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)

RELATED ENTRIES

  • My Band Recommendation | SEKAI NO OWARI: Captivating the Crowd in a Dreamlike World

    12.August.2020 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we’re taking a look at a Japanese band recommended by ASOBINEXT’s Kanon Aihara, a dancer and vocalist.

     


     

    My name is Kanon Aihara, and I’d like to share my perspective on why SEKAI NO OWARI is such a great band—one that was born from a desire to deliver entertainment to people through music.

     

    Incredible live performances

    SEKAI NO OWARI’s stage sets are otherworldly. They pull the crowd into a dreamlike place away from reality. I remember how moved I was being in that bright and shining place even for a moment with the towering tree, the owl, the dancing fireworks, the trains dashing past on the ceiling. How much time and effort it must have taken to create a set like that.

     

    Band vocalist Fukase once said on a TV show that if they can’t do the kinds of live performances they love, then they may as well disband. I really feel how great SEKAI NO OWARI when I see them wanting to continue making everyone smile and feel something deeply, and not compromising when it comes to doing the things they want to do.

    The music

    It’s truly a difficult task to understand each and every lyric; and I find it difficult to cover their music. Despite this, even if I don’t understand something in a song, I find that each and every track really gets through to me.

     

    Their music speaks to and is loved by men and women of all ages, whether it be their song RPG Ya which was used as a theme song for the Crayon Shin-chan anime series, the main theme song RAIN for the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Sazanka which was used as the theme song for the NHK broadcast of the Winter Olympics Paralympics, and so on.

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RPG” Music Video

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RAIN” Music Video

    The band members

    SEKAI NO OWARI is formed of four members. There was actually a time when all of them shared a house together. On a TV show the band appeared on, all of the members excluding the vocalist Fukase said, “We want to create live performances that Fukase enjoys.” Hearing those words really made me feel the love and connect the band has for each other.

     

    For me, SEKAI NO OWARI is a place that lets me sees dreams. It also makes me feel strongly that I want to do the kinds of things they do too!

    I believe that a lot of things are born from live performances when the artist and fans become one. Like SEKAI NO OWARI, I’m aiming to create live performances that are like going to a theme park too. The band are fun, cute, and cool, and are everything I aspire to be.

     

    The one thing I always want to keep doing through music is performing live. That feeling of being one with the crowd. Seeing all of their smiles fills me with a happiness I’ve never felt before. Music is expression and is free to mean whatever you want. That’s why the thing I want to do is to put my all into it for so that people enjoy themselves for all of time. I want to continuously think of and put out new, entertaining things in the future.

     

    Kanon Aihara
    Dancer and vocalist. Made her debut as a child actress. Currently active as a tarento (talent) with a focus on music. Since starting her music career, she has toured around all of Japan and up to now has held performed 4 solo concerts and released 4 singles. She is very particular when it comes to her live performances, and more than anything wants people to have fun and to put on theme park-like shows. Her hobbies are watching comedy programmes. She’s also a skilled snowboarder and surfer.

  • Chawanmushi Recipe: Savoury Dessert Made With Carrots, Cream Cheese & Mirin

    31.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Together with soy sauce and miso, mirin is a fundamental condiment in the Japanese kitchen and for many recipes for Japanese food. It’s a sweet rice wine that has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content when compared to sake, adding a sweet flavour to dishes.

     

    Today, we’re taking a look at a recipe that uses “Mikawa Mirin,” a brand of mirin made from high quality rice, to make carrot and cream cheese chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a savoury egg custard dessert eaten in Japan.

     

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    Chawanmushi is made using mirin and has a smooth texture to it as well as a subtly sweet flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

     

    Ingredients (Serves 1)


    ●Chawanmushi
    60g carrots
    240ml dashi
    20ml soy sauce
    120ml Mikawa Mirin
    8g sugar
    18g cream cheese
    1 egg

     

    ●Okra-an
    Okra
    30ml dashi
    0.5g salt
    3ml Mikawa Mirin

     

    Method

    We will start by making the chawanmushi.

    1. Slice the carrots and boil them until they become soft.

    2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and lots of mirin and cook through the dashi.

    3. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium heat, then cool with ice. Add the cooled carrots, cream cheese, and 20ml of the dashi into a blender and bend.

    4. Add the egg to the mix and steam the mix for 12 minutes on a medium heat.

     

    While the chawanmushi is cooling, we’ll make the okra-an.

    5. Mix together the okra-an dashi, mirin, and salt together. Add watered potato starch and thinly sliced okra. Leave to cool in the refrigerator.

    6. Add the okra-an to the cooled chawanmushi and tuck into your cute two-layered dessert.

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    The dessert is an enjoyable mix of the sticky texture from the okra-an and smooth chawanmushi. It’s great to have not only at lunch or dinner, but at home parties with friends too.

     

    –How’s the taste?


    Misa Kimura: “It works really well with the mirin. The chawanmushi is like a sweet treat. It’s super easy to make too, so I think I’ll be making it at home!”

