One of my favorite events of the year is happening in just a few short days on Friday, July 18. That event is the largest sake tasting event of its kind outside of Japan: The Joy of Sake!
This year the event will once again be held at the Hawaii Convention Center, and will feature 370 different sake, 19 different restaurants, and will showcase something they call “Izakaya Alley”. I’ve quite intrigued, and looking forward to checking this out!
The 370 sake will be from all corners of Japan, and possibly even a selection or two from outside Japan. Last year I came across a sake from Minnesota, I think. Although it wasn’t my favorite of the night, it was interesting to try.
The 19 restaurants include many outstanding local establishments including Banzai Sushi Bar, BLT Steak, Buho Cocina y Cantina, Cakeworks, Chef Chai, Doraku, Gokujo Sushi, Halekulani, Hoku’s, Kaiwa, Koko Head Cafe, Migrant Maui, MW Restaurant, The Pig and The Lady, Pili Group, Three Fat Pigs, and Vintage Cave. There will even be appearances by to restaurants from out of state! Those are Hopscotch from Oakland, and Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint from San Francisco. The foods which will be served up sound quite diverse, and pairing them with the myriad sake on hand will be an exciting adventure. If you’re unsure of where to even start with your food-sake pairing look for any of the Joy of Sake or Kokusai Sake Kai members, and I’m sure they’ll help steer you in the right direction.
The Joy of Sake is set to start at 6:30 pm on Friday, July 18, but if you’re willing to dish out a bit more, you can get an early entry ticket which will get you in at 5:30 pm! That’s a whole hour earlier to get your eat and drink on before the masses of folks will crowd the event hall. Judging from past experiences, I decided to opt for this early entry myself, so I can make the most of this wondrous night.
You can find out a lot more information, including the dishes that the restaurants will be serving up, at the Joy of Sake’s website http://www.joyofsake.com/, and even follow the links to buy your tickets for the event through Eventbrite. If you haven’t already, hurry and buy your tickets, so we can kampai together on Friday night!