Review of 'Hokkaido Chef's Table at Ichiba'

https://blog.japancentre.com/2018/10/17/hokkaido-chefs-table-at-ichiba/

I am a fan of Japanese culture and, of course, food. This event promoted by Japan Centre was something I could not really miss as it provided the opportunity to not only learn about an area of Japan I know little about but also to meet a local chef and sample some of the food. Tickets were £15 which included the talk, a drink and a small portion of food.

Presentation

The evening began, after being offered drinks, with classically (European) trained chef Keiichi Nukita, who now works at a famous restaurant in Hokkaido, giving an introduction to the area and explaining about why the food is of particularly good quality there. His English was good but did use an interpreter for much of the slide show he presented. He particularly emphasised the fresh and natural produce in Hokkaido as well as his style of keeping the cooking simple to allow the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Dinner

The highlight, of course, was the sampling of some dishes. In this case we were each given a plate of rice (“seasoned with scallops and British butter”) and stir-fried vegetables (“British marinated vegetables with umami taste”) as well as a small side bowl of Miso soup (attendees were given a recipe sheet to take home). It was a bit disappointing that there was not more Hokkaido ingredients in the dishes (the seaweed in the Miso soup and the scallops, I believe, were from the region) but the point here was regarding technique and the sympathy of the chef to the ingredients.

Obviously this was a tourism event but, nonetheless, we were happy enough with the evening. We learned a lot about the region and are interested in possibly visiting some time in the near future. The chef was great fun and very enthusiastic. The food was disappointing in that it was not from the region but delicious nonetheless.

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-11-07



Ichiba

Location: London (England)

Address: Level -2 Westfield London Shepherd's Bush W12 7HB ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Shepherd's Bush TUBE Wood Lane

URL: https://www.ichibalondon.com/

Ichiba is a Japanese fast-food restaurant, and supermarket in the new extension of Westfield London (in the “basement” otherwise known as ground-level at this end of the mall). It has a good assortment of hot food for takeaway or eating in the small foot court-style seating area. There is also a good assortment of fresh produce from Japan on offer. The cooking areas are visible behind glass walls so you can see how the food is prepared.

Though not cheap, Ichiba is well worth a visit for any fan of Japan food.