Sake And Its Love Affair With Seafood | Clozette


Ah, glorious sake! Enjoyed by the Japanese for centuries, this delectable clear nectar made from fermented polished rice, koji, and pristine water is revered for its exquisite taste and cultural symbolism. However, outside of Japan, sake is less understood and unfamiliar to many consumers.


So, let’s talk about sake and allow us to show you how this underrated drink is a wonderful pairing for many types of food — fatty meats, sushi, vegetable dishes, and especially seafood.


Much like wine, sake complements the flavours of seafood and increases the gastronomic satisfaction factor of a meal. However, according to research by Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and Japan Umami Seasoning Association, sake is richer in amino acids that produce umami. As a result, sake surpasses wine by enhancing the umami flavours of food due to a synergistic effect between both them. Not only does sake accentuates the umami tastes, but this delightful rice wine also masks the unpleasant odour of seafood to elevate the whole epicurean experience.

With sights focused on enjoying sake when paired with food, we headed to award-winning restaurant CURATE. They have invited renowned Chef Shinya Otsuchihashi from one Michelin-starred Craftale in Tokyo to create two exceptional sake-seafood pairing dishes that will wow your taste buds, even if you're an entry-level sake drinker.  


CURATE's interiors



Glazed Hokkaido Scallops paired with John’s Sparkling Sake (Keigetsu)


Glazed Hokkaido Scallops with John’s Sparkling Sake (Keigetsu)


Plump juicy Hokkaido scallops grilled on traditional binchotan and topped with delicious pork terrine sit in a delightful consomme of braised sauerkraut. It is almost too pretty to eat. Although from different food groups, the fresh sweetness of the scallops combined with the savoury pork terrine and the tangy acidity of the sauerkraut broth come together in an exciting yet palate-pleasing harmony.   



This exquisite dish finds an excellent partner in the award-winning John’s Sparkling Sake (Keigetsu) brewed by Tosa Brewing Company in Kochi Prefecture, where it is famed for its sake culture. Made with high quality “Gin-no-Yume” sake rice that is 50 per cent polished, this is brewed as a Junmai Daiginjo (the highest grade of sake) before it is made sparkling with carbon.


As expected, it lives up to its reputation. 


Pale yellow and crystal clear with lively bubbles, this refreshing medium-dry sparkling sake goes exceptionally well with shellfish. With a subtle floral scent and fruity notes of citrus, John’s Sparkling Sake surprises the taste buds by accentuating the sweetness of the scallops and intensifying the overall umami flavours. What a sensorial pleasure.




Pan-seared Pike Perch paired with Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo Seiryu Sake  


Pan-seared Pike Perch paired with Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo Seiryu Sake, a sake-seafood pairing at CURATE


Firm and flaky pike perch is pan-seared to perfection and laid on a decadent creamy base of smoked beurre blanc sauce with the most tasty Le Puy lentils. The nutty lentils have a firmer texture as compared to normal lentils (in fact they are regarded to be the best type of lentil) and it makes a fantastic accompaniment to the mild flavours of the freshwater fish.


This culinary masterpiece is paired with the high-quality Seiryu Junmai Daiginjo, produced by Tatenokawa Brewery in Yamagata Prefecture and it is a brilliant match indeed. Brewed using locally harvested 50 per cent-polished premium Dewasansan rice, the refined softness of the Junmai Daiginjo lures even beginner sake drinkers with its delicate aromas of peach and flowers.



Medium-sweet with a crisp finish, this gentle and smooth sake is extremely easy to drink on its own. But when paired, the medium sweetness of the sake plays upon your tongue and forms a wonderful balance with the more intense flavours of the dish. Mmm... so good!


What makes the experience even better is that wine glasses are used instead of the usual sake cups. According to the wine sommelier at CURATE, the taller and wider opening of the glass traps the aroma so that diners can enjoy the complex bouquet of sake.  



"Seafood Loves Sake" campaign at CURATE


Now that you understand sake and how to pair it with food better, order a sake the next time you think of sipping some tipple to go with your seafood. If you are more adventurous, experiment with different foods and you may just discover new culinary sensations with sake.


If you are interested to try the special sake-seafood pairing dishes at CURATE, they are available until 30 November as part of the “Seafood loves Sake” Restaurant campaign organised by JFOODO (The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center). There are a total of 11 participating restaurants, each with their own unique sake pairing menu for you to discover your own sake-love journey.


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We've got only 51 days to go till we ring in the new decade! Not so thrilled? We feel you. Starting a new era can surely stir a mix of emotions in us, but the good news is there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to. For one, the theme for next year's Met Gala may be the most relatable yet and we're already excited to see how it will pan out. There's also the release of anticipated movies like Mulan, Black Widow and A Quiet Place II. Keep reading to know more about what to expect in the coming days.


