The Bird’s Nest Restaurant saketome Sake Event was not only going to be an exciting Japanese cultural experience, tasting the Japanese imported sakes and plum wines, watching a team of expert chefs cook up authentic Japanese cuisine in a vibrant and fun setting, but also an opportunity to put my brave face on and try, for the very first time, a myriad of dishes that I had never the opportunity to try before.
I was open minded towards embracing these delicacies. Earlier, I had promised to myself that when I moved to the Big Smoke, that is Brisvegas, I would try Big Smoke things, including new dining experiences. How I had never tried the juicy, tender, crispy soft shell crab before, astounded me! Served with plum sauce, and perfectly matched with the dry whisky like Mahoto Shinkame sake, this was a standout for the night and had me excited for my next encounter.
A notable feat for me was sampling the ox tongue, which I found to be quite tasty. It reminded me of seasoned steak and the texture was slightly chewy yet tender enough to not remind me of what exactly I was battling with in my mouth. I am not making out with an ox, I repeat! This went down a treat with the Benten Musume – Ota, a very bitter pear cider tasting sake.
Other interesting flavour combinations which I enjoyed throughout the night were chicken liver mousse, hokkaido scallops wrapped in bacon and of course, the famous yakitori chicken tenderloin with plum and shallots, sprinkled with spice and accompanied with a mild Rakufuumai Izumibashi sake.
Each dish had a sweet and bitter sensation that was complimented well with the sake they were served with. The menu ended with luscious duck breast, served with a gorgeously sweet plum wine, which left me asking where I could get a bottle from!
The age old cooking methods used by chefs Emi and Marie, together with their modern culinary skills and knowledge, has given them a vantage in the industry. If you are looking to either expand your Japanese dining capital, or like me and start trying Big Smoke experiences, Bird’s Nest has you covered. And hey, if making out with an ox is not your thing, there is plenty of sake to wash away the pain.
Words and images by Candice Groves