Friday, November 17, 2006

Kani-Sake Night

For three and a half years I worked one week a month in Fukuoka, the main city of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. During that time I fell in love with sumo and sake.

Through the magic of satellite TV I’ve been able to satisfy my craving for sumo. Every day during the 15 days of the bi-monthly sumo tournaments the key bouts are broadcast in English. No problem there.

With sake it’s been a different story. Drinking very high quality sake in Japan spoiled me. So when I went searching for really good sake here in San Francisco and wasn’t able to find it I was frustrated. I contacted people in Japan to see if I could have it sent. That didn’t work. I contacted US importers. That didn’t work either. I was able to buy mid-level quality sake at a market in Japan Town, but like I say, I was spoiled, so I was always left wanting something better.

Then, about two or three years ago, I read that a guy named Beau Timken was going to open an all-sake store, True Sake, not far from my home. Not surprisingly I was one of his first customers. The store itself is very well done. Beautifully designed and displayed. More importantly, Beau carries a wonderful range of great sakes. Sake heaven has descended on San Francisco. And I am a happy drinker.

Last night Beau took over the Toraya restaurant and hosted Kani-Sake Night for about a dozen sake and food lovers. Kani means crab in Japanese. It was a fabulous event and demonstrated how far life has come since my sake-starved days.

When we arrived we were given a Welcome Sake to get us started. When we sat down we were treated to a seven-course dinner. Each course was a different crab dish. Each unique and each delicious. Accompanying each dish was a sake chosen by Beau to complement and enhance the food. Also, each unique and delicious.

The sake came from seven different parts of Japan. Their taste ranged from sweet to dry and they represented a wide variety of brewing and rice milling styles. Most were served cold, the way I like to drink good sake. We had crab and seaweed, crab dumplings, crab guts (not Sandra’s favorite,) crab croquettes, and more.

Wow! What a treat. But I may have had a little too much of a good thing. I really didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning.


Blogger Jim said...

I think one of the nicest things about getting older is the capacity to discriminate. When you can have anything you want, you get choosey about what you want, and if you don't think you can have everything then we settle for what we get! I never knew there were so many distinctions in Sake although I have had my share of it, mostly whatever they were serving in a Japanese Resturant. I love it when I am introduced to a whole world I didn't know existed. Though my drinking days are past, maybe you can teach me the distinctions of Sumo next time I am in San Franciso.

8:10 AM  

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