Hello Hokkaido! is a 10-day festival that was held from the 18th to the 27th November this year at Resorts World Sentosa. The first such event in Singapore, it celebrated everything to do with Hokkaido culture, including the food, music and products.
If you’ve ever been to Hokkaido you’ll know that it’s well known for having great seafood, miso ramen, potato snacks, soup curry, ice cream and cheesecake. There were plenty of yatai (food stalls) at the festival selling all of those food and more plus you could also shop for unique handmade items and Japanese beauty products from Hokkaido there.
I tried the tendon (tempura on top of rice) ($13) from Bentoss Obento since I’ve been crazy for tendon recently and my friend had the seafood ramen ($12) from Ninjamen. The tendon was nothing special and there was hardly any tendon sauce on the tempura and rice. The seafood ramen on the other hand was good, the noodles were nice and chewy and the seafood flavoured broth was tasty.
We had Yubari melon and milk flavoured soft ice cream ($6) from Ohara Farm and Snaffle’s matcha cheesecake ($4) for dessert. Yubari melon is a cantaloupe melon from Yubari in Hokkaido that is very sweet and fragrant and can fetch up to thousands of dollars for just one. The ice cream had a strong flavour of Yubari melon which overpowered the milk flavour as this was quite mild. The ice cream itself was a little watery and not very creamy, a bit of a disappointment as I’ve had much better ice creams from Hokkaido before.
The matcha cheesecake was ok but again not the best Hokkaido cheesecake I’ve had. It was actually still slightly frozen in the middle as they had air flown it from Hokkaido and there wasn’t a lot of matcha flavour.
Inside the Resorts World Convention Centre there was a sake bar and some stalls selling Hokkaido wine, different types of sake, Japanese liquer and cakes and there was a small travel fair which was very quiet as everyone seemed to only be interested in the food stalls.
There were some sushi making demonstrations and talks about sake on certain days but unfortunately not on the day that I was there but I managed to catch some live entertainment from a brilliant Japanese shamisen (traditional Japanese lute) player called Niya who is apparently going to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He was definitely the highlight of the event, I could have stood and watched him for hours!
Also as part of the Hello Hokkaido event, the Celebrity Chef restaurants in Sentosa had special menus featuring crabs specially flown in from Hokkaido.
All-in-all the Hello Hokkaido event was fun to visit although it wasn’t as big as I thought it would be but if you’re around the area then it’s a free event where you get to experience some Hokkaido culture.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experience at the Hello Hokkaido event. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you would like to add anything or have any questions at all!