusion. We do not jump to new things, and stick to the basics sincerely. Our recipes consist of 80 percent traditional Italian, and 20 percent Japanese flavored. We will never be diverted from the idea of sticking to the royal road of cooking.
As Mr. Tsuzuki explained, in addition to Japanese style pasta dishes such as uni cream pasta and mentaiko pasta, their pasta menu consists of authentic Italian pasta dishes such as beef ragu (bolognese), arrabbiata, etc. All those pasta recipes are copied from their restaurants in Japan rather than Americanizing them, but the volume is larger for here. I had the uni pasta on the interview day. The large-volume pasta was coated with rich uni cream sauce, and big pieces of uni on top. “Anybody can score at least 80%” isn’t a humble enough quote. It tasted so satisfying; however, I must say honestly that the American size volume was not easy to handle unless you are very hungry.
I asked about the customer ratio, which is 80% Americans, and 20% students and business people from overseas including Japanese. Although the entrance is narrow and small, the tables in the back are laid out spaciously. The back space looks well-suited for private parties.
The group already has 2 locations in the US, and Mr. Tsuzuki said that they are hoping to increase the number of restaurants in the future, regardless of the business models. “Many of our restaurants in Japan are located, not in busy city centers, but in remote areas. Rather than starting at locations where the property leasing is expensive, we try to draw people to us by the restaurant’s attractiveness.” I had a feeling that the day is near when we see one of this group’s wide variety of restaurant business models, which has been established in Japan, in a Los Angeles suburb in the near future.


ラーメン、寿司、お好み焼き、居酒屋と、リトルトーキョーの日本食マップは年々賑やかに彩られていくが、現地で立ち上げて店舗数を広げてきた大黒家や新撰組といったローカル組以外に、日本からの進出組の活躍も目覚ましい。その中の代表的な存在が、ホンダプラザ内に出店しているPASTA e PASTA by ALLEGROだ。
同店の親会社は、日本の関西を中心に、国内と現在のアメリカの2店舗を含め16店舗を展開しているレストランバンク。おでん居酒屋、立ち飲み、そば居酒屋、イタリアン、イタリアのデザート専門店を多様な業態な店を構え、さらにカレー店、焼肉店のコンサルティングも手がける。そして、社長の林秀光さんが海外1号店としてオレンジ・カウンティのアーバインに寿司居酒屋JINBEIを出店した後、現在PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGROをマネージしている都築正記(つづきまさき)さんと話し合い、PASTA e PASTA by ALLEGROをリトルトーキョーに開けた。ちなみに都築さんのタイトルは海外事業部統括マネージャーだ。
開店して3周年を迎えようとする同店だが、手応えを感じたのは2カ月目の時点、非常に早かったと都築さんは振り返る。「オンラインのメディア、DineLAに紹介された当日からお客さんが詰め掛けて急に忙しくなりました。その後、LA Weeklyから取材されると、さらにお客さんが増えました」。顧客が一気に増えた転機は、メディアに紹介された、その2回だったそうだ。
日本で親会社が経営しているALLEGROは、社長がナポリのピッツァ選手権で世界6位になった経歴を生かして、ピッツァとパスタを扱っている。しかし、ここアメリカのPASTA e PASTA by ALLEGROではパスタだけに絞っている。その理由について都築さんは次のように説明する。「まずは店を効率的に回すためにオペレーションをシンプルにする必要があると考えました。また、パスタのレシピに関しても社内で広く公開することで、誰が作っても80点は取れるようにしています。シェフがいないと作れないというシステムにはしていません」。

432 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles

Monday Closed

#pasta #LittleTokyo #PASTAePASTA #ALLEGRO #RestaurantBank

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“The Latest on Japanese Vegan Restaurants”

