Sake has been putting smiles on the faces of drinkers since fourth century AD—but even so there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the beverage. However, there’s reason to shout "Kampai!", as Macau boasts some of the most exclusive and tastiest sakes outside of Japan.
At Tenmasa at Altira Macau, beverage manager Keith Lam recommends two bottles of Junmai Daiginjo, the highest grade of sake, made purely from finely polished rice: N Japanese Sake from Yamagata Prefecture, and Kamoshibito Kuheiji (vintages 2001-2005) from Chubu, Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture.
The former captures taste of fruits like peach and pineapple with a pleasant fukumika, the aroma that reaches the nose via the mouth; the latter exudes a powerful, complex, exotic flavour of ripe mango and banana.
Tenmasa, Level 11, Altira Macau, Avenida de Kwong Tung, Taipa
+853 2886 8868, altiramacau.com
Wynn Macau’s signature Japanese restaurant Mizumi, the recipient of two Michelin stars this year, serves what is arguably the most authentic Japanese fare in town. Distinguished sushi hotshot Tsutomu Shimamiya, tempura wizard Kazuhito Motoyoshi and teppanyaki champ Junichi Yoshida comprise the restaurant’s impressive team of master consultant chefs.
See also: 5 Best Japanese Restaurants In Macau
As wine experts will testify, sake holds as much potential for pairing with food as wine does. Benjamin Barraclough, wine director for Wynn Macau, says that two of his favourite dishes at Mizumi—teapot soup with shrimp chicken and mushroom; and Wagyu beef tataki salad—both pair well with Dassai Niwari-Sanbu Junmai Daiginjo. “The sake is made from rice that is milled down to 23 per cent of its original grain size to ensure purity,” he says. “It has a dense aroma, and is dry on the palate, with moderate acidity and pear flavours.”
Mizumi, G/F Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade De Sintra, Nape
+853 8290 8668, wynnmacau.com
At the Hotel Okura, Yamazato's executive chef Akira Hayashi and his culinary team have crafted a Kaiseki lunch and dinner set, accompanied by Karakuchi Kiippon Sake, Nanago Sake, Sanka Sake and Miyasaka Miyama from award-winning Miyasaki Brewing experts, to create a truly perfect pairing. Both sets are available until July 23.
In addition, Yamazato has commissioned an exclusive sake from the Tamanohikari Sake Brewery, established in Kyoto in 1662. Yamazato Junmai Daiginjo Sake, available in a 300ml or 720ml bottle, is an ideal gift for the connoisseur. This sake, which can be served cold, at room temperature or warm, is rich and dry on the palate, with a well-balanced harmony of acidity and sweetness. Its silky smooth texture is the perfect match with seafood.
Yamazato, 28/F Hotel Okura Macau, Galaxy Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai
+853 8883 5127, firstname.lastname@example.org
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