Hawaii Mom Blog: A Preview of Gokoku Sushi's New Sake Sampler and Menus

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October 11, 2015

A Preview of Gokoku Sushi's New Sake Sampler and Menus


Having been open for almost a year, Gokoku Sushi, which is located in the Koko Marina Center, offers both traditional Japanese and contemporary fusion cuisines, with lovely views of the Marina.
Great view of the marina!
Beginning November 1, Gokoku Sushi will launch a new Sake Sampler, as well as new Kaiseki and One-Bite Pupu Menus, and this past Friday I attended an event to preview the new series.

I was really excited to try the Sake samplers because I never tried Sake before! 

Representatives of The Cherry Company, the Sake distributors, were at the event to provide details about the different types of Sake we would be sampling. 

I was impressed with all that is involved in making sake - from the milling, soaking, steaming, mashing, pressing, aging and bottling - a lot goes on into the sake brewing process.

I also learned that there are two major Sake categories, Junmai and Aruten, each with four grades based on polish.

Kubota Sake Sampler and One-Bite Otsumami Trio
The first Sake Sampler consisted of Kubota Sakes ($20) - Manjyu, Hekijyu, and Kubota Ginjo Genshu.

Manjyu and Hekijyu are classified in Junmai Daiginjo, the highest grade of Sake; Genshu is classified in the Ginjo grade.  Executive Chef Katsuhisa Inoue calls this the "ultimate sake sampler," as only 3.3% of all Sake labels fall into the Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo classifications combined.

Meant to be sipped, these Sakes were all served chilled (can be served warm if preferred), and they all had a nice, smooth flavor.  Of the three, I enjoyed the rich Kubota Ginjo Genshu (19% alcohol) the best.

As we sipped on Sake, we were served the One-Bite Otsumami Trio ($5.50).

The One-Bite Otsumami Trio consisted of Salted and Fermented Bonito Stomach, Egg Yolk Miso Zuke, and Uzaku Tofu - Tofu made with Cream Cheese, and served with Unagi and Pickled Cucumber.

The Uzaku Tofu was my favorite of the trio - the savory Tofu, the salty Unagi, and the crunchy Pickled Cucumber was a lovely combination of flavors and textures.

Yuki Nigori Sake Sampler
Next up was the Yuki Nigori Flavored Sake Samplers ($10).  I really enjoyed both the Lychee and White Peach Sakes, and of all the Sakes we sampled, the Lychee was my favorite.  It was refreshing and fruity!

Fresh fish is flown in every Wednesday and Friday from Japan, and the sushi chefs use them in the Nigiri Sushi, which we were served next.


Nigiri Sushi Fresh Catch of the Day from Japan
Included in the Sushi Platter were Spider Roll, Dragon Roll, Sea Bream, Red Snapper, Amberjack, and Tuna.

If you want fresh, authentic Sushi, Gokoku is the place to be!  I especially enjoyed the Spider and Dragon Rolls.

Kago Kaiseki "Momiji"
The beautiful and enormous basket of dishes in the Kago Kaiseki "Momiji" (maple in Japanese, as represented by the carrot in the center) was served next. At a reasonable price of $29.95, you can sample a variety of Japanese dishes. As Gokoku's President Masayoshi Kurita states, this dinner allows customers to "enjoy a bit of everything with quality."

The set included from top to bottom, left to right: Seafood Yosenabe, Pickled Vegetables, Assorted Tempura, Sake Steamed Monchung, Ahi Poke, Gobo, Unagi Rice.

The meticulous presentation reflected the thoughtfulness put into each dish.

The Tempura was perfectly cooked, and the Monchung was subtly flavored. I really liked the Unagi Rice, but my favorite dish in the set was the Seafood Yosenabe. With Shrimp, Mushrooms, Tofu, Noodles, and Vegetables, the nabe was such a hearty meal in itself!
Assortment of Japanese Wagashi Sweets ($14.50) and Maccha Green Tea
Although I was absolutely stuffed from all of the dishes, there was no way I was passing up dessert.

Small bites were the perfect way to go (from top clockwise): Azuki Bean Pancake, Okinawan Sweet Potato with Candied Persimmon and White Bean, Azuki Bean Manju Tempura Style, Strawberry, White Peach Mochi, Azuki Bean Pancake.

Each dessert had the right amount of sweetness, with the White Peach Mochi being my favorite.

Gokoku Sushi's new Sake Samplers and Menus are an ideal way to taste a variety of drinks and dishes.

Whether you want to indulge in Kaiseki, take advantage of lunch specials, or watch the talented chefs at the sushi bar create delicious delicacies, be sure to check out Gokoku Sushi!


Gokoku Sushi
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96825
(808) 888-7777

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