Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oishii Japan 2015

[Media Invite]

Those who know me, would know that I love Japanese food, be it ramen or tempura! When the family visited Japan for the very first time last September, we had totally no problem fitting right in at all, for we all loved their food and culture. Japanese food tasted awesome, even those from nondescript roadside stalls. And it was also in Japan, where I bought the most expensive grapes ever, the Kyoho grapes! Being a first timer at eating them, I actually swallowed the skin as well (and I even wondered why it tasted so bitter)! But the flesh was so flavorful and I felt like I was having those Japanese grape-flavored sweets! Never knew that these Japanese grapes were really so fragrant! And of course, we had a swell time shopping in their supermarket, roaming the many streets and having sashimi on the go (and heavily discounted towards closing time) as well.

Even the fruits looked fresher, juicier and sweeter in Japan somehow.
Lots of delicious-looking seafood in the market!
Lots of expensive-looking but unknown fungi (to me).
First time seeing Kyoho grapes in a real Japanese supermarket for me.
The bunch of fragrant and juicy grapes was almost as big as Leroy's head!
When I received an invite to the media preview of Oiishi Japan 2015, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the wonderful time we had in Tokyo and I knew I cannot miss that lah, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was there I learnt that shochu can be drank neat, with warm water, cold water, soda or even mixed in a cocktail. My only experience with shochu then, was in Korea last winter, where I drank one hurriedly just to warm myself up in the cold winter. This time round, it was different as we tasted 3 different shochu from Kagoshima prefecture, made from different ingredients such as barley or sweet potato or rice. We tried different ways of drinking shochu, but I loved shochu cocktails best. Sweet and nice.

The differences between Shochu and Sake.
The many different ways of enjoying your shochu.
Demonstration of the mixing of the special cocktail using shochu.
So nice! He even posed for photos!
If I remembered correctly, this cocktail was called "Sakura Green" as it had green tea in it as well. A sweet and easy-tasting cocktail.
One of the three shochu we tried. This is Shifuku no Tousui that is stored for over five years. It has  a mellow flavour should be enjoyed on the rocks,  or mixed with cold/hot water.
Shifuku no Tousu on the rock, like they advised. 
We also got to the chance to view the live demonstration of fish-filleting of a sea bass (not your local Siakap or Kim Bak Lor, but a different species flown in from Japan). The Chef was really skillful and could even perform under the constant focus of many camera lenses! The meat was then made into carpaccios which we got to taste. It was also at this event, that I tasted fish scales for the first time (on purpose, and not that occasional scale I swallowed because the fishes were not descaled properly). It was the Amadai fish that was pan-fried. The scales were crispy with a tinge of fishiness while the meat tasted a little like Cod to me. A unique dish indeed, and the only other type of fish where one eats the scales as well, would be the freshwater Empurau from Malaysia.

Look at the number of cameras on the chef! All eyes were on him for sure!
He said he is never going to do that again in front of so many eyes and cameras. *Joking* But he did mention he was stressed by the many pairs of eyes!
The Amadai fish, meat, scales and even the flower were edible!
Oishii Japan 2015, the fourth edition in Singapore, would take place from 22 – 24 October 2015 at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre (Halls 405-406). However, the first 2 days would be for trade visitors only so please take note if you intend to visit as a consumer. It will only be open to the general public from 11am – 4.30pm on Sat, 24 October 2015. Tickets will be $4 for the general public while admission would be free for children 12 years old and below. Knowing Singaporeans, this is going to be a real hit with all the foodies, and possibly super crowded as well. But it would also be the best opportunity ever, to find different Japanese food and beverages from 42 prefectures in Japan all under one roof! I am really sure that many of you would have missed Japan, and the food, so check out www.oishii-world/en for more information!

Just to share some of the event highlights - 

Food technologies 
From the world’s smallest NigiriSushi machine that rolls about 1,200 pieces of sushi per hour, to noodle-making machines that can make different types of Japanese noodles such as Soba, Udon and Ramen with a simple change of blades.

Shochu tasting 
One of the highlights is the introduction of one of the national spirits of Japan – Shochu. 36 shochu products will be available for tasting. The flavours vary with the distilled techniques and ingredients used, such as barley, rice, sweet potatoes or buckwheat. 

Live tuna-cutting demonstration 
Watching a trained Japanese chef artfully break down a whole tuna is a rare experience outside of Japan. So don’t miss the live demonstration where the chef will deftly carve, fillet and slice a massive tuna flown in from Ehime Prefecture.

Various cooking demonstrations 
From sake ice cream making to patisserie demonstrations, Japanese fusion food to wagyu ramen preparations

And of course, there will be lots of Japanese products from almost over 300 exhibitors available for sale to the public such as -

Kyoto Beef Miyabi Sirloin - Look at those marbling!
Younamagasi (Exclusive Japanese sweets) - I will definitely grab these to satisfy my sweet tooth!
Grape (Shine Muscat) - Never tried before but I would love to try some!
So mark your calendar and satisfy your craving for all food and beverages Japanese, right here in Singapore! This is really the closest I can get, to experience Japan all over again!

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