This time last week, I was walking into Sake No Hana about to embark on a sake journey on behalf of the London Larder, blog of foodie friend Nathan. Nathan wasn't feeling great so asked me that morning if I would do him a favour and represent. Favour? Sounded more like an honour. Ideally timed too as I had just brushed up on my sushi knowledge from the day before's Time Out.
Part of the Hakkasan restaurant group, Sake No Hana has always been on my list of top restaurants to visit in London, offering modern Japanese cuisine in the heart of Mayfair. London Larder had been invited for a special press night showcasing a new event which will be run at Sake No Hana once a month between July and October: An Introduction to Sake, run by Head Wine Buyer for the Hakkasan group Christine Parkinson and wine guru Anthony Rose. The course had been put together due to the growing demand for high quality sake as well as to satisfy the curiousity of sake enthusiasts.
Now - I am definitely not a sake connoisseur and this definitely was the first time I had ever tried sake. "Not a bad place to start!" according to the restaurant manager and to be honest I total agree. For a sake novice this course was perfect - in three or so hours, I had learnt about the key families of sake, the sake brewing process, how to identify the quality of a sake as well as the history, culture and etiquette surrounding Japan's famous rice wine.
In amongst the learning, I also managed to meet some lovely people - Chris from tikichris and Ernest from YIN&YANG - and eat some fantastic Japanese food in probably one of the most zen restaurant settings I've been in. For one night, I had been transported from the bustling heart of London to a beautiful sushi bar in a softly-lit traditional Japanese building to enjoy great food with new friends. Mid-chatting, Chris noticed my rainbow nails and gave me inspiration for this week's nail art which if you haven't guessed already is: salmon-y sashimi. Thanks Chris :)
An Introduction to Sake: £60 per person, maximum 10 guests per class, running on 6th July / 3rd August / 7th September / 5th October
My full review of the night will soon be up on the London Larder - watch this space!
nails | tangy tangerine (Rimmel Lasting Finish) & silver bullet (Rimmel 60 seconds)