One of the best aspects of Hyper Japan is the food, whether it’s the sushi or sake experience or you want try one of the top restaurants Feng shi, Wagami Bakery, Okan, Soya, Peko Peko (Japan Underground Favourite), Yutaka, Yaki, Bento cafe, Sasuke are a few, caterers selling fine cuisine such as sushi bento boxes, katsu curry, miso soup. are there and are made fresh on premises.
Ranking number three for the top restaurants in Kingston, these guys had a lot to boast about. Slighly more expensive than other stalls they did offer a premium dish called Beef Donburi (Yaki Niku in Japanese). This dish is thin slices of beef marinated in a sweet sauce cooked slowly with onions and served on white sticky rice for £8. this really hit the spot and kept me full during the whole day at Hyper Japan. There are donburi toppings made with vegetables, seafood, beef, pork, or chicken.
Address: 74 RICHMOND ROAD, KT2 5EL, Kingston upon Thames
Phone: 020 8287 0312
This dish always perplexed me as I have seen it in various forms, okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake). Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese style pancake that is made with a batter, shredded cabbage, sweetcorn and other grated vegetables. From there you can add meats or whatever else you want. In fact, okonomi translates to ‘as you like’ or ‘what you want’ so the pancakes can differ greatly between cooks. Once the pancake is done cooking it is topped with things such as mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce (like Worcestershire sauce only thicker and sweeter), katsuobushi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), etc. When you order okonomiyaki at a Japanese restaurant you are often brought the raw ingredients and you cook it yourself on a hot plate at your table. This dish is cheap and healthy and for £6 a real bargain!
Address: Unit 39, London, SW9 8PS, Brixton Village Market
Snacks and Sweets
Hyper Japan also had a range of sweet stalls and snack sellers.
Famous for their massive stock of Alpacas, Lolita clothes and cute merchandise, Tofu Cute Owner Rosanna expanded to a whole new range of snacks and drinks. The inspiration for the ‘cute’ part of the name was obvious, but they also wanted to choose a food that would link all the countries which have inspired their shop – what better choice than tofu! It’s nutritious, meat-free, East-Asian, and allowed them to design a kawaii logo based around the name.
They showcased great drinks like Pocari Sweat, a mild-tasting relatively light non-carbonated sweet beverage and is advertised as an ‘ion supply drink’. It has a mild grapefruit flavour with little aftertaste.
Ramune is one of the modern symbols of summer in Japan and is widely consumed during warm festival days and nights. The bottles are made of glass and sealed with a marble; the codd head is held in place by the pressure of the carbonation in the drink. People trying Ramune for the first time sometimes find it difficult to drink, as it takes practice to learn to stop the marble from blocking the flow.
A new chocolate they sell is Meiji – Coffeebeat, similar to Smarties but with a distinct coffee taste, something with a kick, £1.99 a tube.
Beschle Chocolatier Suisse
A family run company since 1898, Ernst Beschle founded the luxury chocolate in Basel Switzerland. I found this company on the Hyper Japan website and was intrigued to try some of there interesting flavour twists like Lassi, Pistacio, and of course Matcha. This was the perfect venue to showcase their Matcha flavour. Matcha is finely milled or fine powder green tea flavouring. This is normally quite bitter, but surprisingly worked well as chocolate. Beschle happily gave samples to everyone who walked past so they could taste some of the unusual flavours, out of the classics, the chocolate orange was a close second for favourite for me.
Sushi Noms are the Kit Kat experts, founders Alex and Dom go themselves to Japan to taste new flavours before bringing them back. They specialise in ranges of Kit Kat, Pocky, Puccho, Hi-Chew, Rilakkuma merchandise, Hello Kitty merchandise and Pokemon merchandise. They also now sell a range of exclusive Japan Pokecentre only plushies and souvenirs, adding a real authentic Japanese feel to their British web shop. You can find them at all conventions, online and possible in their own venue in the future.
Selling their signature Doriyake which is two slices of cake encasing a filling inside, take your pick from Matcha, Green tea, strawberry and vanilla, and at only £1.50 a piece – bargain. They stock their famed doriaki in most Japanese stores and restaurants in different packaging.
Winner of Sushi awards
HYPER JAPAN is pleased to announce that this year’s winner was Yoshihiro Motohashi, the Group Head Chef at Eat Tokyo. Mr Motohashi’s winning sushi roll was called the Tokyo Specialand consisted of eel, prawn and avocado layered in Yutaka Premium Sushi Rice and then double wrapped in seared salmon and yellowtail. The roll was then lightly flamed before being smothered in tobiko, wasabi tobiko and S&B wasabi sauce. A truly indulgent mouthful of Tokyo!
Best Sake Cocktail
As voted for by the audience, this year’s winner is Ryu Okada, founder and Managing Director of specialist mobile bar Kampai Cocktails, with his Nadeshiko Martini that uses the Sho Chiku Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai sake as the key ingredient mixed with prosecco, home-made rhubarb syrup, a dash of rhubarb bitters and garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon, to create a mouth watering sensation.
Watch our tasting video here: