Earlier this week on Monday evening, Sakenoteca by Sake & Beyond launched with a VIP opening party that hosted Japanese dignitaries and business-people alongside UK chefs, press and bloggers.
Sake & Beyond is a new company that will bring many sake concept-bars and experiences to the UK, the first of which is Sakenoteca. The authentic bar launched in its permanent home, the lower floor of award-winning Italian restaurant, Vasco and Piero’s Pavilion. Sakenoteca will pair exciting sake flavours with Italian dishes.
The term ‘Enoteca’ means a place to eat and try different wines, it is similar to a tapas bar concept.
Sakenoteca is a contemporary style of sake bar and will reject the way that Britain currently consumes the iconic Japanese drink by offering authenticity sake with heritage – in an environment where it doesn’t need to be accompanied with Japanese food. Sakenoteca is the start of Sake & Beyond challenging the associations that UK consumers currently have about sake and it the start of Sake & Beyond opening the UK up to a new world of taste and food pairing. This is just the beginning for the SIX JAPANESE co-founders who plan to encourage a variety of chefs and restaurateurs to utilise sake within a wide range of cuisines.
All co-founders want to change the behaviour of people in the UK, encouraging everyone to enjoy sake as much as the wines that the nation is used to.
Mr. Masuda Tokubee, one of the six Co-Founders of Sake & Beyond and Sakenoteca, said: “We are very proud to have launched this venture and received such fabulous feedback. One of the key points we heard throughout launch night was people saying that they now understand how sake is supposed to taste!
“Sake is becoming more popular in London, but it is often served by people without the experience or background, so to Londoners we’re going to be special because this is not going to be an ordinary sake venue – this is authenticity. We have created a base from which we can educate people as to what sake really is and how they can enjoy it without Japanese food – pairing sake with Italian at Sakenoteca is just the start!
“We have created an environment for Soho’s many passers-by to: relax, enjoy, learn, to chat with Sake sommeliers and understand how this iconic drink is meant to taste – in a variety of flavours.”
The bar will showcase authentic sake through a range of cocktails, mocktails and mini martinis, which appeal to all, paired with Italian small plates, made up of just three or four fresh ingredients. Sake ranges in alcohol volume from 8% to 17%, so can be enjoyed by all, paired with a wide range of food to complement flavours and enhance the dining experience. For those wishing to enjoy the sake experience without alcohol, there is also a popular alcohol-free sake essence, making it accessible to all.
Sake sommeliers are on hand to help consumers enjoy not only hot and regional rice wines but also cocktails and food pairing, like they’ve never experienced before. An experiential events programme, including cookery classes with Keiko is also in discussion.