Last weekend we have had the privilege to be invited by Japion to attend ChopsticksNY “Eat Up Drink Up Japan”.
We attended the Dinner Session. Upon arrival, we were given a card containing circles each representing each of the six regions. What I loved about this setup is that every attendee would have the opportunity to taste every dish as long as they present the card to the server at each station to be stamped. Once the card is stamped, a sample of each of the three dishes are served with a sake pairing of your choice or even try more sake.
The event setup was well thought out where the attendee could feel that they are going on a food and drink journey through Japan.
Our food journey began with dishes from Northeastern Japan – Hokkaido & Tohoku. This region is known for their seafood. Food samples paired with Gasaryu Kisaragi sake included:
Salmon Teman-zushi – Favorite
Dashi Dofu (tofu) – vegetarian
Beef Tongue Roast
The second region we visited is the populated multicultural region of Kanto. Food samples paired with Tsukinoi Taiyori Ginjo sake included:
Peanut Miso atop Cucumber – vegetarian and favorite
Utsumomiya Gyoza (pan fried dumpling)
Deep fried monkfish
We then traveled to Central Japan to experience the food and sake from the Chubu/Tokai region. We decided to pair our food samples with Kubota Junmai Daiginjo sake.
Sasa-Zushi (Favorite) – Rice is amazing
Nagoya Tebasaki (fried chicken wings)
Simmered Daikon with Yuzu Miso Sauce (vegetarian)
Finishing halfway through the food and sake journey, we moved on to the region called Kinki is considered the ancient capital of Japan. This region’s food also caters to the noble class. We paired our food samples with our favorite sake of the night: Umeoyado Yuzo Shu.
Okonomiyaki (savory pancake) – favorite
Tekone – zushi (love the rice)
Nasu Dengaki – eggplant (vegetarian)
Next we head towards the warmer region of Chugoku and Shikoku. We paired our food samples with Suigei Junmai Ginjo Koiko No. 54 sake.
Katsuo Tataki – favorite
Tai-meshi (love the rice once again)
Shoyu Mame (vegetarian)
Finally the sixth and final region is Kyushu located in southern Japan. The food presented is more common in most Japanese restaurants here. We paired our food with the sake Yatsushika Tokubetsu Junmai.
Roasted Wagyu Beef (favorite)
Gane – vegetarian
After our six region meal, we visited the VIP section and tasted the “higher end” sake, which is unfiltered sake from the Daiginjo Counter. The sake was served by sake sommelier Toshiyuki Koizumi of Wasan Brooklyn.
The sake was definitely more refined and strong so the night end with consumption of three different degrees of matcha from Ippodo Tea Company and mochi ice cream.