Emporium Shokuhin, Singapore's first integrated Japanese food shopping and dining destination, is the latest addition to the new wing at Marina Square shopping mall. Olivia Lim checks out some of the highlights.
1. Live seafood for your house party
Browse and select from over 20 types of live fish and shellfish from around the world, including Japanese imports like uni (sea urchin) and kegani (Hokkaido hairy crabs), Scottish razor clams and Alaskan king crabs from Norway. Also take your pick from 10 live oyster varietals, including the popular Gillardeau and Fin de Claire. You can choose to bring the whole Alaskan crab home (sure to be a conversation piece at your gathering) or have it cut into more manageable pieces, and have your oysters shucked and packed for takeaway. There's also chilled seafood with fishmongers on hand to slice it into sashimi, or your choice of cut. I think the oysters are pretty good value at just S$28 for half a dozen.
2. Dry-aged beef at reasonable prices
Emporium Shokuhin has its own beef dry-aging facility on its premises. Depending on the type and cut of beef, the meat is hung to dry and age for a minimum of 14 days, up to as long as 40 days. Besides the popular USDA Prime beef, there is the prized Japanese A5 Miyazaki beef. The dry-aging method is said to improve the flavour and texture of raw meat.
3. Specialities from Ehime
This corner featuring fresh produce and products from Japan's Ehime prefecture is the first endorsed satellite store outside the country. Ehime is the top citrus producer in Japan and famed for its sweet mikans (mandarin oranges). I especially enjoyed the Tamami marmalade, which is mild and doesn't have the bitterness of English marmalades, but is still zesty.
4. Japanese snacks and takeaways
There's a wide selection of Japanese rice crackers, potato chips and other snacks to select from, plus prices are supposed to be 10-15 per cent cheaper than at other supermarkets as the Emporium sources directly from suppliers in Japan. And if you're after a quick bite or lunch, grab a bento, salad or sushi box to go. Japanese-style pastries and sandwiches are also available at the Kohi-Koji Cafe & Bakery, as well as that much-needed cuppa.
5. Dining choices galore
Besides the cafe, there are six dining establishments to choose from. I had a chirashi bowl (S$18) for my lunch at Senmi Sushi; the fish was fresh and generous in quantity. I'll be back for ramen at Burosu Honten, where customers are served their food through bamboo-shuttered windows (just like in some ramen shops in Japan), and Gyuu Yakiniku Grill for grilled meats and seafood. You can also choose to savour your fresh seafood picks at Umi + Vino winebar, chilled or grilled la plancha (flattop grill) style. Japanese fine dining is offered at Takujo, while Tsukeru serves up shabu-shabu in individual hotpots.
Emporium Shokuhin Live Seafood, Grocer & Dining #01-18 Marina Square Opening hours: 11:30am to 9pm daily (grocer) 8.30am to 9pm daily (live seafood market and aged beef deli) For reservations & enquiries: +65 6224 3433 www.emporiumshokuhin.com.sg
This article was first published in Singapore Airlines’ travel magazine, SilverKris. Go to silverkris.com for more travel stories.