Feb 16, 2011

Izakaya where you can drink various warmed sake

In Sawanoien, which is run by Ozawa Syuzou, Izakawa Sawanosuke is now operating on weekends until the end of February. A temporarily L-shaped counter has been set up in the rest station on the premises of Sawanoien. Maybe 7 or 8 people can sit at the counter, and if too many people want to sit there and drink sake, maybe other tables in the rest station will be used. Anyway, this is a small and simply built izakaya.

Last Sunday, I went to this Sawanosuke.

On the counter were bottles of Sawanoi sakes, and these sakes are apparently types that would taste nice when warmed. These sakes include Genroku, Honjizake, Iroha, Kuramori, Ginjirushi, etc. (元禄、本地酒、彩は、蔵守、銀印など). You can order any sake you like, and the chef-cum-server behind the bar will warm it for you soon.

Snack menu they provide are simple foods including toasted dried-squid, yakitori, vegetable pickle, smoked tofu, etc., but what is noteworthy here is that you can try the all types of sake as warmed sake. I think it is not easy to find such an interesting izakaya.

One of my favorites there was warmed Genroku (元禄), which was sweetish and rich. I enjoyed with smoked tofu this sake that tasted somewhat like the skin of baked sweet potato.

While I was drinking, Mr. Ozawa, president of Ozawa Syuzou, appeared, and came to the counter. He had friendlily had an idle chat with us and chef-cum-server, and finally joined us as a drinker.

Then, the president bought Junmai Daiginjo Mizu-no-kioku (純米大吟醸水乃記憶), which was not listed on the menu, at the souvenir stand, and handed it over to the chef-cum-server. He kindly treated us to a warmed version of this junmai daiginjo. Although I knew that this sake had been designed so that it was also good when warmed, I drank this sake warmed for the first time. I hadn't imagined it was so good. A ginjo aroma, touch of sweetness, .... I surely realized that warming up this sake incredibly adds to its fascination.

By the way, I hear this Mizu-no-kioku will go out of the market soon, but the same sake will be sold under the more generic name of Junmai Daiginjo.

Today's Movie -- Namachozoshu chocolate and Daiginjo chocolate
On February 14, the Valentine Day, I ate sake chocolate!

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