Tonight we celebrated the birthdays of two good friends. Fergie and Cha Xiu Bao have their birthdays just two days apart, so they have a habit of doing a joint birthday dinner together. This year a group of us tagged along to make it more of a party. Someone suggested that we go to this place for their hotpot, featuring cuts of local beef. That sounded pretty good to everyone, so a table was booked and a menu was written up - with seafood dishes for the first half of dinner, and hotpot at the end.
The only problem is... a bunch of us didn't really check the location of this restaurant. We knew it wasn't fancy, but it turned out to be in an industrial warehouse in the boonies. Sure, there was public transport, but the walk from the train station turned out not to be a short one. Then there was the unfortunate fact that it was pissing cats and dogs all day, which made it very difficult to grab a taxi. In the end, it took some of us almost two hours just to get to dinner...
So a few of us were thinking: "This dinner had better be fucking worth the trek!"
By the time I arrived, some of the seafood was already laid out on the table.
Then came a full-frontal assault of beef... all different cuts... and some which I had never even seen or heard of before. All in a pot with bone broth and sections of corn on the cob.
Oh, and the birthday boys were quoting Fergie and singing about "my humps, my humps, my humps my humps my humps"...
Azumaichi Junmai Daiginjo Shizuku Shibori Senbatsushu (東一 純米大吟醸 雫搾り 選抜酒), 14BY - this was AMAZING. This is made only in exceptional years, and comes from the best tobin (斗瓶) selected by the brewery master for sake competitions - and each tobin can fill exactly 10 isshobins (一升瓶). So you can see any bottle bearing the extra red sticker must be truly special.
And it was beautiful! Very fragrant nose, with rich fermented rice notes. Very sweet on the attack, nice and a little round on the palate. After warming up a little, this became slightly more dry on the finish. What an awesome bottle of aged sake! And why did I only buy one bottle?!