Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Brunei Events: Shokuiko Farm Japanese Food demo

Mr. Chitoshi Kaneko, CEO of Shokuiko Farm, a Japanese successful entrepreneur has flown in two Chefs from Japan's UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE , Shirakawa-go near Takayama City in Gifu Prefecture to do a cooking demo on real authentic Japanese Cuisine using mostly local ingredients available in Brunei, in his effort to promote Halal food products in Japan, Shirakawa-go in particular, to attract more Muslim tourists in this heritage village.


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Mr. Seto has been a Soba Chef  for 18 years on top of his 10 years experience as an all-around Japanese chef. Soba is a type of thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour and comes in different flavours depending on different harvest seasons.


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Mr. Chihara is a young versatile chef who makes all sorts of Japanese cuisine. He is also currently a manager and chef of a restaurant in Japan.


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One might actually believe it when I tell them he’s a famous Japanese actor because of his youthful good looks – I still can’t believe he’s already 31!! Must be all the good Japanese natural ingredients!


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The cooking demo was held at Haji Awang Besar's residence in Tungku where his wife Anyati Abdullah Orcullo, a self-taught fashion designer, cook, and an entrepreneur who recently launched  self-published coffee table book entitled THE BRUNEI MALAY WEDDING hosts this cooking demo and serving the guests with her own brand of  recipes as well.


Anyati has been promoting Brunei Halal Branding to friends and acquaintances alike pointing out its economic viability especially to countries, which hope to attract more Muslim tourists. I sincerely thank her for inviting me to this yummy event!


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Mr Chitoshi Kaneko tells us that Shirawaka-go village as a Cultural village well known for their houses constructed in the architectural style known as 'gassho-zukuri" has seen thousands of Muslims tourists in the last years but its number has declined due to the scarcity of Muslim restaurants and food hubs. That’s why his company is looking to set up a halal restaurant in this tourist haven to increase Muslim Tourists.


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Shokuiko Farm, produces top quality fresh products employing organically sustainable methods. It supports civic community activities which enhances healthy lifestyle and funds numerous local sports organization involving youth participation. The core of the company is the mind and soul of every individual to adapt to a healthy living and that the company provides these needs for longer sustainability.


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Mr Kaneko chose Brunei Darussalam as it is not only  the forefront amongst Asian countries when it comes to its implementation of Halal products but its branding is also recognized globally.


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Furthermore, It s long standing Brunei-Japan economic bilateral relation could certainly be viewed as positive and that Brunei's endorsement of halal brands in the Japan can mutually benefit both countries.


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Mr Kaneko also wishes to introduce authentic Japanese cuisine to the guests.  Mr. Kaneko would also like to request the support of the Brunei Halal authorities to help him realize his mission of spreading Halal food in Japan.


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It takes long tedious hours to prepare authentic Japanese Food. Traditional Japanese Restaurants only opens for short period of time. The chefs spend most of the day preparing the ingredients required to serve their customers in the evening. These ingredients are actually bought in Brunei!


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It takes approximately 10 hours to prepare the ingredients before the actual cooking begins – so the chefs were really busy during their stay in Brunei – they certainly didn’t get a chance to try Ambuyat! Hahaha!


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A funny story was when they were sourcing for fresh fish at Jerudong Fish Market – Chef Chihara was delighted as the freshness of the fish but when he saw how the fishmonger whacked and chopped the fish – he was shocked and couldn’t watch – I wish I was there to film his facial expression when it happened!


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I guess when it comes to fish – the Japanese have a delicate way of cutting it to ensure the flavour and texture of the fish is ooishi ~~ delicious ~~ Mr Chihara, is simply not used to seeing clumsy fish cutting techniques.


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I think in the end – they stopped the fishmonger and decided to prepare the fish themselves – to save them from more heart attacks!


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Speaking of heart attacks, Mr Chitoshi must think Nas wanted to finish the whole plate of Salmon himself and tried to stop him ~ HAHAHAHAHA. I also must say the iced green tea they made was very refreshing – I admit to drinking at least ten glasses – eye witnesses at the event can vouch for this!


The host Haji Awang Besar with Madam Hashimoto, Cultural Coordinator between Brunei and Japan, who introduced Mr Chitoshi and made this event possible.


Permanent Secretary of MIPR, Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr.) Hj Md Jamil Al Sufri was present at this event.


Deputy Minister of Ministry of Culture and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, enjoying some dessert while posing with Anyati.


Acting Director of Tourism, Hajah Mariani binti Hj Sabtu, Anyati, Alina and Zainab.


Pehin Datu Harimau Padang Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Hj Husin bin Ahmad, and his wife Pengiran Datin Hajah Juliana, all smiles as they enjoy the Japanese cuisine.


Jeffrey Abdullah Sim and his wife Naz Rashid, Anyati and Hjh Normah


The ambassador of Turkey, HE Fikret Oguz Ates  and his wife, Magda Ates.


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It was an eye opening experience to witness his soba making technique – which I hopefully can learn in my free time by replicating what he’s shown us.


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Ooooo for the love of freshly made Soba Noodles!


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Or the sizzling sound of tempura frying in the hot oil ~~~~~ oooooh yesh!


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Nom nom ~~ now where’s the tempura sauce!?


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The texture of the Soba noodles were simply breathtaking! Soooo oishi!!


Check out the video of Chef Seto demonstrating his Soba making technique as well as how to enjoy Soba Noodles – guest starring Brunei Foodie Thanis Lim. The best part of the Soba noodles is the leftover sauce – you pour a special tea on it and then sip it ~~ oooooooooooo my god! Soooo sooo goood! Splendid! *claps claps*


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It was indeed a very very fulfilling night especially for my stomach as I nom nom so much sushi and soba noodles!  I am so glad to meet two talented chefs from Japan and will hope to  visit them one day – who knows – Brunei Halal Board can fly me over there to cover the event! *hint hint*

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