Anyone who has ever had a truly fantastic sake knows its importance and distinction in the realm of alcoholic beverages, especially with regard to Asian and Japanese cuisine. Kenichi Austin offers one of the largest sake lists in the country, all while keeping taste, quality, health and sustainability in mind. With over 50 different sakes to choose from, our list is one of the most comprehensive in all of south Texas.
Kenichi Austin provides you with a large variety while keeping a high standard of quality, ensuring that your dining experience with us stands out as one of the best. We would never sacrifice quality simply for the claim of having a larger selection, as each sake is carefully considered and selected for the distinct characteristics that it brings to the table; from our table to yours. Whether you’re looking for a higher quality, great tasting hot sake, a premium chilled fragrant sake to awaken the senses on a special occasion, or a simpler tasting quality sake to introduce someone to the world of Japanese beverages, Kenichi Austin can make it happen.
A centuries old tradition and truly a form of art, sake is commonly referred to as the “drink of the Gods” by the Japanese people. Though commonly called rice wine in western cultures, sake is produced by the fermentation of rice in a process remarkably similar to that of brewing beer. There are many health-conscious choices available, as premium sake is sulfite-free, gluten-free, and kosher. Despite organic certification being rather difficult to obtain due to the nature of farming in Japan, most rice found in sake has been both sustainably and biodynamically farmed for centuries. The taste and quality of sake is directly related to the size of the grain and the amount of milling that has been done prior to the fermentation process. The most pure, fragrant, and uniquely complex flavors in premium sake come from the center of the grain, and the more milling that has been done to the grains, the better the sake will taste. It is common for the milled and polished grains of rice to be reduced to 50-70% of their original size, which contributes to the price, quality, and amazing flavors found in sake.
Even if you truly believe that sake isn’t for you, we whole-heartedly believe (and know) that we can change your mind. If there’s anywhere to give sake another chance, it’s with us. Upon joining the team at Kenichi Austin, even several of our own staff members had claimed to not be sake drinkers. After education about what constitutes a higher standard of quality, and of course some hands-on taste-testing, we can safely say that Kenichi Austin is capable of converting anyone into a lover of sake. A wide array of complex flavors can be found behind our sake bar, and we are confident that there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Each of our staff members has a personal favorite sake, and we take great pride in our ability to help you find one as well, whether you are a seasoned sake professional or it’s your first time to venture into the world of sake. If you have the desire to learn more, ask any of our knowledgeable staff members and rest assured that you will be given the most thorough and educated answers possible.
Our sake program in Austin is run by the talented Adam Faraizl, one of the first 65 students in the world to receive Level II Certification from the Sake Education Council (SEC). The SEC is the only certifying body currently recognized in both the United States and Japan, a fact that should give Kenichi’s valued guests the confidence that we most certainly know our sake. Adam’s constant efforts to keep Kenichi properly stocked with the best and freshest selection of sakes allows for you to experience the closest possible thing to what the original Japanese brew masters intended for sake to be; a tantalizing and unique glimpse into the truly unique beauty and art of Japanese culture.