A Sake Pairing for Everyone
From the familiar to the adventurous, there’s a seafood + sake to suit any taste
January 13, 2021 ● 2 min read
BY KRISTEN HAWLEY | CONTENT SPONSORD BY OUR BRAND PARTNERS AT JFOODO.
You could call Christopher Tompkins an oyster aficionado. As owner of Broad Street Oyster Company in Malibu, California, he’s sampled and served oysters from up and down the west coast. His deep love for oysters means that he’s also particular about how they’re served. “I’m a huge proponent of trying to avoid the over-garnishing of any type of food, but specifically an oyster — so I take pride in what I offer as a pairing,” he said. A drop of sake, as it turns out, is a perfect complement to an oyster. That’s because a seafood-sake pairing is proven to create a boost in umami flavor — more on the science behind that here. In short: Recent data from AISSY, a Japanese research company, and JFOODO, the Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center, found that the combination of seafood, such as oysters, and Japanese Sake results in a huge explosion of umami.
Sake is also a great accompaniment to plenty of other items on the menu at Tompkins’s restaurant, he says, and he thinks about in three tiers. There’s the least adventurous — a traditional lobster roll. “Sake is such a clean finish to a buttery brioche bun filled with Maine lobster,” he said. He considers raw oysters on the half shell a mid-tier option, and for the adventurous: “We crack open a live sea urchin and scoop it out.”
“People want to be adventurous eaters if there’s someone guiding them through it,” he added. Uni and sake might be a classic, if bold, pairing, but, he says, sake works equally well paired with something as simple — and familiar — as diver scallops in a rich brown butter sauce.
And though his love of oysters runs deep, he gets even more enjoyment from encouraging customers to try things outside of their comfort zones, something he’s very proud of. “I’ve developed a rapport with my customers, they know what they’re going to try may be a bit unorthodox, but they’re going to enjoy it,” he said.
Continuing the tradition of offering his diners something new and exciting, Broad Street Oyster Co. will serve diners the sake drop, an oyster garnished with a drop of sake before eating raw, from its drive-thru. Given Covid restrictions, guests will need to take the ingredients home to recreate the dish on their own. “People are going to have a little bit of fun with it, drop some sake on the oyster, throw it back, and take a swig of more sake,” he said.
TRY FOR YOURSELF
ChefsFeed is partnering with JFOODO for a limited-time collaboration in New York and Los Angeles. Enjoy a specialty sake-oyster pairing and experience this delicious (and totally scientific) phenomenon for yourself from Jaunary 25-31, 2021. The first 100 guests to order each of these seafood and sake pairings will get a special price (while supplies last)!
Broad Street Oyster Company | Malibu, CA
The Sake Drop (raw oyster garnished with a drop of Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku "Southern Beauty" Junmai Daiginjo sake)
Paired with more Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku "Southern Beauty" Junmai Daiginjo sake
Kismet | Los Angeles, CA
Black Lime Peel-N-Eat Shrimp with Saffron-Cashew Aioli
Paired with Kamoizumi Shusen "Three Dots" Junmai Ginjo sake
Mokbar (Chelsea Market) | New York, NY
Fresh Tuna & Salmon with Roasted Pumpkin and a Gochujang Vinaigrette
Paired with Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri "Mirror of Truth" Junmai sake
LaRina | New York, NY
Fluke Crudo with Blood Orange, Fennel, Taggisca Olive Oil, and Crusco Pepper
Paired with Kokuru Kuzuryu "Nine-Headed Dragon" Junmai sake