Sparkling Sake And Indian Cuisine Pair Superbly

Joshua Kalinan

IN a delightful fusion of flavours that traverses the breadth of the varied Asian continent, I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a unique culinary adventure. 

It was at the well-known, but sleepy Indian restaurant, Omar Shariff at Sixth Avenue Centre, where I discovered the joy of pairing a sumptuous dinner with a new Japanese sake crafted by Singapore’s only Indian Master Sake Sommelier Joshua Kalinan. This evening was not just a meal; it was an exploration into the art of pairing, the craftsmanship behind a remarkable sake, and a celebration of a pioneering Singaporean talent in the world of sake.

Joshua Kalinan, Thirstypalate
Joshua Kalinan with the sake makers of Kamaya Sake Brewery in Saitama prefecture.

An Unforgettable Sake Pairing Experience

The moment the sparkling sake met the rich, complex flavours of masala and butter chicken, a surprising and delightful symphony of tastes unfolded. The lemony zest of the sake worked wonders, cutting through the thick gravies with a refreshing clarity that lightened each bite. 

This was a pairing that defied traditional expectations, blending the depth of Indian spices with the crisp, effervescent character of a meticulously crafted sake.

The experience was nothing short of magical, an eye-opening journey that challenged my preconceptions and delighted my senses.

Each sip brought a newfound appreciation for the potential of sake as a versatile companion to the bold flavours of Indian cuisine, making for an evening filled with wonder and enjoyment.

A Masterpiece Sake In A Bottle

Labelled as ThirstyPalate, this wasn’t just any sake. The Junmai Daiginjo sake that graced my palate is a testament to Kalinan’s dedication and expertise. Made from Yamada Nishiki rice from saitama Prefecture, polished down to 50%, and utilising the soft waters from the Tone River in Saitama prefecture, this cloudy sake is a labour of love and thoughtful crafting. 

The choice of ingredients and the brewing process contribute to its sparkling nature and a delicate balance of slight sweetness and acidity. With an alcohol content of 8.9%, it stands as a gentle introduction to the world of sake, appealing not just to connoisseurs but also to novices eager to explore this traditional Japanese beverage. Its compatibility with local Singaporean foods especially cuisine further underscores its versatility, making it a revolutionary addition to the culinary landscape.

sake distillery
Kamaya Sake Brewery in Saitama prefecture.

A Pioneering Spirit

Kalinan’s journey to creating this sake is as remarkable as the drink itself. As the first Singaporean to be crowned Sake Sommelier of the Year in 2018, his achievements have not only put Singapore on the global sake map but have also introduced a pioneering spirit into the industry.

This sparkling sake, possibly the first created by a Singaporean, marks a milestone in Singapore’s culinary scene. Available at select restaurants, it represents an opportunity to partake of a piece of Singaporean history and passion.

This sparkling Junmai Daiginjo sake is a bridge between traditions, a testament to the beauty of cross-cultural exploration and the endless possibilities that await in the fusion of flavours. As we toasted to new discoveries, it was clear that this sake was more than a drink; it is a symbol of Singapore’s growing love for sake, crafted by Kalinan as a visionary determined to share his knowledge of this drink with the world

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