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Mikado on sale for 75p a box

Date: 2010 May 02 08:56 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

UK Pocky lovers will want to head over to their local WH Smiths. The stationery, magazine and book shop are currently selling Mikado for 75p a box.

We've done a Mikado vs Pocky taste comparison and can confirm that they are similar to everyone's favourite chocolate coated snack.

Read More... | Souce: WH Smiths

Viz Cinema launched Eatrip a movie about Japanese food

Date: 2010 April 04 06:10 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

Fans of Japanese cuisine and film in San Francisco will want to head over to the U.S. Premiere of Eatrip on Saturday April 10th 2010.

"Eatrip explores the interpersonal relationships that food nurtures. This documentary includes interviews with actor Tadanobu Asano, singer UA, tea master Sen Souoku, and many others. It takes you on a journey throughout Japan to look at how life can be led optimally through the daily ritual of eating. To eat is indeed to live. Life is just an "eating trip" (eatrip)."

Read More... | Souce: VIZ Cinema

Bento Boxes a big hit in the US

Date: 2010 January 13 17:00 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

The New York Times has an interesting article about bento boxes becoming popular in the US.

The meals in a box have become popular in the US for a variety of reasons, apart from the novelty, it's also a great way for a balanced diet, getting all the right food groups in a box. Along with that, it's idea for portion control. The article also highlights how it helps small children who can be fussy eaters eat something healthy.

Souce: New York Times

Plastic Food in Japan

Date: 2009 October 18 16:40 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

BBC News have an interesting video feature on the Plastic Food common in Japan. The title of the article states that the food is common in Tokyo, when in fact plastic food used for window displays is pretty common all over Japan.

It shows the workshop where they make the plastic food. Firstly they take silicon casts of the real food, then use that as mould to make plastic copies. They are then painted. Pretty much anything you can imagine is made at the workshop, from bowls of rice, noodles, soup, Pork Katsu, Ice Cream Sundae, even beer.

Souce: BBC News

Kashiwa Mystery Cafe

Date: 2009 October 01 03:41 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Not knowing what to order at a cafe? Or fancy a surprise? Mac software developer Cabel Maxfield Sasser has discovered the solution. At the Kashiwa Mystery Cafe. Essentially it's a bit of performance art. You order and pay for something, and then you get what the previous person ordered. For example if you ordered a lemonade, you'd get an orange juice, and the person who orders after you gets a lemonade and so on...

Officially called the Ogori Cafe, the idea is to treat someone.

It's an interesting experiment. Of course if you can't read Japanese this can be very confusing!

Souce: Cabel\'s Blog

London Japan Centre moves to bigger store

Date: 2009 September 29 16:03 | Posted By:

Category > Retail

We've got news from the Japan Centre in London. They'll be moving the food shop from their Piccadilly Circus store to a brand new larger shop on Regent Street from Saturday 3rd October 2009.

The food hall will be greatly expanded with a Japanese Bakery, along with the launch of the umai brand.

The bookshop and home section will remain at their current Piccadilly location. The new shop will be at 14-16 Regent Street (SW1Y 4PH), near Mitsukoshi.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Centre

Japan Matsuri Festival in London September 2009

Date: 2009 August 27 14:35 | Posted By:

Category > Events

London based readers should head over to Spitalfields on Saturday September 19th 2009 for the Japan Matsuri. A Matsuri is a festival with lots of stalls, food, fun and games along with plenty to see and do. It's set to run from 10am to 8pm.

A few readers might remember that this is not the first Matsuri in London. The last major one was at Hyde Park on 19th and 20th May 2001! As they don't happen as often as we like we strongly suggest you get to this one for all the festivities.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Matsuri

Harumi Kurihara London September 2009 Book Signing

Date: 2009 August 26 12:34 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

London based fans of Japanese cooking should keep Friday 18th of September free, as Harumi Kurihara will be signing copies of her new book Everyday Harumi.

The exclusive book signing will be in Selfridges Oxford Street on 18th September 2009 from 1.30pm (she will be in the basement book store).

