Iconic Hyogo Prefecture-based Yaegaki Sake & Spirits partners pioneering local mod-Sin chef Willin Low to create RASEN, a sake made to pair with local Singapore cuisine.
With the rising popularity of sake in Singapore, it was perhaps inevitable that pairing food with sake would also take off here. Once the domain of the wine world, increasingly you find restaurants across town – and not just Japanese ones – often offer sake pairing dinners that allow you to sample different kinds of sakes with all manner of dishes.
But the delicateness of sake – it is, after all, designed to complement Japanese cuisine – means that Japan’s national alcoholic beverage often doesn’t play nice with the stronger, bolder flavours of cuisines in our part of the world. So while you can opt for richer and fuller styles of sake (honjozo or junmai, for example) to go with fiery Thai flavours or earthy Peranakan dishes, it can often be a struggle to find a perfect pairing.
Enter Singapore celebrity chef Willin Low. Local food enthusiasts will be familiar with Low of Wild Rocket fame, the lawyer-turned-chef who pioneered modern Singapore cuisine back in the days when it wasn’t even a thing. He has partnered with Yaegaki Sake & Spirits, one of Japan’s oldest and most prominent sake producers that has been making sake in Hyogo Prefecture since 1666, to create a sake specifically for pairing with the myriad flavours of Singapore’s eclectic cuisines.
RASEN Sake is effectively a blend of two types of sake made by Yaegaki, combining the Yaegaki Junmai and Yaegaki Extra Sweet. What you get here is a balance of acidity and umami of the former, offset by citrusy and sweet notes offered by the latter. You’ll find a pleasant roundness that coats the tongue, a sweetness that counteracts as well as gets accentuated by spice, but also a refreshing acidity to cut through the richness and fat present in most Southeast Asian cuisines. We loved how the sake paired with sate babi and oyster omelette, but Chef Willin Low – who runs Relish by Wild Rocket in Singapore, but also Roketto Niseko in Japan – says it works particularly well with laksa.
“Most people don’t know this, but Japanese sake’s acidity and umami can actually complement our local dishes well, and in that light we decided to create a unique sake that accentuates that,” shared Chef Willin Low.
“As a chef who is serving modern Singaporean cuisine in my restaurant in Japan, this collaboration with Yaegaki is perfect. To me, RASEN is a celebration of how both cultures can come hand in hand to create new exciting flavours that complement one another,” Low added.
You can find Yaegaki’s RASEN made in collaboration with Chef Willin Low exclusively available in Singapore at Relish by Wild Rocket, The Kongsee, Good Luck Beerhouse, and Thevar. Also launched are the Yaegaki Junmai Daiginjo “MU” and Junmai Daiginjo “MU BLACK”, which are available from sake.sg.
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