Met Gala 2020 theme is very 'timely'



There's no doubt that this year's Met Gala Theme — Camp: Notes on Fashion — is an experimental and futuristic one. However, for next year (which marks the 150th anniversary of the museum), it's gonna be the opposite. Called "About Time: Fashion and Duration", it will be about looking back and celebrating the evolution of fashion and the style trends from the past 150 years. With throwback looks still very much in vogue, we're sure this one will give us major fashion inspiration. 


Takashimaya x Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design


Takashimaya Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design


Getting ready for the gifting season? Check out Takashimaya's collab with Temasek Polytechnic's School of Design for festive gift wrap options. Third-year students from the institution were invited to design the shopping mall's Christmas packaging for 2019. To showcase the creative designs, there will be an upcoming exhibition that will be situated at the atrium of Takashimaya Shopping Centre. It will remain open to the public until 21 November. Follow their Instagram account for updates.


G-DRAGON's Nike Air Force 1 "Para-noise" is about to launch


G-DRAGON Nike Air Force 1 Para-noise


Sneakerheads, rejoice! G-DRAGON's hotly-anticipated Nike Air Force 1 "Para-noise" sneaker is about to be launched. With an upper fabrication that features a black painted overlay designed to slowly wear away over time to reveal a personal artwork created by the hip-hop icon, this pair is really a unique gem that will add value to your shoe collection. Exact details of the launch are yet to be released, but what we do know is that in Singapore it will be available via an online raffle at Dover Street Market


adidas x MISSONI



For quite some time now, luxury brands have been dipping their toes in streetwear territory and it looks like the trend is going strong. Sportswear label adidas has been making some major advances in this fashion category. Following the success of their limited-edition line of Ultraboosts, adidas has partnered with MISSONI to give their Pulseboost a space-dyed makeover that will feature the Italian fashion house's iconic pattern. Aside from that, adidas is also rumoured to have another luxury sneaker collab next month with Prada. How exciting, right?



L’Oréal is developing paper bottle packaging



The race for sustainable packaging has officially begun. Leading cosmetics company L’Oréal 
— alongside Carlsberg, Absolut and Coca-Cola — gets a headstart by partnering with PaBoCo (The Paper Bottle Company) to accelerate its paper-based packaging innovations. Right now, all eyes are on the first carton-based cosmetic tube, which is made with a bio-based certified paper-like material that can harmlessly degrade if accidentally put in nature. The first development is underway with a target launch date in 2021. Any thoughts?


Missed last week's updates? Catch up here.


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Since sustainable fashion is becoming more popular, you should consider shopping for vintage pieces the next time you go abroad. You never know where you’ll stumble upon a classic treasure as you roam around, taking in the sights. It’s not only sustainable to purchase investment pieces like bags, but such finds also hold a certain charm and character that only comes with time. Interested to know where to start your treasure hunt? Read on for the places to visit for shopping vintage bags in Tokyo.


Komehyo



Numerous floors of both new and second-hand treasures can be found within Komehyo. From jewellery to clothes to bags that range from new to well-loved, you will have a great time digging into their wide range of selections. While the newer bags can be found right on the first floor, the third floor is the treasure trove of second-hand luxury bags with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Balenciaga available. Komehyo uses a ranking system that identifies if the item on display is brand new, slightly used but in near-mint condition, to well-loved. They have a lot of stores strewn around Tokyo, so you can browse through their wide selection of genuine luxury bags.

Don Quijote



This popular drugstore is not only the home for Japanese snacks and skincare, they also have a section in their Akihabara store where they have both vintage and brand new luxury bags. Bags from Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Prada are tucked away behind a glass display. You can also find luxury-brand watches and wallets in this section. If you’re a tourist and happened upon this aisle, make sure to bring your passport to claim the tax-free perk on purchases that amount to JPY5000 and above. Luxury items sold in Don Quijote are examined and certified to be authentic prior to going on display.


Amore Vintage



Amore stores can be found in Shibuya, where they house vintage clothing, accessories, and bags from beloved brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Christian Dior, and Fendi. This boutique vintage shop also has very rare finds so take your time to browse through their aisles or research their stock through their blog.


Vintage Qoo Tokyo


Vintage Qoo Tokyo


Vintage Qoo Tokyo is a well-established vintage shop found near Omotesando’s alleyways. Its white and pink interiors give a feminine, sophisticated chic vibe as you shop the rows of designer bags and shoes. Their display is proudly '80s- and '90s-centric, including some vintage furniture and interior décor. They have two other stores in Osaka and Hong Kong.


The flea market



It goes without saying that some of the best vintage finds won’t be found in-stores. If you have the time to stroll around on Sundays, some areas of Tokyo have a weekend flea market where locals sell their wares. You can score some second-hand vintage bags that hold a lot of character here.


(Cover photo from: @vintageqoo)


Check out these Japanese fashion trends to try before the year ends.


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