Souce: Conran Octopus

Everyday Harumi Cook Book Due September 2009

Date: 2009 July 06 16:02 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Fans of Japanese cooking at home should note that Harumi's new book is due for released in September 2009.
It hits the UK on 7th September 2009, while US readers will have to wait a few more days until September 22nd.

Pre Order from Amazon UK
Pre Order from Amazon US

The book covers a wide variety of basic typically Japanese recipes. Harumi thinks you'll be able to create fantastic meals using the simple flavours. The best selling author has sold over 20 million of her books and magazine world wide.

Update: Harumi will be signing books in London at Selfridges Oxford Street on Friday 18th September 2009 from 1.30pm (she will be in the basement book store).

Read More... | Souce: Conran Octopus

Is Mikado Pocky? A Taste Comparison

Date: 2009 April 26 16:27 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

UK readers might have noticed adverts on TV, for a product called Mikado, which looks strikingly like the favourite otaku snack Pocky.

In this article we'll do a taste comparison and reveal the differences, and answer the question, is Mikado Pocky?

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

The Artistic Bento of AnnaTheRed

Date: 2009 February 05 08:57 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Wired are running and interesting story about AnnaTheRed’s Bento Creations. Wired have published an interview with her and also put a gallery of her work on-line. More can also be seen on her Flickr page.

The food looks divine and is made for her lucky boyfriend. Themes for her bento include Totoro, Katamari, Wall-E, Link (from Zelda), Smash Bros, Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service.

Souce: Wired

Fosse Farmhouse England welcomes Mominoki House Japan

Date: 2008 December 15 18:06 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

We don't normally plug stuff like this on Otaku News, but the press release itself is a great example of Anglo-Japan cross cultural collaboration, which we always like hear and shout about. Vegetarians who are up for a Christmas holiday get away might want to pay a visit to Fosse Farmhouse in North Wiltshire in the UK.

Not only are they a good UK tourist attraction, they got close ties with Japan, and will be offering from Saturday 20th December 2008 to Sunday 4th January 2009 a special Mominoki vegetarian dinner menu. So if you want to eat like Paul McCartney and his band over Christmas then pay them a visit.

Read More... | Souce: Fosse Farmhouse

Larvae Chocolates are a big hit

Date: 2008 April 14 17:07 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

With Easter long gone, we still can't stop thinking of chocolate. So we'd like to point out a story about chocolate in Japan a reader sent us (who has strange tastes including custard pizza, but that's another story in itself). The Japan Times On-line have a story about chocolate bugs, sold by an Akita based confectioner. Komatsuya Honten specialises in making chocolate treats that look like beetle larvae and caterpillars. Yum!

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Times

Anime Brand Sake

Date: 2008 March 26 20:24 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Sake fans may be interested to see that several Japanese brewing companies are releasing sake with an anime theme.

Read More... | Souce: Anime News Network

Fugu to die for

Date: 2007 November 23 12:52 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Following on from a story about Tokyo being the best place to eat in the world, The Times are running a story about the joys of eating fugu, the renowned delicacy of delicious puffer fish, which is highly poisonous (25 times more powerful than cyanide in fact) and will kill if prepared incorrectly.

The article goes on to describe the sensation of eating fugu "...something like small, melting pieces of ethereal rubber made by laughing angels, dancing on the tongue and leaving a gently anaesthetic effect on the lips". It also highlights that preparation and presentation are also very important aspects of Japanese cooking.

Souce: The Times

Tokyo Top city for good food

Date: 2007 November 20 13:34 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

BBC News have just published a story which states that Tokyo has the finest cuisine in the world. The Michelin guide, famous for awarding the coveted Michelin stars has devoted it's first ever edition to an Asian city. Tokyo was awarded a total of 191 stars, which is nearly twice as many as Paris and more than 3 times New York's total.

The article ironically states that 3 of the top 8 restaurants in Tokyo serve French food.

