Can’t believe that it’s the sakura season again! Bet everyone is excited about Hanami – having a picnic under the cherry blossoms during springtime. However, due to the pandemic, we are unable to leave the country to visit the land of rising sun for now, and cherry blossoms are non-existing in Singapore.
But why let little things stop you from enjoying spring? Spring is a season of new life, where flowers bloom, and animals are back from their hibernation. This year, why not have a slightly different version of hanami with friends and family in Singapore Botanic Garden? Or enjoy some traditional Japanese food with the accompaniment of sea breeze by Sentosa beach and East Coast? And if these options are too hot for you, you can always throw a spring party indoors!
And with that, WAKEARI has just the right thing to make your picnics and party meals a better one! Enjoy our curated Sakura Matsuri, happening from 17th March to 31st May 2021, where we will be showcasing a series of Japanese food, dishes, ingredients, and snacks that are suitable for the season (and some limited time promotion, just watch this space!)
Enjoy Spring Outdoors – Hanami the Singapore Way
Bentos are quite common in Japan, as well as Singapore. It is basically packed lunch in a box, which is normally prepared at home. Some of the staples for hanami bento are makizushi (sushi rolls), inarizushi (sushi rice stuffed in fried tofu pouches) and some tasty tamagoyaki. Makizushi is something you can enjoy making with your family, as it’s easy and fun to make. Kids can even add their preferred fillings into the Maki, making it a family flavor 😊
Some of our staff-picks for makizushi ingredients:
LIGHT SEAFOOD AND MEAT BITES
You can also include some bite-size and easy-to-eat dishes in your hanami bento, after all why not, if the crowd enjoys the food? Since everyone will be close to the ground during the picnic, it is best to prepare some convenient meat and seafood dishes such as karaage, ebi-fry, Takoyaki, gyoza, tempura, yakitori and other convenient food!
This is also the best time to flex your bento decoration technique (and take some Instagramable pictures to commemorate the occasion).
In case you need some suggestions:
Of course, there’s also onigiri, which are very easy to make, and you can make them according to your preference! Be it the traditional ume, salmon, tuna mayonnaise onigiri, or some modern twist of adding shredded bacon, you be you!
If you want to give your onigiri a pop of color, do check out our Onigiri Blend shipped directly from Ibaraki, Japan. There’s shredded tuna, chopped vegetables and tiny whitebait in the blend, which really fits the colors of spring. No preservatives and additives, perfect for you and your family.
Some recommendations for your onigiri fillings:
CHU-HI AND TEA
We would also recommend having some hot miso soup during the picnic, but it might not be suitable in Singapore as we live in a tropical climate 24-7, so how about some tea and chu-hi instead? They are perfect for the humid Singapore weather! Just make sure you have an ice box for this if you are having picnic outdoors.
Just in time, we have some refreshing flavors for chu-hi, such as pineapple, orange, lemon, grape, and peach flavor. Nothing beats having a cold refreshing drink under a humid, warm weather (Just be sure not to drink outdoors after 10.30pm due to Phase 3, we will not be responsible if you are having too much fun).
In case you are not a fan of alcohol, we also have a line-up of tea, where you can just bring around conveniently! Milk tea, normal tea or fruit tea just take your pick.
Some of our fine selections:
SNACKS AND DESSERTSFinally, it is not a hanami without some snacks and desserts!
Assorted chips and cookies are up for grabs on WAKEARI! Enjoy your favorite brands such as Calbee, Morinaga and Tohato with us this spring. Do also keep a lookout as we are also bringing in a series of seasonal items from Japan. Sakura-themed snacks are coming in from Japan as we speak, and we hope that you are as excited as we are!
It would also be great if there’s some fuwa-fuwa mochi to feast on or some dango after a nice, hearty meal. Did you know that you can make your own dango with just some rice flour, sugar and organic coloring? Some might be wondering why hanami dango are made of specifically pink, white and green color, and there’s a saying that the colors represent the life cycle of Sakura, where it starts with pink buds, the white flowers and the green leaves. We are not sure how accurate this is, but non-the-less, the theory makes it even fun for us to enjoy them!
Some chips and crisps recommendations that we have:
We also have some amazing Hokkaido Shiretoko Donuts in store, they are so adorable (there is a bear in the middle of the donut ring!) and it’s very popular among women and children. These donuts were made in Hokkaido and shipped directly to Singapore, so we can say that it’s 100% made in Japan! To enjoy the donuts, just thaw them under room temperature (With Singapore’s weather, just take it out from your freezer and it would thaw to room temperature by time you arrive at the parks :D)
You can find our recommendations here!
We hope that you can enjoy spring with our Japanese food recommendation even though unable to visit Japan for it. Remember to keep the place clean after the picnic and stay safe during the pandemic season 😊
WAKEARI is one of the leading online Japanese Grocery Stores in Singapore, where we source fresh and authentic Japanese food and ingredients across Japan to our customers in Singapore. We enjoy bringing you the best ingredients, be it for your personal meals or lunch and dinner parties, as we do believe that great food brings the whole village together.