Thank you, Yoshi no Gawa! Sake Seminar at Miku

On Wednesday, we had the privilege of welcoming Yoshi no Gawa President Minemasa Yuki for an afternoon Sake Seminar about Yoshi no Gawa brewery. Minemasa was joined by Patrick Ellis and Sam Kayo of Blue Note, and Sake Specialist and Consultant Miki Ellis led the introductions.

The Miku team was treated to a two-hour session of presentation and tasting, as these esteemed guests delved deep into the rich, culturally significant history of the Niigata-based Yoshi no Gawa, explored the brewery’s current and innovative projects that are shaking up the modern-day sake industry, and even shared hidden gems about each of the Yoshi no Gawa sake available on our menu.

President Minemasa talks to the team about the rich history of Yoshi no Gawa, from its founding father, Kawakami Mondo (who held a fascinating career as former samurai to Echigo province daimyō Kenshin Uesugi), to the brewery’s official incorporation in 1548, all the way to their newly-opened Joh-Gura project in 2020.

The fantastic presentation was followed by a tasting session, where the team was able to taste the wide variety of Yoshi no Gawa sake that is served on the Miku beverage menu

The four Yoshi no Gawa sake tasted during the seminar: Toji no Banshaku, Aburi Ginjo, Gokujo Ginjo (pictured), Yoshi no Gawa Daiginjo

This was a rare opportunity for the team to ask Minemasa san directly about any burning questions they had about Yoshi no Gawa brewery and their signature Niigata-style sake

Thank you Blue Note, Jacqueline, and Minemasa-san for organizing and hosting this fantastic seminar at Miku! Sake, from left to right: Toji no Banshaku, Gokujo Ginjo, Yoshi no Gawa Daiginjo

 

Sake of the Week: Hakkaisan “Eight Peaks”

This week, we are excited to delve into a mainstay on our sake menu, the Niigata-style Hakkaisan “Eight Peaks”.

Hakkaisan "Eight Peaks"

Hakkaisan “Eight Peaks”

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

The Hakkaisan, or “Eight Peaks”, is made by Hakkaisan brewery in the Niigata prefecture of Japan. Hakkaisan makes sake very characteristic of the Niigata region, an area known for its pristine mountain water and high quality rice. Their regional sake is most often referred to as “tanrei,” meaning light and crisp. The brewery is actually named after the local Mount Hakkai from which water is sourced for the making of Hakkaisan sake.

 

ABOUT THE SAKE:

The Hakkaisan is a junmai ginjo sake. Made with the premium Gohyakumangoku and Yamadanishiki rice varieties, Eight Peaks offers a refreshingly clean and crisp taste. Subtle flavours of asian pear and melon are complemented by the moderate acidity, making it an incredibly well- balanced sake. This sake is best served chilled.

At Miku, we serve the Hakkaisan “Eight Peaks” by the bottle.

 

SAKE AS A PAIRING

This sake pairs well with basically any dish. The subtle flavours and light, clean style of Hakkaisan makes it a lovely pairing for a vast array of food, from our zensai appetizers, to shusai entrées, to sushi.

Yoshi no Gawa Daiginjo

Miku Celebrates Japan National Foundation Day : Yoshi no Gawa

In celebration of National Foundation Day in Japan, Miku is honouring Japan’s eighth oldest sake brewery, Yoshi No Gawa. Founded in 1548, Yoshi No Gawa is located in the renowned sake-making prefecture of Niigata, Japan. Through the test of time, they have perfected their craft, combining both tradition and innovation to produce sake of incredible quality.

A little background on what it means to be a Niigata sake brewery: The Niigata prefecture is a region famous for producing some of the best sake rice worldwide. Not only that, Niigata winters also create fresh yet soft mountain water. Both are used as key ingredients to creating Yoshi No Gawa’s delicate and smooth sake.

At Miku, we serve four brands of Yoshi no Gawa sake: Daiginjo, Gokujo, Toji no Banshaku, and the Aburi-exclusive Aburi Ginjo.

