What’s better than saying “Kanpai!” with a glass of sake in hand? Well, doing it on October 1, which so happens to be World Sake Day, of course!
At Go Away’s inaugural Come Ride With Me event, 14 participants enjoyed various sakes from Sake Bar Takeda Shoten, Ippin Cafe Bar, and Orihara Shoten for a registration fee of just $15.
Spirits were high at the first stop, Sake Bar Takeda Shoten located at Orchid Hotel, where participants were treated to an overflowing glass of Nagai no Kotobuki, a smooth and fruity junmai ginjo from Yamanashi prefecture. The bar also provided small bites in the form of Japanese oden, including boiled eggs, daikon (radish), and fishcakes.
After starting the evening on this high note, it was time to move on to the next stop of the bar craw, Ippin Cafe Bar. With designated drivers and rides in the form of the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, Srirocco, Sharan, and Touareg to ferry participants of the bar crawl to the next stop, everyone could drink to their heart’s content knowing that they were safe hands.
Ippin Cafe Bar is a cosy “home-style” cafe located along Mohamed Sultan Road that has a wide collection of reasonably priced sakes.
At Ippin Cafe Bar, we sampled two different sakes from Tochigi prefecture (which is famous for their gyoza) The first was Yutomasamuna, a smooth junmai ginjo, and the second, was Ramusar, a junmai brewed using organic rice. Everyone couldn’t stop raving about this sake’s subtle, gentle flavours.
Last but not least, it was time to walk over to the last stop of the evening – Orihara Shoten – located conveniently just across the road from Ippin Cafe Bar. Orihara Shoten is one of the stalwarts of the Japanese sake bar scene in Singapore, having been around even before sake started experiencing immense popularity in Singapore.
There, participants tried a honjozo from Saitama prefecture. Lady boss of Orihara Shoten, Maria, shared that the brewery was actually run by women, which is rather unusual as the sake industry tends to be a male-dominated one. This sake differed from the ones that we had sampled earlier in the night, drier and more acidic, but that tasted increasingly mellow with subsequent sips.
Perhaps as testament to the fact that alcohol really does bring people together, we enjoyed seeing different groups of strangers get together and become friends by the end of the evening. Says Elaine, 34, “I enjoyed this event because we got to visit different sake bars, and now we know where they are. Before, if I wanted to get sake, I would go to a Japanese supermarket or ask friends going to Japan to buy a bottle back for me. Now I’m more aware of the various sakes bars in Singapore, serving sake from different regions. I loved that I got to meet different people with the same interests too!”
Go Away is the midst of planning the second installation of its Come Ride With Me series, slated for late November. Watch this space for more details!