Gold sushi, a draw at Japan fest

An event celebrates the food and culture of the country

There was all sorts of colours, food and fun at Shangri-La Hotel on Sunday as the Consulate General of Japan hosted ‘Japan Food Fest 2019’. More than 3,000 people from across the city spent their Sunday afternoon here. 

Many Indians and expats came to celebrate the food and culture of Japan with the city’s Japanese community. 

One of the first things that caught Metrolife’s attention was the Japanese versions of songs from the Disney movie ‘Frozen’ being sung. 

The guests were served a shot of sake and ‘Banga roll’ (vegetarian sushi roll) at the entrance. Visitors were spread across the 30 stalls that served a variety of Japanese dishes. Some of the stalls were new business owners who used the opportunity to introduce their brands to Bengalureans. There were stalls selling samplers of their drinks as well. 

The Consulate also invited corporates like Sony, Rakuten and Sakra World Hospital to the fest. 

The kids were kept entertained at the play area with a bouncy castle, slides and water games. 

Many anime lovers were dressed as their favourite characters; some of the cosplayers stitched the outfits themselves. Keeping up with the fun of it all was the one and only ninja there — Consul-General of Japan Takayuki Kitagawa himself. Though he could have been easily hiding, he was out in the crowd, making sure everyone was having a good time. 

He told Metrolife, “Every year, we celebrate only Japanese food. And this time, we wanted it to be about the culture as well.” 

The guests were entertained with dance, music and cosplay. The Consul-General of France, Dr Marjorie Vanbaelinghem, was the guest of honour. Margit Hellwig-Bötte, Counsul-General of Germany joined the party as well.

Takayuki Kitagawa flagged off the event saying, “Many of the Japanese dishes that you know were actually started off by the Americans, not us!” 

The chefs of Shangri-La Hotel had a sashimi (delicacy of raw fish or meat) demonstration. The chef filleted a salmon in front of the audience and showed them how to debone it. Everyone around the stage got to have a bite of the final product. 

Japanese choir group, Royal Echo, put on a show with some hit numbers. They even got grooving to the popular Kannada song ‘Huttidare Kannada Nadalli Huttabeku’.

Harima, a member of the city’s Japanese community, played tunes on violin, piano and gave a drum performance. Dance team, Muse Creation, took over the stage and danced to Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone’s ‘Pinga’ from the movie ‘Padmaavat’. They also grooved to a popular Japanese song after. The audience couldn’t get enough of them, so on popular demand, they returned on stage and danced to ‘Jai Ho’ by Pussycat Dolls and A R Rahman.

The stage programmes ended with the cosplayers showing off their bright and colourful outfits. They posed for pictures with the audience after. 

Food highlights

Many were crowded at ‘The Kitchen on Table’ stall to get their hands on the 24-carat gold sushi. The gold was so delicately placed that it looked too good to eat. Nevertheless, people were more than happy to get a bite of it. 

There were many takers for ‘California Sushi Rolls’, ‘Prawn Tempura’, ‘Fried Octopus’ and ‘Curry Bon’, among many others. 

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