August 15, 2014

Kampachi by Equatorial: Okayama Summer Food Festival Feast

The Best of Okayama Prefecture Produce

Japan is highly regarded for their perfectionist culture. Japanese take pride in everything they do and it certainly shows in the many industries they excel in. Japanese cuisine is also highly favored all over the world for their food and presentation. Japanese chefs take years and years of training and are always trained to go deep into details. They make such effort in showcasing their produce and I don’t blame them because Japanese agriculture is a much focus and important industry in Japan. Different areas of the country have different specialties and the soil in Japan produces luscious produce. We all know about the waters around Japan that produces some of the yummiest sashimi and sushi around. Well this round, we are taking the agriculture to the limelight.

Kampachi by Equatorial is proud to bring back The Okayama Summer Food Fair once again this year by showcasing bountiful offerings from the Oyakama Prefecture. Available from August 22 to September 5, 2014, the four Kampachi outlets nationwide will be offering diners a specialized menu as well as Okayama offerings available for purchase.

Okayama Prefecture consists of 15 cities. Surrounded by both sea and mountain, its geographical land coupled with its sunny weather throughout the year makes it the perfect place to produce some of the best produce from both sea and land. Coined as The Kingdom of Fruits, fruits such as peaches and grapes have a truly unique quality and superior taste like no other. Oysters, rice and vegetables also reign supreme in quality terms from the Okayama Prefecture.

Executive Chef Tamaru has whipped up a luscious menu featuring Okayama Prefecture produce from land and sea. This year, Okayama Prefecture’s white peaches, grapes and oysters are the main highlights in all Kampachi outlets.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the dishes available on the menu featuring Okayama Prefecture’s produce.

Okayama oysters are cultivated in Seto Inland Sea and these are some of the best oysters I have ever tasted in my life. Served on a bed of chilled ice, the Nama Gaki Ponzu is fresh Okayama oysters served with homemade Japanese citrus vinaigrette grated chili radish and scallion. One can tell that these oysters are going to be fabulous by its pale opaque creaminess. It’s a good size too.

The oyster is fairly firm and one taste rendered superb flavor. Okayama oysters are just simply fabulous, sexy and luscious. The briny notes coupled with an oceanic sweetness are delicately enhanced by the ponzu sauce with notes of onions. The chill factor in the oysters also played a crucial part, enhancing the bold sweet flavors of the oysters like a dream.

I kid you not… these are utterly divine!

After those heavenly oysters, our next dish was Okayama Yasai Salad featuring a beautiful stuffed tomato filled with prawn, asparagus, endive and shimeji mushrooms sitting on a bed of broth soaked spaghetti squash and dressing.

The tomato taste so different from our local ones. This one is marvelous as it tasted like a sweet juicy crisp fruit. Though the vegetables are all cooked separate with the prawn, it’s the beautiful aromatic sesame wasabi dressing that brought it all together. The chef really showcases the ingredients to its max flavors with its minimal preparation. Each one has its own texture and sweetness. I enjoyed it because of the produce, especially the tomato!

Our third course was Salmon Carpaccio. Salmon sliced to Carpaccio-style enrobed Okayama tomato, asparagus and yellow chives. These vegetables are some of the prized vegetables that are grown in Okayama. The dish is finished off with salmon roe, garlic chips, avocado, spring onions and soy based dressing.

Beautiful harmonious sweet and savory flavors with a lovely hint of garlic note sang out to me. The salmon is silky smooth while the different vegetables provided different textures to compliment the fish. Overall, the Salmon Carpaccio is very delectable.

The last savory course was Toban no Ebi Soboro Ankake. This one smells heavenly comforting. A square piece of Oyakama winter melon is smothered in a delicately sweet thick sauce with minced prawns. It’s very simple but the ingredients shine beautifully. The winter melon is braised till soft and has a delicate sweetness while the prawns added more flavors. The dish truly represents Japanese cuisine in its finest.

We finished our Okayama experience with Pione Grapes. This is the elite of the grape varieties, said to be develop as a result of the improved variety from Kyoho. Did you know that Okayama Prefecture was said to be the first in Japan to develop a technique for producing seedless grapes? Pione grapes are famous for the large round shape with a strong sweetness in flavors. It is also seedless, making it perfect for many who love all the characteristics of the Pione grapes. Okayama Prefecture produces the largest share of Pione grapes from Japan.

Indeed, these three luscious grapes are gorgeous. I have never had such grapes before. It is so juicy and so sweet. The flesh rendered jelly like texture and taste so good. Peeling the grapes is pretty easy as the skin comes on easily and when served chilled, the sweetness really shines. A hefty price tag but once you tried these grapes, you’ll know why it’s an elite!

There are more dishes featuring the luscious produce of Okayama Prefecture land and sea. This is a great way to enjoy the country’s produce without having to fly to Japan. Besides the ala carte dishes, there are special Kaiseki Dinner set menu available at each outlet on specific dates. Head over to Kampachi outlets this August 22 to September 5, 2014 for a taste of Okayama Prefecture!

More details available at Kampachi website: and Facebook:

 * More photos available at my Facebook: Chasing Food Dreams

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