Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Sucker for sake?
Image: Joy of sake

Food & Drink / Fun fact: Honolulu has the most sake-serving restaurants per capita than any other city in the nation. That’s a lot of fermented rice. And there’s bound to be more at the Joy of Sake, the largest sake tasting outside of Japan.

Savor a bounty of more than 300 premium hand-selected sake samples fit to quench a tribe of hedonists, like the fragrant and fruity daiginjo or the smooth, earthy junmai. Only a small amount of the rice alcohol is available in the US, accounting for restaurants in New York and LA.

“One big appeal of the Joy of Sake is that it’s the only opportunity all year to try many rare regional sakes,” says founder Chris Pearce. “Around half of the labels at the event aren’t even exported from Japan.”

This year’s event moves to the new Pier 2 Terminal Hall, a swanky new venue at the Honolulu Harbor, opposite Restaurant Row, and with plenty of room to mingle (like, 25,000 square feet) and view works by local artists. Enjoy Asian-inspired pupu from some of Hawaii’s favorite chefs, including faves such as Nobu’s Big Island abalone with sake soy butter, green tea-smoked sous vide pork tenderloin with spiced Fuji apples, shiso and garlic chips with miso-braised daikon from Stage. Kanpai!

Pier 2 Cruise Terminal, 1 Aloha Tower Dr., Fri., 7/20, 6:30-9pm, $80, tickets can be purchased at The Sake Shop on King Street or online, [joyofsake.com]