The BaiKu Sushi Bar Experience
Here at BaiKu Sushi Lounge, we are changing the experience in the St Louis sushi scene. Due to a more intimate location, we are able to focus on the quality of the food and the experience with our service staff able engage with our customers. Our DJs and live music on weekends, adds that next-level experience to every individual experience, providing many layers of why people would want to come to BaiKu Sushi Lounge. The concepts and styles here provide a different atmosphere for St. Louis, and so there is an interested group of people who appreciate the intimate details and design within the our location, menu, and experience.
The term “baiku” means motorcycle in Japanese. It’s a full-circle definition, bringing us back to our unique location. We are located in the Mid-Town Moto Complex with Triumph Grill, Moto Europa, and the Moto Museum.
The leading focus we promote to our fan base and potential customers is our dedication to providing the freshest fish in St. Louis. Here at BaiKu we frequently have fish flown in directly.
“The freshness and variety of fish is something I haven’t seen in other St. Louis restaurants or even in the country for that matter,” – Brad Beracha, partner at BaiKu.
At BaiKu, we feature one of the only sake programs available in St. Louis inspired by Monica Samuels, whom was the first Master of Sake graduate in the US. We offer a sake and wine list that provides categories specific to the pairings with the meal highlighted by the Tears Of Dawn (sake), Ama-San (creative cocktail), and “The Ned” Pino Gris (white wine).
By having the best sushi and Asian fusion dinner menu in St. Louis, we must give due credit to our outstanding chefs who have been with us since BaiKu Sushi Lounge opened in October of 2014. Chef Soung, Chef Norris, and Chef Cooper work tirelessly every day to provide the best sushi and Japanese cuisine in the business. The sushi menu is the work of Chef Soung, where the inspired Japanese cuisine coming from the kitchen is a collaboration between Chef Norris and Cooper.
Chef Norris grew up in Hawaii, so he was able to bring in some special ramen dishes as well as his own personal creation, the Ahi Poke (salad). With his background in Asian cuisine, he was a big help in engineering the menu on the hot food side. Chef Cooper will be the Executive Chef starting in April and is extremely talented at creating dishes, flavor profiles and presentation. Chef Soung is very creative; he is coming into his own with his work behind the Sushi bar. He has his own original delicious sauces and specialty dishes; which are where food and art come together for him.
At BaiKu Sushi Lounge, we love to provide variety in tandem with our fresh fish approach. Every week Chef Soung reaches out to different fish providers, and discusses what fish they have available, prices, and weekly specials (if any); and then he makes a decision about which specialty fish he will bring in for that week. Chef Soung makes all fish selections based on his past and selections of fresh fish he has used previously, or based on recommendations from the sales rep and the flavor profile that they describe. If Chef Soung feels he can prepare a dish with that profile, or add a bit of flare from his own imaginative background, customers are sure to see something new and unique on the menu.
Our menus (both sushi and kitchen) are filled with delectable dishes that are specialty preparations from the creative minds of our chefs. The Specialty Nigiri is one of the best options we offer; it showcases the imagination and the specialty of preparation. From the sushi bar our most signature dishes are the Tuna Tiradito and the Red Dragon Rolls, which were designed in the artistic mind of Chef Soung. Delicious dishes coming out of the kitchen are the excellent Lobster Dumplings and the Hawaiian Saimin, which were invented by the intellectual Chef Norris. These are the most interesting dishes, and provide the chefs the greatest enjoyment to make.
The inside of the lounge is extremely beautiful featuring a gorgeous fireplace and trendy decor. However, once summer hits, grab your friends or work colleagues because our patio will be open as well. We are currently installing sun sails above the patio, which will only improve the outdoor experience we provide. A garden and a fireplace on the patio serve as centerpieces between the few tables and sectionals, providing a relaxing intimate outdoor scene overlooking the grounds of St. Louis University.
At BaiKu Sushi Lounge, customers can find the freshest fish served in an atmosphere unlike any other in St. Louis! We are providing a structured sake program, and a sushi menu created in house from the mind of our artistic chefs. The staff is trained with extensive detail to every dish, beverage, and experience we can provide. Our chefs and staff are looking forward to meeting you and supplying the freshest fish options on the market, and providing the creative aspect all sushi and Japanese cuisine deserve to be paired with.
BaiKu Sushi Blog – How To Drink Sake
Trying Sake for the First Time?
So you want to try sake, but you’re not quite sure where to begin? You’re not alone. The Japanese have been making sake for thousands of years, but its intricacies still remain mysterious to most Americans. At BaiKu Sushi Lounge, we look forward to bridging that gap, and introducing you to this delicious beverage!
First, let’s start with the basics- how to say “sake!” You’ve probably heard it said “sah-kee” or “socky.” Now, you’ll avoid sounding like you’ve had too many glasses of sake by pronouncing it “sah-kay.”
Now that you know how to order the drink, let’s talk about what exactly you are drinking. Sake often gets misidentified as “rice wine,” mostly because wine as we know it is the closest comparison in texture and alcohol content. However, sake’s brewing process is more like beer, in that starches are broken down into sugar, and then into alcohol. Sake’s main ingredients include rice, water, yeast, and a mold spore called koji.
Don’t let the fact that sake’s key ingredient is a mold spore stop you from trying this delicious beverage! Koji rice is steamed rice that has had koji mold spores cultivated onto it. This magical mold creates several enzymes as it spreads, and these are what break the starches in the rice into sugars that can be fermented by the yeast cells, which then give off carbon dioxide and alcohol. Without koji, there is no sake!
So how do you choose from BaiKu’s sake list? Whether you prefer to drink something sweet or dry, acidic or rich, fruity or steely there is a sake that suits you. A sake’s name will tell you a lot about what the sake will taste like, as well as how it was brewed, and its percentage of rice milling. Check out the list below to decipher what all of the different names mean!
This type of sake refers to pure sake that hasn’t had any starches or sugars other than rice added to the fermenting mixture. Also, no additional alcohol has been added.
The rice used to make this sake has had the outer 40% of the grain polished away, leaving the inner 60% left and the sake with delicate, light and complex flavors.
The rice for this sake has been milled so that no more than 50% of the original size of the grains remains, although this often goes as low as 35%.
Where most sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process, Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a far cloudier drink.
Traditionally, sake is served in a ceramic mug that is much like tiny a handless tea-cup, called an ochoko. It can also be served in a sakazuki, which is more flat, and saucer-like, or an amasu, which is a small wooden-box made for drinking. Though not very traditional, a wine glass is said to be the best type of glass to drink sake from. Much like how a wine glass is designed for allowing the drinker to see the color of the wine, as well as being able to experience the aroma and flavor, it is also perfect for enjoying sake.
At BaiKu Sushi Lounge, we aim for a good balance of authenticity while also giving our customers an approachable atmosphere. So while it may be more authentic to serve our sake out of an ochoko, sake tends to be more enjoyable out of wine glasses.
As far as temperature, sake is often best served chilled (especially ginjo and daiginjo). However, if sake is too cold it might lose some of its rich flavoring. Sometimes sake will be served warm, and this usually results in a smoother taste, and the alcohol will be more prevalent.
The most obvious food pairing for sake is, of course, sushi. We love helping our customers pair kinds of sake with different sushi dishes! Once you fall in love with sake while at BaiKu, you might be wondering what else you can pair sake with while at home. The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s not that difficult, especially if you already know how to pair other kinds of wine with food. You should also keep in mind that the first rule to pairing sake with food is that there are no rules! We don’t usually think twice about having French wine while dining at an Italian restaurant, so don’t think too hard about having a glass of sake while enjoying something other than sushi. Really, the only place you could possibly go wrong, would be pairing sake with overly spicy foods that may overpower the taste of the sake.
Check out our Sushi and Sake Dinner here at BaiKu!>>
The Japanese culture is deeply rooted in etiquette, and drinking sake is no exception. First, you should never pour your own sake, and you should also be mindful of your neighbor’s drink, so you can refill it for them. Pouring each others sake is a social bonding experience, so be sure to enjoy that moment with your friend. You should always wait for the entire group to receive their drinks, and for someone to offer cheers or a toast before you start drinking your sake.
You can offer cheers to someone in Japanese by saying ‘kanpai’! This translates to the phrase “empty-cup,” and once meant that you were supposed to finish your small cup of sake in one shot. Now you may clink your glasses together and sip your sake however you like. Another way to say cheers is otsukaresama deshita, which means “you’re tired.” This kind of cheers is usually heard in a business setting. The Japanese value hard work, and telling someone that they are tired is their way of saying that person is an extremely hard worker and deserves a drink. After the sake begins to flow, you can also say ‘banzai!’ This is directly translated to “to live 10,000 years.”
So will you like sake? The answer is YES(now that you know how to drink sake)! Much like other kinds of alcohol and spirits, it’s just a matter of finding the sake you will enjoy. Whether you drink sweet or dry, acidic or rich, fruity or steely there is a sake that suits you. Sake is a multifaceted, intriguing drink that has a broad flavor spectrum with an addictive twist. If you are trying your first sip of sake, or you are a sake connoisseur, BaiKu is thrilled to serve you the best sake list in St. Louis! Kanpai!