Orders Now Open For Japan’s Ultimate Mochi Brand ‘THE OMOCHI’

11.November.2019 | FOOD

dot science launched a new brand on Wednesday called ‘THE OMOCHI.’ Together with the brand’s partner Kasaharamochiーa Miyazaki-based mochi making companyーthey are aiming to update one of Japan’s most recognised traditional confections: mochi.

 

Kasaharamochi make their mochi using an old-fashioned method that is almost extinct which makes use of a kamado BBQ and firewood. They shoot towards making the ultimate mochi.

In the video below, one of the staff members at Kasaharamochi discusses the cooking techniqueーthe oldest method, but the one that creates the most delicious mochi around.

Ingredients are carefully selected and placed carefully into the fire to steam. Kasaharamochi has continuously sought this ancient technique to cook the perfect mochi, a flavour which has been eaten by emperors and the imperial family during celebrations. This mochi has now been dubbed THE OMOCHI.

 

For the first line-up of the THE OMOCHI brand there will be 5 different types of mochi.

Pickled Egg Yolk & Soy Sauce

Cinnamon Honey Bar Mochi

THE OMOCHI website is also showcasing how best to eat and enjoy mochi as well as what is possible with this sweet treat. The website offers wine pairings, what to eat mochi with, original recipes and more, so be sure to check out the website.

 

THE OMOCHI Original Recipes: https://theomochi.com/#recipe

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • These Hello Kitty Kintsuba Japanese Confections are the Perfect Souvenir From Japan

    05.November.2019 | FOOD

    Confectionery company Nakataya has teamed up with Sanrio to release the Hello Kitty Kintsuba.

     

    Kintsuba is a type of traditional Japanese confection of sweet beans wrapped in wheat-flour dough. Nakataya is famous for their kintsuba, which are made with large-grained beans and red bean paste. They have maintained the flavour and quality of these confections, each of which is made with the utmost precision, and all individually.

     

    This year marks the 85th anniversary since Nakataya opened. The long-standing store hopes to bring in more foreign and younger customers by collaborating with Hello Kitty.

    They have crafted several flavours. Pictured above is the apple pie flavour, Hello Kitty’s favourite. It’s made with fuji apples from Aomori Prefecture which is known for its incredible apples. It’s mixed with white bean paste and is lightly flavoured with cinnamon.

    The mixed berry flavour is a fruity sweet and sour mix of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries which have been mashed together with white bean paste.

    The confection comes in two kinds of packaging: one designed by Nakataya’s founder Nakata (中田憲龍), and a Hello Kitty version where she is dressed as a dragonーa symbol of the shop. This is a completely original Hello Kitty design made specially for the collaboration.

    The outer packaging is made with a wrapping cloth to both pass down an aspect of traditional Japanese culture while also catering to the eco-friendly lifestyle of the modern age. It’s made from amuzen fabric and can be reused. The inner packaging is a simple paper tray so can be recycled. And if you take the wrapping cloth back to the store, they can refill it with the three Hello Kitty kintsuba confections at a discounted price.

  • Laforet Harajuku Announces 2019 Christmas Market, Menu & More

    05.November.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    Laforet Harajuku is set to hold LAFORET CHRISTMAS 2019 from November 15 to December 25. Stores throughout the shopping centre will sell various holiday season fashion items that make perfect Christmas gifts, and up on the second floor at GOOD MEAL MARKET, you can look forward to the Laforet Christmas Menu.

    All customers who spend over ¥3,000 (tax included) from November 15 onward will receive an original mirror, and those who spend over ¥5,000 (tax included) from December 14 onward will receive an original handkerchief. Both of these items will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until December 1 at Dinalog in Laforet Museum Harajuku.

     

    Additionally, the main Christmas visual for this year’s event was designed by Japanese art director YUNI YOSHIDA.

     

    A two-day market will take place on Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15 in Laforet Museum Harajuku titled Laforet Market vol.9 “Christmas.”

     

    CHRISTMAS GIFT

    If you’re searching for the perfect surprise gift to friends, family, a special someone or yourself, you’re bound to find a fitting match for them during the event as stores in Laforet Harajuku display their Christmas goods in their windows.

     

    Kailijumei/5F

    Kailijumei 2019 Christmas Coffret – ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

     

    Charles Chaton/4F

    Flower Frill Cushion – ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

     

    JUEMI Syncretic/1F

    e.m.OrganicCollegeStarRing – ¥24,200 (Tax Included)

     

    Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE/1F

    Limited Edition Rose Ladurée – ¥13,200 (Tax Included)

     

     

    CHRISTMAS FOOD “Laforet Christmas Menu”

    “Pink” is the themed of the Christmas menus being whipped up at Laforet’s restaurants.

