Date
23 May 2017
Shintaro Konishi, president of Konishi Brewing Co., Ltd., and his mother-in-law came by, taking delight in the superb dinner by Chef Wan Tat-kong at HKJC's Fortune Room in Happy Valley. Photos: Openrice, HKEJ
Shintaro Konishi, president of Konishi Brewing Co., Ltd., and his mother-in-law came by, taking delight in the superb dinner by Chef Wan Tat-kong at HKJC's Fortune Room in Happy Valley. Photos: Openrice, HKEJ

This rice wine brings luck to racehorse owners

A membership at the Hong Kong Jockey Club is a status symbol for the wealthy.

But what I find most attractive about the club is that members are able to enjoy exclusive dining experiences provided by top-notch chefs from all over the world.

Thanks to my connection, I had an eye-opening adventure at the Fortune Room of the Happy Valley Clubhouse, enjoying a wonderful dinner prepared by the renowned chef Wan Tat-kong.

With 50 years of professional experience in the culinary arts, including 30 years in Japan, Chef Wan designs traditional Cantonese dishes with the sophistication of Japanese Kaiseki.

Every dish of the evening was served with a product of Shirayuki — a vintage brand of Japan’s premium sake by Konishi Brewing Company.

Established in Itami (the birth place of sake) in 1550, Konishi Brewing has over 460 years of tradition and history in producing fermented rice wine.

The meal, comprising eight dishes and six Shirayuki sake, started with an appetizer — eucheuma seaweed and sea cucumber — and Shirayuki Konishi Cheese To Yokuau Osake (白雪純米吟釀生貯藏酒), followed by sesame tofu with sea urchin with Shirayuki Konishi Daiginjo Hiyashibori Namachozoshu (白雪「水滴」大吟釀).

We then had some wagyu beef, “Buddha Jumps over the Wall” soup, and stonefish, together with four Shirayuki Junmaishu or higher-grade sake.

The last sake that went with the stonefish was truly an excellent choice in terms of taste and its auspicious meaning.

Shirayuki Junmaishu Daiginjo Ghisshonosake Kachiumamai (白雪純米大吟釀必勝の酒勝馬米) was brewed with very highly polished winning horse rice, which was grown with the addition of natural fertilizer made from the manure of winning horses at the Japan Racing Association.

In Hong Kong racecourses, there’s a tradition that whenever a horse wins a race, the owner shall treat everyone inside the private box to a drink.

I think horse owners should stock up on this sake and be prepared to share the lucky drink with all.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 20.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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DY/JP/CG

a veteran journalist and food critic

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