Did this: Joy of Sake Aftertaste at HASR

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It’s not just the midsummer mega-party the Joy of Sake puts on. Honolulu’s appetite for the ricey brew fuels monthly Aftertastes, samplings of 40 sake at a time at different restaurants around town, and if there were any doubts about the rightness of sake with foods beyond sushi, last night’s party blew them out of the water.

The place: HASR Bistro, French-themed, in the heart of Chinatown. The sake: All premium grades — junmai, ginjo, daiginjo — plus the sake of the season. Spring nama varieties come from the rice harvests of last autumn, brewed through the winter and bottled unpasteurized, brash and young, in February.

The combo was enough to spur record demand for tickets. For those who missed out, save April 25 on your calendars. The next Aftertaste is at Stage restaurant on Kapiolani. Meanwhile, here are quick scenes from last night.

Aftertaste at HASR Bistro

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HASR Bistro last night. Sake party in Chinatown!

Photo courtesy of Garrett Ing


EO:  Being a novice at sake, I wonder if there is a tasting menu available similar to that of wine where bouquet, color or rose, legs or viscosity, taste and finish are part of the lexicon of tasting.  I have taken notes at some of the tasting especially at the Sake shop and it helps to jog memory of experience.  Of course as sake grows, the lexicon will become like wines where you hear such things as "panache, robust, florid, etc.".  After awhile, the lay person is left so quizzical as to the definition of what is being described.  Then again the "taste good, excellent, not bad..etc."  don't really cut it if you are trying to make choices.  How do you classify your taste experience?

nonstopmari moderator

 @Annoddah_Dave wow, u ask hard questions. as w/ wine, exposure helps, esp when it comes in the form of vertical tastings, like at sake shop or marukai. at restaurants, try diff flights of sake and pay attention to the notes on cards or on the back of the bottles. lmk if u want to come to one of these aftertastes, when arrays of sake are avlbl to taste alone and paired w/ diff dishes.