From the YOLOmakase thread: Mori Sushi's eclectic sake selection

I’d love to be able to move the entire YOLOmakase thread over and all its posts…

But anyway let me repost what I wrote earlier today here.

I want to side track a bit and talk a bit about the very intriguing yet eclectic and semi obscure possibly “narrower” selection of sake at Mori Sushi. I’m still but a learner, though taking a greater interest in sake lately, and enjoying sake pairing with a meal here. While the Daiginjo I had was very solid for the entire meal, there is so much more here to explore, if you are really into quality sake and want to upgrade the YOLOmakase experience to greater heights. Also in comparing the sake list and selection at Shunji, Shunji seems just a touch more accessible (I don’t want to say middle of the road, wrong choice of words) and selections less obscure and focused, but what they have, works great and fits the style of the restaurant. Actually it may also be true for Mori for what they offer.

I don’t think I have every single picture/note of their sake menu, but looking at my photos these items caught my eye. Wish I paid more attention to the Daiginjo lineup and not just the JDs. Or if others can chime in.

Kokuryu Shizuku Daiginjo special limited edition - $240 / bottle (720 ml). Up here in SF Bay Area, Kokuryu Daiginjo is quite common, but they have varying grades/labels. The “gold” label runs upwards of $100 retail, but this Shizuku (sake collected not from pressing the rice but by letting it drip from the hanging sacks) version is very obscure at least for Northern California. Since this is limited and possibly seasonal, it may not be on the menu currently.

Tatsuriki “Akitsu” Junmai Daiginjo - $480/bottle (720 ml). Another obscure one that seems fascinating to me. I can only imagine how much less it costs in Japan (Dassai 50 runs about $40 ish a bottle at Nijiya, though in Japan it’s like $20s for 720 ml bottle. So one can only guess Dassai Beyond which is $750 at in SF…what that would cost in Japan, and somewhere like Sawa Sushi Sunnyvale would charge $1500 for the bottle…). Made with the top quality Yamadanishiki rice grown and harvested at Akitsu, a district of Kato City in Hyogo Prefecture (close to where Maru-san is from).

Tatsuriki Yokawa Yoneda Junmai Daiginjo - $390 a bottle (720 ml). Almost similar to the above, except the rice was cultivated by organic fertilizer (haha hopefully not wagyu dung), where the Yamadanishiki rice was grown in Yokawa Yoneda town.

Koshi No Kanbai Kinmuku Jundai Daiginjo - $200 / bottle (720 ml). I believe this is also made with Yamadanishiki rice (Kansai), but the brewery is located in Niigata Prefecture. Even in the SF Bay Area not many restaurants carry this. Retail in NorCal, not easy or quite possible to obtain unless from a restaurant. Interestingly, KNK website suggests serving this room temperature or warm.

The Tatsuriki Kome no Sasayaki Daiginjo I had is also made with Yamadanishiki rice. $51 for a 300 ml bottle, and I really liked the dryness of this with the entire meal.

Actually the obscurity of the sakes, and their flavor profiles, I believe definitely have a profound and killer effect with food pairing of YOLOmakase. Maru-san must also be a huge fan of sakes made with rice grown near his hometown.

Come to think of it, I am curious if one of the waitstaff who explained all of our dishes and poured our sake, is a certified sake somm? Forgot his name, but really cool dude.

What I am really curious about, is whether Maru-san has a reserve stash (off menu) that you have to ask for. Also possible he has some special bottles that he only serves to certain customers


Hi K K,

Thanks for the great info on their sake selection. Wow! :open_mouth:

Did you splurge and try the Tatsuriki Akitsu sake? You’re a baller! :slight_smile: I couldn’t afford dropping $500 for sake on top of a full omakase at Mori.

How was it? Tasting notes?

$58 for the 300 mL bottle is still a bit too much, but it was a very solid price to performance ratio, and the fact it won awards intrigued me to get it. Do not regret that purchase for pairing with the excellent meal progression.

