There are some sake places I would really love to visit, but they only allow new people if they are accompanied by someone who has drunk there before - no first timers allowed by themselves.
I was therefore wondering if anyone who loves sake has been to one of the following and would like to share a few sakes with a fellow sake fanatic. ruprecht25?
つくしの子 (tsukushi no ko
Thanks very much in advance! I can reciprocate by getting some amazing sakes at a few places that are not on the menu which they keep back for the regulars.
Unfortunately I haven't been to either of the places that you listed, so I would not be able to provide an introduction. I would love to join if you need company, though.
According to the below post by the dearly departed (from this country, not necessarily this board) jem589, a fairly regular member of this board (whom we know) joined him at Shutoan. I think she may be out of town at the moment, but hopefully she can be persuaded to arrange something in the near future.
I certainly can be persuaded!
Both have become difficult to make reservations at after getting a lot of favourable press over the last year, but it's not impossible. A two or three week advance booking should be sufficient.
I had the same issue with trying to get a reservation at Nakamura's new jizake izakaya, Koutaro, in Shibuya. Even though I am a regular at both Nakamura and Kan, the staff have told me that they are controlling bookings because of the flood of interest from tabelog readers. The chef at Kan ended up making a booking for me... so I'll report back on my experience there.
My go-to sake place remains Sake Dining Honoka. It is still the best overall experience in terms of food, sake selection and service in my opinion. It's a terribly small shop, however they have an upstairs area to facilitate a group.
Hard to find places where both sake and food are excellent, so Honoka sounds great. Have you been to Hachiban? It's not a sake place per se, but they have some amazing sakes and the atmosphere is great. They only do tabehoudai nomihoudai (cheaply) and the food is really not good, but if you hit it off with the chef, he serves an outrageous amount of amazing sakes, all within the nomihoudai price. You do not get a choice though - if you don't hit it off, you are stuck all evening with an isshoubin of rough shouchu and ozeki-quality sake. This approach makes the experience quite interesting.