By Kosuke Kuji

While many consumers don’t know the term ‘vegan,’ many vegan restaurants are now starting to open in Tokyo in recent years.
I was sensitive to the term Vegan since I coordinated the sake Nanbu Bijin to be certified as vegan. However, I was surprised to learn a restaurant inside the “Kisarazu Outlet” in Kisarazu city, Chiba prefecture was serving vegan cuisine for a limited time.
Although vegan cuisine is not yet widely known among general consumers (in Japan), I meet many vegan consumers, vegan-leaning consumers, and vegetarians overseas.
I understood this to be the ‘natural’ approach and custom when my fellow vegan promoters introduced me to the smart phone app, “HAPPY COW.”
This app registers vegan, vegetarian, halal, and kosher restaurants in Japan and worldwide for consumers to find restaurants that meets one’s specified conditions in a glance.
I tried this app in Japan, but recently, many restaurants are getting registered.
Using this recent technology as a weapon, I would like to introduce to consumers that Japanese sake is in fact ‘vegan.’
While some vegan products consist of wine and beer, I believe most Japanese sake brands can obtain vegan certification. I think if we all get vegan certified, we can promote the understanding that “Japanese sake is vegan,” which will start a new era. I would like to continue our efforts dreaming of this day.


そんな中、ヴィーガンを推し進める仲間から教えてもらったスマホアプリが「HAPPY COW」でした。

#vegan #sake #JapaneseSake

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To Prepare for the Holiday Season

By Yuji Matsumoto

When we get into December, restaurants start becoming busy with year-end parties and Christmas parties, and we should start preparation from the beginning of November. During this time, wines and champagnes are consumed a lot and even served by restaurants, and it is disappointing that sales of Japanese sake is slightly held back by them. However, if you think of what goes good with food, I feel that Japanese sake is the winner. Also it can be consumed at different temperatures and I am happy that hot sake can warm up your body during the cold seasons.

With some thought out presentations, you can drink Japanese sake in style.
Let's start with the glass. By using the white wine glass instead of the usual Japanese sake glass, you can increase the luxury at your table. If you like sparkling alcohol like champagne, it would be interesting to serve sake in a flute glass. Varieties of sparkling Japanese sake has increased recently and we're thankful that they are being sold at reasonable prices. Also, we would like you to try flavor sake which is popular during this season.

If you like to drink hot sake, we suggest you buy the sake warming set on the market that uses candles to warm sake. This would be a very good match with Western style foods.














홀리데이 시즌을 준비하며

12월에 들어서면 송년회며 크리스마스 파티 시즌 등이 금새 돌아오기 때문에, 레스토랑은 바빠지기 전인 11월 초순부터 이미 준비를 해나가야 합니다. 이 시기에 많은 레스토랑에서 와인이나 샴페인을 출시하는데, 니혼슈가 이러한 주류에 약간 밀리는 것 같아 아쉽기도 합니다.

그러나 음식과의 궁합을 생각하면 니혼슈가 더 잘 어울리는 것 같습니다. 온도 범위도 폭 넓고 추울 때 燗酒(칸자케: 따뜻하게 데운 술)를 마시면 몸도 따뜻해져서 기분이 좋아집니다.

조금만 연출하면 세련되게 술을 마실 수도 있습니다.

우선 유리잔이 필요합니다. 늘 마시던 작은 술잔이 아니라 화이트 와인 유리잔을 사용하면 식탁에 고급스러움을 더할 수 있습니다.

샴페인과 같은 발포주를 좋아하면 플룻 글래스에 담아보아도 재미있습니다. 최근에는 니혼슈의 발포주 종류도 많아지고 가격도 저렴해지고 있어 고마운 마음까지 듭니다. 역시 플레이버주도 이 시기에 잘 어울리는 종류이니 꼭 도전해 보면 좋겠습니다.

칸자케를 좋아하는 분들에게 시중에서 살 수 있는 양초로 따뜻하게 데워서 마시는 칸자케 세트를 추천합니다. 이 세트라면 서양 식탁에도 아주 잘 어울릴 것입니다.
#sake #holiday #wine

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Carefree take-out outpost of authentic Japanese sweets and matcha drinks “Cha-An BONBON”

Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o... Carefree take-o...
By Aya Ota

“I wonder, since when did Americans start to enjoy Japanese sweets this much?” ---You cannot help but feel such astonishment when you look at the store-front of Cha-An BONBON, where many customers crowd around. Cha-An BONBON opened on May 1 of this year as a place where you can take out the popular matcha drinks, Japanese sweets, Hojicha softcream, which is still new and rare in New York, etc., and are offered at Cha-An Teahouse.

