On its takeout menu, Uni highlights Fukucho “Seaside,” a sparkling sake from Hiroshima Prefecture packing zesty citrus flavors that pair well with fish; the fresh and bright Ryujin Dragon God Junmai Daiginjo Namazume; and the gamey, earthy Bunraku “Nihonjin No Wasuremono” Yamahai that’s an excellent match for fatty tuna and wagyu beef. For greater variety look to the Sommelier’s Flight, which includes three 300ml bottles: the aforementioned Bunraku, the smooth and clean Soto, and the complex Konteki “Pearls of Simplicity.”
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With Massachusetts restaurants selling booze to-go, now is as good a time as ever to sip sake at home. Whether you’re a newcomer looking to broaden your palate or a sommelier-in-training hoping to snag rare bottles, the sake selections from these Boston-area Japanese restaurants won’t disappoint.
Japanese-Hawaiian restaurant Momi Nonmi has a rotating reserve sake list that’s available to-go. Staff recommend different bottles based on what you’re eating. If you’re ordering shellfish or sea urchin, consider the soft and fruity Amabuki Junmai Daiginjo. For the take-home omakase or premium omakase, you might want to try Kirinzan Junma, a dry and clean-tasting sake that pairs with a wide variety of flavors. If you’re just hopping around the menu, the light and fresh Joto One Cup Sake is a versatile bet. Or, ask staff to recommend a bottle based on the most up-to-date sake list.
The Koji Club
The Koji Club isn’t a brick-and-mortar restaurant; rather, it’s a self-described “virtual sake bar” founded by Advanced Sake Professional and educator Alyssa DiPasquale. Join the club by ordering kits that contain sake and other themed goodies, available for pick-up at Oddfellows Ice Cream in Chestnut Hill or Rebel Rebel in Somerville. We’re teaming up with The Koji Club to host a sake-tasting event on December 3; learn more and register here.
North Cambridge restaurant Umami Omakase has a sake selection to match its indulgent to-go offerings, which include a 20-piece chef’s choice Premium Omakase, Uni & Ikura Don, and A5 Wagyu Foie Gras Nigiri. The almost 20-strong bottle and can selection features the rich-yet-dry Katsuyama Ken Supreme Junmai Ginjo, the sharp Wakatake Onikoroshi “Demon Slayer” Junmai Daiginjo, and the crisp and clean Hakaisan “Eight Peaks” Junmai Ginjo.
Gogo Ya is something like O Ya’s mini me. Operating in the same space, it’s a takeout-only pop-up that offers sushi rolls, nigiri, and nori sushi tacos to-go or via delivery. Also on call is an extensive range of premium sake plucked from O Ya’s bountiful cellars. Highlights include the Suigei Junmai Tokubetsu “Drunken Whale,” which can be enjoyed warm or chilled, and the cedar barrel-aged Kikumasamune Taru Sake, which pairs well with savory dishes thanks to notes of wood and spice.
Cafe Sushi’s takeout menu includes 10 sake bottles ranging from the Senkin “Modern Muku” Junmai Daiginjo with flavors of Greek yogurt, green apple, and vanilla, to the rare Terada Honke “Katori 80,” which packs notes of shoyu, dark chocolate, and shiitake mushrooms. If you can’t make up your mind, opt for the Sake Flight, which includes three rotating four-ounce pours, or the Sake Combo, a mix of three single-serving cups or cans. You can also order a 10-ounce serving of hot sake, which comes with instructions to heat at home.