Saturday, May 31, 2008

Umaimon gourmet food fair at Mitsuwa Marketplace

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Display - Kukuru - takoyakiWe love to go to Mitsuwa, especially when they have a special event since there will be a lot of food that they don't normally carry. Last Saturday we went for the Umaimon gourmet food fair. During that time, they had a takoyaki booth where several "tako-yaki meisters" came straight from Japan only to make these special octopus dough balls at the store. These men made them very fast: poured the batter into the round molds of the takoyaki pan; sprinkled pieces of octopus, red ginger, spring onions on top; waited for several minutes before flipping these balls. Finally they placed several of them into each box, covered them with sweet brown sauce (okonomiyaki sauce), mayonnaise, powdered seaweed and bonito flakes.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making)
Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (making)
The making of takoyaki


We came pretty early on that day so there was no line, lucky for us, otherwise we would have to wait for at least 30 minutes. This takoyaki was pretty good, especially if you ate them while they were still piping hot. It was crispy outside and a little runny inside, spicy and sweet at the same time, so yummy! Even though this was delicious, we still prefer the one from Otafuku in Manhattan since theirs was more crispier, runnier and tastier -- just better in our opinions :-)

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kukuru - takoyaki (uncovered)
Kukuru - takoyaki


In addition to takoyaki, we also bought that day's special: the whole shark fin in salt ramen. It was more expensive compare to the other food at the food court. The taste was a little bit too bland, but still enjoyable, especially since there were enough amount of the shark fin itself, even though I would be happier if there were more :-)

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Chibakiya - whole shark fin in salt ramen - from China Table Tokyo Hanten (close up)
Chibakiya - whole shark fin in salt ramen from China Table Tokyo Hanten


I also got crab cream and corn croquettes from the special booth, they were fantastic, crunchy outside with tasty and creamy filling.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kuriyama hokkaido croquette - crab cream and corn (sliced)
Kuriyama hokkaido - croquettes: crab cream and corn


From the regular food court vendor, I ordered a couple of cream yaki, hoping that they will taste better this time. The crust looked promising, but unfortunately the inside was still a little uncooked and mushy, same problem as last time. The ajitsuke age (fried bean curd wrap) was as good as usual, sweet and tasty.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Cream yaki - from Oishinbo (another view) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Ajitsuke age - from Sanuki Sando Udon
Cream yaki from Oishinbo and Ajitsuke age from Sanuki Sando Udon


For the dessert, I ordered the green tea parfait, it was a perfect combination of creamy green tea and vanilla ice cream, crunchy flakes and sweet red bean paste, so amazing! Some of our friends who also came to this fair ordered the strawberry parfait and said that it was very good too -- vanilla ice cream, flakes, fresh bananas and strawberries.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Green tea parfait - from UCC Cafessa (another view) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Strawberry parfait - from UCC Cafessa
Green tea parfait and Strawberry parfait from UCC Cafessa


Another special food that I liked at this fair was the one that I called squid crackers, sorry I don't know how to read Japanese so I don't know its official name. This thing was so thin and so crispy, just awesome! Last year when we went to this same fair, I only bought one package which I regretted later. So this time I decided that I would not make the same mistake and bought 5 packages :-) Originally I wanted to buy more, but their expiration date was in 2 months. This cracker was so addictive, once I ate it I couldn't stop eating only one piece.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Display - squid crackers Mitsuwa Marketplace: Squid crackers
Squid crackers on display and opened


I also bought more food to take home:
- Komeko dango (skewered sweet dango): sesame, cherry blossom, red bean, mitarashi sugar-soy sauce -- chewy, it was okay
- Sanshoku bento: basically it was rice covered with 3 colorful toppings -- very good and flavorful, it was awesome
- Stick candy sweet potato with skin -- sweet and crunchy, it was fantastic
- Butter and plain dorayaki -- fluffy and moist at the same time, it was delicious
- Inari okowa (red bean rice / tea okowa rice): nanohana green, chestnut, crab flakes -- sticky, sweet and tasty, it was delightful.

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Shinkineya - komeko dango (close up) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Kaisen - sanshoku bento (another view)
Shinkineya - komeko dango and Kaisen - sanshoku bento

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Stick candy sweet potato with skin (uncovered) Mitsuwa Marketplace: Furuya koganean - butter dorayaki and dorayaki (sliced)
Stick candy sweet potato with skin and Furuya koganean - butter dorayaki and plain dorayaki

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Shinkineya - inari okowa (uncovered)
Shinkineya - inari okowa


**********

Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020
(201) 941-9113
http://www.mitsuwanj.com/en/index.htm

Otafuku
236 E 9th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-8503

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