 

Yoshi no Gawa Daiginjo

Yoshi no Gawa Daiginjo

Daiginjo

As the flagship sake of Yoshi No Gawa, the Daiginjo is aged at sub-zero temperatures for three years. Aromas of mint, white flower, and ripe cantaloupe combined with complex flavours of herbs, ginger and strawberry bring out the brewery’s true expression of elegance and complexity in sake.

 

Gokujo

Gokujo

Gokujo

Crisp, clean, and silky smooth, this ginjo sake exhibits fragrant floral aromas and mild flavors of stone fruit and citrus. Soft acids and a hint of bitterness gives this sake a delicate mouth feel with a refreshing finish. The Gokujo carries true characteristics of the famed Niigata style sake.

 

Toji no Banshaku

Toji no Banshaku

Toji no Banshaku

This Honjozo style sake has a small amount of brewers alcohol added to it to help release more flavour and aromatic compounds. On the nose, this sake offers a lot of umami: Scents of soy, mushroom and rice. On the palate, it is rich, smooth, and dry. A great option to be enjoyed warm in our sake bath.

 

Aburi Ginjo

Created exclusively for Aburi Restaurants, this ginjo style sake is light, crisp, and has faint notes of melon and vanilla. Cold winters in the Niigata region help to produce the fresh mountain water used to make this sake smooth and delicate. Aburi Ginjo makes for a wonderful pairing with our signature flame-seared Aburi sushi and is a fantastic choice for both novice and experienced sake drinkers.

 

View our full sake menu here, and join us in our celebration of Japan from February 11th-29th. Kanpai!

 

Valentine’s Evening at Miku

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we are excited to share a photo preview of our upcoming Valentine’s Day Kaiseki evening experience, exclusive to February 14th.

Begin the evening with a glass of our welcome sparkling from Cave de Lugny, and delve into the intricate world of fresh seafood and Aburi cuisine.

View the full menu here, and book now.

 

Amuse Bouche


Uni Shooter

Featuring our quail egg, yamaimo, and dashi, our Uni Shooter is garnished with wasabi pickles for a kick of heat.

Sashimi


Premium Sashimi Platter

The Premium Sashimi Platter showcases our chef’s favourite seafood selection for the season.

 

Sea


Sockeye Salmon Mi-Cuit

Our Sockeye Salmon Mi-Cuit uses local BC sockeye salmon, served with sansai quinoa, ravigote sauce, and garnished with a delicate yuzu foam.


Fresh Kusshi Oyster

Th Fresh Kusshi Oyster: A guest favourite is served with a tart strawberry salsa.


Atlantic Lobster Tartare

Featuring roasted beets, tobiko, and mustard aioli, our Atlantic Lobster Tartare is balanced gently atop a kataïfi nest.

Land


Filet Mignon and Foie-Gras Duo

Our Filet Mignon and Foie-Gras Duo features a tender cut of AAA sterling silver and is served alongside roasted market vegetables and a warm spiced red wine reduction.

 

Sushi

Aburi Sushi Selection


Aburi Sushi Selection

The Aburi Sushi course features a special Valentine’s Day curated selection of Aburi Oshi, roll, and nigiri sushi.

Aburi nigiri

Aburi nigiri

Our Aburi nigiri, from left to right: Japanese Wagyu nigiri with perigord truffle, Konbu-cured Kanpachi nigiri with smoked ikura and yuzu, Hokkaido Hotate nigiri with BC uni [/caption]

Dessert

Deconstructed Hot Chocolate

Deconstructed Hot Chocolate

Conclude the evening with our Deconstructed Hot Chocolate. Created by Head Pastry Chef Kiko Nakata, this indulgent treat features dark chocolate pot de crème, burnt honey cremeux, ginger almond streusel, shiso raspberry gel.

Deconstructed Hot Chocolate

Deconstructed Hot Chocolate

Our Deconstructed Hot Chocolate is is finished with delicate dots of Aburi marshmallow fluff.

