Sake tasting at Chisou, Knightsbridge:
Chisou is a bijou Japanese restaurant at the bottom end of Beauchamp Place in Knightsbridge. They are holding regular sake tastings to try to heighten awareness of the different styles and I have to say I was pleased to be asked along. As much as I have enjoyed drinking sake rather embarrassingly I have never known what to order.
Our sake guide was the charming Asami Tasaka of World Sake Imports. Asami told us that sake means alcohol in Japanese and that it was originally made by monks for the emperor and his retinue. The Japanese word for sake is Nihonshu and astonishingly there are over 15,000 types of sake available. I hadn’t realised that sake is fermented rice alcohol, and not a spirit as I had thought, with a range of 5-16% volume of alcohol. I also was unaware that the Japanese order sake by its temperature. There are 10 different temperatures all with different names but the individual sakes can be drunk cold or hot-but not too hot as this will destroy the flavour. However the majority of premium sakes are drunk cold.
31 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NU
020 3155 0005/ firstname.lastname@example.org