From the timing and title of this post, readers would be forgiven for thinking that this post had a thanksgiving theme. However, the inspiration for it came from the arguably, slightly classier, less cream cheese frosted climes of Japan (via Islington!)
A friend and I recently took a winter’s stroll from my office in Holborn to the twinkly-lit Exmouth market. For those who don’t already know, this is one of the most charming streets in London, dotted with smart and quirky independent shops and cafes, like ‘Necco Cafe’, where we hopped to shelter from the cold, to refresh and catch up.
Although the cafe is distinctly Japanese, the owner is distinctly… Japanese by way of California, all rock and roll teeshirt and unkempt curtain hairstyle. He reminded me of the Karate kid, after he’d grown up, kicked back, and retired his strict fitness regime to enjoy a nightly couple of sakes and the odd spliff. He seemed impressed at my adventurous menu selection, a cold glass of the Shouchu Ikkomon sweet potato sake. My partner ordered a delicious cup of fruit tea, which came in a darling little cup covered in cats.
It was so cold outside that day, and I imagined that when my drink came, it would be delightfully warm, maybe slightly cinnamonny or with hints of general Christmas cheer. Instead, what I was served resembled a penguin’s bathroom sink. Still kinda Christmassy, but full of completely clear liquid and lots of crushed ice.
Sadly, too, it tasted just like regular sake, or which I’m non too partial at the best of times.
When the owner asked if I liked it, and I made a penguin face at him, he just laughed, shook his hair, and said ‘that’s just because you haven’t drunk three glasses of it yet.’ Plucky of him, but I didn’t fancy trying to navigate back to Clapham South, completely pissed on Sake for no particularly good reason. I opted instead for the ‘healthy and sensible option’, a green tea and white chocolate blondie cake instead!