Last Updated on January 19, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
Another great concept from those clever SugoiJPN people
Thanks to the pandemic, few of us will be heading to Japan (or anywhere really) in the near future, so why not let Deliveroo bring you a bit of Japanified Latin America instead? Inspired by Japan’s food capital, Osaka, Felipe and Veronica, the clever creators of SugoiJPN (reviewed here), have taken classic Latin American flavours and food traditions, and ‘’Japanified’’ them. Their Japanified menu features a variety of sliders, sides and the highlight – Blue Corn Taco FIY (as in Fill It Yourself!) Kits.
Blue Corn is a staple of Mexican cuisine used to make tortillas. It’s naturally colourful and is healthier than the more anaemic yellow corn. Its higher protein, lower starch level also makes for a more satisfying meal. Japanified’s Blue Corn FIY Taco Kits come with eight tortillas and delicious, freshly prepared Japanese and Latin American fillings – all you have to do is fill it yourself.
Fillings include top quality tuna and salmon sashimi (nicely complemented by the kimchee sauce), glazed chicken karaage (good and crispy, good with unagi sauce), Asado negro beef (a slow-cooked Venezuelan classic), and a vegan beef with tonkatsu sauce; both beef dishes come with black kuromame beans. With accompaniments like pico de gallo (tomato salsa) with avocado, house cabbage mix, chopped coriander, chilli sauce, sour cream and avocado dressing, you’re all set to mix N match and try out a range of combinations.
Or take your pick from Japanified’s range of tasty sliders. These are filled with wagyu beef (plus a fried quail’s egg and chimichurri sauce), lovely soft shell crab tempura (and shichimi), chicken katsu and vegan sweet potato korokke (Japanese croquette); the last two come with tonkatsu sauce. Add some similarly inspired side dishes and a clever dessert and you’ve got the full Japanified experience.
The five sides include crispy cassava fries (yuca meets Yukari), fried chimichurri gyozas, tori teba (Japanese chicken wings), Japanese-style coleslaw and the really tasty takoyaki (four balls of an octopus-based snack with takoyaki sauce and katsuobushi (bonito flakes); it’s particularly popular in Osaka, where it originated (and in my dining room…).
There’s only one pud but it’s great fun – chewy vanilla mochi ice cream (don’t worry, it’s meant to be chewy!), strands of Nutella, with Oreo biscuit crumbs and bubu arare (Japanese popped rice). The dishes can be washed down with Japanese-inspired soft drinks Chu-lo, lemon, pear or apple.
Like its SugoiJPN stablemate, the Japanified menu is well thought-out and offers some very creative combinations. It’s all seriously satisfying and tasty food.
It’s also great fun to look up the ingredients you might not have heard of before so that in the future you can impress your less knowledgeable friends! The team behind Japanified, Felipe and Veronica, have over 15 years’ experience in developing Japanese restaurant concepts around the world, so they certainly know their unagi from their kimchee. They opened up SugoiJPN back in 2018 in a small dark kitchen (only for delivery and takeaways) but within two years they had an award-winning brand and have since launched other concepts as well as Japanified. Currently only operating out of Merton Abbey Mills in south Wimbledon, they hope to set up more Japanified sites across London soon.
So, with foreign travel looking out of the question for the near future, dig out those chopsticks, hit the Deliveroo app and go on a foodie journey from Japan to Latin America – all without leaving your own home.
Nick was a guest of Japanified