Souce: BBC News

Hotto! Raisu the food of the future

Date: 2007 May 07 15:21 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Japan is famed for being the homeland of the invention of instant noodles, but now with the latest development in food technology is rice that gets hot when you add cold water. According the Mainichi Daily News, Hotto! Raisu is the special non-perishable food pack that creates steaming hot rice when cold water is poured over an exothermic agent pack, producing steam that warms the rice making it piping hot in 15 minutes. Currently it's been suggested that the packs could be distributed to areas struck by natural disasters where electricity is often unavailable. However the packs are not cheap, costing 10,000 yen for 30 with pickled ume plum.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Natto sales sky-rocket due to weight loss claims

Date: 2007 January 23 07:55 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Natto a traditional Japanese dish made of fermented soy beans is an acquired taste even by Japanese standards, but recently sales of natto have gone through the roof in Japan due to a TV show aired by Kansai Television Corporation which claimed that eating natto morning and night has helped people lose up to 3.5kg (roughly 7.7 lbs).

However as BBC News reports, the show's producers have admitted that some of the data was false. The US professor shown on the programme was not the same one that did the original research, additionally he was misquoted.

The company president has issued an apology, buy KTV still believe the diet could help people slim.

The BBC report a media backlash from the Yomiuri Shimbun stating the show had harmed the credibility of the television media sector as a whole. The Mainichi Shimbun's editorial commentary points out that popular media tended to exaggerate or give misleading information to keep their ratings high when reporting on weight loss or other health issues.

Souce: BBC News

Father of Instant Ramen Noodles Dies

Date: 2007 January 07 10:45 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

The inventor of instant ramen and founder of Nissin Food Products Co., Momofuku Ando has died. The purveyor of tasty Japanese noodle snacks and saviour of students everywhere died of heart failure in Osaka, at the Ikeda hospital aged 96.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Times Online

Rick Stein cooks for the Japanese ambassador

Date: 2006 December 15 16:20 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

BBC TV chef and seafood expert Rick Stein has made a new one off special on his travels to Japan to cook seafood for the Japanese ambassador.

The BBC are currently airing trailers for this show and it looks like a promising, with lots of interesting sushi facts.

The show will be aired in the UK on Tuesday 19 December at 8pm on BBC Two and is repeated on Thursday 21 December at 7pm. It looks like viewers will be in for a culinary treat.

Souce: BBC Food

Maid Cafe in Toronto

Date: 2006 December 05 07:21 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Canada can now boast it's first maid cafe. You have to feel a little sorry for the girls who work there, I mean isn't Canada cold? Aren't those skirts a little too short then? Where's the Hawaiian outlet? Judging by the menu it seems to be mainly snack food. Not that I suspect most of our readers would go for the food.... That said I imagine a trip to Canada is cheaper than Japan.

Souce: Boing Boing

Single grain sushi

Date: 2006 October 27 09:12 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

The Daily Mainichi News is currently running a story about single grain sushi. Japan has always been famed for it's love of all things miniature, even with small food portions, but the latest fad at sushi restaurant Omoroi Sushiya Kajiki takes it to a whole new level. With only a single grain of Japanese rice, the fish on top is about 1cm by 2cm at the most single grain sushi proves to be a miniature treat for all.

The dish is sold in on a plate with 10 or 12 portions and can be requested upon advanced booking during the more quiet times of day. The head chef apparently makes this dish to make the ladies smile.

Souce: Daily Mainichi News

More Anime Screenings at the London Cafe Manga

Date: 2006 March 09 13:35 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks from ADV Films UK and Cafe Manga have sent us details of their special anime screenings which will be running throughout March. They'll be showing both subbed versions of Noir, Last Exile and Kino’s Journey at the Central London venue starting from Thursday 9th March. The Manga cafe also inform us that they've introduced happy hours during 6pm to 7pm where they'll be offering 25% discount off all drinks, note that if the staff are in doubt they will ask for ID. All titles screened are rated 12 and are uncut.

Read More... | Souce: ADV Films UK

Happy Giri Choco Day!

