Sake the perfect match for exquisite food
The Oden by Kanpai Sake School offers nothing but the best highlights of Japanese gourmet dishes coupled with a selection of premium sake.
Matching food and sake is similar to matching food and wine, and this sleek 25-seat space is dedicated to lead the trend in Shanghai. Located inside Bund 5, the bar provides a respite from the bustling riverfront belt. The bar sets up the right atmosphere for a sleek and satisfying evening with a perfect sake experience.
Part of the Kanpai Group known for its impeccable quality and excellent service, The Oden by Kanpai Sake School curates only premium sakes of different characters and out of the 30 choices of sake here, 22 are only available in Shanghai and some are award-winning labels. It’s also the first IWC (International Wine Challenge) certified sake bar in the world.
A team of sake sommeliers, headed by Adam Zhang, ensures that all their customers only get the best of the best on their table. With that said, it comes, of course, with a price tag to match but good things are worth your while and I dare say this sake bar is one of them.
Knowledgeable and passionate, Zhang’s pairing choices are unique and intelligent, even for the sake aficionado. If the extensive list looks a bit complicated, you can choose the sake combo at 300 yuan which includes four varieties (60ml each).
Another unexpected aspect to this sake bar is its exquisite food menu, beyond simply “the oden” (a Japanese one-pot dish of ingredients that cooks simmering in a light stock).
Along my sake pairing journey, the crab paste cream and boiled Chinese chives egg yolk paired with Masuizumi Special sake was the memorable moment. Perfected in barrique barrels, it was a very special sake which shows the excellent structure and strong components of an outstanding burgundy wine — aromatic with a slightly oaky hint.
The next bottle Sakaya Hachibei Isenishiki Yamahaijunmai featured a more complex body from the traditional sake-making method.
It was a great match to a pot of oden consisting of several ingredients such as rice cake in tofu skin, daikon radish and bamboo shoot.
Akabu Junmaiginjo was the last sake label I tried and it showed the philosophy of a new generation of sake makers. With a fruity aroma, the taste was sharp and clean — perfect for drinking without pairing. It went along with the strawberry-flavored house dessert.
Opening hours: 6pm-1am
Address: 3/F, 20 Guangdong Rd
Average price: 450 yuan (US$66.56)