     

    Chipoon /2F

    Tomato Soy Milk Cream Noodles – ¥935 (Tax Included)

    This vegan noodle dish combines the full-bodied taste of soy milk with refreshing tomatoes to create a tempting mild flavour.

     

    machi machi /2F

    Strawberry Cheese Tea (Taro Topping) – ¥858 (Tax Included)

    A fusion of Jasmine green tea and fresh strawberries to create a unique and delicious beverage.

     

     

    Cafe de paris /B1F

    Kumono Smoothe – ¥605 (Tax Included) / Whipped Cream Topping +¥110 (Tax Included)

    Cafe de paris opened on November 1 and will be selling their exclusive cute drinks.

     

    Laforet Market vol.9 “Christmas”

    The Laforet Market is an opportunity for 40 shops to come together to sell fashion, food and miscellaneous Christmas goods. There will be workshops carried out be creators and artists, performances, and more.

     

    If you’ll be in Harajuku the holiday season then don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Laforet Harajuku this Christmas.

  • Christmas Gifts, Delicious Desserts & More Coming to Tokyo Skytree Town This Holiday Season

    04.November.2019 | FASHION / FOOD / SPOT

    The dessert shops and and bakeries on the second floor of Tokyo Solamachiーthe shopping facility at the base of Tokyo Skytreeーare reading themselves for Christmas by baking up a whole range of festive delights for the holiday season, perfect for parties, gifts, or as a little self-indulgence. Let’s dive in and take at what’s on offer this year.

     

    The perfect cakes for spending Christmas at home

    Bonheur du Noel – ¥6,480 @ Ginza BOUL’MICHI (Tower Yard Floor 2F) [Reservations: November 1 – December 13 / Serving: December 21-25] *Tokyo Solamachi exclusive

    Macarons are in this year in Japan, so BOUL’MICHI has whipped up the perfect strawberry chocolate cake adorned with colourful macarons and fresh strawberries to give it that Christmas-y look. Only 50 of these precious cakes will be sold, so don’t miss out.

    Fromage Citron @ – ¥2,970  Ginza Ginger (Tower Yard Floor 2F) [Reservations: November 1 – December 10 / Serving: December 23-25] *Tokyo Solamachi exclusive

    This no-bake cheesecake is made with Oceania cheese and layered with an almond base followed by a sumptuously sour lemon cream.

    16cm Yule Log – ¥4,104 @ Sweet Heart Tree (Tower Yard Floor 2F) [Reservations: November 1 – December 20 / Serving: December 15-25]

    A gourmet yule log made with rich chocolate and packed with fruits and nuts. This sophisticated dessert is one for the adults to enjoy.

     

    Takeout Sweets & Christmas Merchandise

     

    Tiny Waffles (Dark Chocolate/White Chocolate) – ¥486 Each @ RL waffle cake (Tower Yard Floor 2F) [Reservations: November 1 – December 23 / Serving: December 20-25]

    If you’re looking for something a little smaller, perhaps as a Christmas present to friends and family or as a little gift to yourself, then check out these fluffy waffles made with strawberries, chocolate and whipped cream. Simple, but delicious!

    Mamegui Towels (Santa Clause/White Christmas/Snowman) – ¥550 Each @ Mamegui (East Yard Floor 4F) [Available From November 1] *Gifts inside sold separately from ¥388

    Mamegui are a type of towel used in Japan to wrap gifts in for people. These Christmas versions are perfect for wrapping up small presents for people, like Japanese snacks and candy.

    Crispy Cakes (Happy Wreath/Santa/Reindeer) – ¥508 Each @ pon pon×Chris.P (East Yard Floor 2F) [Available From November 15]

    These tiny crispy cakes are another great little bite to eat. The cute Santa version is cookie and milk flavoured and has marshmallows as the fluff of his hat.

     

    Tokyo Skytree’s THE SKYTREE SHOP Christmas Items

     

    THE SKYTREE SHOP is the official souvenir store of Tokyo Skytree®. This Christmas they are selling a new batch of themed items, including plenty featuring their cute official mascot Sorakara-chan.

    TOKYO SKYTREE Premium Chocolates – ¥1,706 @ Tokyo Skytree Floors 345 & 450 [Available From November 7]

    This luxurious assortment of Tokyo Skytree-shaped chocolates come in a variety of flavours, including ruby chocolate.

