Red King Crab Goes Best with Nothing but the Nehonbare|Suntory ROKU × Dinings SW3

On the bar menu of a Japanese restaurant located at upscale residential area in London, Dinings SW3 puts Japanesey names on their special cocktails ― Haru Gimlet, a craft-gin ROKU based cocktail and Sen No Riku, a tequila-based cocktail.  Recommendation for this autumn is Nehonbare, the ROKU cocktail modified from dry martini.  Simple and refined presentation and clear taste embody Japanese beauty just like ROKU’s concept.

ROKU, the House Gin of Dinings SW3

Since landing UK in 2018, Japanese craft-gin ROKU has been closely looked by London mixologists.  Its charm is “wa” or Japanese taste which includes six unique Japanese botanicals such as sakura flower, sakura leaf, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper, and yuzu peel.  “This is great gin which has lots of flavours where you can feel delicate Japanese botanicals.  This is a house gin of Dinings SW3,” says Mr. Drian Demouselle, a French bartender of the restaurant who trained at bars in Paris and moved to UK.  Original Japanese sakes are on-listed recently, and two are daiginjo (super premium sake made from highly polished rice) and three are junmai ginjo (pure rice sake made from highly polished rice).  Nehonbare, a signature cocktail for this autumn, is made from ROKU and Kin, one of the daiginjos.

Special Martini, A European Essence Added to Delicate Japanese Flavours

“I first tried to make the cocktail using all Japanese flavours.  I added HAKU, a craft vodka made of 100% Japanese rice, to ROKU and Kin,” says Mr. Demouselle.  But he felt it does not fit to the concept of the restaurant which introduces creative and unique culinary with added foreign essence to something Japanese.  He then chose to add Czech herbal liqueur, Becherovka.  “Fresh and delicate flavours of ROKU pick out the complicated sweetness of Becherovka which uses more than 30 herbs.  It is all about the fine balance once the liqueur is mixed with Japanese sake and sharp taste vodka.”  As a final touch, flavour the cocktail with grapefruit zest and add a tropical fruity essence to the drink.  This short cocktail praises harmony made from Japanese craftsmanship ROKU, HAKU, and Kin.  Needless to say, the beautiful Nehonbare fills your mouth from a first sip.

*Nehonbare Recipe

ROKU gin 20ml
HAKU vodka 15ml
Kin 35ml
Becherovka 5ml
syrup 2.5ml
*use grapefruit zest for aroma and garnish

Cocktail which Brings Out the Sweetness and Savor of Red King Crab

Dinings SW3 has a reputation for menus using top-grade seafood such as sea urchin and red king crab.  Eleanor the floor manager of the restaurant explains, “We suggest pairing for Nehonbare and red king crab nigiri this fall.”  They use plenty of imported red king crab directly from Japan with spicy taramo sauce on top.  The special sauce is made from taramosalata (Turkish and Greek cod roe dip mixed with bread and/or potatoes) and Tabasco added.  Grilling the surface of the dip sauce on the crab adds the smoky flavor to the nigiri.  Chef uses the homemade kombu paper instead of nori seaweed so that umami spreads out fluffily.  It is a special piece of sushi where factors of good flavours are piled up.  “Original sweetness of Becherovka and botanical of ROKU get along well with natural sweetness of red king crab, and that makes the taste of crab to the maximum.  Due to the pairing, we thought seriously about the balance of the cocktail and the dish.  We imaged Nehonbare cuddles red king crab and sushi rice gently like blanket.”  Red king crab nigiri and Nehonbare, the evolved dry martini in Dinings SW3 style make perfect paring.  The mariage has been already popular among London’s Japanese foodies.

Dinings SW3

Dinings SW3

Walton House, Lennox Gardens Mews, Walton Street, London SW3 2JH
+44(0) 20 7723 0666
[Lunch] Monday to Sunday 12:00-15:00 (last reservation 14:45) [Dinner] Monday to Wednesday 18:00-22:30 (last reservation 22:15) Thursday to Saturday 18:00-23:00(last reservation 22:30) Sunday 18:00-22:00 (last reservation 21:30)

Photographs by Shu TOMIOKA Text by Yuka HASEGAWA

更新: 2019年10月9日