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Four Japanese Food Fads to Watch

Food fads come and go in Japan all the time. Some stay longer than the others and the lucky ones get exported overseas. We take a look at four Japanese Food Fads that seem to be here to stay.


Japanese Crepes are like the casual, fresh-faced little sister of the stiff-collared, formal french crepe. Sold out of counters at stations and little pushcarts called crêperies.

Not fast food by any means, but good food, fast. 

Like a french crepe, japanese crepes start out with a warm circle of cooked batter but unlike french crepes which are a pretty serious affair (doused with liquor and flambeed or filled with gourmet ingredients, disclaimer, no problem there) japanese crepes are casual and colourful, a very pretty hodgepodge of fruits, cream and chocolate sauce rolled up into a cone, packed into a cardboard crepe holder and eaten quickly and casually. It's easy to see why and how it caught on with young people.

Where in Singapore?
Mamazu Crepe can be found in the basement of Liang Court. It carries a whole lineup of tantalising crepes for you to choose from. Whether topped with fruit, drizzled with chocolate sauce or dressed with spirals of whipped cream, Mamazu has something for you.
If you, for some reason, abhor everything sweet, no worries, Mamazu also carries delicatessen crepes filled with cold cuts, tuna and eggs.

For those of you who are weight-conscious but woefully burdened with a sweet tooth (me), Mamazu Crepe uses a special low-fat whip cream which takes a bit of the guilt out of your snack. Also, their crepe batter contains bran, which makes sure that your sweet treat pays its dues to your daily fibre intake.

Asa Banana Diet

The Morning Banana diet is more a diet fad than a food fad, but it's still interesting given the amount of buzz and testimonials it garnered from supporters and detractors alike at it's peak. No one is quite sure when and where it started but all accounts mention a Japanese celebrity. Let me know if you do find out!

So the banana diet took the Japanese nation by storm, very soon, people were raving excitedly about increased bowel movement, some reported shedding pounds. It involves eating bananas for breakfast and drinking lots of water, of course there are other intricacies but I would rather you find out for yourself if you are interested!

I admit, I would so jump on the bandwagon if not for my profound love of jam, bread, scones and coffee for breakfast. I'm satisfied with my little paunch if it means warm jam and milk coffee in the mornings.
You can go ahead and google the Asa Banana Diet and find out more, but do remember, I do not endorse this in any way, shape or form! 

Where in Singapore?
Any supermarket + determination might just be able to start you off on a successful banana diet but don't quote me on this!

Beef Hamburg

Hamburg Steak, or as it is romanized, hambaagu is exactly what it sounds like, a fat, juicy hamburger patty. 
Japanese Hamburg steaks normally contain caramellised onion which is mixed into a ground meat mixture, panko or tofu is added to give the steaks their signature moist and crumbly texture. Serve up a Hamburg steak with some lightly boiled vegetables and reduced ketchup and tonkatsu sauce spiked with a good bit of red wine and you have a comforting, hearty meal ready to go.

Where in Singapore?
Okinawan Diner Nirai-Kana, also in Liang Court, this one I personally swear by. The minced meat is moist and tender and served on a hot plate with mushrooms and grated daikon, all the wonderful umami flavour just oozes out and comes together in this messy, savoury gravy on the plate. The best way to enjoy minced meat if there ever was one.

Japanese Cheesecake

"Light" and "cottony" are not words you would usually tack onto cheesecake but in the case of the Japanese cheesecake, these two words seem to be the perfect descriptors. Japanese cheese cake is not so much a dense, cheesy mouse as is so often the case in traditional cheesecake, but light, airy and ever so subtly creamy circle that smells mildly of dairy. Addictive, really.

The cake's airy texture comes from the fluffy meringue folded in as part of the baking process. 

Your mileage may vary when it comes to Japanese cheesecake, I personally like to shake things up a bit and treat myself to a nice wedge of the stuff. 

Where in Singapore?

The ubiquitous fiesta cheesecake. I know it is probably not the best. But still, nostalgia glasses.

If you grew up here you would have seen this cake on multiple occasions baby showers, one month celebrations.
It makes do for a Japanese cheesecake and can be purchased at any Ichiban Sushi outlet (google is your best friend and mentor) although if you know where else you could get your hands on another rendition of this mouthwatering treat I would be happy to know of it!

Written By Ash

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