I don’t think I would spend that much on a whole bottle (Akitsu), I’m not at that level of passion and not sure I would be that crazy (unless I won the lottery).

A net search reveals the lineup of the three sakes, that Mori also has of Tatsuriki

Japanese Sake  TATSURIKI SAKE Tatsuriki Daiginjo "Kome-no-sasayaki" The premium sake rice Yamadanishiki was grown and harvested in a particularly fertile area called "super A area" at Hoyogo...

Interesting, the Daiginjo I had has a rice polishing ratio of 40%!

Really really good sake does not have to be expensive. Lately I’ve found that the pricey $100+ (retail non restaurant) bottles may not necessarily be to my liking.

To ball wisely, it may be better to find the best sake to your liking at retail that also matches the food well (if not as well as Tatsuriki), and just pay the corkage (curious, anyone know what the corkage is at Mori?) Otherwise it’s serious markupville. e.g. Kinmuku can be bought at sake shops in Hong Kong for about US$114 (obviously cheaper in Japan), the Daiginjo version which is available in SF (retail) about $80.

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[quote=“beefnoguy, post:3, topic:99, full:true”]
$58 for the 300 mL bottle is still a bit too much[/quote]
i find mori to be borderline affordable when one opts out of the default uni/**toro/kobe path so… what’s a bottle of decent $60 booze?

That is true. And it is very very decent booze!

Interesting, just checked Koshi No Kanbai’s website list of California JP restaurants that carry their sake:

Mori offers all four bottles of the product line, as does Takao.

thoughts on Takao? Doesn’t get much love on the old boards…

Thought Takao was like a cross between Sasabune and Nobu. Pricey. Better off going to Mori.

Also, don’t think I’ve ever had Kobe at Mori. Thankfully.

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Porthos it’s been a while since you’ve posted. Glad to see you back

Had some excellent braised and salt grilled ayu last week. Both versions were very well endowed with roe too. Terrific.

2nd pic, didn’t allow me to post multiple pics.

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Thanks. FYI: Just choose 1 picture, enter it, and continue with your post, and hit the Upload Button again and choose another picture, etc. Then hit “Reply” at the very end when you’re done.

Ok, appears the limitation only occurs for my inaugural posting

Ok, so if I have only $100 to $400 to spend on a bottle of sake, what should I fucking get from Mori for fuck’s sake and this ain’t no fucking joke ???

What have you drank before that you liked? Hard to recommend since sake (like wine) is a personal matter.

The other option is that you pick up a nice bottle that you personally enjoy, think it will pair nicely with the food at Mori (cooked and sushi), then bring it over and pay the corkage vs splurging on markups.

Also, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best. You have to know what you are getting. I’ve had $40 to $50 sakes that in some ways outperformed the $80 to the $100 mark.

“Koshi No Kanbai Kinmuku Jundai Daiginjo - $200 / bottle (720 ml)”

Just had this the other night (somewhere else, but Mori has it). It’s damn good and one of the best sakes I’ve tasted this year. Guessing not possible to find this retail…

I think it would be an excellent choice at Mori.

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The markup of Koshi No Kanbai is ridiculous.

Mori Sushi now carries the new Tatsuriki Nihon No Sakura Gold Junmai Daiginjo, from some recent photos I’ve seen (including the seasonal rare delicious Kokuryu Daiginjo Hachijuhachigo ‘88’). I have not noticed this available in real yet.

Info from the distributor:

SMV is 6+ which is a lot more dry than their more expensive bottles.

Did anyone see this on the sake menu or try it, and what is their current price? Hopefully cheaper than their Akitsu and Yokawa Yoneda. Curious if they also carry the “Shingu” from the same brewer (also a Junmai Daiginjo, 30% polish Shinriki rice) that is quite ridiculously smooth. (The Akitsu bottle, made with rice from Akitsu region, producing AAA grade Yamadanishiki rice, has been deemed the DRC of sakes to some, if using rice to express terroir). It’s no secret that Maru-san is a huge fan of Tatsuriki sake, since he also comes from Hyogo Prefecture.