“Cha-An Teahouse” opened in 2004, which is 15 years ago. It is one of the T.I.C. Group establishments that runs 18 various style Japanese restaurants in New York. The concept of “Cha-An” is “the tea”, and it offers a wide variety of teas such as black tea and Chinese tea besides Japanese tea and matcha. When it opened, it had equipped with an authentic ceremonious tea room.

Their menu includes traditional Japanese sweets such as “anmitsu” and “zenzai”, western style sweets accentuated by Japanese ingredients such as “Matcha Pudding” and “Black Sesame Brulee”, plus healthy carefully-prepared meal plates. Now, this place is so popular and crowded every day, but they used to struggle so much for the first few years, that some days it was difficult to make even $100 profit a day. Back then, people expected Japanese tea to be served for free at Japanese restaurants. People also used to ask for coffee daily. Besides all that, being located on the second floor made it even more difficult to acquire customers.

“We’ve been simply doing the same thing for the last 15 years,” tells Tomoko Yagi, the wagashi expert & food consultant of T.I.C. Restaurant Group, in a humble manner. She got married to Bon Yagi, the President of T.I.C. Group, and came to the US in 1986. She had dietician and cook licenses in Japan. After reaching the point of settling down and raising children, she was asked to give ideas for desserts served at the Group’s restaurants such as “Sakagura” and “Sobaya”. Since then, not only for “Cha-An Teahouse”, but she also has been producing desserts for all other T.I. C. Group restaurants.

Tomoko said that she had to learn how to make delicious Japanese sweets by herself because it was difficult to find good wagashi in New York back then. As wagashi started to be recognized more and more, she started to hold more wagashi making classes by request. Now the class has grown so popular that it gets filled every time. She is currently busy working as a wagashi teacher even at places such as Japan Society and Japan Club. Most of the students are non-Japanese. They gather to experience the charms of wagashi enjoyed by the feel of each season and each of the 5 senses. Tomoko’s remark is very humble, saying she has just been doing the same thing for 15 years, but I think she is clearly one of the pioneers who has been creating the current matcha and mochi booms.

“Cha-An BONBON” is a small place of only 117 square feet with a showcase. Many customers have expressed their hopes of taking Cha-An’s sweets home before, so this place opened to make such long-awaited wishes come true. They studied deeply before deciding on the prices and the menu items by holding a free-sample eating event for affiliated people before the opening. Not only that, they thought a lot about good sizing and packaging of the products for take-out purposes, and they also thought about making the products look as attractive as possible with SNS posting in mind by decorating them with edible flowers, bright colors, etc. In fact, SNS effects have been helping well to collect people to visit the store, and go to wagashi classes. Their sweets taste very authentically Japanese, even more so than the ones sold in Japan.

The popular items are mochi-based sweets such as “Homemade Daifuku Mochi” and “Mitarashi Dango”. Matcha and Hojicha flavored soft ice cream (softcream), parfait and anmitsu using shiratama and gyuhi are all house-made, and excellent. Each matcha drink is made to order very carefully, and is very flavorful and tasty. They have put a lot of thought into making gift-in-mind cookies, financiers, and matcha sets. Before them, there were limited selections of wagashi for take-out or gifts in New York, so their merchandise has been very well received. The bread used for Cha-An Teahouse’s new menu item, “Fruit Toast”, is also baked in-house, and it is supposed to be sold at Cha-An BONBON starting this fall.

“There is still a lot we want to do, and can do. I would like to keep enforcing the Cha-An brand,” says Tomoko Yagi. They are thinking about multiple shop development and E commerce. I won’t be able to take my eyes off of their future endeavors.









238A E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Tel: 646ー669-9785

Mon-Thu 12-8pm
Fri-Sun 12-9pm
#ChaAn #BONBON #NY #hojicha #anmitsu #zenzai

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