Isetan Japan Food Town promises authenticity

Singaporeans will soon be able to experience authentic Japanese cuisine with the opening of the planned Isetan Japan Food Town in Singapore.

Opening in July, the 20,075 sqft (1865 sqm) space will feature about 16 casual dining outlets.

With an investment of about S$85 million (US$61.68 million), it is a joint venture established by the public-private Cool Japan Fund in collaboration with the Japan Association of Overseas Promotion for Food & Restaurants (JAOF) and its corporate supporters. It is the collaboration’s first project outside of Japan.

JAOF board member Makoto Yoshikawa, who is MD of Japan Food Town Development, says the idea is to make people more familiar with Japan’s food culture. It follows difficulties by early-stage Japanese companies and SMEs to expand overseas because of such difficulties as ingredient procurement and the acquisition of staff and real estate.

“Through this project, selected restaurants will be able to clear the toughest hurdles of overseas development and focus on offering consumers in Singapore the same high level of service and food quality one would expect in Japan.”

The concept is a capsule collection of curated stories representing Japanese cuisine. Every restaurant has a story, such as the bowl of Inaniwa udon by Inaniwa Yosuke, enriched with more than a century of history. Each restaurant has been hand-picked based on its reputation and heritage.

For health-conscious diners, more than half the tenants of Japan Food Town will offer a healthier style of Japanese rice, with the support of Tokyo Rice Corporation.

A benefit of the collaboration with JAOF is that the outlets will have seasonal produce, prefecture specialities and fresh ingredients brought in directly from Japan through the Okinawa International Aerial Logistics Hub in Okinawa.

There will also be special ingredients such as Matsusaka Beef, Kinme Mai and Kindai Maguro.
A special attraction will be the first official pop-up Dassai Bar outside of Japan, offering sake and sake-based cocktails.

The fund is working with transport company Kawasaki Kisen to build refrigeration and freezer warehouses in Vietnam to store Japanese farm produce and other ingredients. By creating a logistics network to distribute fresh farm products throughout Asia, the fund hopes to open similar restaurant ventures in other parts of Asia.



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