Japanese food lovers are in for a real treat as Japan’s number one online shopping mall, Rakuten, is bringing its renowned food festival, Rakuten Japan Gourmet Festival, to Singapore for the first time. From 25 November 2014 to 4 December 2014, shoppers will be able to taste and experience Rakuten’s food offerings from all over Japan in an offline setting, at the newly-opened Japanese-themed WAttention Plaza at Jurong Point.

Since its inception in 2010, the largely popular food festival [known as Rakuten Umaimono Taikai in Japanese] has become one of the most anticipated food events in Japan.

The festival is Rakuten’s way of presenting the best of Rakuten’s online food merchants to shoppers in a retail environment, thus merging the offline world that customers live in and the online world that Rakuten operates in.

The 10-day festival will feature over 100 types of premium seafood, exquisite confectioneries, delicious desserts, and many other delectable delights from Hokkaido, Yokohama, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Shizuoka.

Food enthusiasts will be introduced to a variety of new-to-Singapore specialty products presented by 11 merchants from Rakuten Ichiba in Japan and many of them are award-winning and have received accolades; including Rakuten Japan’s ‘Shop of the Year’ award.

In this blog post, we will be shortlisting 3 merchants that you ought to check out at Rakuten Japan Gourmet Festival!

1. Tsukiji Ryotel Takewaka

Established for over 20 years, Tsukiji Ryotel Takewaka sources fresh and seasonal seafood from Tokyo’s renowned Tsukiji market for their products. Its chirashi bowls are intricately packaged by masterchefs in the style of parfaits, a visual treat that enhances the taste of freshness with every spoonful.

Also known as the Japanese Seafood Parfait, the chirashi is made with premium Japanese rice, topped with ikura [salmon roe], salmon, and tuna belly. With the colourful mix of seafood and vegetables, diners can even replace chopsticks with spoons to enjoy the savoury seafood parfait to the fullest.

2. Sasaya Syoen

Founded in 1918, Sasaya Syoen is deeply rooted in tradition with its handmade sweets. The sugar is expertly pulled by its confectioners to give a real and authentic taste. The warabi mocha is one of its most popular products, along with other seasonal pastries and sweets, which are all ideal as snacks and gifts.

Using the finest bracken powder produced domestically, each bracken rice cake is exquisitely handemade by a master Kyoto confectioner and it will melt in the mouth. We highly recommend that you dip the warabi mochi in some soybean powder and it will make a perfect treat.

3. Ginza Sembikiya Patisserie

Founded in 1894, Ginza Sembikiya was originally a fruit specialty store. In the 1960s, it began developing creative methods for people to enjoy tasting fruits while remaining loyal to the shop’s dedication to using only quality premium fruit products. The result is artisan fruit-infused confectioneries, which very quickly became a hit among locals, as well as tourists looking to bring back omiyage [souvenirs] for their friends and loved ones.

Using only Fuji apples produced in Japan, its attentive confectioners ensure that the tartness and sweetness of the apples are retained. The apples are simmered to perfection to a texture as smooth as silk. Flavoured with a hint of cinnamon, the apple filling is encased in Ginza Sembikiya’s interpretation of a baumkuchen, a layered cake originating from Germany.

Our Personal Opinion/Review of Rakuten Japan Gourmet Festival 2014

Though the Rakuten Japan Gourmet Festival is held at Jurong Point, this is truly one gourmet festival that foodies shouldn’t miss because there are many new-to-Singapore food and beverage product offerings. Our recommendation is that you bring at least SGD$50 as some of the food and beverage products can be priced on the higher side [after all, some of the food and beverage products are specially imported all the way from Japan]. Should you not have enough spare cash, some of the merchants do accept credit cards.

If you are looking for some specialty products from Japan, the Rakuten Japan Gourmet Festival is a must-go!