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Sake Sommelier

Striving For Food and Sake’s Perfect Marriage

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Tasting sake with the cuisine at Sachiko’s on Clinton is like tasting sake for the first time. Ms. Sachiko Konami, the owner of the establishment, who came to NY after a successful run with a restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo, brought with her some modern, international flavor combinations from her former, highly creative restaurant, without taking away the authenticity and quality from the traditional Japanese Kaiseki style.  Her perfectly balanced creations have the ability to reveal a whole new flavor profile of the sake she pairs it with, taking it out of the traditional Japanese context and allowing one to enjoy sake like wine.

Were you always a sake person?
No. I am a certified Master Sommelier, so all I drank was wine for a long time, and I actually entered sake through wine. It is still hard for me to drink a very traditional style sake, but these days with breweries producing more ginjo and daiginjo that are light and very fragrant like wine, I have become a fan. It all started when I discovered the sake from Sudo Honke brewery, and met the 55th president.

I see that your restaurant particularly features a number of sakes from Sudo Honke brewery.
Yes. First of all, Sudo Honke is the oldest brewery in Japan. They have existed since around 1140 A.D, and are a brewery whose policy is to never cut down any trees. They really try to keep their environment as environmentally pristine as possible because they believe the most important factor in sake brewing is the quality of water. This brewery uses water that’s been in the ground for 800 years, which comes out of a well. So, I was very intrigued, and impressed by their policies, but most of all it was the taste that captured me. Only a brewery with their history and technique could perfect sake to their level.

What would pair well with some of the Sudo Honke sakes?
Kakunko is a daiginjo sake, but for a daiginjo sake, it has a lot of body, and the aroma of it is out of this world. I like to pair this with one of our signature items here which is Foie Gras Tofu. It’s a fried sesame tofu dish with cooked foie gras, doused with a sauce made of pino noir, and soy sauce. Kakunko is a wonderful sake and it goes very well with cheese, too. In fact, even the president of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) famously said it was just as good, or even better than the Romanée-Conti. The richness of the dish is a perfect match with this extremely fragrant sake. Yusura, a ginjo, is very nice with sushi or any raw fish or something light, like plain sesame tofu. Sato no Homare is another one that resembles wine because of its fruitiness. These three, you can say are sake making at its best and a price tag to match it. But not many people can afford to have these expensive sakes all the time, so we tend to have a variety of sakes in different price ranges.  Tsukasabotan and Shimeharitsuru are some that are popular with our customers.

What is a perfect marriage?

The food comes first for me, so I usually choose sakes that don’t get in the way of the food. I generally like light sakes that go down cleanly, but leave a nice aroma in the mouth afterwards, but I believe a perfect marriage is when the food and the drink can both bring out the best in one another.

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In addition to the unique cuisine, original cocktails such as Sachiko Mojito, Sake Cosmo, and Sakuratini are  also sought after by foodies and bar hoppers alike at Sachiko’s on Clinton. It is another way in which Ms. Konami pushes the envelope on sake.

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Sachiko’s On Clinon
25 Clinton St., (bet. E. Houston & Stanton Sts.)
New York, NY 10002
TEL: 212-253-2900