Gindara Toban Yaki, $25
Raw isn't the only way to go when hitting up the sushi bar. Japanese cuisine offers many mouthwatering hot entrées as well. Toban Yaki is more a method of cooking than just a name of a meal, meaning to roast on a ceramic plate. Wasabi Sushi Bar's gindara, a grilled fillet of black cod, lies atop a bed of mushrooms, radishes, carrots and rice noodles. A concentrated sweet miso sauce trickles down the fish, coats the vegetables and fills the bottom of the dish.
2009 Renwood Viognier, Sierra Foothills, Calif., $8 by the glass
I couldn't get over the captivating richness and sweet essence of the sauce, therefore I wanted to choose a wine that would enhance or supplement those flavors. I gravitated toward the Viognier, knowing it would have a touch of fruit but also a crisp tartness to balance. The wine truly allowed the complex flavors of the dish shine while providing a supporting role in the pairing.
Gekkeikan Nigori Sake, $15, 300ml bottle
Sake is a Japanese alcohol made from rice. It is not a wine, nor a beer. Often mistaken for being comparable to something like a vodka, sake generally runs only a 15- to- 20-percent alcohol level, not much higher than red wine. Sake also has varying degrees and categories, much like beer and wine. Nigori sake is an unfiltered method that has a cloudy-like appearance and is known to be one of the sweetest. Fruity aromas carry through in the taste, complementing the miso flavor. Slight acidity and clean texture is just right for the velvety, delicate fish.
Kirin Ichiban, $4, 12oz
When opting for beer with a dish such as this, it is wise to look for something refreshing rather than powerful as to not overwhelm your palate. The Kirin Ichiban is one of the most popular beers in Japan, likely due to its smooth and mild profile. Refreshing qualities and minimal bitterness transition easily with the multifaceted dish. Rather than evoking new taste to the Toban Yaki, this lager invigorates your taste buds and prepares you for the next bite.
Wasabi Sushi Bar, multiple locations, wasabistl.com
STLwinegirl Angela Ortmann gained a passion for all things epicurean by working in the luxury restaurants and hotels of St. Louis and San Francisco. Through her event and consultation business, she is dedicated to enhancing your food and wine experience.