Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Hida Beef and Gifu Prefecture Promotion
Posted 4:05 AM Labels: # Japanese, - Marina Square, - Orchard, - Somerset, fruit, sake, shabu-shabu, sushi, teppanyaki, travel, wagyu beef
Have you been to Gifu prefecture in Japan? Well, no matter as Gifu has brought some of its glorious best to Singapore. The "Feel Gifu" campaign (Feb-Mar 2012) highlights the food, culture and travel aspects of the prefecture across several events here.
Thanks to Yvonne of Giorgio Ferrari, I got a peek at the Hida Beef Fair trade event yesterday at Pan Pacific Hotel. The whole ballroom was filled with the sizzle and aroma of tantalizing beef.
Some of the best wagyu in Japan come from Hida (Gifu prefecture), Kobe and Matsusaka (Mie Prefecture).
The brand name "Hida Beef" is given only to best-quality beef from the Japanese black breed cattle fattened for 14 months in Gifu prefecture. The meat is ranked at grades 3,4 or 5 (with 5 being the most premium). And as you know, the Japanese are extremely meticulous when it comes to their cattle - with strict attention to their bloodlines, diet and daily care.
Supply is limited, but you can enjoy Hida beef in Singapore at restaurants like Kuriya Penthouse (see review), Shabu-shabu Gen, and Aoki.
I first tasted Hida beef at Goto. That was, and still is, one of my most memorable meals. Chef Hisao Goto is apparently from Gifu himself.
Flambé teppanyaki! Onto the griddle, those marbled meats go!
Pardon the photo taken in difficult lighting. But the beef is simply awesome. So too, the tomatoes and shiitake mushroom (also from Gifu).
They also served it shabu-shabu style.
My little bowl of heaven. The meat is meltingly tender and sweet.
The beef is not all that's fabulous about Gifu. Just look at these magnificent strawberries! So naturally red and shiny. Wait til you take a bite! They are perfection - the right balance of sweet and tart, full of fruity fragrance and juicy firmness.
Great when dipped in chocolate too...but they are matchless on their own.
Eleven breweries also presented their specialty sake. There were so many wonderful new flavours and complexities in the drinks we tasted.
There is a Gifu Sake Street happening 17 to 26 Feb at Mogambo and Public House at the top of Canton Street in Boat Quay. Sake cocktails going at S$10 each!
I really like the Sakedelic, which is a fruit-based sake drink, apparently invented by a lady. Flavours include passionfruit, muscat and cherry blossom. It's very refreshing and has only 5% alcohol. Love the packaging, especially the Hokusai Great Wave given a psychedelic twist.
It's available at Orihara (#01-01/02 Robertson Walk) in Singapore. Nice to see the folks there again. I met them during Sho Naganuma's masterclass.
Hatsushimo rice was also on display. How full and fat the grains look.
"Mitake Hanazushi" rose-shaped sushi rolls are a Gifu specialty. They also make them in other flower shapes - lily and peony. Hatsushimo rice is used to make these hanazushi.
You can read the "Feel Gifu" booklet online to see the full details of activities in Singapore, and also suggested itineraries to central Japan. I have been wanting to visit Gifu (especially Takayama). Someday, someday.
Remember to check out Gifu too at NATAS this weekend too (24-26 Feb 2012 at Expo Hall 4&5, 10am to 9.30pm).