Rain or Shine, Sake is Always a Good Time!

Picture this: you’re strolling through Roji-en, taking in the sights and sounds of bamboo rustling in the wind, wildlife scampering over the path and Morikami Lake gently lapping at the shore of Yamato Island. You’ve just filled your belly with delightful sushi and Pan-Asian cuisine from the Cornell Café that paired perfectly with a crisp and cool sip of sparkling sake. As you round the lake and your stroll comes to a close you make your way to the theater for the rousing beats of Fushu Daiko’s taiko drumming.

Now, make that refreshing dream a reality by visiting us for Sushi & Stroll tomorrow, which is aptly themed Sip & Stroll – An All about Sake Evening. We’ll welcome Sake Specialist, Carrie Becker of Stacole Fine Wines as well as special guest Hisashi Kobayashi, owner of the Musashino Brewery in Japan. Carrie and Hisashi-san will give you the low down on Japan’s signature spirit at their Sake 101 presentation at 7pm, and offer a variety of sake from Musashino Brewery, among others. Here’s what Carrie suggests you pair with your delicious bite – savory or sweet – from the Cornell Café:

  • Cold sesame noodles, teriyaki salmon or crispy pork – Ten to Chi Junmai Daiginjo (ultra premium) – $6
  • Curry chicken or  BBQ chicken – Daku Junmai Nigori (unfiltered) – $6
  • Baked mussels, California or vegetable roll, or any dessert item – Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Sake – $9
  • Seaweed salad, egg rolls, tempura shrimp roll, crispy pork or pork dumplings – Hiko’s ‘Ka No Izumi (premium) – $5

If this is your first go-round with sake, our Sip & Stroll themed evening is the perfect introduction. Both Carrie and Hisashi-san are available all evening to answer questions from beginners and connoisseurs alike. Still need a little sake primer? Check out this article from Japan Times about sake pairing and tasting.

Also, please note that Sushi & Stroll is a rain or shine event. The gardens and Yamato-kan will be open unless there is inclement weather. If this is the case we will close the Yamato-kan and open our main galleries. All other activities including taiko, sake sales and Sake 101 will be indoors.

Don’t forget to stop by our Facebook page for opportunities to win Sushi & Stroll tickets, exclusive event tees and more, and as always: visit us on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine for the latest updates on all things Morikami!

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Summer is Here! Time for Sushi, Strolls and Sunsets

When the Morikami first introduced its evening events for the summer, then known as Sunset Strolls, it was part of an attempt to get people to visit the gardens when it wasn’t 102 degrees in the shade.

The early evening events used to have an early-morning counterpart, Sunrise Strolls. However, it seemed like more people liked hanging out late than getting up early, so after a few years, Sunrise Strolls slowly faded away. As time passed, the Sunset Strolls grew a following — a hungry following — so the Cornell Cafe got in on the act.

The events were re-named Sushi & Stroll, a DJ showed up, a couple came and danced on the terrace, and people would lounge among the languid temperatures and chill in the Roji-En. Before things got too relaxed, someone brilliant came up with the great idea to add the energy of taiko drumming to the mix.  Now for a few dollars more, strollers can take in a taiko concert before or after their sushi.

Sushi & Stroll has evolved from a good idea to a great idea to a “why didn’t I see you at the Morikami on Friday night?” idea. It has become the perfect end to a hectic workweek, a chillaxin’ beginning to the weekend or a nature-inspired, sexy-back date night kinda thang.

What do you mean you’ve never been??!

OK, here are the dates: May 14, June 11, July 9, August 20, September 10; time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Cost: $7 adults, $5 children (4-17) (Museum members and children 3 and under FREE); $2 for taiko performance (optional)

I invite you to check out the “evolution” of an event for yourself — when it’s not 102 degrees in the shade.

Chillax by the Morikami Falls at the upcoming Sushi & Strolls this summer.

Sushi, It’s Not All About Raw Fish

Tonight, Trevor Corson, Food Network TV personality and well-known sushi concierge, is speaking at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on the cultural context and origins of one of South Florida’s favorite foods.

One might wonder just how much can be said about sushi. Quite a bit actually.

Reiko Nishioka, the Morikami’s director of education, shares her thoughts on an entree she grew up with, and one that has definitely made its  mark on our western palates. The more we learn, the more we love…

“A local Japanese sushi chef here in South Florida said to me recently that there are more sushi restaurants in Boca Raton than hamburger joints. Sushi in America is a much different experience from that which is served in Japan.  You certainly won’t find a volcano or spider roll on the menu!

However, authentic Japanese sushi is not all about raw fish.  Maki-zushi (rolled sushi), Oshi-zushi (sushi pressed in a square mold), Chirashi-zushi (topping served scattered over a bowl of sushi rice), and Inari-zushi (topping stuffed into a pouch of fried tofu) are all very popular in Japan.  These forms of sushi do not necessarily use raw fish.  The common denominator here is the rice.  All sushi rice is vinegared rice.

When I go home to Japan, I love to sit at the sushi counter, enjoy a cup of sake and make small talk with the chef as he prepares my fresh sushi.  I hope you make and enjoy your own sushi experience as well!”

Assorted sushi rolls from the Cornell Cafe at the Morikami