Kyushu shares its treasures
The Mall hosts a fair of authentic Japanese cuisine and crafts
THE ENTRANCE to the Event Hall at The Mall Bangkapi resembles the fabled Yutoku Inari Shrine for “Japan Discovery 2016: Enchanted Kyushu”, a wondrous exposition of Japanese food and handicrafts continuing through September 20.
The Yutoku Inari on the island of Kyushu is the largest shrine in Saga Prefecture. Inside the hall, visitors will feel like they’re strolling though the little town of Yufuin, famous for its hot-spring onsen and mountain views.
There are 50 booths selling goods from popular Japanese restaurants, bakeries and the manufacturers of lifestyle products and a stage for cultural performances.
The Fukuoka restaurant Ume No Hana, established in 1976 and famous for traditional tofu dishes, has a booth offering steamed tofu shumai dumpling and the sweet almond-tofu pudding called mocchira annin.
Takaharu Shigenmitsu’s 50-year-old Ajisen Ramen restaurant chain is doing well with its kumamoto ramen in a tonkotsu broth, simmered for nine hours to bring out the full flavour.
Meat-lovers, though, insist on the melt-in-your-mouth Bungo-kyu beef from Oita Prefecture, which has won awards from the Imperial Palace and the government. The best-of-breed cattle that contribute it are pampered to ensure a coveted marbling in the meat.
Another chew-less meat is the braised pork cutlet kakumi manjyu, wrapped in a steamed bun, a la Chinese cuisine. It comes from Nagasaki, which has done well trading with China. And from Hataka in Fukuoka Prefecture comes karashi mentaiko, a spicy, cured cod roe reminiscent of Korean dishes.
The sweet tooth is certainly not ignored. The Yufuin bakery Goemon Sweets has such delectable desserts as half-boiled cheesecake with fresh cream, as made in Miyazaki.
Its Hitomoki roll cake is stuffed with slightly sweet cream, and the green-tea-and-chocolate Baumkuchen sponge cake boasts a chocolate lava filling. Hot green tea pairs with Castella sponge cake, influenced by Portuguese cuisine of the 16th century. It’s made with sugar, flour, eggs and syrup.
Hiyoko Sweets, also from Fukuoka, touts bird-shaped candy with a filling of ground beans.
Elsewhere at the fair are Kumamon lifestyle products, and Kyushu ceramic tableware, and a troupe will be performing from the Yamaga Tourou Matsuri Lantern Festival.
JAPAN ON TOUR
>> “The Mall Japan Discovery 2016: Enchanted Kyushu” fair continues through September 20 in the Event Hall at The Mall Bangkapi.
>> It moves to The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima from November 12 to 23.