I got my chance to return to the city’s number 1 japanese restaurant, Tomoe, and finally – once and for all- find out the name of that proto-sake I tasted there. That was the first premium I have ever had. It was delicious enough, especially with tomoe sushi, to get me really interested in premium rice wine in the first place. On my Last trip to Tomoe Scott and I enjoyed it a lot but we promptly forgot the name and went on about our lives. flash forward 8 months and now Sake has a major interest of mine as I fumble along and try to learn more. needless to say, I was curious. what was that sake that started the entire Urban Sake Blog Empire you see before you now?
Dollar for dollar, Tomoe is by far and away the best sushi in NYC. they have line forming outside a half an hour before they open to prove it. It was raining, so scott and I got in on the first seating. As we sat down, my eyes scanned the walls to find that sign that I remembered. by the taste that lingered in my memory, I was sure that I was looking for a Daiginjo. um, no Daiginjo to be seen… then I saw the “smooth type” sign I remembered… then it slowly dawned on me… my first love had been a Ginjo!? wait wait wait… I remember it tasting sooo good, I was sure it was a Daiginjo polished to 30%, hand crafted by monks in tiny batches at the base of Mt. Fuji. well, that’s what it tasted like to me at the time anyway!
Then I remembered… the name! the name! what is the name!?! I saw it… Hakkai San! Ginjo. yes, now I remember. Well, we promptly ordered a carafe and enjoyed it immensely! Hakkai San was still really good… I had the pleasure of being at the first birthday party for the daughter of friends this past summer. at the party, the parents gave the birthday girl her first piece of chocolate ever in the form of devil’s food chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She stuck her hands in the cake and put some in her mouth, a little unsure. she waited and looked to daddy. she tasted it… you could sense her brain working out the flavor and smell and sweetness…She may not have know what to do with such flavor at first, but soon she smiled and seriously dug into the cake for some more. I had never seen a person eat their very first piece of chocolate and having a sweet tooth myself, I studied the moment with utter fascination. What I saw in that little girl’s eyes the same thing I felt about Hakkai San when I first tried it…”I don’t know what this is, but it tastes good! I WILL want more.”
regardless of what it really tasted like, I guess you never forget your first piece of chocolate cake.
For getting me happily wrapped up in all this, Hakkai San gets my highest rating!
5 out of 5 SakÃ© bottles!