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Japanese Food Festival comes to San Francisco

Shio koji-cured ocean trout, from Ame
Shio koji-cured ocean trout, from Ame
Photo courtesy of Ame

Ten San Francisco restaurants, in partnership with the Japanese Consulate, are launching the Japanese Food Festival to coincide with this week's Fancy Food Show. Although tomorrow is the final day for the show, the festival will run through January 26.

Japan has a big presence at the huge, annual Moscone Center food exhibition, and exhibitors' ingredients will be showcased by local restaurants throughout the week. Organizers stress that dishes will be authentic Japanese fare, with ingredients that may not always be available in San Francisco

The participating restaurants are:

  • Ame, 689 Mission Street
  • ANZU, 222 Mason Street
  • Chotto, 3317 Steiner Street
  • Delica, 1 Ferry Bldg, Shop 45
  • Kyu, 639 Post Street
  • Brasserie S&P at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 222 Sansome Street
  • Nombe, 2491 Mission Street
  • Nojo, 231 Franklin Street
  • Onigilly, 343 Kearny Street
  • Roku, 1819 Market Street

The chefs will be working with ingredients like purple sweet potato powder, shio-koji (a umami-rich seasoning made from fermented rice) and sprouted black sesame paste.

Last December, Japanese cuisine was recognized as the newest addition to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, and this is a good chance to flex your taste buds and try some dishes that might not be on the menu at your local Japanese hangout. Or as Japanese Consul General Masato Watanabe put it at a press preview, "Eating is a way of bringing peace to our souls, a way of enhancing mutual understanding between people."

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