Sake, an alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice, is a long standing tradition in Japanese cuisine. It can be served chilled, at room temperature or heated, depending on the drinker’s preferences, the quality of the sake and the season.
During a recent Sake Masterclass held in Dohtonbori’s first-ever store in Greenhills, my fellow foodies and I were treated to different kinds of sake produced by Japan’s premier sake brewer Kubota, paired with the resto’s okonomiyaki and other dishes. With the help Kubota’s Sake Master Keichi Nagatsuka, our group traced the history and traditions surrounding the production of sake.
Kubota Sake are produced in the Niigata prefecture, one of Japan’s quality rice producing areas, where various factors come into play to bring about Japan’s celebrated sake. From the premium Gohyakumangoku rice grown in the area, the water from melted snow to the cold snowy climate that limits bacteria growth during the brewing process, Niigata is home to many sake breweries.
Kubota is also guided by the principle of Jizake – the brewing of sake with the natural resources of the region. This ensures that the production of sake also protects the land, the natural environment and the local community. Even washi, the paper used to label the sake bottles, are handmade by a local artisan.
The sake we sampled during the event include:
Kubota Senjyu. Characterized by its moderate aroma, a delicate palate and clean and crisp finish, it can be served chilled or slightly warmed. Paired with Butatama (Pork) Okonomiyaki and Chicken Karaage.
Kubota Junmai Daiginjo. With a hint of pear and melon, its elegant aroma, and the blend of acidic and fruity flavors, it can be served chilled for diners to enjoy the clean and crisp aftertaste or at room temperature to savor its unique aroma. Paired with Veggie Supreme Okonomiyaki and Chicken Shio.
Kubota Manjyu. Kubota’s flagship premium sake with a complex yet pleasant flavor, floral aroma and smooth texture, it can be served served slightly chilled or warmed. Paired with Kalbi (Beef) Yakiniku and Four Cheese (Mozarella, Cheddar, Parmesan and Gouda) Okonomiyaki.
The pairings of Kubota sake with Dohtonbori’s okonomiyaki and other signature dishes helped to bring out their complementing flavors, with sake supporting the tastes and textures of the viands.
Dontonbori is named after one of Osaka’s principal tourist destinations known for its myriad of food choice and vibrant nightlife. The restaurant is driven by “Teppan Communication,” the philosophy that seeks to make the environment surrounding the teppan enjoyable and fun, where diners experience a sense of connection to each other as they share a meal. (Teppan is the iron plate on which the restaurant’s signature dishes are cooked in front of the diner.).
The resto’s signature dish is the okomiyaki, the Japanese savory pancake comprised of various ingredients. Its name is derived from “okonomi,” which means “how you like” and “yaki,” which means “cooked.” Dohtonbori’s okonomiyaki is made with okonomiyaki flour imported from Japan, eggs, cabbage, green onions, tempura bits, and other ingredients.
This Dohtonbori branch is located at Cullinan Prime Building, 8 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan City open daily from 11am to 10pm). For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 5702765.
Other branches are located at:
- Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open daily from 11am to 10pm)
- Second Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm)
- Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 10pm)
- Second Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 10am to 9pm)
- Upper Ground Floor, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm)
- Pacific Star Building, Buendia Corner Makati Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City (open daily from 10am to 10pm)
Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a Sake Masterclass held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.
Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:
- Yabu, Robinsons Place Magnolia
- Sandaya Yakiniku, Fisher Mall
- Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan, SM Megamall
- Katsu Sora, Greenhills
- Cafe Shibuya, Glorietta
- Ariake, Tomas Morato
- Rai Rai Ken, SM Taytay
- Tokyo Bubble Tea, Tomas Morato
- Ramen Nagi, SM North
- Yoshinoya, SM City North EDSA
- Hiro, SM East Ortigas
- Ramen Nagi, Robinsons Galleria
- Katsu Sora, Trinoma
- Isaribi, Tomas Morato
- Zipang, Tomas Morato
- Omotenashi, Tomas Morato
- Saboten, BGC
- Osaka Takoyaki, SM East Ortigas
- Tenya Tempura Tendon, BGC
- Hanamaruken, Trinoma
- Teriyaki Boy, SM East Ortigas
- Ramen Kuroda, SM Marikina
- Don Bao, Kapitolyo
- Ramen Nagi, Greenbelt
- Menya Noodle & Bento Bar, Greenhills
- Kazoku, Tomas Morato
- Izakaya Flame, BGC