Where To Find The Best Sake In Hong Kong
There's a lot to love about sake–its history, the unique provenance of each bottle and of course, its ability to bring people together. This week, we scope out some of best bars and restaurants to get your sake fix. Kanpai!
The name says it all. Straddled somewhere between a retail and educational space, Sake Central's labyrinth of rooms is covered wall to wall with shelves of sake and sake drinking paraphernalia. Amidst it all, a hidden 16-seat bar hosts tastings and serves dishes that are perfect for sake pairing.
Sake Central was opened by Elliot Faber, Ken Nagai and Takashi Endo. The trio, each involved in Japanese culture and the F&B industry, bring a wealth of knowledge about the country’s famed tipple.
Sake Central, S109-S113, Block A, PMQ, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2656 6552; sake-central.com
Toritama takes pride in their Japanese drink offerings, as evidenced in their wide selection of over 80 different types of sakes–including the house sake, which was brewed specially in Japan for Toritama. Sake bottles range from HK$300 to HK$8,000, although a select few are available by the glass at approximately HK$50-$80.
Toritama, G/F, 2 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2388 7717; toritama.hk
Sake Beya Masu
Tucked away in quiet Sun Street behind the Star Street precinct, Sake Beya Masu’s discreet location and intimate setting—there are only two tables and a few high chairs—are part of its charm. Guests are greeted by a floor-to-ceiling shelf of Japanese sake from various regions, and can opt for a meal with sake pairing or order from their extensive menu. We highly recommend asking for their limited-season production sake.
Sake Beya Masu, Shun Ho Building, 1 Sun St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2525 2355; sakebeyamasu.com
Staff at Ronin—a well-hidden 14-seat restaurant that specialises in seafood, Japanese whisky and sake—receive regular education and training in different types of sake. Their selection is large but carefully curated by certified Sake Samurai Elliot Faber, who also co-founded Sake Central and makes regular trips to various sake breweries in Japan.
At Ronin, sake pairing with your dinner can (and should) be arranged.
Ronin, 8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2547 5263; roninhk.com
Sake Bar Ginn
One of the first bars in Hong Kong to specialise in premium sake, Sake Bar Ginn really paved the way for sake drinking culture in the city. Here, you'll find over 100 kinds of sake from all over Japan, as well as seasonal specialities, but don't feel overwhelmed—whether you choose to order by the glass, the bottle, or try a sake flight, their SSI certified sake sommelier and local legend, Ayuchi Momose, is there to guide you.
Sake Bar Ginn, 4C, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong, +852 2536 4355, sakebarginn.com
It wouldn't be wrong to say that Yardbird was responsible for making sake "cool" in Hong Kong—starting with their Yardbird Junmai, featuring Yardbird's Evan Hecox-designed logo and which conveniently fits in your hand like a flask. Staff are well-versed in the ever-expanding roster of sake from all over Japan, so tell them what you like, trust, and enjoy.
Yardbird, 154-158 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2547 9273; yardbirdrestaurant.com
Godenya's owner, Goshima Shinya, trained at a sake brewery before publishing his university graduation thesis, “A Study of Overseas Consumption of Sake”. Through tastings and of course, at his restaurant, his vision is to bring sake to the world’s dining tables.
It goes without saying that the man is something of a perfectionist, serving only the best quality sake at the perfect temperature for guests to experience "the enduring aroma that blooms with the first touch of the cup on your lips." Note that the only menu available is a frequently changing sake pairing course.
Godenya, 182 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong, email@example.com, godenya.com
Max Levy, owner and chef at Okra, is somewhat of a sake specialist. The restaurant and bar specialises in natural, unpasteurized sakes, and Levy even makes his own sake every year in collaboration with a Japanese brewery, based on that year's character of the Chinese zodiac. Post up at the bar and enjoy a flight of sake, or pair Okra's seasonal Japanese menu with their bold selection of sake.
Okra, G/F, 110 Queen's Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 2806 1038; okra.bar