Chef Kentaro Nakahara of Tokyo’s Sumibiyakiniku Nakahara—one of the city’s most famous high-end wagyu-only grill restaurants, and ground zero for all that wagyu katsu sando food porn floating around Instagram—is heading to Chicago. On October 10, Nakahara will host a seated burger and bourbon dinner at chef John Shields’ the Loyalist in the West Loop.
The two chefs are teaming up to make a collaborative burger, which Nakahara says will be similar to the one he serves at his two Tokyo burger cafes, Henry’s Burger — a wagyu shank patty with tomato, lettuce, and Henry’s Burger special sauce. In Japan, Nakahara makes his own rolls, but in Chicago he’ll likely pursue a potato bun.
The pop-up is going down in the Loyalist’s private dining room beginning at 8:30 p.m., and in addition to the joint burger, attendees will also snag a Legent bourbon (a Japanese-meets -American whiskey produced by Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo and Fred Noe, master distiller of Jim Beam) tasting and cocktail pairing, with drinks like “rising sun,” made from bourbon, apricot liqueur, and lemon juice. The Loyalist bar team will create some of the other cocktails on offer.
Tickets to the event are free, but very limited. Burger and bourbon enthusiasts can submit themselves for a chance to score a seat, but organizers will select diners randomly from all who enter.
Up next, Nakahara will hold a similar such burger and bourbon event in New York on October 7.