Food and Drink


Sakeshop by Chef’s Armoury

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“We have more booze than any other knife shop,” jokes Leigh Hudson, greeting his guests for the evening.

The certified sake sommelier and knife maker is a veritable pig in mud at his Richmond-based Chef’s Armoury, which alongside Sydney sister store, is the largest importer and distributor of Japanese knifes in the country.

He has coupled the glinting collection with Sakeshop – boasting the best of Japanese breweries. It’s a winning combination spawned by Hudson’s travels, training and love for the Land of the Rising Sun. But knives aside – can sake really take the place of wine on the Aussie dinner table?

Six bottled varieties, a smorgasbord of accompanying morsels and the charming Hudson are at bay to convince us. We are guided through the full “spectrum of sake” – guzzling from our little cups while taking in an animated education on the foreign brews.

Whether it be the “big, alcoholic, dry in-your-face style” of Hanamikura Kuro or the sumptuously sticky-sweet nectar that is Kubota Ume Kasumi, there’s a sake for every celebration.

And Hudson makes it easy – breaking through the baffling barrier of brushstroke and kanji-riddled labels by explaining each bottle’s meter value (the higher the dryer) and classification in plain English.  The online shop offers further guidance – matching taste and occasion to the perfect drop.

The fresh, more-often-than-not chilled flavors are a far cry from the microwave-heated five-dollar flask that may come to mind. Sake is sensational, and with less acidity and half the hangover, may well trounce wine at the next Bottle-O run.

Chef’s Armoury and Sakeshop
422 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121

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