In conjunction to the All Kansai Festival’s tagline of “Spreading Smiles and Food”, it features not only delicacies from Osaka but also expect heart-warming smiles from these pretty Fuku Musume(福娘), which also known as Lucky Maidens.
Every year on the 9th-11th of January a much celebrated festival called Tōka Ebisu(十日戎) will be held at Imamiya Ebisu Shrine (今宮戎神社) where it attracts over millions of people. As such, 50 Fuku Musume (between 18-23 years old, unmarried) will be selected out of 3,000 applicants nationwide each year in representing the shrine after their submission of 1 resume and going through 2 interviews. It is said that whoever selected will gain popularity overnight hence the fierce competition as they may be the next lucky maidens.
Kansai (関西), is a region that lies in the south-central area of Japan main land where it includes Osaka(大阪), Kyoto(京都), Hyogo(兵庫), Nara(奈良), Shiga(滋賀), Wakayama(和歌山), Mie(三重), Fukui(福井) and Tokushima(徳島) in this context though the borderline is ambiguous.
As the famous saying goes 京の着倒れ、大阪の食い倒れ which means “Dress (in Kimono) till you drop in Kyoto, while eat till you drop in Osaka”, describing the rich traditional culture at Kyoto and amount of eateries at Osaka, especially famous for its Takoyaki (たこ焼き) and Okonomiyaki(お好み焼き).
Dive into the wonders of Ikura(イクラ, salmon roe) as they pops in your mouth or choose a few slices from the limited fresh seafood selection air-flown from Japan (on 21st & 24th Feb) to go with a bowl of rice in making a don (丼).
Flavored Dried Scallops (味付貝柱) to be eaten as it is or to be tossed into rice cooker as suggested by the Japanese. The latter sounds great for an effortless meal.
Made without any additives, not even sugar, these Dried Persimmons (柿チップ) can be of equally delectable yet healthier alternative.
While the idea of preserved cherry blossom petals in the form of Sakura Jam (桜ジャム)intrigues me, its 2 weeks life span on the tree now prolonged to another half a year on shelf felt as if I was holding the jar of eternal spring, made even better for its palatable nature. Yuzu Jam (柚子ジャム) on the other hand giving out this citrusy scent so marvelous one cannot forget. Both jams are of low viscosity which implies lighter texture.
These strawberries are extraordinary; the aroma that can be detected inches away, the flesh so soft and juicy it’s going to burst anytime soon with each bite, full of natural sweetness not even the slightest sourness managed to squeeze in. Though priced at a staggering RM60/pack, the name Amaou Strawberry is self-explanatory; of Akai赤い (red), Marui丸い (round), Ookii大きい (big) and Umai旨い (tasty).
Also, visit the eat-in counters on the same level as promotion hall, located at Isetan KLCC Concourse Floor that offer delicacies from Osaka.
Takoyaki たこ焼き(By Aiduya 会津屋)
To date, Aiduya has 81 years of experience in handling Takoyaki ever since its establishment in year 1933. Offering 7 Takoyaki flavors in its 9 outlets throughout Japan, Aiduya brought only the Original flavor of tako/octopus (元祖たこ焼き) to this Kansai Festival. 4 pieces of Takoyaki are going for RM10 while 9 pieces for RM20. Relatively smaller in size, these Takoyaki also came without mayonnaise, dancing bonito flakes, and slices of seaweed; Fret not as these are the characteristics of Aiduya’s Takoyaki. The taste of Takoyaki can now be better appreciated along with its chewy texture without any condiments on top.
Naniwa Inari浪花いなり (By Edosan-Yamatoya 江戸三・大和屋)
What a mouthful it would be judging from the plump appearance of these beautifully highlighted Inari. Dig further in and I found bits of meat slices done in Yamatoni 大和煮 way, seasoned with ginger, soy sauce, sugar and other spices.
Deep Boiled Creamy Chicken Soup Special Ramen RM36 (by Tentenyu 天天有)
How rare can we get pork-free Ramen around Malaysia? Established since year 1991, Tentenyu takes pride in its 18 hours deep-boiled creamy chicken soup, to be paired with few slices of seaweed, spring onions, bean sprouts, generous amount of chicken meat, last but not least the onsen tamago (though I would prefer a runny egg yolk). Sips after sips of heavily-flavored soup while slurping the alkaline-free noodles imported from Japan.
On the next day I attended their Nankintama Sudare Show (南京玉すだれ), a unique traditional Japanese street performance where each performer holds a small screen (sudare) made of loosely woven bamboo sticks in portraying different objects like fishing rod, bridge etc while chanting a rhythmic poem.
Fugu (河豚) is the Japanese word for pufferfish which can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin. Hence, only skilled chef with Fugu preparation license shall be allowed to handle it. Never sampled any Fugu slices in my life, I took up the challenge on one of the demonstration sessions last weekend, which of course I survived to tell the tale. The thin-sliced thus translucent Fugu sashi were served in what believed to be Shio Ponzu hence the taste of pufferfish itself could not be identified, but the pairing was indeed a surprise combination.
Limited 100 packs of Fugu sashi with each containing 12 pieces, going for RM45/pack sold out within 1 day.