Date: 2006 February 14 12:18 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Romance is in the air! It's Valentines day! With most card shops selling all sorts of Valentines day cards, including ones from your cat, you can't help wondering if things have got a bit too commercial. Well it's the same in Japan according to BBC News, since Valentines day is a day where women traditionally give chocolate to their significant others, and also to their bosses, as obligation demands. This isn't an ancient tradition, Giri choco was only started 40 years ago by the Japanese confectionary companies (who would have guessed?). Unsurprisingly 70% of Japanese women want this tradition to end, while Japanese men are happy to keep things the same. The confectionary companies are fair though as White Day a month later is when Japanese men have to buy white sweets for their loved ones.

Souce: BBC News

Christmas Cake Made In Honour Of Tezuka's Black Jack

Date: 2005 December 03 08:08 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

According to Akadot a hotel located in Takarazuka the place where the popular manga-ka Ozamu Tezuka (Black Jack) was born and raised, has made a christmas cake dedicated to Black Jack.

It costs 3300 Yen per cake and the hotel hopes to make a profit out of the popularity of the anime series Black Jack. "The cake is 15cm in diameter with ¾ covered in whipped cream and the rest with chocolate. The stitches on Black Jack's face have been recreated by chocolate as well."

Souce: Akadot

Japanese wins Hot Dog Contest

Date: 2005 August 15 07:22 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

According to Japan Today, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan took home the title of the World Hot Dog Champion for the 5th time. Kobayashi known as the world speed eating champion gulped down 100 barbecued-pork buns in the Hong Kong contest Sunday, some of them without even chewing, beating the first-runner up by a long, long swallow.

The first runner-up, Johnny Wu, managed to swallow only 47 of the steamed buns filled with barbecued pork which is a popular delicacy of Hong Kong.

Souce: Japan Today

Strawberry Milk Sausages Sales Set For Success

Date: 2005 August 07 12:32 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

The popularity of fish-meat sausages is declining in Japan so seafood company Nissui, have been experimenting and according to the Mainichi Daily News Nissui have invented strawberry milk flavour fish-meat sausages. The strange taste combination was discovered after Nissui found that Japanese children's favourite fruit is strawberry. Apparently the after taste of strawberries remain. These strange fish sausages will be available in packs of 5 and from 1st September and will cost the same as regular fish-meat sausages.

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

Ramen Theme Complexes

Date: 2005 February 16 15:15 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Japan Today are running a rather interesting story about Ramen theme complexes which are groups of Ramen restaurants that band together in order to beat the intense competition of the restaurant industry.

Souce: Japan Today

Win A Case Of Kirin Ichiban

Date: 2005 February 08 15:43 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

The Otaku News Crew have teamed up with the folks from Kirin to offer our UK readers the chance to win a case of Kirin Ichiban. That's right, free beer!

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Kirin Ichiban Now Prime Marketing Focus For Kirin Brand

Date: 2005 January 05 19:09 | Posted By:

Category > Cuisine

Since all Otaku News readers are sophisticated and as a result eat and drink Japanese food and drink at every opportunity, we're certain that they'll be interested in some Japanese beer news for this year.

Kirin Ichiban is to become the prime focus of marketing, promotional and sales activity for the Kirin brand in the UK. In other words, the company in charge of Kirin in the UK would like you to make Kirin Ichiban your beverage of choice.

Read More... | Souce: Kirin Ichiban

Japanese Researchers Produce Trout From Salmon

Date: 2004 August 05 16:52 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

Researchers at a Japanese university have succeeded for the first time in producing trout from salmon, in a method that promises hope for protecting endangered species.

Associate Prof. Goro Yoshizaki and other researchers at Tokyo's University of Marine Sciences and Technology succeeded in the method by injecting primordal germ cells (PGCs), which can grow into either sperm or eggs, from a rainbow trout into the body of a male yamame (landlocked salmon).

Souce: Mainichi Daily News

DNA Tests for Pork in Japan!

Date: 2004 May 29 17:14 | Posted By:

Category > Freaky Things

In Japan "kurobuta" - the English rare breed of Berkshire pigs are prized for their meat. The BBC are running a story about Sygen a company that breeds and sells these pigs for a Japanese market. Due to fraud, they've had to use DNA testing to prove the authenticity of the meat on the shelves.

Souce: BBC News

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