    Left: Sorakara-chan Winter Collection S – ¥2,200 / Right: Sorakara-chan Winter Collection Mascot – ¥1,375 @ Tokyo Skytree Floors 1, 5 & 450 [Available From November 7]

    You can’t leave Tokyo Skytree without a little memento, so why not pick up a cute duffle coat clad Sorakara-chan? Available this winter only.

    Sorakara-chan Compact Mirrors – ¥968 @ Tokyo Skytree Floors 1, 5 & 450 [Available From November 7]

    Also part of the Sorakara-chan winter collection are these compact mirrors which are filled with glitter that falls like stars or snowflakes depending which one you go for. They are small enough to fit into your pocket or bag making them super convenient.

     

    And that’s not allーTokyo Solamachi has countless other goodies, from desserts to souvenirs, to pick up this Christmas too. If you’re in Tokyo this winter season and are planning a trip to Tokyo Skytree, be on the lookout.

     

    *All listed prices include tax. Applicable tax rate may vary on certain products in line with Japan’s consumption tax increase.
    *Products and sale periods subject to change. Products available while supplies last.
    *Pictured photos are for illustrative purposes only.

    ©TOKYO-SKYTREE

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Stock Your Kitchen With Japanese Kitchenware Tools by SALON adam et rope’

    21.May.2020 | FOOD

    SALON adam et rope’ has launched its new “Nihon no Daidokoro Dougu” (Japanese Kitchen Tools) collection which features a curated selection of Made In Japan kitchenware and cookware items from high quality Japanese brands.

     

    Kasane

    Top: ¥12,000 / Middle: ¥12,000 / Bottom: ¥9,000 (Before Tax)

    Traditionally, Japanese knives were made by men with men in mind, but these Kasane knives are made by women to fit with the modern age. They are made in such a way to feel comfortable in smaller hands. The handles are made from rare natural wood from the cerasus jamasakura trees of Gifu Prefecture which give them a texture that changes as you continue to use the knives. The blades themselves are made from high-carbon stainless steel which gives them superior sharpness and durability. The blade edge is the result of a new technology developed by Sumikama called “Zero Edge” which makes them thin and sharp.

     

    Kaji Donya

     
    Left: ¥1,300 / Middle: ¥2,000 / Right: ¥2,800 (Before Tax)

    Left: ¥1,000 / Middle: ¥1,200 / Right: ¥2,000 (Before Tax)

    These handy stackable containers are made by Kaji Donya, a company based in Tsubame, Niigata. The height of each one is the same which makes them super convenient when stacking inside fridges.

    Ceramic Grill: ¥1,400 (Before Tax)

    The ceramic grill is a longtime seller at SALON. If you’re grilling bread on it, it leaves the outside crispy and the inside nice and soft. It uses far-infrared rays which means the water content of the ingredients grilled on it is not lost, allowing for the full tasty flavour to stay locked in and the food plump and juicy.

  • Father’s Day: Otokomae Tofu Celebrates Dad’s Around the World With New Tofu Product

    13.May.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese tofu company Otokomae Tofu is celebrating Father’s Day this year by releasing its new “Chichi no Hi Tofu” (Father’s Day Tofu) at supermarkets around Japan for a limited time between June 15 and June 21.

    When you pour soy sauce over the Father’s Day Tofu, a message of gratitude appears on the tofu’s surface in Japanese. This is a unique, one-of-a-kind tofu experience. There are four messages in total which translate to: “Manly,” “Thanks always, dad. I love you, live a long life,” “You work so hard papa, I love you,” and “Dad.”

    Giving your dad some Father’s Day Tofu is sure to make for a Father’s Day to remember!

  • McDonald’s Japan: Chicken Tatsuta Mentai Cheese & Other Japanese Flavoured Foods Coming to the Menu

    09.May.2020 | FOOD

    McDonald’s Japan is introducing some mouth-watering new foods to its menu including two which incorporates chicken tatsuta: the “Chicken Tatsuta Mentai Cheese” which is made with walleye pollack roe, and the bite-sized “Hitokuchi Tatsuta”ーthe latter of which is arriving to the side menu.

    It is also introducing the “Rice Chicken Tatsuta” burger following the success of the “Rice Burger” which was released at stores for the first time earlier back in February of this year.

     

    These new menu items will be released on May 13, 2020 at all McDonald’s branches in Japan for a limited time.

    Chicken Tatsuta Mentai Cheese

    Chicken tatsuta is a popular Japanese dish which combines a soft, soy ginger-soaked chicken patty with spicy sauce and stuffs it inside a bun. McDonald’s new “Chicken Tatsuta Mentai Cheese” adds spicy walleye pollack roe mayo and smooth white cheddar cheese to the equation. It will be available all day round, including for the morning menu.

