Sakura Seaweed

Sakura Seaweed

Category : Food

nori-5 nori-2 nori-7

Another little culinary treat from Japan, where they really have made an art form of playing with their food…

These squares of dried and seasoned nori, so handy for wrapping sushi rolls or scooping up rice, come ready ‘decorated’ with cut out blossom shapes. The dark green of the seaweed set against the white of the rice is striking and really attractive.

In a land where there are dozens of different special cutters just to make faces for rice balls in your child’s bento lunchbox, this is one more delightful way of encouraging picky eaters to finish up their meal.


Dessert Bento

Category : Food

bento 3 bento 2 bento 1

We came across this by chance whilst taking a break from shopping, and were delighted by the idea.

Your normal bento is a classic Japanese meal, comprising of a selection of tasty tidbits served with rice in a compartmented box – you will usually find some fish, some chicken, an assortment of different vegetables plus various pickles, each item cooked a little differently so you have a large range of tastes and textures to enjoy.

Taking the same box and filling it with an collection of different dessert items as an afternoon treat is quite simply a brilliant idea. It reminded me of childhood visits to those old fashioned restaurants with a dessert trolley, when the choice was so wonderful I always wanted a little bit of everything there.

Here at Dolce Tokyo on Orchard Road, you really do get to try a taste of everything instead of having to pick just one cake with your cup of tea. Some items are fixed, although since they are the ‘cake of the day’ and ‘mochi of the day’ it will probably be something different the next time you are there. Otherwise, there are 3 columns of treats, for you to select one item from each.

The bentos are huge, and although two of us ordered one to share, there was way more than we could eat. On the day we were there, the special cake was yuzu, a delicious citrus flavour, and there were 2 sorts of the mochi, which are chewy, pounded rice cakes. We also ended up with flambéed bananas with ice cream and chocolate sauce, a panna cotta with mixed berries, and strawberries covered in red bean paste inside a thin skin of mochi with red beans on the side.

The tea, interestingly, came in those double sided glasses which stay hot on the inside but are cool enough on the outside not to burn your lips. It was all a very civilised experience, and at S$19.90 for the bento, a very reasonable treat.


Carrot Rabbits

rabbit 1 rabbit 2

The Japanese have the concept of playing with food down to a fine art. Kawaii bento boxes are filled with cute morsels shaped or decorated to tempt small children to eat their lunch. Supermarkets, department stores and kitchenware shops in Japan all have a dedicated space for the tools required to turn out a super-artistic variation on the ‘sandwich and an apple’ combo that is the norm elsewhere.

Having sent 2 children to school in Tokyo for several years, I have a box-load of interesting things designed to make lunchtime an adventure, some of which may yet make an appearance here. This is something new, however, for which I was happy to part with S$4.

And I can report that making rabbits out of carrot slices is delightfully quick and easy – it took about 3 minutes to make these 2, and that includes the time spent peeling the carrot. Of course you really need a child to make the most of one of these sets (other wildlife including an elephant also available…) but this might also be an amusing garnish for a plate of party canapes.

rabbit 3 rabbit 4 rabbit 5