Archive for August, 2009

Summer Surprise: Heirloom Tomatoes and Yamahai

Friday, August 21st, 2009


August is the height of tomato season so we’ve been indulging ourselves at every opportunity. Due to several factors including a wet June and July, there has been much discussion and angst about a blight affecting much of the tomato crop in the Northeast this year. The result has been a surge in price, particularly with heirloom tomatoes. Current prices at the Union Square Greenmarket range from $6 to $8 per pound. Because we look forward to this late summer treat so much and want to support the farmers in their hour of need, we continue to buy them but are more careful about weighing them before we buy.

However, even the high price has not discouraged us from purchasing our beloved summer favorite heirloom tomatoes. This year, we experimented with pairing our tomatoes with different types of sake. Since tomatoes have an abundance of umami, we thought that there would be a natural affinity for an umami-laden Yamahai junmai sake. For our choice of Yamahai, we decided on Kuroobi Do Do Yamahai Junmai from Fukumitsuya brewery in Ishikawa prefecture. Usually, we like to warm this sake to further awaken its earthy, rich, creamy character. But this particular food pairing, coupled with the August heat and humidity suggested that giving this brew a slight chill in the fridge was the way to go.

We were delighted but not surprised to discover that the Kuro Obi Do Do and tomatoes were a sensuous, palate-pleasing match. The pairing of the sweetness and slight acidity of tomatoes and the earthy flavor of Yamahai danced a seamless tango in our mouths. The mozzarella we had added to the salad also played perfectly off the lactic elements that are the hallmark of Yamahai sake.

So don’t wait for the fall or winter to drink Yamahai (or its cousin Kimoto) sake, its umami makes it a wonderful complement to some of summer’s best produce, locally grown tomatoes!

(For a complete selection of Yamahai and Kimoto sake please visit SAKAYA.)

August 2009 Tastings

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

With hot weather finally upon us we’ve scheduled a slate of tastings featuring sake that offer refreshing flavors to slake the summer thirst.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 from 4PM~6PM

Japan Prestige Sake Association Summer Namazake

Ohyama Summer Nama Tokubetsu Junmai (Yamagata)


Thursday, August 13, 2009 from 6PM ~8PM

Dassai 39 Sparkling Sake (Yamaguchi)


Thursday, August 20, 2009 from 6PM ~8PM

Kaiun Junmai Ginjo (Shizuoka) & Biwa no Choju Junmai Ginjo (Shiga)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009 from 6PM ~ 8PM

Nishimoto Trading Sake Tasting

Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Ginjo & Muroka Junmai Daiginjo (Aichi)

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events at SAKAYA this month.


Rick & Hiroko

Time Out New York

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

We are delighted that SAKAYA was included in Time Out New York’s cover story on the East Village.  Rick is featured in “Why the East Village?” by Pervaiz Shallwani.


 Rick Smith on Time Out 2009