How we love Hokkaido food

Takashimaya Shopping Centre is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary in Singapore. For this occasion, there was a 10-day Hokkaido food fair that just ended last weekend. Of course, Takashimaya has always organized such events, and we get Hokkaido food at least a few times a year. But this time there were new food offerings, and even fresh produce and milk.

My husband is a fan of the seafood bento from Hokkaido, especially the braised squid which he finds is cooked with the right chewy texture in a marinating sauce. Then there are also the various croquettes, like shrimp gratin, vegetable, crab cream and pumpkin, etc, which are really tasty. These are mash potatoes mixed with the ingredients, covered with breadcrumbs, and deep fried. Japanese breadcrumbs or panko is used; so even when cold, the croquette are still crunchy on the outside and soft inside.

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For me, I’ve developed a love for Japanese cheesecake. I find that compared to the western version, the former has a smoother texture. It may be the quality of the milk or something the Japanese feed the cows with, after all they are obsessed with quality ingredients.

One of the new stores participating this time is Farm Designs, offering various cheesecake flavors, and there are some interesting ones such as pumpkin and dark chocolate.

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I tried the cow cheesecake, which is typical Japanese whimsical with it’s mimic of the cow design. If you are wondering, the dark portion is infused with chocolate. I like the combination of the classic and the chocolate flavor in one. The cheese is very smooth and has the right level of creaminess. I also tried the dark chocolate cheesecake; which has a hint of bitter cocoa. Though I love dark chocolate, I prefer the cow cheesecake where I get to enjoy two flavors.

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Another new store offers cream puff using soy milk. The staff suggested I get three for S$15, whereas each costs S$6, so I agreed (because I was greedy to sample as much as I could).

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Here’s what I bought: a cream puff with chocolate flavored soy cream, a cube pastry with chocolate layer top filled with Vanilla flavored custard, and a white cube with vanilla custard.

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I like the cream puff; the soy cream is rather light, and tastes as good, if not better, than the milk-based one. The puff is also fluffy. The cube pastry is pretty good too. My husband had the white vanilla while I had the chocolate. Unlike the usual custard, this version is rather light, a flavor which is totally to my liking because I am not into the strong custard taste. But my friend, Jenny, prefers a strong custardy flavor, and doesn’t like this version. Me think her palate is jaded from too much Hong Kong-style custard buns. Let me side-track here with a little story. During one of her various sojourns to Hong Kong, she indulged in the custard buns (as usual) and literally gorged herself with them. That night she had a nightmare; she dreamt she was drowning in custard! But, that didn’t put her off; though she is a little more careful now, making sure she doesn’t pig out like before.

During this food fair, Jolli Creer returned and I had to get my favorite chocolate soufflé. They also have the Doyaki with red bean paste (which is really Japanese pancake). Too bad I didn’t get that. Anyway I’m sure the Hokkaido food would be really fabulous over there. Imagine having cheesecake made from freshly made cheese and butter. My husband would probably gorge himself silly on the seafood. We have been thinking of going there for the food. Though, before making the trip, we’ve to make sure Buddy is travel-worthy. The plane ride takes 7 hours, and it’ll be a challenge getting him occupied or napping for the entire duration.

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