 

 

New Year’s Eve at Miku: The Mikan Mousse Cake

As a new decade approaches, on the evening of December 31st we are celebrating the finality of this fantastic year with a very special New Year’s Eve Kaiseki offering. And concluding this coursed dining experience is our exclusive Mikan Mousse Cake dessert.

Created by Head Pastry Chef Kiko Nakata, the theme of this beautiful, glittering mousse cake draws inspiration from the traditional fruit symbolizing the new year in Japanese culture: the Citrus unshiu, or mikan.

Kiko’s Mikan Mousse Cake features a collection of intricate components, including a matcha sponge base, white chocolate mikan mousse, and mikan gelée, served alongside white sesame namelaka, crispy matcha moss, mikan gel, champagne jelly, and finished with a delicate sesame tuile.

Available only on the night of New Year’s Eve and at the end of this decadant Kaiseki experience, don’t miss this opportunity to ring in the new year with a sweet, citrus note.

Book now for best availability.

Sake of the Week: Dassai 45

For this week’s Sake of the Week, we are exploring one of our most popular Daiginjo selections: the Dassai 45.


ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Dassai 45 comes from Asahi Shuzo brewery in Yamaguchi Prefecture. This is not the same as Asahi beer! Asahi Shuzo prides itself on making sake of the highest quality, where the brewery combines ancient sake-making methods with innovative technology to produce only top-grade daiginjo sake. Unlike the majority of sake breweries, Asahi Shuzo brews sake year-round, allowing them to produce a steady, consistent product with attention to the fine details that make their sakes top notch in quality.

ABOUT THE SAKE:

The ’45’ in the name ‘Dassai 45’ represents the polish ratio of the rice grain; in other words, only 45% of the rice grain remains after the polishing process, resulting in a delicate and refined sake with clean flavour. On the nose, Dassai 45 is slightly floral with hints of blossom and melon. On the palate it is refreshingly smooth, a hint of sweetness, and a faint taste of anise. This fantastic sake is best served chilled.

At Miku, we serve the Dassai 45 by the glass, half-litre, and bottle.

REFINED, RELABELLED

Newly relabelled in April 2019, Dassai changed their polishing ratio from 50% to 45%, thus changing the name from Dassai 50 to Dassai 45.

Celebrate the Holiday Season at Miku

This year, celebrate the holidays with us and enjoy our decadent Holiday Kaiseki experience. Indulge in six courses of our chef’s specially curated cuisine, and round off the evening with our feature premium sake pairing.

Our Holiday Kaiseki is available from November 18 – December 30, during dinner only.

View the full menu here, or continue scrolling to view our photo preview.

AMUSE BOUCHE

Tai Dashi Consommé with shiitake, mitsuba, and yuzu

ZENSAI

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with asian pear, jalapeño ponzu, and asian greens

The richness of the beef is balanced by our Taiheizan Kimoto Junmai sake pairing

KAISEKI ARITA

Our Kaiseki Arita course features a selection of five seasonal items served in our unique Arita plateware

From left to right, top to bottom: Kyoto Saikyo Miso Sablefish, Snow Crab Sunomono, Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallop, Seared Foie-gras

SURF AND TURF

Our Surf and Turf course features our decadent Filet Mignon and Aburi Lobster Tail. Pictured is the Filet Mignon substItuted for Kumamoto Wagyu

Kumamoto Wagyu is an optional substitution for the Filet Mignon

ABURI SUSHI

The Miku Signature Sushi Selection, our chef’s selection of Aburi Oshi, roll, and Aburi Prime nigiri sushi

From left to right: Prime Ō-toro Nigiri, Prime Botan Ebi Nigiri, Holiday Suzuki Nigiri

DESSERT

Pastry Chef Miki Kaiju’s creation, the Pistachio Paris-Brest with pistachio mousseline cream, chocolate glaze, passion fruit coulis, and mango sorbet

Sake of the Week: Toji no Banshaku

This week we are featuring a Niigata-based Yoshi no Gawa sake: The Toji no Banshaku.

