A Japanese Dinner Party: Cucumber Saki Cups

Published July 19, 2012

An ordinary cucumber can be transformed into a cup a la chic!

There is something really special about attending a dinner party where the hostess has gone to a lot of work to put together a beautiful evening. I’ve always felt the success of a great dinner party lies in the details. Taking the time to plan the menu, the table setting and other little aspects of the evening can really make a difference.

Whenever I come across a great decorating or entertaining idea, I try to remember to write it down and save it for later. After awhile the file becomes filled with wonderful ideas to try at my own dinner parties. Here are a few of my favorites.


Sake Cups

Why serve sake in regular, small cups when you can really dazzle your guests with these simple, stunning cucumber cups. I saw these in a restaurant once and thought they would be easy to duplicate. Simply purchase a long, English cucumber from your local grocery store. Remove the plastic wrap and wash thoroughly. With a sharp knife, cut the cucumber in 3-inch sections and discard the ends. Carefully slice the cucumber into square shapes leaving a little of the green skin on the corners. Using a melon baller (purchased at grocery stores), scoop out the middle of the cucumber sections. Fill with your favorite sake and serve with fresh sushi.


Napkin and Twigs

To continue with the Japanese theme why not brighten up your table with a unique napkin setting straight from your garden. With sharp pruning shears, cut a few small twigs from your garden bushes and remove any leaves and wash thoroughly. Set your table very simply with subdued colors such as green, ivory and brown. Fold your napkin into a rectangle shape and place on the dinner plate at each guest’s setting. Purchase some garden-like wrapping paper in the same shades as your table and cut the paper into 1inch by 8-inch sections. Wrap the paper around the napkin and insert the twig.


Japanese Lanterns

You have probably seen these paper lanterns in craft stores and department stores here on the North Shore. Did you know that you could decorate these plain lanterns? I think they are lovely on their own but if you have a glue gun and some fresh/artificial flowers, they can be dressed up quite nicely. Using your glue gun, attach the small flowers all around the lanterns and hang over the dinner table. They are gorgeous lit up over an outdoor table setting at night and they add a spectacular glow to the evening.