Konnichiwa everyone! Welcome back to Yummy Jubbly ☺
We went to the Japan Mutsuri 2015 festival last weekend London’s Trafalgar Square and it was amazing! Its an annual event to celebrate the cultural exchange between the UK and Japan. But this year’s one was extra special – it was 150 years since a group of young men from Kagoshima came to study in London. They learnt multiple skills and built the relationship between our two countries as it exists today. The cultural side of things and the various performances were amazing. But of course our focus was on the food! There were loads of food stalls set up around the square, offering authentic Japanese dishes from all over the country. We had such a great time eating all the yummy food!
So here’s what we ate:
Takoyaki £5 – originating from Osaka, these are little balls of batter cooked on a hot griddle (bit like a waffle) with chunks of octopus inside. Topped with teriyaki sauce (a sweet sticky soya sauce), Japanese mayo, seaweed and katsuobushi flakes (which are shavings of dried, fermented and smoked tuna). These soft fluffy balls of batter with the octopus pieces are absolutely amazing, especially matched with the savoury sauces and katsuobushi flakes. To cut the richness, it’s normally served with a small service of pickled ginger.
Ebi Katsu – deep fried prawns with a breadcrumb coating. These were really nice in that it was crispy on the outside yet the prawn was just cooked and moist inside. The prawn had a light seasoning and was nice on its own, but the drizzle of teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayo made it extra nice.
Fried Chicken – small chunks of chicken in a light coating of flour on a skewer and deep fried. Like the prawns, the chicken had a very light simple seasoning – probably no more than some salt, pepper and some other secret ingredient. The chicken was still moist and tender and the combination of teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayo again made this little snack extra yummy.
Okonomiyaki £5 – another dish originating from Osaka. A pancake made with a simple pancake mix of egg, wheat flour, sweetcorn and white cabbage. Halfway being cooked on a flat griddle, it’s topped with a generous serving of cheese – a nice modern twist to a classic Japanese dish. Once cooked, the pancake is drizzled with teriyaki sauce, dried seaweed and katsuobushi flakes are then sprinkled all over. You also get some Japanese mayo to dip in. This was really good and was made by Okan –http://www.okanbrixtonvillage.com/ – we highly recommend this place!
Pork Ramen £5 – soft noodles in a broth made with pork bones and slowly simmered for hours. This was absolute heaven. The toppings included spring onion, dried seaweed, black fungi and some pickle. There was also a dash of dark sesame oil on top when served. The depth of flavour coming through the broth really showed the skill and heart behind this dish, which was made by Shoryu – http://www.shoryuramen.com/
Gyozas £5 – these are dumplings that are cooked in a part grilled part steamed process. Thin pastry with a crispy bottom from the griddle pan, but with a soft top from the steam created from adding water to the griddle. The filling consisting of pork and mixed vegetables (white cabbage and carrot) didn’t have any complex flavours and was simply nice. The added heat from the chilli sauce gave the dish an extra kick.
Roasted green tea ice cream £2.50 – If you like match green tea, then you’ll like this. Smooth silky ice cream flavoured with roasted green tea. The roasted taste added an extra depth to the ice cream and was very clever. We don’t think we can ever just have normal green tea ice cream anymore!
Kakigori (Japanese Cotton Shaved Ice) – a traditional summer dessert in Japan. It literally is flavoured shaved ice. We chose the matcha green tea, with a red bean topping, drizzled with condense milk. A very refreshing dessert but those with sensitive teeth beware!
Mochi balls – glutinous rice flour mixed with water and pounded to form a sticky paste. This is then filled with a sweet filling. We 2 types of filling – the red bean (slowly cooked to create a mushy peas like texture but with some of the beans still holdling their shape) which had a sweet earthy taste, and the yuzu, which had a nice citrus, orange like, fragrance throughtout yet not sharp.
As you can tell, we had a lot of yummy food that day. We even got to meet Domo! Hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog and catching up on what we’ve been eating recently. Don’t forget to check out our vlog on this event too and remember to check back soon for our next blog!