May 15, 2016

Sake Gumi News: Spice it up with Sake! (May 2016)

by Yoko Kumano

May sakes ship today for Sake Gumi, our monthly sake subscription club. If you like what’s on deck here, you should join! The days are longer, the bees are starting to store their honey, and the lines at ice cream stores are stretching around the block here in Old Oakland. This can only mean one thing – […]

June 4, 2015

Umami Tool Watch: Microdent Knives

by Kayoko Akabori

We are total gadget heads here at Umami Mart. Johnny always scoffs when I bring home a new kitchen toy, or cocktail tool — we even tried to implement a rule of getting rid of something in order to bring in a new product. But that didn’t last long. When I brought home these two […]

July 21, 2014

A Visit to Heuga Bar in Gifu City

by Kayoko Akabori

Yoko and I first met bartender Tomokazu Kai in 2010, when we helped present an event with Suntory Whisky called the Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon. The event was held at Prizefighter bar in Emeryville and was meant to bring bartenders from Japan and the Bay Area together to present and talk about cocktails and bartending techniques. […]

July 7, 2014

Ukai: Cormorant Fishing in Gifu

by Kayoko Akabori

Yoko and I were lucky enough to be invited to Gifu prefecture in central Japan to visit specific cities that are known for producing knives, ceramics and wood products, and tour their factories. We had a wonderful three days in different parts of Gifu, looking for new products for Umami Mart, while enjoying the regional […]

April 26, 2012

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Video Series: Tomokazu Kai (Heuga Bar)

by Kayoko Akabori

Here is Part Deux in our Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon Series. Meet Monsieur Tomokazu Kai, bartender at Heuga Bar in Gifu, Japan. Mr. Kai won the 2011 Suntory Cocktail Award, and his prize was a trip to SF and NYC. Gifu is a way’s away from Tokyo, a city just north of Nagoya, but clearly it is […]