    Hitokuchi Tatsuta

    Rice Chicken Tatsuta

    The “Rice Chicken Burger” will be available in the evenings only.

    Japanese actor Toshiyuki Nishida is appearing in the TV commercials to promote the “Hitokuchi Tatsuta” while comedian Nobuyuki Hanawa and actor Katsumi Takahashi appear in the “Rice Chicken Tatsuta” commercials which feature a re-recording of the song SWEET MEMORIES ~Amai Kioku~ by Seiko Matsuda.

  • Popular Yakiniku Restaurant Futago to Open New Branch at THE JUNEI HOTEL in Kyoto

    14.March.2020 | FOOD

    FTG Company, which operates 74 restaurants inside and outside Japan, is set to open its new restaurant Nikukappou Futago at THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto in Higashiyama, Kyoto on March 27, 2020 where it will serve authentic Japanese wagyu beef and full courses.

     

    THE JUNEI HOTEL Kyoto is a small luxury tourist hotel housing eleven rooms in total, including its Bamboo Suite. Bamboo can be found throughout all the rooms as part of the hotel’s concept: “A sojourn embraced by bamboo in a moonlit space.” The rooms, as well as the hotel interior overall, showcases beautiful traditional handiwork using bamboo.

    Inside Nikukappou Futago

    Nikukappou Futago fuses traditional Japanese elements with modern ones. It features half-size eating areas as well as private areas. Customers can expect their private dining experience to include freshly-cooked full courses with high quality Japanese wagyu and seasonal ingredients.

    Menu in Japanese *Menu will change monthly

    Nikukappou Futago’s concept is “A relaxed adult’s Iki.” The word iki here refers to a range of different meanings in Japanese, like “sophistication,” “breath,” “spirit,” and “life.” The restaurant will work to serve a hospitable service that enables each and every person to enjoy that iki that lives inside them.

    Foie Gras & Wagyu Filet Mouthful Bowl

    Wagyu Loin & Kyoto Vegetable Shabu-shabu

    The course is made with seasonal ingredients and vegetables. Plus, in using a range of cooking methods, the original flavour meat of the meat is intensified.

    Wagyu Sirloin Sumiyaki

    Enjoy a selection of high-quality rare wagyu cuts like sirloin, filet, loin, and more. You can also enjoy a selection of classic Japanese dishes like yakiniku, shabu-shabu, and sukiyaki, all in one course.

    Like the changing seasons in Kyoto, the menu will be altered every month to bring something new. Discover your iki and enjoy a great meal at Nikukappou Futago.

  • Winners Announced For The 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition

    03.March.2020 | FOOD

    The final round for the 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition was held in Tokyo on February 20 and 21, which saw WANG Wei Ping of China, and chef at SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY, as the winner.

     

    The two-day event brought together five chefs from Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Donostia-San Sebastian, and New York come together to compete and show their skills create dishes based on the competition’s main theme of “Umami” and this year’s theme of “Texture and Mouthfeel.”

    The judges said: “This 7th edition demonstrates that the finalists’ technical level keeps improving every year. Creating Japanese dishes that incorporate the characteristics and unique ideas of other countries’ culinary cultures, while respecting the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine built on the concept of umami, expands the potential of Japanese cuisine. The creations of each one of the finalists embodied this notion.”

    Middle Contender: WANG Wei Ping, 1st Place Winner

    WANG Wei Ping’s Dish

    On the first day, the chefs used the same ingredients to create a “nimonowan.” On the second day, they forged their own original dishes using five or more ingredients which they arranged on a Japanese “hangetsubon” tray.

     

    When reacting to his victory, Wang Wei Ping said: “I thank the owner and other members of my restaurant. After returning to Shanghai, I would like to continue conveying the excellence of Japanese cuisine, which is both healthy and tasty.”

     

    Finalists

    Hong Kong

    First Place: WANG Wei Ping (China, SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY)

     

    USA

    Second Place: Yael PEET (USA, Fury’s) *The restaurant will be open this summer.

     

    Singapore

    Third Place: Loh Man HONG (Singapore, FAT COW)

     

    Paris

    Wojciech POPOW (Poland, Beaverbrook)

     

    Judges

    – Head Judge: Mr. Yoshihiro MURATA

    (Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy, Owner and chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)

    – Deputy Head Judge: Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

    (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc. President of Kyoto Culinary Art College)
    – Judge: Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

    (Owner of Japanese Cuisine KASHIWAYA, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)
    – Special Judge: Yoshio KOJIMA

    (Comedian)

  • Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area

    19.February.2020 | FOOD

    Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.

