Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association | JSS
When visiting liquor shops in Malaysia, it’s getting easier to find a particular brand of craft beer or foreign whiskey on the shelves. However, sake still proves to be an elusive beverage to find. In recent years, more sake lovers have opened sake specialty shops across the country to spread awareness of the beverage to a larger audience.
These shops don’t just simply carry sake. Many of them offer tastings, food options, and even full educational courses to induct people into the world of sake. While still small, the sake community in Malaysia proves to be one worth watching. Here is a list of physical and online shops to find sake in Malaysia.
The majority of liquor shops in Malaysia specialize in beer, wine, or specific spirits, like whiskey. However, recent pushes for a diverse alcohol market have led to the development of specialty sake shops. Most of these shops are in major urban hubs, particularly Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Despite the limited range, some shops offer delivery across Peninsular Malaysia and sake educational components on their websites. Shops are listed in alphabetical order.
Isetan is a Japanese department store with branches around the world. The Kuala Lumpur branch sits inside the Lot 10 shopping mall. Reputed as one of the most influential department stores in Japan, Isetan also boasts the most authentic selection of Japanese imported goods in Malaysia. Of the imported goods, premium sake is one of the store’s biggest draws. Isetan stocks higher-end sake that can be difficult to find elsewhere in Malaysia. The selection includes daiginjo, nigori, sparkling, and flavored varieties.
The liquor section of Isetan can be found in the lowest level along with grocery. Here, shoppers can also find other Japanese specialty alcohols as well as beer, whiskey, and wine.
Lot 10 Shopping Center
50, Jln Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang,
50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
SK Liquor Merchant, and their online shop, KUSK, is a multiplatform liquor store with over 3000 labels in stock. The shop specializes in wine and whiskey. However, they also offer a modest selection of Japanese alcohol, including sake. Their sake stock includes a variety of premium and regular sake. Unique offerings cover flavor-infused sake and aged sake, available in gift sets with cups and tokkuri. Each sake listing features a taste and aroma description, acidity and dryness rating, and seimaibuai percentage.
KUSK also has a delivery service covering most of Peninsular Malaysia. Serviced areas include Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Melaka, and Putrajaya. As of yet, this service does not cover Eastern Malaysia. The online inventory includes a robust selection of the store’s stock.
9, SS3/37 Taman Universiti, SS3,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
The 19th Suzuki Shoten is a Japanese specialty food and beverage shop. Due to the limited availability of sake in Malaysia, the company founders wished to make a retail outlet centered on the beverage. Their website features basic background information on sake, including flavor profiles, temperature guides, and storage tips. As for their inventory, The 19th Suzuki Shoten represents over 35 different breweries from across Japan. Sake varieties include regional specialties, daiginjo, aged, and flavored sake.
The KLCC shop inside Isetan has a wider variety of sake, boasting the widest sake variety in Kuala Lumpur. Their flagship Publika shop also includes a sake bar and restaurant.
The 19th SUZUKI SHOTEN
No 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
The 19th SUZUKI SHOTEN
ISETAN KLCC Shop
C-Floor, ISETAN, Suria KLCC Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Daily Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Nomitomo is a specialty sake bar and restaurant located in Kuala Lumpur. It opened in 2015 after the four sake-loving founders decided to share their passion with the world. The bar’s name, “nomitomo,” means “drinking buddies” in Japanese. As a result, the vision of Nomitomo embodies both a celebration of sake and of bringing people together.
While primarily a full service restaurant, Nomitomo also offers a to-go sake menu for retail purchase. This menu, found on their website, lists sake by brewery. Each brand includes a short description of the flavor and aroma notes as well as the body. Next to each listing is a scale of sweetness and dryness to help customers gauge the flavor profile.
3rd Floor, No. 2 & 4 Jalan Medan
Setia 2, Bukit Damansara,
50490, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday to Saturday: 3:00pm – 10:00pm
While technically a restaurant and not a retail shop, The Sake Place is one of the best spots to taste and learn about sake in Malaysia. The restaurant carries over 80 sake labels from 20 prefectures. Each sake bottle was chosen specifically by Master Sake Sommelier Danny Leong. As a food and drink ambassador, Leong not only pairs dishes specifically with sake, he also combines each dish with sake education.
Guests can sample a monthly sake flight, attend lectures hosted by sake experts, and sign up for master classes at the shop. Upstairs, The Sake Place has a small museum dedicated to the sake making process and background information about each step. A visit to The Sake Place is perfect for sake newcomers looking to learn or sake lovers looking for new brands to explore.
F-1-16 Block Faraday, Plaza Arkadia
No. 3 Jalan Intisari Perdana, Desa Parkcity
52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday – Sunday: 4:00pm -11:00pm
TL Wines is a large-scale wine and liquor merchant. The company runs both a physical shop and online service with delivery across peninsular Malaysia. TL Wines boasts one of the largest alcohol inventories in Malaysia, including a sizable selection of whiskey and wine. Their sake selection fluctuates based on supplier availability and buyer demand. However, they tend to carry premium sake with half bottles, full bottles, and large bottle sizes. They also carry a large stock of tokkuri sets and other sake serving ware.
The shop boasts a large delivery area, including shipping to eastern Malaysia. Depending on the distance from the company headquarters in Ipoh, delivery may take up to one week. Specials, featured items, and new arrivals can be found in the company newsletter.
146 – 148 Jalan Sultan Iskandar
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
In addition to liquor stores with online components, Malaysia boasts some online shops dedicated to bringing sake straight to its customers. Shops are listed in alphabetical order.
Kanpai Malaysia is a sake and craft beer specialty online retailer. The company stocks sake from both Japanese and American breweries for a total of over 90 different labels. Each sake posting has a list of tasting notes and food pairing suggestions to help guide customers. Additionally, the website has a brief introduction to sake, including the different varieties and ways to enjoy sake. The shop also stocks a selection of shochu and other spirits imported from Japan.
The company ships across Malaysia with express delivery available in the Klang Valley area. Orders going to Eastern Malaysia will have extended shipping timelines. Orders ship after payment processing Monday through Friday with the exception of public holidays. Customers can also pick up their order from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm from their location in Petaling Jaya.
Sakekami is a sake specialist online retailer serving Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. The online shop carries labels from over 30 breweries in Japan. Available sizes include both full and half bottles. The site features different categories of sake for browsing, including groups organized by variety, serving style, and flavor notes. Each sake entry includes a brief description of the aroma and taste along with a temperature serving suggestion. In addition, Sakekami also carries a small selection of shochu and umeshu.
The site boasts delivery within 48 hours of payment Monday through Friday. Orders processed over the weekend will ship the next business day. Shipping outside of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya may incur an additional shipping fee. Customers ordering from that area can inquire about the fee via the Sakekami email or WhatsApp.
SoTipsy is an online alcohol specialty marketplace. Primarily, they offer a wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits across the Klang Valley. They also carry over 50 different sake brands along with a few shochu options. Their sake varieties mostly include ginjo and daiginjo with some specially designated tokubetsu junmai options.
Currently, SoTipsy operates primarily within the Klang Valley in Malaysia. Shoppers in these areas qualify for on-demand shipping with delivery in under one hour. Other areas, like Johor and Penang, qualify for ground shipping within 2-7 business days. Those interested in bringing SoTipsy on-demand delivery or shipping to their area can vote for inclusion on the website.
As sake education and familiarity spread around the world, the more available it will become. Though still rare in Malaysia, hardworking sake enthusiasts are working to bring the joy of sake to a larger audience.