Chef Date at the Japanese Food Exhibition

Japan’s premium culinary brands are on display at the Japanese Food Exhibition in Le Meridien Hotel, Airport Road, Dubai.

The exhibition features the best of Japanese ingredients sought after by the world’s most renowned Japanese chefs, and is open to the public till 14th February, 2015.

Bloggers were invited to an exclusive preview of the Japanese Food Exhibition, and were treated to live cooking and exquisite creations by Chef Toshio Date.


Chef Toshio Date is the Executive Chef at the ultra-chic Japanese restaurant KIKU (in Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai). Chef Date has a career spanning thirteen years, and was previously working as the head chef in Grand Hyatt, Tokyo.


Chef Date used the fine ingredients exhibited at the Japanese Food Exhibition to conjure up innovative, tasteful delights.


Char-Grilling Wagyu Beef from Japan


Deep fried stuffed rice ball with chicken “Tempura style”


Japanese sushi roll topped with Miso and minced beef


Baked bun with beef curry Japanese style


Cold Tofu made from Almond Milk


Deep fried prawn topped with Ponzu and grated Japanese radish


Cold Soba Noodle kneaded with Japanese tea topped with bits of fried tempura


Stuffed cherry tomato with marinated octopus and avocado with lemon dressing


The spread was a Japanese connoisseur’s delight. From all the fine dishes, the chargrilled Japanese Wagyu beef stole the crown. Juicy, flavorsome and cooked to perfection, the premium cuts required very little in terms of seasoning.


Japanese Wagyu beef is the finest of bovine cuts. Expect to pay approximately AED 600 for a 200 gram steak at Kiku.

The Cold Soba Noodle bowls were packed with exotic undertones, and the crunchy tempura sprinkles added just the right amount of texture.


Chef Date reinvented classics with the Baked Bun stuffed with Japanese Beef Curry. His other innovative twist was the stuffed cherry tomatoes.


I also enjoyed the Cold Tofu made from Almond Milk. It was soft and silky, and still had the delicate taste of almond. Overall, it was a gastronomic fair, and a wonderful introduction to fine dining Japanese style.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Toshio Date, and he was kind enough to share a basic Japanese Tempura recipe with us!

Tell us about yourself, and how you chose your career as a chef.

I like Japanese food from childhood, and became a chef after graduating from the food professional school.

What brought you to Dubai?

Originally I have also thought to want to go out to overseas, the reason for coming to Dubai is the introduction from the Grand Hyatt friends.

What makes Japanese cuisine different from any other place?

In French and Chinese cuisine are finish cooking in the sauce of spices and rich taste, but Japanese cuisine is soaked to the material the taste of soup(We called this soup “Dashi”), has pulled out most of the taste and flavor of the food.

What is your signature dish?

Simmered vegetables and sashimi

If you had to pick one key ingredient you cannot do without, what is it?

Dried bonito and kelp(It’s for good soup “Dashi”)

From all the wonderful ingredients available at the Japanese Food Exhibition, what are your picks?

Wagyu (I agree!)

For someone new to Japanese cuisine, what dishes would you recommend they order?

Miso soup(It can taste maximize the taste of soup)

Can you share a basic tempura recipe with us?


12 large shrimp

1 egg Yolk

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup ice water

*Vegetable oil for frying

*flour for dusting


Remove heads and shells from shrimp without removing tails. Dive in the shrimps. Make two or three incisions on the stomach side of the shrimp to straighten them. Lightly press the back of shrimp to straighten. Remove the dirt from the tails of shrimp, using a knife. Dry shrimps on paper towels. Beat an egg in a bowl. Add ice water in the bowl. Add sifted flour in the bowl and mix lightly. Heat the oil to 180 degrees C. Lightly flour shrimp. Pick the tail and dip shrimp in the tempura batter. Immediately deep-fry the shrimp until crisp.(POINT:timing of taking out when the bubble is larger).

Thank-you Chef Toshio Date! We wish you all the success in your new role at Kiku!

If you are catering to fine dining and looking for only the best of Japanese cuisine, visit the Japanese Food Exhibition today!