Taste trending Japanese food before it hits Singapore
If you’re wondering why senpai hasn’t noticed you, it’s probably because you haven’t fed him the endless possibilities of oishii Japanese food yet. Whether you’re an F&B professional or if you’re obsessed with Japanese food (or your senpai), Food Japan 2016 - ASEAN’s largest dedicated showcase of Japanese food and beverages - has something for you.
Conducted in pasar malam style at Suntec Singapore Hall 401-402 from the 27th to 29th October 2016, prep your tastebuds for an onslaught of flavours, because here’s what you can expect to put a smile on those teriyaki-stained lips:
1. Buy prefecture-specialties exclusively at Food Japan
While the Japanese food section in NTUC and Cold Storage can get you Kewpie roasted sesame dressing and natto, Food Japan gets you access to prefecture specialties and the latest trending food items in Japan that you can’t find anywhere else in Singapore. Here’s what you can expect to home:
Super healthy konjac noodles
Of the total 58 calories in this dish, the noodles make up only 8 calories. The other 50 calories come from the sauce - I kid you not. Konjac noodles are the ultimate diet supplement - it slows digestion, prevents excessive fat absorption, helping you shave those pounds off.
Purchase at: Ippin Cafe Bar, Booth B13
Price: $3-4 per pack
The essence of Japanese food: Dashi
Miso is the elixir for health and anti-ageing that keeps you as ageless as Wolverine, but the secret to a good miso is dashi.
Dashi is the base of Japanese food. Put it in your miso for extra fragrance, as a flavourful soup base, steam your vegetables in it, or use it to cook your rice - you get the picture. Marusaya is famed for having the best dashi, so grab as many as you can, because they’re a rare commodity.
Purchase at: Marusaya
Price: $30 for 30 packs
Salt soda that enhances the taste of food you eat
If you’re looking for a quick thirst quencher after sampling all the food at Food Japan 2016, grab a quick salt soda drink. Made from the purest water and salt from the Ishikawa Prefecture, this drink enhances sweet food if you drink it before eating. Choose from original ($5), Yuzu-flavoured salt soda ($5), or salt soda with gold flakes ($23).
Purchase from: Ippin Cafe and Bar, Booth B13
2. Dabao Japanese Street Food from J Food Court
Onigiri from Samurice
On-the-go meals have never looked prettier. At Samurice, expect your food to look as good as it tastes. Get convenient onigiris (my favorites are Ikura and Edamame) so you can munch on your lunch while exploring the rest of the booths at Food Japan.
Samurice will also be selling poke don and tempura. You’ll look like gluttony personified, but people will understand, because...
Traditional Japanese sweets that look like merlions
For Instagrammers who do this:
Hashida Sushi has heard your desperate cry to taste the Merlion. Encased within the crispy mochi wafer of our beloved Merlion is Hashida’s home-made kaya jam, white bean paste and white chocolate that’s sure to make you go “oishii!!!’.
Note: To purchase food items from J Food Court, you will need to purchase food coupons ($2, $5, and $25 denominations) at the event.
3. Attend cooking workshops
It doesn’t stop at just eating. Get senpai to notice you when you whip up a meal filled with more love than any Japanese restaurant can give.
Learn to make miniature sushi and Matcha Tiramisu
Known as ‘easygoing sushi’, Temari Sushi is easy to make and particularly handy for when you have no idea what to bring to potluck parties (or to pack into senpai’s bento box). They only require rice and toppings, and the best part: they look super kawaii.
Fun fact: Temari Sushi is eaten by geishas so that they wouldn’t smudge their lipstick while eating.
And when it's time for dessert, learn to assemble Matcha Tiramisu in a cup. Share your creations with your loved ones, and whatever grudge they hold against you will melt away in their mouths.
Details: 1st session at 11:30am - 12:30pm, 2nd session at 12:45pm -1:45pm.
4. Score free event passes just by dining out
Food Japan is a paid event, but there is a way out: eat. Complete your Dining Experience Card with stamps from 3 different participating restaurants and exchange them for 2 entry passes on 29 October 2016, 10am - 4pm. After that, you’ll be free to roam the streets of Japanese food heaven without paying.
If you can’t decide which participating restaurant to start with, here’re 2 unique ones to get your tastebuds acquainted with:
Ikkousha Hakata Ramen Singapore
The bowl of ramen literally overflows with goodness. Source @rachaelwong
Calling all ramen fans who are super particular about the firmness of their noodles - if you’re about that life, Ikkousha Hakata is your muse. They serve your ramen quickly, so if you want firm noodles, dig in immediately. If you'd prefer a softer texture, just wait while the broth seeps into and bloats each strand.
If the larger than average portion isn’t enough for you, Ikkousha Hakata serves free boiled eggs - order as many as you want all day.
Price: $19-26 per person
Address: Chijmes (30 Victoria Street #01-07 Chijmes, 187996) Tanjong Pagar (7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-104B 081007)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 11:30am - 10pm (Last order 9:45pm), Sunday 11:30am to 9pm (Last order 8:45pm)
At this Izakaya, set meals start at $15, inclusive of complimentary miso soup with clams, a salad, an appetiser, and ice cream. The Kaisen Chirashi ($20) includes 10 types of sashimi resting atop special pink Japanese rice, enhanced with En Sakaba’s very own special Japanese condiment.
For the complete experience, grab some sake to go with your meal - you'll get your money’s worth.
Tip: They have a monthly Sake promotion with up to 30%, so watch out for the first of each month!
Address: JEM (50 Jurong Gateway Road #01-04 JEM 608549)
Orchard Central (181 Orchard #01-16 Orchard Central 238896)
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 12pm - 11pm, Friday to Saturday: 12pm to 12mn, Sunday: 12pm -11pm
Bonus: Masterclasses for F&B professionals
Held on the first two days of Food Japan, the trade show segment lets F&B professionals collaborate, purchase quality seasonal produce, and attend masterclasses where masters of the Wa-shoku knife technique will be imparting their S-Class cooking skills.
Learn to cook up the perfect Crispy Coral Cod Fish with Japanese Mayo Salted Egg Yolk Ebiko Cream
Jump on the Salted Egg bandwagon with this one, because after this masterclass, you won’t have to spend a single cent at restaurants. You’ll learn to pan-fry fish at the perfect temperature for a euphoric crisp, drenched in creamy salted egg mayo sauce for the most delectable trending variation yet.
Time: 27 October, Thursday, 10:30am - 11:50am
Find out more here.
Fuel your love for Japanese food at this once-a-year event
At this food fair where fans of Japanese cuisine indulge in their love for Jap food, there’s no way you can miss this. Sample the hottest Japanese food before they trend in Singapore, take recipes and tips home, and most of all, fill your tummies with the goodness from this 3-day pasar malam, because it’s going to be sugoi!
Venue: Suntec Singapore Hall 401-402, 1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City, Singapore 039593 (Nearest MRT: Esplanade)
Date: 27 – 29 October 2016 (Trade: 27 – 28 Oct | Public: 29 Oct)
Opening Hours: 27 - 28 Oct: 10am - 5:30pm, 29 Oct: 11am - 4:30pm
Floor plan here.
Trade visitors: Free admission for pre-registration here before 24 October 2016, $20 for on-site registration. Purchase food coupons on-site.
Public: $4 per person (free entry for children below 12 years old)
This post was brought to you by Food Japan 2016.