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Toji no Banshaku is brewed at Yoshi No Gawa Brewery in Niigata prefecture, Japan. Niigata is famed for producing some of the best rice in the world, with Gohyaku-man-goku being the regional speciality sake rice. The brewery also benefits greatly from the regionʼs cold winters which generate the fresh, soft mountain water used in their sakes. As for the sake name Toji no Banshaku, it translates to “Brewmasterʼs Choice.” This is actually the sake the brewers themselves enjoy drinking on a regular basis.

ABOUT THE SAKE:

Toji is a Honjozo sake made using the famous Niigata Gohyaku-man-goku sake rice. Honjozo sake has a small amount of brewers alcohol added to the fermentation starter, which helps to release more flavour and aromatic compounds. On the nose, this sake offers a lot of umami; scents of soy, mushroom, and rice. On the palate, its rich, smooth, and dry, leaving a clean finish. This versatile sake can be served both chilled or heated.

TOJI’S CHOICE:

Fujino san, the Toji or master brewer at Yoshi no Gawa, actually enjoys drinking gokujo on a daily basis.

Sake of the Week: Tenzan Shichida Junmai

This week we are featuring a sake from a new prefecture: Tenzan Shichida Junmai.

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

The Shichida Junmai comes from Tenzan Sake Brewery, which is located in Saga Prefecture on the southwestern of Kyushu in Japan. Established in 1875, the brewery derives its name from the local Mount Tenzan, and the sake name from the brewery’s owners, the Shichida family.

A unique fact about this brewery is that alongside sake production, they also used to mill flour, produce noodles, and polish sake rice. Since the 1960’s, however, the brewery has closed their other businesses to focus on their premium sake production. Their streamlined efforts have definitely not gone unnoticed, as the brewery’s dedication towards their sake truly shines through in their lineup.

ABOUT THE SAKE:

The Shichida Junmai is a muroka style sake, meaning that it is non-charcoal filtered. While all sakes undergo some filtering of sorts, muroka only implies it is not done with charcoal. Instead, muroka style sakes are often brewed in a manner in which the final product is more clear and clean and simply do not need further filtration. On the nose, this sake offers a pleasantly sweet aroma of melon, honey, and green apple. On the palate, hints of pear and florals help provide just a touch of dryness, well balanced with mild acidity.

At Miku, we serve the Tenzan Shichida Junmai by the bottle.

SAGA FACT:

Saga Prefecture is also home to the famous Arita ceramics. This is where our beautiful, artisan Kaiseki plateware come from.

Sake Feature: Yamahai

For this week’s Sake Feature, we delve into another prominent sake on our beverage list by Tamanohikari Brewery: the Yamahai.

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Last week, we introduced Kyoto Prefecture-based Tamanohikari brewery by way of the Gold Omachi. Since 1673, Tamanohikari has been brewing premium quality sake with dedication, care, and tradition. Their commitment to the junmai tradition is particularly displayed in their Yamahai sake. This long-standing brewing method takes around double the time and skill to accomplish, often yielding complex flavours and aromas that are funky, earthy, and savoury. Adding to their prestige, Tamanohikari also polishes all of their own rice to ensure the upmost quality and purity in their sake.

 

THE YAMAHAI METHOD

Yamahai is a traditional way of making sake where, rather than adding lactic acid to deter microbes and bacteria from spoiling the fermentation, no lactic acid is added and thus the sake is left to ferment naturally. Flavour-wise, this sake is richly textured, with higher levels of umami and acidity, and also a touch of sweetness. On the nose, the yamahai is more funky with savoury, grainy, and rich notes of umami in the form of mushroom and dashi.

At Miku, we serve Yamahai by the bottle.

 

PAIRS WELL WITH:

Rich flavoured dishes. We recommend our AAA Sterling Silver Prime Rib, Kyoto Saikyo Miso baked Sablefish, Kaisen Soba Peperoncino, or crunchy Ebi Fritters.

For a fresh take, try the Yamahai sake warmed in our natural hot bath.