     

    Mirin is indispensable to any Japanese cupboard and can be used in many ways, whether it be a classic Japanese dish or a dessert like this one.

    Mikawa Mirin 700ml: ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    This authentic brand of mirin is made using a traditional method of Japanese brewing which blends in the delicious taste of rice. It’s so delicious that you just want to drink the whole bottle. A high quality mirin, it has a distinct sweetness, colour, and texture. It has a rich flavour, and the taste of the rice elevates the flavours of its ingredients.

     

    Mikawa Mirin Official Website: http://www.mikawamirin.jp/
    Official Online Store: http://mikawamirin.jp/product/product_step1.php?m=n
    Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikawamirin

     

    Recipe


    This recipe was conceived by ITEMAE, a famous restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that is listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Model: Misa Kimura
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

  • Inari Sushi Restaurant Tsurigitsune to Open in Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese food and confectionery company Bijuu is opening a new restaurant called Tsurigitsune inside Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal on August 5, 2020. The restaurant will specialise in inari sushi, a type of sushi packed into pouches of deep-fried tofu.

     

    Bijuu is known for producing and selling such products as Kyoto’s famous coarse sweet red bean paste-filled yatsuhashi otabe crackers.

    Tsurigitsune will serve “Kyo Dashi Oinari,” a type of inari sushi made with fried tofu Saga Tofu Morioka—a long-standing tofu shop in Sagano, Kyoto—soaked in lots of sumptuous Kyoto-style dashi. The restaurant will also serve a special type of sweet otabe cracker which cannot be eaten anywhere else.

    Kyo Dashi Oinari (Includes 15) | ¥3,240 (Tax Included)

    The dashi that the Kyo Dashi Oinari are soaked in take up all the delicious flavour of kombu, sababushi smoked mackerel, iwashibushi pilchard, and katsuobushi dried bonito, all of which serve to add that authentic Kyoto flavour.

    Tanto Otabeyasu | ¥930 (Tax Included) *Served 6:30-10:00

    As well as Kyo Dashi Oinari, Tsurigitsune’s menu includes a line-up of dishes that celebrate the flavour of dashi, including soba, dashimaki tamago omelette, and more.

     

    If you’re travelling to Osaka, why not get an authentic Kyoto experience too by dining at Tsurigitsune?

  • My Film Recommendation | 5 Nostalgic Japanese Movies

    01.July.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at 5 recommended nostalgic Japanese films from ASOBINEXT’s Mirai who makes sure to watch at least one film a week.

     

    Our Little Sister

    ©2015 吉田秋生・小学館/フジテレビジョン 小学館 東宝 ギャガ

     

    ・Film Summary
    The film follows three sisters: Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika who all live in the house of their grandparents in Kamakura where they all grew up together. One day, they receive news of the death of their father. At his funeral, they meet their 14-year-old half-sister Suzu for the first time, whose mother is already dead. She had been living with their father and her stepmom after he remarried. When the eldest daughter Sachi looks at Suzu as the sisters are saying goodbye to her, she invites Suzu to go and live with them in Asakusa. Suzu agrees to go, and thus begins the sisters’ journey together to deepen their relationship with Suzu. Its a very ‘Japanese’ film in many ways, and has a nostalgic Asakusa feel to it from the scenery and how people interact with one another.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The story really gripped my heart. It’s heartwarming, sad, and has a kind of nostalgia I can’t quite put my finger on which makes me want to go back home. I love Asakusa, the setting of the movie, and go there every year to have fun with my family. We’re also four siblings, brothers and sisters, so this film felt more relatable to me as I watched it. If you’re someone who feels like they want to return to their hometown, or see someone you treasure, or want to feel something Japanese, then I recommend giving this film a go!

     

    My Neighbor Totoro


    ・Film Summary
    In the early summer, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei move into the countryside with their father to be closer to their mother who is hospitalised. They meet a mysterious creature who Mei gives the name “Totoro,” a being which cannot be seen by adults. Satsuki and Mei get whisked into a fantastical world as we see them grow.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    I’ve loved it since I was a kid. It’s one of Ghibli’s films I’ve always watched. The film is set to be set in 1952 during the Showa Period. I was born in the Heisei Period so I wasn’t even born yet when the film was released. Even so, this is a film that continues to receive love, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s known to all in Japan, and all have seen it. I believe there are still lots of kids who are watching Totoro even now. This film is an emotion that continues to live in our hearts as a memory, one that’s like a dream we had when we were young. I want the people of the world to watch this regardless of their age or gender!

