Izakayas...

Uminoie (Umi No Ie - "um-ee-no-ee-ay") is one of my favorite izakayas in the city for the simple fact that it's hard to find, easy to miss, small, relaxed, and feels like home. Like most izakayas, it's situated on a street rather than an avenue. I'm guessing this is because it keeps the rents down since customers tend to linger for a long time. What makes Uminoie special is that there is almost no signage. I had to go here 4 or 5 times before I knew where on the block it was. I've walked past it more than once while looking for it. For the longest time I thought it was on 5th Street (it's on 3rd). Read More...

In Manhattan on Sunday, February 12th nearly 300 people were treated to a taste of shochu from the hands of shochu producers visiting from Japan. Dinner guests at Inakaya, Robataya, and Sakagura were greeted with sixteen shochu producers sampling their products. At Inakaya the producers were situated around the perimeter of the high ceilinged space where we tried old favorites such as iichiko, ZuisenJinkoo, and Kappa No Sasoimizu, but were also introduced to a new distillery – Komasa Jyozo from Kagoshima Prefecture, which now offers four new products in the U.S. Window’s Mugiichi and Window’s Migaki… Read More...

Sake Bar Decibel claims to be the first sake bar in NYC, founded in 1993. But that's not what should draw you to Decibel. A simple wooden sign marks the exterior. An obscure (if you don't know why its there) illuminated "On Air" sign beckons you to a staircase leading to a basement on a side street in the East Village. Steps from 2nd Avenue, this Japanese speakeasy is easy to miss. You step into a small bar area and are transported into Tokyo's Golden Gai district, except not. The small bar (6-8 stools?) is much better equipped than anything you'll find in Golden Gai. A row of sake bottles beckons you to imbibe. A closer look also reveals shochu, Japanese whiskey, and other drinks. An even closer look... Read More...

The inaugural Shochu & Awamori Tasting Contest has just been announced. The preliminary round takes place Monday February 6th to Saturday February 11th, 2012. Big prizes are avaialable. The Grand Prize winner gets $2,000 & 2 Round Trip Tickets to Japan. 2nd and 3rd place get nice cash and travel bonuses as well. But that's the top 3 out of almost 50 people who qualify for the Final Round event at the Hotel Kitano on Wednesday, February 15th. All of this has me thinking about what it will take to win... Read More...

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association (JSS) are co-sponsoring the 1st ever (hopefully annual!) New York Shochu Night Out. This ambitious city-wide shochu tasting takes place on Sunday, February 12th from 6pm to 9pm for dinner guests at three famous NYC izakayas. If you haven't been to any of them, you are in for a treat. All are lovely establishments with delicious food, impeccable service, and great atmospheres. Read More...

It has never been a better time to be a shochu drinker in New York City. On February 12 & 13, JETRO & JSS bring us "Experience Shochu, The National Spirit of Japan." If you are curious about the spirit or already know you're a fan, you owe it to yourself to make time for these events. Read More...

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Kampai!