Do you know that Panasonic has an indoor agriculture farm here in Singapore that cultivates premium Japanese crop varieties via a controlled soil-based and pesticide-free environment with LED lighting?

The 248 square metre indoor agriculture facility currently produces 10 types of vegetables; green and red leafy lettuce, mizuna [potherb mustard], mini red and white radish, rocket lettuce, basil, ooba [mint herb], mitsuba [wild parsley] and baby spinach. Both leafy and root vegetables are cultivated in the controlled soil-based environment with LED lighting. At present, total production capacity is at 3.6 tonnes annually. Through this local indoor cultivation, consumers like you and us can potentially gain significant savings compared to purchasing similar premium Japanese produce that are imported.

Panasonic is strengthening its research and development efforts to accelerate harvest such as increasing shelf capacity [vertical farming], shortening cultivation lead time from 35 days to 28 days, improving area productivity and expanding crop variety. By 2016, Panasonic is looking to grow more than 30 crop varieties.

In land scarce Singapore where only 8% of vegetables consumed are grown in local farms, Panasonic aims to contribute to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s [AVA] vision of raising self-sufficiency level for leafy vegetables through its technology and harvest. Panasonic also hopes that the indoor vegetable farm can provide a better life and a better world through improved food quality.

As of now, the produce from Panasonic’s indoor agriculture farm is not commercially available but Panasonic will assess market demand for commercial expansion to restaurants and supermarkets within this fiscal year.

Currently, Panasonic supplies on average, 0.3 tonnes of vegetables to all three Ootoya outlets in Singapore per month.

If you are interested to find out how the fresh, crunchy, and pesticide-free Japanese produce from Panasonic’s indoor taste agriculture farm tastes like, all you have to do is head down to any Ootoya Japanese Restaurants and order their new salad offerings.

Salad Roll with Bagna Dressing, SGD$4

Mini red radish, red leafy lettuce and mizuna [potherb mustard] wrapped in rice paper, served with a typical Italian style dip made from anchovies, fresh cream, milk and garlic.

Homemade Tofu Salad with Sesame Dressing, SGD$4.50

Mini red radish, red leafy lettuce, mizuna [potherb mustard] and home-made tofu, served with flavourful, healthy Japanese style light sesame dressing.

Bonito Salad with Vegetable Dressing, SGD$5

Mini red radish, red leafy lettuce, mizuna [potherb mustard], bonito or katsuobushi [dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna, served with Ootoya’s original tangy dressing made from tiny sliced onion, bell pepper, lemon juice and olive oil]

Shrimp Salad with Aurora Dressing, SGD$4

Mini red radish, red leafy lettuce, mizuna [potherb mustard] and shrimps, served with creamy dressing made from bell pepper and tomatoes drizzled with freshly squeezed lemon juice which enhances vegetable and shrimp flavour.

Our Personal Opinion of Ootoya Japanese Restaurant’s New Salad Offerings

A few days ago, we were at Ootoya Japanese Restaurant [Orchard Central] for a media tasting session and we had a really refreshing time indulging in the crunchy and fresh vegetables from Panasonic’s indoor agricultural farm. The vegetables are delivered fresh from Panasonic’s indoor agriculture farm to Ootoya restaurants daily, ensuring that the quality of harvest is maintained.

If you ask us if there are any difference in terms of taste and quality of the fresh produce from Panasonic’s indoor agriculture farm and those from the conventional farms, we felt that there wasn’t much difference except that the produce from Panasonic’s indoor agriculture farm are much fresher and really crunchy.

We felt that the new salad offerings from Ootoya Japanese Restaurant are really wholesome and relatively affordable. Drizzled with Ootoya Japanese Restaurant’s homemade sauce, the salads make a perfect appetizer for a healthy and nutritious meal.

And if you’re a meat eater, you don’t want to miss out on the Ootoya Japanese Restaurant’s Grilled Pork Belly!

From now till 30 September 2014, you can enjoy a complimentary Kirin Draft Beer OR Dessert with purchase of any main course at any of the 3 Ootoya Japanese Restaurant. All you have to do is just flash this coupon!

On a last note, we have been wanting to grow our own vegetable produce at home and recently, we embarked on a mini project to grow our very own cherry tomatoes and sunflowers. We’re still in the beginning stage of the cultivation process and we are glad that the baby cotyledon leaves have started to surface.

Looks like it will be weeks before we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour and we can’t wait!

Happy Weekends!


Melvin is an Entrepreneur, Life Coach, and Chinese Metaphysics Practitioner. He holds an EMBA and he is a passionate and engaging teacher, known for his unique combination of science, research, and spirituality.

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