    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

  • Akasaka Yuuga: The New Japanese Restaurant in Tokyo’s Gourmet Warzone Akasaka

    13.December.2019 | FOOD

    Akasaka is known as a warzone when it comes to gourmet restaurants, but a new contender has arrived. Akasaka Yuuga opened this month in Akasaka Ni-chome, Tokyo. This restaurant serves Japanese style cuisine featuring carefully selected flavours taken from across the country.

    Yuuga gets most of their fish from Choshi Port, which boasts the best fish yield in Japan, as well as other carefully chosen seafood from across Japan in addition to seasonal vegetables. They bring out the full flavour of their ingredients, all of which are matched to the current season. They even serve Japanese black beef.

    Their concept centres on how recognised and loved Japanese food is internationally. The restaurant makes full use of Japan’s traditional food culture and prepares food using a variety of cooking methods. Everything in the restaurant is carefully considered to ensure diners enjoy their meal experience with all five senses, from not only the food but the decor and hospitality too. There are also counter seats available for customers who want to watch their food being prepared while they talk, whether to their friends or with the skilled chefs, offering an unforgettable dining experience for Japanese people and foreigners alike. There are also private eating booths for those who want to eat with friends, family, or celebrate a special day.

     

    Nijushisekki

    Nijushisekki refers to the days that divide the solar year into twenty four equal sections and highlight the longest days of sun in summer, the shortest days in winter, and the days being the same in spring and autumn.

    The dishes at the restaurant reflect these regular changes; the dishes are not bound strictly by Japanese cuisine, but make use of various cooking and preparation methods, with thought and consideration put into every dish.

     

    Japanese Black Beef

    Yuuga prides itself not only on seasonal vegetable and fish-filled menu, which is both a feast for the belly and eyes, but on the beef used in its course meals too.

    Yuuga serves Japanese black beef which comes from a rare breed of cow which is difficult to rear. It has a distinct rich flavour and low melting point which gives it a melt-in-the-mouth texture.

     

    Courses

    There are three courses to choose from that cater to customers desires, costing ¥8,000, ¥12,000, and ¥20,000 respectively. This includes appetisers, and customers can choose from a range of wines from around the world select by sommeliers, as well as champagne, whisky, and of course sake and shochu.

  • This Week’s Breakfast: Warming Up With Asa Kayu at Asora no Chaya in Ise

    14.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.

    During a business trip to Ise, I decided to treat myself to some breakfast in the coastal city. I got up nice and early and went to pray at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrine before making my way to Asora no Chaya to order some of their Asa Kayu (“Morning Porridge”) to warm myself up since I was feeling a little cold.

     

    Asora no Chaya is about an 8-minute walk from Ise Stationーwhich by the way is the closest station to the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrineーand just a minute’s stroll from the inner shrine itself.

    At the entrance they had “Asa Kayu” written on the door as pictured above. The cafe itself is located on the second floor.

    The cafe has wood-based decor, and the windows are nice and big, letting lots of natural light seep in. From the window I could see Ise Grand Shrine which I prayed at just moments ago. It’s a place where you can wind down and relax.

     

    I ordered the “Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi” (in Japanese: 御饌の朝かゆ 鮑). I found out that the word mike is used to refer to precious, sacred food. Apparently, your good fortune will increase if you eat it after praying to the god of food at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu.

    Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi (御饌の朝かゆ 鮑) – ¥2,040 (Tax Included)

    My meal arrived in a wooden box. When I opened it, I was happy to see that I not only received the porridge, but other small plates and bowls of food too.

    I was charmed by how shiny the rice was in the sunlight. To eat the thin rice porridge, you add the awabi, pickled vegetables, kombu, bonito broth and other ingredients.

     

    The rice porridge is easy to digest and warms you up to the coreーthe perfect way to relax on a cold day. The combination of the tender bonito and the smooth porridge is a match made in heaven. It’s a very simple dish with no unnecessary additions. It has a gentle flavour that makes your mind and body just wind down and relax.

    As well as the rice porridge, the meal comes with other healthy foods too like dried fish, soft boiled egg and vinegared ingredients. For dessert, you get zenzai which is a type of sweet soup. This is a very special breakfast you can only experience here at this cafe, coupled with a view of Ise Grand Shrine, all in the early morning.

     

    Whenever I wake up early, it feels like I’ll have a very different start to the day than usual, but spending my morning in Ise, praying at Ise Grand Shrine and eating kayu porridge at Asora no Chaya had me holding my head high.

     

    This morning, it was the start of another new day, and I began it feeling dignified.

     

     

    Today’s Souvenir

    Awabi Gohan no Moto – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)

    I wanted to share the happiness between friends and family on this fine day where I got to eat a delicious breakfast. This Awabi Gohan no Moto is an easy way to enjoy awabi. You took it together with rice to make awabi rice. Being able to purchase awabi, which is a high quality ingredient, at this price is an absolute steal.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Dine On Fancy Authentic Japanese Food Casually at SHARI in Ginza

    06.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    SHARI is a restaurant located on the second floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza-gochome, a new hotel that opened on September 26 located within walking distance from Ginza Station and Higashi-Ginza Station. This restaurant serves authentic and fancy Japanese-style food as well as luxurious Kobe beef, gozen set meals, and much more.

    Ginza is known as the expensive, upmarket part of Tokyo, and when talking about small local restaurants there the pricing threshold tends to be rather high, but at SHARI customers can enjoy proper Japanese cuisine in a more casual manner and at a much more affordable price, with the typical set lunches starting at just ¥1,200.

    Sophisticated is the word that springs to mind upon entering this restaurant, as your eyes meet the gorgeous mix of wood on black. As well as table seats, they also have counter seats too, allowing for you to enjoy a little luxury on your own if you so wish.

    There is an additional restaurant inside the main restaurant itself that goes by the name Teppanyaki Mitaki, a tiny six-seater restaurant that serves Kobe beef, a type of wagyu beef and one of the top three beefs in Japan.

    SHARI Gozen – ¥3,000 (Before Tax)

    I ordered the SHARI Gozen which is served during lunchtime. This set comes with six small bowls, each filled with different colourful foods. It’s a cute-looking set♡

    There’s lots of meat and fish included in the set. For meat, they have steak made with domestic beef. It’s succulent and drizzled in a rich sauce that fills your mouth deliciously with a single bite. With the sashimi, the restaurant makes sure to serve fish that’s in reason. There were 3 types of fish so it was a very satisfying meal.

    The set can also be served with a variety of deep-fried foods, stewed foods, and cold fishes, as well as rice, miso soup, desserts and more. No matter what you order you can rest assured you’ll be full afterwards.

     

    SHARI is a chic and stylish restaurant with great food, plus it’s located in Ginza. And you can enjoy all of this at a super low price!

    Lady’s Gozen – ¥2,600 (Before Tax)

    I have to recommend the Lady’s Gozen if you’re looking to enjoy fish and vegetables. It comes with two varieties of sashimi and one fried fish, all in season, as well as an assortment of fried food, savoury egg custard, and four side dishes.

    It also comes with rice and sushi rolls as well as a dessert like the SHARI Gozen.

    The whole dinner menu is lined with Japanese food, including sashimi, tempura, fried food and more. There’s also various courses, including the Teppanyaki Mitaki course which is priced from ¥12,000. It comes with Kobe beef of course in addition to various other high quality ingredients.

    Shu – ¥1,000 (Before Tax)

    I also recommend this Japanese-style cocktail for those thinking of staying late. It’s inspired by the colours used in kabuki theatre―a Bloody Mary combining shichimi, nihonshu, and tomato juice. The rim of the glass is lined with more shichmi for a spicy and refreshing kick when you sip.

    Check out the cute glass it comes in too.

     

    From affordable lunches to dinner courses made with top quality ingredients, SHARI can be enjoyed throughout the entire day with its diverse menu line-up. Be sure to pay a visit to tuck into authentic Japanese cuisine in the luxury district of Ginza.

     

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • The Fanciest Egg and Rice Dish You’ve Ever Seen Will Be Sold at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    09.September.2019 | FOOD

    Towering over the bustling city of Tokyo is the capital’s luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Starting from October 1, the hotel’s restaurant Shunbou, which serves Japanse-style cuisine, is introducing an all-new exquisite serving of TKG, or tamago kake gohan (“egg on rice”).

    The dish will be made with shinmai, or “new rice,” which refers to the new rice harvested for the current year. It’s topped with rich egg―a simple combination but incredibly delicious and loved by people in Japan. Normally TKG stops there, but Grand Hyatt Tokyo is taking it to the next level with a topping of caviar to create the most exquisite egg on rice you have ever seen.

