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Do not reuse. Coya Mayfair for Food and Sake campaign.
David Griffen Photography

Where to find superb sake and food harmonies in London

London is full of great food, and it’s also full of great sake to go with it

By Time Out in association with JFOODO
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Here’s an idea. Next time you’re eating out, instead of sticking with your usual glass of red or white to accompany your meal, why not branch out a little and order sake? It’s perhaps not widely known that sake doesn’t only complement Japanese cuisine and actually harmonises beautifully with a whole range of foods – including a few options you probably weren’t expecting.

All of which means that it’s really not a wacky idea to order a sake with your meal, especially when you consider the variety of great sakes available, all boasting unique flavours and characters.

Plus, London’s rich and diverse culinary scene helpfully means that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the perfect food to match with a high-quality sake. Many of the city’s restaurants offer fantastic options across a range of global cuisines, which can be lifted by a wonderful sake – which there’s also no shortage of in London.

The venues below offer some particularly excellent choices, but remember there are many more across the city, so go forth and find your perfect food and sake harmony!

Find out more about sake and why it harmonises with so many different cuisines.

Do not reuse. The Ivy Market Grill restaurant by Paul Winch-Furness
Paul Winch-Furness

Sake with fish and chips: The Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden

The Ivy’s sibling restaurant doesn’t mess about with this British favourite – it just serves it really well: battered cod, thick-cut chips, mashed peas and tartare sauce. And guess what? It tastes even better accompanied by the venue’s sake: Hakurakusei Tokubetsu Junmai from Niizawa Brewery, a soft and fruity sake that won’t overpower the delicate flavour of the fish.

1a Henrietta St, WC2E 8PS

Nanban, 426 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LF. Photography by Jamie Lau for Time Out
Jamie Lau

Sake with cheese: Nanban, Brixton

Former MasterChef winner Tim Anderson is an expert at creating innovative Japanese dishes with a Western twist, including the brie katsu that occasionally appears on the menu at his popular ‘Japanese soul food’ joint: double-breaded, deep-fried brie with umeboshi-shiso (essentially a sauce of pickled plum and perilla leaf) and walnuts. As you’d expect, the venue serves a range of premium sakes, but if you’re looking for a great match for your brie katsu, try the Mio, a lightly sparkling sake that harmonies perfectly with rich, creamy flavours.

426 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF

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Do not reuse. Calamari at Coya Mayfair, for Food and Sake advertorial.

Sake with calamari: Coya Mayfair

Head to this ultra-cool upmarket Peruvian restaurant to enjoy a seriously uplifting combination: Calamares con Ocopa (Peruvian-style calamari) with Peruvian marigold and quinoa, accompanied by Urakasumi Honjikomi Honjozo, a smooth, sweet and refreshing sake that doesn’t overpower the delicate flavour of the calamari and provides light notes of fruit to balance out the saltiness.

118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NW

Do not reuse. Hix Oyster and Chop House
Jason Lowe

Sake and oysters: Hix Oyster and Chop House, Farringdon

The clue is in the name here: Hix Oyster and Chop House is a sleek, modern venue that offers four types of high-quality UK rock oysters. As they’re a speciality of the venue, you can’t really go wrong with any of them, and luckily their choice of premium sakes is just as impressive: Dewazakura Dewasansan (floral and peachy) and Dassai 50 (clean and full-bodied with hints of berries), both of the junmai ginjo variety, both premium sakes and both perfect for harmonising with the bold flavour of an oyster.

36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross St, EC1M 6BN

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Do not reuse. Sushi at Shack-Fuyu, Soho, for Food and Sake campaign.
Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Sake and sushi: Shack-Fuyu, Soho

Of course we couldn’t not give you somewhere in London to go and eat great sushi and drink amazing sake. Hip, buzzy and set in the middle of Soho, Shack-Fuyu serves a wide variety of sushi classics with a modern twist (think avocado roll to tuna tacos) alongside an extensive range of speciality sakes, including Shirakabegura Junmai Daiginjo, a seriously premium variety that’s super-smooth and slightly sweet – with hints of banana and melon – and known for accompanying sushi just perfectly. Take your pick from the list and settle in for some truly memorable flavour combinations.

14a Old Compton St, W1D 4TJ

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