Brisbane Times | Good Food

It is the oldest tipple in the world, with more than 30,000 varieties. Yet sake – Japanese rice wine – is only just starting to gain favour in Australia.

In Brisbane, the aptly name Sake restaurant, and new kid on the block Bird’s Nest Yakitori, are leading the charge.

Further afield, Danielle Gjestland of Noosa’s renowned Wasabi travels to Japan twice a year to sample and source sake for the restaurant.

Currently, there are 20 different sake houses represented on Wasabi’s menu, starting at jyosen – or entry level grades – to the rare and savoured junmai daiginjyo.

At Bird’s Nest Yakitori in South Brisbane, the in-house Japanese sake sommelier Daiki Wakabayashi guides diners through their sake selection.

“People are starting to approach sake more like wine and appreciate its subtleties,” he says.

“I handpicked the sakes on our menu so our patrons don’t become overwhelmed and I help them pick a sake suited to their tastes, be it fruity, earthy or dry.”

So great has the interest been in sake, Mr Wakabayashi has started hosting private tastings of the drop, matching sake with food.

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