     

    Rice: The best of the best

    The rice served at the hotel is harvested in the city of Nanyō in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s a special kind of rice known as Tsuyahime, and the hotel makes strict selections of the harvested rice, ensuring they serve the best possible rice to guests. This rice is served only at Grand Hyatt Tokyo making it even more special.

     

    Nanyō is blessed with rich soil. The farms have been using organic fertiliser for well over 10 years, meaning their beautiful harvests are reduced in agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilisers unlike many other farms. The rice’s taste quality value has also been listed as over 80, much higher than your average rice.

     

    Sturgeon Caviar

    The caviar used in this dish is from the Sturgeon fish from Kagawa prefecture. Everything from the food to the temperature of the water for the fish is considered from when they are a young age, allowing for the best possible caviar. They are seasoned with the perfect salt quantity and are additive free, allowing for a creamy and velvety taste and texture that just melts in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue.

     

    Rich Egg Yolk

    The eggs served on the rice are from what is known as one of the country’s best egg specialist shops in Kyoto. To ensure the perfect egg, the shop takes great care in the fodder and water given to the chickens from the time they are chicks. This takes away the unpleasant raw smell characteristic of eggs, and is also a healthier lifestyle for the chickens themselves. The eggs are also packed with nutrients that are said to be lacking in the people of today including vitamins, DHA, niacin, and so on.

     

    To top it all off, the hotel has created their own original blend of dashi soy sauce just for this dish.

  • Experience Tasting Mount Koya’s Famous Sesame Tofu at ONAKA PECO PECO in Tsukiji

    07.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen is a cafe located in Tsukiji, a district in Chuo, Tokyo. They serve rice balls filled with locally sourced ingredients from various locations in Japan. In the evenings, the rice balls can be enjoyed with delicious sake.

     

    If you visit the cafe right now you’ll be able to try sesame tofu (goma tofu) made by the long-running restaurant Kadohama. Sesame tofu is a meibutsu―or “local speciality”―of Mount Koyo.

     

    While it is possible to buy sesame tofu on Kadohama’s online store, the only places you can eat them out at is at their restaurant on top of Mount Koya or at select branches of department stores such as Mitsukoshi or Isetan. We visited ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen for a taste of this exquisite collaboration.

    Mount Koya is located in the Ito district of northern Wakayama Prefecture and is home to the town of Koya. The region is encased an abundant mountainous landscape. The Japanese Buddhist monk Kūkai opened the sacred mountain around 1,200 years ago. In 2004, Mount Koya which was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 under the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” category. It has since become a popular tourist destination with Japanese and foreign travellers alike.

     

    Here is the heavenly menu lineup at ONAKA PECO PECO which is packed full of Kadohama’s sesame tofu.

    There are five items which are made with the sesame tofu: an onigiri rice ball, crab soup, cold tofu, pork shabu shabu, and a drink.

    Time to tuck in and try this famous food which has been enjoyed for many years!

    White Vegetables & Steamed Pork Shabu w/ Koji Sesame Tofu Sauce – ¥800

    This dish is garnished with a generous serving of fresh white vegetables and succulent meat. It includes lotus root, enoki mushrooms, cauliflower, and pork. It also comes with a white sauce made with sesame tofu, shio koji, and sesame oil. The sauce has a mild flavour in which you can get the full glorious taste of the tofu. It’s smooth and refreshing so is a perfect pick for the hot summer.

    Sesame Tofu & Plum Cheese-Loaded Rice Ball – ¥250

    This rice ball is a flavourful combination of a sesame tofu and plum paste and lots of cheese.

    This fat rice ball is wrapped in paper like a hamburger. The rich taste of the tofu and cheese reduces the sourness of the plum, giving it a gentler flavour.

    Sesame Tofu & Egg Crab Soup – ¥400

    The soup is an amazing combination with the rice ball. It has a miso soup base filled with green onion, enoki mushrooms, and crab. The elastic-y tofu is cut into big satisfying chunks. Its rich, creamy flavour combined with the crab is to die for.

    Sesame Tofu & Sweet Sake Jelly Drink – ¥350

    The cute white-coloured beverage is a healthy mix of sesame tofu paste and sweet sake. It retains the pulpy texture of the tofu and the aftertaste is super refreshing.

    You can order the drink for takeout so you can take a stroll around the streets of Tsukiji.

    Kadohama Sesame Tofu – Eat In: ¥300 / Takeout: From ¥240

    If you’re looking to enjoy the sesame tofu on its own then you’ve got to try it with either the wasabi and soy sauce or brown sugar. You can also order this to take away too. Each box contains one piece of tofu.

