Japan’s delicacies dock in Manila

Photographs courtes of Norman Lleses Gindara Coulibiac.

Japanese seafood heritage is celebrated from 20 February to 15 March, as the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, unfurls the banners for its much-anticipated Seafood Festival at Mitsukoshi BGC. Part of the ongoing “Bringing You a Taste of Japan” campaign, this festival offers Japan’s seafood treasures for the epicurean and the curious alike.

Prepare to be cast away in a sea of flavors with the festival set to elevate the culinary landscape for Japanese gastronomic excellence. Against a backdrop of shared cultural wisdom and contemporary flair, JETRO seeks to amplify Filipino enthusiasm for Japanese fare and entice a globe-spanning palate to indulge in the crafted nuances of Japanese dishes.

Honbinosu and Hokkigai.

Chirashi creations come alive

Mitsukoshi FRESH will be the canvas for personal culinary expression as enthusiasts are invited to assemble their own Chirashi Bowl. A bespoke adventure in taste can be experienced with a myriad of fresh seafood selections.

The simplicity of two steps uncovers a complex symphony of flavors — first, select a sumptuously appointed donburi; then adorn it with toppings like Unagi (eel), Salmon, Hotate (scallops), Miyabi Dai (sea bream), Buri Fillet, Amebi or Akaebi (sweet shrimp), Ikura, Hanasaki Shigure (crabstick) and Tako Wasabi.

Making the Seafood Festival more special was the visit of Japan’s State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Suzuki Norikazu, at Mitsukoshi FRESH to celebrate the various fresh produce and seafood items available for diners to enjoy.

Hotate and Shikaro Frites.

Sake cheers to culinary wonders

In tribute to the bounty of sea’s embrace, Mitsukoshi BGC’s preeminent Japanese dining establishments, Prologue d’Fined by Chef Hiroyuki Meno, Bijin Nabe by Tsukada Nojo and Sen-Ryo, have orchestrated a special array of dishes available exclusively for the festival’s duration. Among these, diners can indulge in delicacies such as Premium Snow Crab Nigiri and Seafood Yakiudon. Each festival-exclusive dish is accompanied by sake or a handpicked non-alcoholic beverage, a pairing that encapsulates the Japanese dining ethos. These promotional offers are only available from Friday to Sunday during the festival period.

To kick off the festival, Prologue d’Fined executive chef Hiroyuki Meno and his team prepared a five-course dinner menu for invited guests from the media, highlighting Japanese seafood, wagyu, liquor and confectioneries. The menu showcased premium products imported from regions of Japan like Kagoshima, Hokkaido, Shiba and Miyagi. An epicurean voyage that set sail with Hamachi Carpaccio, each course thereafter embarked on an exploration, in both geography and taste, across Japan’s diverse regional produce — a narrative of food that spoke volumes of passion, tradition and innovation.

Hamachi Carpaccio.

This festival is not merely a dining experience but a crusade for cultural appreciation, revering Japan’s meticulous approach to gastronomy. More than an event; it’s an immersive odyssey into Japanese culinary arts, revealing that one need not tread far to experience authenticity — Japan’s heart beats within Mitsukoshi BGC’s halls. Feast upon the artistic display of seafood and partake in the full spectrum of Japan’s gourmet legacy.

For updates, visit www.jetro.go.jp/philippines.