[THE GRAND GINZA] [French] Facing “food” with the smiles of the producers in mind
We spoke with Masahide Takahashi, the service manager and sommelier of THE GRAND GINZA, a French restaurant located on the top floor of GINZA SIX .
Mr. Takahashi conveys the culture of each region of Japan to each customer through food. In fact, it has an inseparable connection with "Ancient Sake 1995 Aoi Tsuru" . This time, we took a closer look at that connection.
Q.1 Mr. Takahashi, please tell us about the store's concept and what you value when it comes to food.
We place great importance on regional revitalization . The Grand Ginza has a main dining room called " THE GRAND 47 ". There, through the hands of chefs, we are disseminating the culture of 47 prefectures in the form of a fusion of ingredients from all over Japan and French cuisine . A chef pursues food, and customers who have tasted the food actually visit the area . If we can do that, I think it will lead to regional revitalization.
Local cuisine actually served at the restaurant: ``Miyagi prefecture soleme and sea urchin lees pickled roti served with local cuisine ``azara.''
Q.2 What brands of “good old sake” do you introduce at your store? How is it provided to customers?
We have introduced " 1983 Iwanoi," " 2009 Phantom Waterfall," and " 1995 Aoi Tsuru."
For customers who like wine, we usually offer it in the middle of a French course . When a customer is enjoying white wine with a fish dish, I serve a small amount of ` `1995 Aoi Tsuru'' in a large burgundy glass . You intentionally ask, ``What kind of alcohol do you think it is?'' without explaining the taste at all. If you like it, we may serve ` `1983 Iwanoi'' in the next meat dish.
Q.3 What kind of reaction do you receive from customers at that time?
Most people are surprised because most people think that aged sake is wine because of its color. `` 1995 Aoi Tsuru'' seems like it's the first time for many of our customers to taste it, so they say, ``It's a taste I've never tasted before.'' `` 1983 Iwanoi'' is said to be similar to sherry .
Q.4 Mr. Takahashi is originally from Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture, where Inami Sake Brewery, the brewery behind 1995 Aoi Tsuru, is located.Do you have any special feelings for him?
Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture is the town where I was born and raised. This time , I was introduced to aged sake because of the ``1995 Aoi Tsuru'' produced by Inami Sake Brewery in the town where I was born and raised. For this reason, I had a strong attachment to Aoi Tsuru, and actually visited Inami Sake Brewery recently. When I told the brewer, ``I run a shop like this in Ginza, and I would like to use old sake,'' he was very happy.
Up until now, I had thought of old sake as old, leftover alcohol, but after tasting it, I realized the potential of Yamada Nishiki, which is produced in Inami, Hyogo Prefecture, and got the impression that it was carefully brewed . I could feel the minerality , and I thought that if I enjoyed the change in a wine glass, I would feel even more potential.
There aren't many ingredients produced in Miki City, but when I remembered the smiles on the faces of the chief brewer and his wife, I talked with the chef about pairings using local ingredients to revitalize Miki. .
After the interview, we received some comments from Mr. Takahashi after tasting the ``1995 Aoi Tsuru.''
Appearance → Fresh clear with a slightly blue tone
Aroma : A complex, mature aroma, with roasted apricot nuts and butter, and a slight hint of youthful blue fruit and tropical fruit.
Compatibility with food : Chilled green vegetables and salad fish with vinegar dressing go well with roasted fish , butter or white wine sauce, nut oil and herbs .
Q.5 What kind of food would you recommend pairing with “Old Sake”?
" 1995 Aoi Tsuru" x "Saul Albert"
Sole Albert is a classic French dish (classic menu) that has recently been offered at restaurants. A fish dish using white fish. I think it goes well with "1995 Aoi Tsuru".
I think the pairing of sources is interesting. Like the taste of old sake, French wine is complex , especially the sauces, which are more complex than the ingredients. For that reason, I think it's a good idea to add sake to the sauce. In French cuisine, the strong alcoholic taste of aged sake goes well with something called butter .
"1983 Iwanoi" x "Stewed dishes"
If it's meat, it's stewed in red wine . I think it goes well with pork belly or beef . After all, I wonder if stew dishes go well with ` `1983 Iwanoi''. I also think it would definitely go well with braised pork . The spices that I always use in French cooking are pepper, bay leaf, and thyme, and I don't often use star anise, but I think it goes well with greasy stews.
“ 2009 Phantom Waterfall” x “Vegetable and Seafood Terrine”
" 2009 Phantom Waterfall" is the easiest to drink . If you drink it well chilled, about half of the people will mistake it for white wine . I also remember serving it once as a seafood appetizer to a customer. I also think it would be a good idea to serve `` 2009 Phantom Waterfall'' as an after-dinner drink .
Q.6 Mr. Takahashi, what do you think about “good sake from ancient times”?
Everyone loves eating and drinking, so I don't think they just don't know about old sake and don't hate it . I think it's very possible .
Also, I would like to try other brands . I first became interested in ` `1995 Aoi Tsuru'' because I'm from Miki, so I'm sure there are other old sakes that I like as well.
Mr. Takahashi values ``local'' ingredients and interacts with customers every day through ``food.'' It seems that pairings with food are always considered from the customer's perspective. During the interview, he talked about ``good old sake'' and what he would like to do in the future, making it a dream-filled time.
Store name: THE GRAND GINZA
Address: 13th floor, GINZA SIX, 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Phone number: 03-6280-6129 (Restaurant)
Shop homepage: https://www.grandginza.com
You can purchase the gift set ``Hyogo'', which includes Mr. Takahashi's old sake ` `1995 Aoi Tsuru'', here.