For the next few days, Sushi Samba is offering their Sake-Centric spin on a traditional Chef’s choice “omakase” menu which they call “omaSaKe”. This Pairing menu was created in honor of Sake week here in NYC with Mr. Paul Tanguay selecting the sakes. Paul was also recently the winner of the New York Regional KikisakÃ©-shi (sakÃ© sommelier) Competition and has won a trip to Japan to represent the US in the World KikisakÃ©-shi Competition in Tokyo. Go Paul!
Last Monday, Scott and I sat upstairs at Sushi Samba on 7th Ave under the tent and enjoyed our 5 course meal quite a bit. Here’s the sake 411:
1) Heirloom tomato seviche paired with Mantensei Ginjo (“Star-Filled Sky”, Tottori prefecture, ALC 15.5%, SMV +3) The seviche had a distinct citrus tinge which worked well with the rich balance and touch of dryness of the Mantensei. Our sake server mentioned something about wet cardboard tones in the nose. well, I’d never heard that one before, but at least you’ll be getting your fiber, eh? Of all the sakes featured in this pairing, this was the only one I have not yet tasted. There were sweet notes that played off the overall dry silhouette. I found this respectable balance made for a good sake to get the evening off and running.
2) Grilled shrimp with Japanese spinach paired with Kura No Hana Daiginjo (“Fair Maiden”, Myagi Prefecture, ALC 15.5%, SMV +0 ) By far, this was my favorite course, and favorite pairing of the evening. Unfortunately, it was the smallest in size! Given the recent Spinach hysteria, I was a brave sake soldier and chomped away. YUM! the sauce had a fruity citrus-yumminess that picked up on the first course and brought out the fruits in the Kura no Hana. that sauce made all the difference. Kura No Hana is really a wonderful treat and above all I picked up hints of orange liqueur. This is a wonderful drinking sake.
3) Organic Pork ‘”Filet Mignon” paired with Masumi Okuden Kanzukuri Junmai (Nagano Prefecture, ALC 15%, SMV +3.0) From my tiny two little shrimps in the second course, the third course got “super-sized”. Out came a real Meat And Potatoes meal of delicious pork medallions with potato pancakes and candied figs. Our server brought us these humongous steak knives. They weren’t really needed as the pork was so tender and delicious…but, they were fun to wield. Masumi is a clear match to our meat and potatoes. For me the dry nature of this sake comes through. It’s a hearty Junmai and can stand up to this He-man’s meal. The sake itself was crystal clear and vibrant.
4) Sushi Platter paired with Dewazakura Oka Ginjo (“Cherry Bouquet”, Yamagata Prefecture, ALC 15.5%, SMV +5 ) Ok, after Meat and potatoes, i’m feeling a little full, so I once again needed to be a brave sake soldier and forge ahead with the sushi. Oka is a really delightful sake from Yamagata. It’s got strong fruit flavors and a plush mouth feel. The color is a slight yellow, especially noticeable compared side by side with the Masumi.
5) Coconut Panna Cotta paired with Harushika Tokimeki Junmai (â€œPalpitation of Sakeâ€ Nara Prefecture, ALC 6.5%, SMV â€“80) The dessert was delicious and I remember feeling really full at this point. However, the panna cotta was beckoning. It was smooth and very good with a scoop of coconut sorbet on top. Tokimeki is a sparkling sake. once poured it was a glass full of fizzy sweetness. I was grateful for the low alcohol content after so many sakes. And I was also happy for the sparkling bubbles to wake me up as my food coma was setting in. The bubbles in sparkling sake are quite different from champagne. The bubbles are small and tight. It’s refreshing!
Omasake at Sushi Samba 7 was a great way to kick off Sake Week here in New York City. It got me all ramped up and excited for a full week of sake fun and mayhem.
Stop by and enjoy Sushi Samba’s sake menu next chance you get – it’s wonderful.