Hokkaido food and drinks to happily stuff yourself with
Let’s be real: Jap food is bae. And by that we mean you don’t need an actual bae when you can have Hokkaido ramen, Japanese cheesecake and the famous white chocolate biscuit Shiroi Koibito.
For those who need their Jap food fix ASAP, let Hello Hokkaido! do the trick. Located at Resorts World Sentosa from 18 to 27 November, this festival is filled with yatai (mobile food stalls) street food, sake and gigantic crabs for feasting. Here’s a sneak peek on what you can expect so you can persuade the fambam down for a fruitful – or food-full – family outing.
1. Endless eating and shopping at Yatai Street
While it’s impossible to bring ALL of Hokkaido’s best fare to Singapore, Yatai Street at Hello Hokkaido! is close enough. This 10-day festival at the B1 Forum of RWS showcases 20 of Hokkaido’s best street food and products, including perennial favourites like ramen, melon soft-serve and traditional handicrafts. Here are some highlights:
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Dear ramen gods, thank you for all the noodles we’ll be gobbling down at the fair, ramen. Santouka is known for tender and juicy slices of pork cheeks that almost melt in your mouth as you savour each piece. Coupled with springy ramen noodles and an ajitama (marinated soft-boiled) egg, you’ll be tempted to down multiple bowls of this at once.
No matter how full you are after combing Yatai Street, ending your meal with melon soft-serve is a must. Made with soft ice-cream mix from Hokkaido, this is something you’ll find hard to get in Singapore after the festival ends.
Put your love for cheese tarts on hold and go back to the arms of classic Japanese cheesecakes. Soft, fluffy and absolutely rich in flavour, these mini cheesecakes from Snaffles are made with Hokkaido fresh milk to create that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Remember to bring more boxes home because this is exactly the kind of food that magically disappears after you leave them in the fridge for a day without telling your siblings to save some for you.
With Shiroi Koibito found at Yatai Street, you no longer have to beg your friends on WhatsApp to buy you boxes of these famous white chocolate sandwich cookies from Japan. Stock up on them at the festival and get ready to have your friends pestering YOU for some instead.
Crab lovers, listen up. You can tame your cravings here with 4 types of freshly imported crabs: Snow Crab, King Crab, Hairy Crab and Blue King Crab. Take your pick and a chef will be available to cook it for you on the spot. If this is not sheer indulgence, we don’t know what is.
Location of Yatai Street: B1 Forum, RWS
2. Say goodbye to 2016 with an atas crab bash
2016 is almost done, which means it’s time to properly #treatyoself with atas meals at 9 celebrity chef restaurants at RWS. Expect high-end seafood ingredients like Alaskan crabs, snow crabs, king crabs, uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe) imported from Hokkaido.
Look forward to ultra-luxe dishes such as Snow Crab Cannelloni (stuffed pasta roll) at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, as well as Hokkaido Alaska Crab Steamed in Chinese Wine with Egg White and Vermicelli at Michelin-starred restaurant, Forest.
These will be available a la carte from $22++ and in 3-course set menus from $88++. Make your reservations at the respective restaurants in advance as these dishes are only available for a limited period of 18 November to 27 November.
Location: Respective celebrity chef restaurants at RWS.
3. Cheers to 2017 at Sake Bar
After feasting with all that yatai street food and atas crabs, jio all your drinking kakis to a night of fine sake at the Resorts World Convention Centre. Featuring a range of sake exclusively brought in from Hokkaido, this is your chance to learn more about Japanese rice wine without a plane ticket.
If you’re clueless about where to start, try Kitanohomare Kissho Daiginjyo. Made using Yamada Nishiki, a type of short grain Japanese rice from Hyogo, this sake comes with a robust fruity smell and a refreshing aftertaste.
For those who need gift ideas for that alcoholic friend, go for these pretty bottles of Chitosezuru yuki no tenshitachi liqueur. Don’t underestimate the light aroma of this plum sake as it comes with a sharp finish. If you prefer something more mellow, pick the blueberry liqueur that comes in an equally gorgeous packaging.
Location: Resorts World Convention Centre
4. Fangirl over Japanese artistes
A festival is nothing without live music. Catch girl band Milcs Honmono, pop singer Ayano Mashiro and lute player Niya while you’re there.
Milcs Honmono came in first at Japan’s anime song cover contest Idol Matsuri, so you can be sure they’re legit when it comes to dishing out pop tunes. Fangirl mode: ON.
With her first album out just last month, Ayano Mashiro is considered relatively new to the scene. But she’s no stranger to anime fans who might have heard her singles in various anime series like Fate/stay night and D.Gray-man since 2014. Catch her along with Milcs Honmono and jam to catchy J-pop songs from 18 to 20 November.
For those who prefer something more soothing, make sure you check out champion tsugaru shamisen (traditional Japanese lute) player Niya from 25 to 27 November! Niya has been fighting hard for the preservation of this instrument and now you can watch his passion in action as he plays tune after tune live before your eyes.
Location: Stage at B1 Forum, RWS
5. Get special deals to travel to Hokkaido for real
Whatever you see at Hello Hokkaido! is like a trailer to the real deal. If you want more of Hokkaido, the only way to get it is to fly over. Get special tour packages to experience Hokkaido’s beautiful Christmas lights and the famous Ice Breaker Cruise, where you get to cut through drifting sea ice.
Location: RWS Convention Centre – Aquarius Room, L1 (Open from 18 to 20 Nov and 25 to 27 Nov only, 11am to 8pm)
If all your friends are flying to Japan this holiday season and you’re feeling like the only one left in town, visit Hello Hokkaido! to chase away those FOMO feels. With both street and atas food, plus Japanese artistes, you’ll be the one telling all your friends how much you enjoyed your weekend. Remember to hashtag #rwshellohokkaido when you flaunt your shots on Instagram!
Venue: B1 Forum (Yatai Street, Sake Bar, Performances) / Resorts World Convention Centre Aquarius 1 – 4 (Travel Fair) / various celebrity chef restaurants around RWS
Date: 18 – 27 November 2016 (Travel Fair is open from 18 to 20 Nov and 25 to 27 Nov only, 11am to 8pm)
Time: 11am – 10pm
How to get tickets: Admission is free, but you’ll have to purchase event credits to spend at the festival. $1 will get you 1 credit, and the minimum amount of credits to buy is $20, with a minimum top up of $1 thereafter. Pay with your MasterCard® card and receive a free Hello Hokkaido! retail item worth up to $8. Limited to first 1,000 redemptions. Click here for more details.
This post was brought to you by Resorts World Sentosa.