    The cafe is also selling exclusive merchandise as part of the collaboration. The collection includes a t-shirt, sacoche bag, and cap. Each item has a simple design making them easy to incorporate into looks.

    Easy access to Kadohama’s sesame tofu―which is made using traditional cooking methods that have been passed down generations at Mount Koya―can only be enjoyed at ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen. If you’re in Tokyo this summer, then take a trip to Tsukiji district to try this healthy and nutrient-packed tofu.

     

    Model: Ririka Satsuki

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Team)

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Mogu Mogu Nippon | Indulging in Oniku no Osushi’s Matsusaka Beef Don in Asakusa

    27.June.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusa is located in Tokyo and is home to many famous tourist and sightseeing spots such as Sensō-ji Temple and the Kaminarimon Gate. It’s also a place lined with restaurants serving up an array of gourmet dishes.

     

    We have covered many popular cafés and local specialties in Asakusa in MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. Today, we will take a look at a sushi restaurant called Oniku no Osushi which opened recently where customers can eat sushi served with Japanese wagyu beef. It is the first big name restaurant from the Gion district of Kyoto to arrive in the country’s Kanto region. Since opening its doors, it has been much-talked-about and has enjoyed the hustle and bustle of hungry customers.

    The restaurant is about an 8-minute walk from Akasaka Station via the subway and just a 2-minute walk via Tsukuba Express. You’ll know the restaurant when you see it as the outside of it incorporates a wooden design. Inside, too, wooden planks and pillars decorate the interior.

     

    Matsusaka beef is a brand of beef in Japan made from the meat of Japanese Black cattle that are reared under strict conditions in Matsusaka, Mie. At Oniku no Osushi, customers are able to eat this beef in the form of sushi marbled and with a rare texture.

    I dined together with Chinese model and talent Etsuna. She loves eating out but this was her first time eating rare meat on sushi. We ordered the restaurant’s popular Oniku no Osushi platter and the Gyusen Don (served only at lunchtime).

    Oniku no Osushi Platter (8 Pieces): ¥5,000

    The meat sushi platter comes with eight pieces including two pieces each of lean beef, salted beef, roast beef, and fatty gunkan beef. Excluding the gunkan beef it’s recommended eating each piece from the left as pictured above. Everything is already flavoured so you can eat them as they are.

     

    The gunkan beef is best enjoyed while it is still frozen so I started with that. The cold beef just melts as it enters you mouth. It tastes sweet and has a fatty texture to it. The egg yolk mixes together with the beef on your tongue and gives it an even smoother taste.

     

    The meat of the lean beef, salted beef and roast beef sushi is soft and each is layered with refreshing grated lemon and daikon. When you bite into the succulent meat your taste buds are treated to the sweetness of the fat and the meats’ rich flavours. I was able to taste the distinct qualities of each type.

    Gyusen Don (w/ Cold Miso Soup): ¥2,480

    The Gyusen Don is served at lunchtime only. It contains Matsusaka Gyusen® flakes and Kyoto-style tsukemono pickled vegetables, condiments and bite-sized meat pieces. The presentation of the dish is beautiful! You add soy sauce to it and mix with the egg yolk, and it’s simple irresistible! We made sure to snap a final photo before tucking in.

    The beef of this dish melts in your mouth just like the gunkan beef and blends well with the egg yolk to create a velvety flavour. The dish also has condiments and pickled vegetables too adding to the variety of tastes. If you add wasabi or ginger the flavours are elevated even further, especially when eaten with the Kyoto-style pickled vegetables which creates a spicy tang.

     

    The miso soup that the dish is served with is also Kyoto-style. Wheat starch and pickled vegetables are added to the sweet white broth to create a mellow flavour that goes well with the dish.

    Etsuna gave high praise to the dish too: “It was so delicious. I think there are still a lot of foreigners that don’t know about meat sushi yet, so I think it’ll get popular soon. It’s a bit pricey there are a lot of foreign travelers who want to eat tasty Japanese food, so I recommend it to them.”

     

    Asakusa is famous for its takeaway food to be eaten while walking, but Oniku no Sushi serves up an Asakusa-exclusive gourmet experience too.

    Steamed Rice & Meat: ¥500

    If you’re walking around Asakusa and are feeling peckish, then you should go for steamed rice and meat (おにくの飯蒸し). It’s packed full of beefy flavour.

    What did you think of this little Asakusa lunch trip? Of course, Oniku no Osushi has an evening slot for dinner too, so if you’d like to try some Matsusaka beef then be sure to pay a visit.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Department)

    Model: 悦奈(Etsuna)

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