Recap: The Joy of Sake 2014

Whew, it’s been about a week, and I guess it took a little longer to recover from that night than I thought it would… But oh what a joyful night it was! With my early every ticket and my camera in hand I embarked on a wonderful journey last night! Unfortunately, my trusty sake cup was nowhere to be found at home, so I used this as an excuse to stop by the potters table to pick out a new personal sake vessel. Luckily for me, the potters guild had a table set up next to the check-in tables this year, so I was able to buy my cup before going in. Brilliant idea of whoever thought of it!

A variety of sake cups from the Honolulu Potters Guild

A variety of sake cups from the Hawaii Potters Guild

Thanks to the wonders of the early entry tickets, I was able to start enjoying the festivities early with some friends. We were able to move freely throughout the room to enjoy the wide array of foods from the 19 restaurants present, and partake in some of the 370 sake that were laid out for the night.

Some of the outstanding dishes for me were:

Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint’s BBQ Brisket

MW Restaurant's "SPAM" Musubi

MW Restaurant’s “SPAM” Musubi

Vintage Cave's Oyster with Yuzu & Ginger

Vintage Cave’s Oyster with Yuzu & Ginger

And some of the sake I enjoyed were:

Born Tokubetsu Junmai 55

Born Junmai 55

Haneya Kirabi Junmai Ginjo

Haneya Kirabi Junmai Ginjo

Chiyomusubi Tokubetsu Junmai

Chiyomusubi Tokubetsu Junmai

The American sake from a brewer in Minnesota even made another appearance this year. It’s still a work in progress, but they’re getting there.

Junmai Tokubetsu from Minnesota, USA

Junmai Tokubetsu from Minnesota, USA

New to this year’s Joy of Sake was the Izakaya Alley. It was a row of restaurant vendors set up out in the fresh air outside the main event hall. The atmosphere was akin to a Japanese outdoor market of sorts. And in true Joy of Sake style there were some tables of sake out there for everybody’s enjoyment as well.

Izakaya Alley: Before

Izakaya Alley: Before

Izakaya Alley

Izakaya Alley: Transformed

My new sake cup

My new sake cup

Out of all the Joy of Sake main events that I’ve attended, I must say that this year has been my favorite so far. The seemingly limitless amount of sake, and the spectacular food from so many outstanding restaurants were absolutely top notch. The early access ticket, even though it was more pricey, was definitely worth it. I can only hope that they decide to continue it again next year. It’s going to be a long year until the next big Joy of Sake event in Honolulu, but at least there will be a bunch of Aftertastes to look forward to. Kampai!

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