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Friday
Oct082010

The Fascinating Tengumai Night in NYC

More photos available on my Flickr

Tengumai Marathon Night
Midtown / East Village, NYC

On Oct 6th, a night before the Tengumai event at Japanese Culinary Center, I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Shata. He was promoting his sake to Japanese restaurants in NYC. i joined his restaurant visits along with my sake sommelier friend Chizuko Niikawa-Helton and sake teacher Timothy Sullivan

First, we started “Tengumai Marathon Night” at Aburiya Kinnosuke in Midtown East. The restaurant offered limited "$30 Tengumai sake testing set (Umagin/Yamahai/Umajun)." We paired the sakes with fresh sashimi platter, grilled tender Japanese beef, and steamed red snapper.

Then we moved to downtown, East Village. After quick stopping by a liquor shop dedicated to Japanese sake & shchu Sakaya, we had dinner at Robataya. "$17 Tengumai sake tasting set (Umagin/Ko-Koshu/Yamahai)" was offered with a free appetizer for the night; chopped raw mackerel marinated with miso paste. In addition to the tasting set, we had 3-year-aged sake Ko-koshu was paired with grilled fish/meat/vegetables. To finish the meal, we had king-of-mushroom, Matsutake soup.

The marathon night continued to Japanese Izaykaya Kasadela where we had warmed-up Kanzake Yamahai paired with their popular Nagoya style chicken wing dish. Then we moved to a sake & shochu bar Uminoie which carries more than 50 kinds of shochu and sakes, The pub is known for their Kyushu southern style cooking, specifically Nagasaki Goto Island home made dishes. We had chilled Yamahai, paired with their popular Goto udon noodle soup, and a bit spicy Ma-po tofu dish. Then finally the last stop was at a secret members-only bar lounge restaurant Bohemian. All night sake marathon ended with chilled Umajun.

My favorite Tengumai sake is Kanzake Yamahai, as not hot but nicely warmed-up temperature. The same sake in chilled tastes good but when it’s warmed-up, it brings out the Umami of rice and rich flavors. I love sake that pairs with variety of food. Tengumai Yamahai would be the excellent choice of sake that goes well with various kinds of food. And I'm able to keep drinking the sake all night.

10月6日、天狗舞で有名な車多酒造8代目蔵元 車多一成氏、NYで酒と言ったら利き酒師チズコ、そして酒サムライ/酒先生 Timothy Sullivan が、NYで天狗舞を取り扱っているレストランのうち5軒を訪れる『天狗舞マラソン』決行、ということでフォトグラファーとして完全密着同行させてもらいました。

ミッドタウンにある炉端焼きで人気の炙り屋錦乃介では、「天狗舞旨吟 (うまぎん) / 旨醇 (うまじゅん) / 山廃」の3種類 ($30) を奇麗なプレゼンテーションの冷やできりっと。それに合わせて新鮮なお刺身の盛り合わせ、小鯛の煮付け、和州牛のグリルを堪能しました。その後イーストビレッジに移動。まずNYで唯一の日本酒専門店「SAKAYA」に立ち寄り、オーナーの Rick さんとヒロコさんにご挨拶を。そして、炉端焼き専門店「炉端や」では、「旨醇 (ぬる燗) / アメリカ未発売の Alexander Gelmen ラベルデザイン古古酒 (常温) / 山廃 (上燗)」の3種類の天狗舞にアペタイザー付き (秋刀魚のなめろう) ($17) のセットを、さらにお燗にした天狗舞酒に合わせて新鮮な魚介や野菜の炉端料理、松茸の土鍋蒸しなどを堪能。

まだまだ『天狗舞マラソン』は続き、次に訪れた名古屋風手羽先で人気の居酒屋笠寺 (Kasadela)では、手羽先と一緒にお燗にした「山廃」を。そして、60以上の焼酎とお酒と長崎県五島列島の家庭料理あごだし料理が自慢の海の家へ。マーボー豆腐とツルツルした食感の五島うどんと一緒に「山廃」を冷やで。最後に、住所非公開の隠れ家的ラウンジバーBohemianにて、お店でも人気の天狗舞「旨醇」をワイングラスで頂きました。

冷やで飲んでももちろんおいしい天狗舞ですが「山廃」を燗酒で飲むのが一番気に入りました。温かくするとまた違った奥深い旨みが出て、一晩中飲んでも飽きることのないクセになりそうなお酒です。お刺身や焼きもの以外にも臭みのあるチーズや味の濃い料理にも合う、食事と一緒に楽しむのに抜群のお酒です。