     

    Always: Sunset on Third Street

    ・Film Summary
    Mutsuko Hoshino arrives in Tokyo from Aomori Prefecture to begin her employment at the auto repair shop Suzuki Auto. Captivated by the prospect of living and working in the sparkling city of Tokyo, Mutsuku is disappointed to find that Suzuki Auto is actually a rundown shop in Tokyo’s lower districts. Despite this, she goes into her job with will-power and positivity, and finds herself becoming a member of the Suzuki family. There is also the struggling writer Ryunosuke Chagawa, who accepts the custody of Junnosuke from Hiromi. Junnosuke is the orphaned offspring of the previous tenant of the building where Hiromi opens a bar. All of the cast members convey love, courage, and warmth in this story about being human.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The moment I saw this film, it felt like I had been transported back in time to 1926, even though I was born in the Heisei Period and not the Showa Period. Despite that, it still fills me with a sense of nostalgia, and it makes me well up with a feeling of courage. The film is set in a time where smartphones, PCs, and TVs aren’t a thing yet, so it really made me realise the importance of our connection to others. I want to recommend this film to anyone who wants to know about old time Japan, or is looking for a film with heart!

    Kimi ni Todoke

    ©2010映画「君に届け」製作委員会 ©椎名軽穂 / 集英社

     

    ・Film Summary
    Sawako is avoided by her classmates in elementary school because of her appearance which leads them to name-call her “Sadako,” the main character from the film The Ring. They also call her a zashiki-warashi, a child spirit. But her father teachers her that a zashiki-warashi is a spirit that actually makes people happy. This makes her happy, since her motto is to “do one good thing a day.” When she becomes a high school stduent, she meets a certain boy, which marks the start of this cute and pure love story.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This is my favourite of Japan’s love stories. It makes you feel that pure, butterfly stomach kind of youthful love. The music and the backgrounds in the film serve to add another layer to their relationship too. The film makes you want to cheer the two of them on from the shadows as they come to face complicated emotions they have never felt before. Everyone should check this out, regardless of age or gender, if they’re wanting a heart-throb story or feel like returning to their youthful days!

     

    Korede iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio

    ・Film Summary
    This film covers the life of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka—known for such popular series as Tensai Bakabon—and his 35 year relationship with his editor Toshiki Takei. You get to learn about the unique life of the manga artist, who has been called a genius.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This comedy film is set in the 1970s and shows how the popular weekly manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday came about, a magazine which it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the start of Japanese manga. Of course, if you love Japanese manga, you should watch this, but I want all of the people of the world who are interested in the history of Japanese anime to see it!

     

    Mirai

    A 19-year-old affiliated with ASOBINEXT and known for her trademark black bob hair. Her hobby is watching movies—she watches one a week. Her goal for the future is to become an idol that stands out from the crowd and can work not just in Japan but around the world. She wants to work in many areas and endeavours to become a person that people look up to.

  • My Anime Recommendation | Darling in the Franxx: Children Paving the Way For Their Future

    30.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at a recommended anime series by ASOBINEXT’s Yuka Koyama who always watches anime on the weekend without fail and is always on the lookout for new series.

    ©Darling in the Franxx Production Committee

     

    Darling in the Franxx’s Story

    The story is centred on children who are deprived of individuality and are raised solely for piloting Franxx, giant robot mecha, in boy-girl pairs. These children fight against strange creatures known as Klaxosaurs and various other kinds of enemies.

     

    What led you to watch Darling in the Franxx?

    I decided to watch it after seeing the character Zero Two in the recommendations column of the app I always use when I’m watching anime. Her pink hair really left an impression on me.

    Why do you want to recommend the series?

    The children in the series face many different emotions and conflicts. It’s a wonderful story about their growth. The art style an animation is really beautiful too, so if you’re stuck on what anime to watch next, I recommend trying this one out.

     

    Who is your favourite character?

    The pink-haired Zero Two. She’s a cute and mischievous girl, and I find myself really drawn to her merciless side which she shows on occasion. In this anime, where we see the kids experience numerous conflicts while growing as individuals, Zero Two, who used to be a loner, experiences what it’s like to treasure friends and enjoy being around people, as well as at times feel the bitterness of losing friends. She’s a very human character, and really like that.

     

    What’s your favourite scene?

    The scene where Zero Two and Hiro run away from the adults when they’re young kids. The adults restrict their freedom, but the two of them frantically escape the facility when they are young to find their freedom. It moved me in a big way, since I’m one to normally hesitate when it comes to something big.

    Who do you want to watch it?

    I definitely want anyone who is challenging themselves to something new, or anyone who is going through something right now, to watch it. The kids really go through a lot but carve out their own path in the process. Seeing that really gives you courage.

     

    Any final comments?

    You end up empathising with the characters in Darling in the Franxx without even realising. It’s a story of war with romance and friendship built into it. You always want to know what happens next, so I really recommend it. A second season is coming too, so be sure to check it out.

     

    Yuka Koyama

    16-years-old and a second-year high school student. Affiliated with ASOBINEXT. Currently taking lessons with the goal of becoming a model. Her hobby is discovering anime she hasn’t seen yet. She’s part anime otaku, never failing to watch anime on the weekends. In the future, she aims to become a regular model of a magazine that people admire and feature on the front cover. She also wants to expand her talent not only to magazines but TV too.

  • 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.

  • 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

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