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Food: How to choose Sake and best places to buy it in Mumbai

As Yuuka hosts a Sushi Sashimi and Sake festival, chef Ting Yen shares tips on how to sip on this Japanese rice wine. Plus, we tell you where to get heady with the best Sake picks in town

How to choose sake?

Sushi Sashimi

There are various kinds of sake available, categorised as per age, grain of rice, amount of fermentation, etc. There is sake that has gold flakes in it, which is
consumed during celebrations. For those unfamiliar with sake, here are a few factors to check on, before deciding:
>> The SMV or Sake Meter Value that determines the sweetness of the sake
>> The age of the sake that you are drinking
>> The acidity levels of the sake which determines how light or full-bodied it will be
>> What type of sake it is? Is it a Taru, Kinpaki, Koshu, Kijoshu (meant as an aperitif), etc
>> Lastly, always know the state that the sake belongs to — especially if you like it, as you can  keep a look out for it the next time around.

Hot or cold?
Sake drinking is like most subjective experiences — it all depends on your personal preference. In Mumbai, though, I have noticed that people prefer cold sake, and I think it might have to do with the fact that they are not familiar with the concept of a warm alcoholic beverage (unless it’s toddy, and I believe that too is consumed when one is ill). Like wine, my approach to sake is based on the undertone flavours and nuances associated with them when deciding to drink it hot or cold. If it is full-bodied with rounder tasting notes, I like it hot. And, if it is a subtle overtone with fruity flavors, I prefer it served cold since I want the crispness and acidity to stand out.

Indulge in a Sushi Sashmi platter paired with delicious sake
At:T Yuuka, Level 37, Palladium Hotel, Lower Parel.
Call: 61628422
Cost: Rs 3,500 onwards

Junmai Nigori Sayuri (300ml)
Served chilled
Cost: Rs 4,950

Hana Hohoshu (300ml) - Served chilled
Cost: Rs 5,150

Masumi Sanka
Served by Carafe (180ml)
Served warm or chilled
Cost: Rs 2,500

Karakuchi Ki-pon Served Chilled (720ml)
Cost: Rs 14,500

At: Wasabi, Mezzanine Level, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba
Call: 66653202

Saketini

Saketini
A blend of sake, basil, cucumber, mint syrup and lemon. (Also try Sake Sangria)
At: Lemon Leaf, 4, Carlton Court, Turner Pali Road Junction, Pali Hill, Bandra (W).
Call: 26511217
Cost: Rs 600

Sake Naka

Sake Naka
Includes Sake, yamazki, maraschino cherry liqueur, lime cordial sage and orange rind for garnish
At: Radio Bar, ground floor, Hotel New Castle, Linking Road, next to Satguru’s, Bandra (W).
Call: 26499900
Cost: Rs 1,200

Sake Nama

Sake Nama
At: Umame, Cambata Building, Eros Theatre building M Karve Road, Churchgate
Call: 61110303
Cost: Rs 3,000 for 300ml

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