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Japan gourmet hall SORA checks in as the largest restaurant in Changi Airport

Angelos Restanis - 14 November 2017, 00:27

The dining enclave, which is located at the public area on Level 3, houses six Japanese restaurant brands that serve up an oishii line-up of food including ramen, sashimi, okonomiyaki and Nippon-inspired desserts and beverages.

SINGAPORE – Japanese foodies are in for an epicurean treat as SORA, a Japanese gourmet food hall, will open its doors at Changi Airport Terminal 2. The 7,760 sq ft space, which seats about 300 diners, is the largest restaurant across the four terminals in Changi Airport.

The dining enclave, which is located at the public area on Level 3, houses six Japanese restaurant brands that serve up an oishii line-up of food including ramen, sashimi, okonomiyaki and Nippon-inspired desserts and beverages.

SORA, which translates to "sky" in Japanese, marks the first time that ANA Trading - the trading arm of Japanese airline company, All Nippon Airways – is operating a food hall outside of Japan.

Kazuhiro Nakao, Project Director, Retail Business Development of ANA Trading and Director of SG Retail Partners Pte. Ltd. says, "This is part of the company?s strategy to expand its business and reach in the South East Asia region. Our very first retail project was Eat At Seven at Suntec City. Following the success of the Japanese dining concept, we are excited to launch Japan Gourmet Hall SORA at one of the best airports in the world."

James Fong, Vice President of Landside Concessions at Changi Airport Group (CAG) says, "CAG is always on the lookout for innovative and new dining concepts to excite passengers and visitors of Changi Airport. Combining two concessions into one provides a much larger space for the tenant to present their unique dining concept and food offerings through a restaurants-within-a restaurant setting. We are pleased that ANA Trading has chosen Changi Airport as the world's first airport outside Japan to launch SORA, bringing together the best of Japanese cuisine, ambience and service."

Of the six restaurants in SORA, two of them are new-to-market brands: Tsuruhashi Fugetsu and Japoli Kitchen.

Making its overseas debut in Singapore, Tsuruhashi Fugetsu is a renowned okonomiyaki chain that hails from Osaka. Is Japanese savoury pancakes are made with fresh cabbage, yakisoba (fried noodles) and an assortment of battered meat and seafood, before being grilled a la minute and slathered in Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise and topped with bonito flakes.

Diners who enjoy fusion cuisine will feel right at home at Japoli Kitchen, which offers Italian dishes infused with Japanese touches. Menu highlights include Bolognese Pasta and Porcini Risotto. Its range of freshly-made pizzas, which includes Pizza Margherita and Mentaiko Pizza. The brand uses fresh pasta and flour imported from Japan.

Rounding up the dining offerings at SORA are other Japanese restaurants such as Menya Takeichi, which is lauded as Tokyo's top chicken ramen chain and its collagen-rich Chicken Paitan broth ramen dishes. This is the brand's 100th outlet worldwide; Kuro Maguro, which is started by the number one Japanese fish wholesaler, is offering meshi (rice dishes) with kaisen (seafood) and torobutsu (tuna) that are air-flown daily from Japan.

Those who love tendon will make a beeline at Tendon Kohaku, which specialises in Edomae-style tendon, in which Hokkaido rice is adorned with crisp tempura that are drizzled in tendon sauce. Its first outlet in Eat at Seven, Suntec has drawn long queues everyday since it opened. Adding a touch of Korea flavours to the culinary delights is Tokyo Sundubu, Japanese's largest restaurant chain that serves the hearty Korean stew rich in collagen. Sundubu Jjigae is a treasure trove of hand-made tofu, vegetables and ingredients such as chicken, beef, asari (sake-steamed) clams and shrimps.

Diners can order food from any of the restaurants and bar and sit at the shared seating area in the middle of the food hall.

Modelled after airline lounges, Japan Gourmet Hall SORA boasts comfy booth and tatami seating options. For tatami seating, diners can immerse in Japanese dining etiquette by taking off their shoes before dining – just like what they would do before entering a zashiki or tatami room. The seating options also come with nifty features such as tables fitted with charging points for mobile electronic devices and an interactive Kid?s Corner complete with a playground and a television screen.

"We are also exploring collaborations with leading Japanese technology companies to introduce cutting-edge technology features at SORA in the near future to create unique and memorable experiences for the customers. For instance, Virtual Reality contents are being considered for future business expansion, allowing diners to enjoy the magnificent scenery of Japan landscape while dining at the food hall," adds Nakao.

SORA's contemporary chic interiors are heavily steeped in Japanese influences. The decor boasts intricate exquisite Japanese craftsmanship such as the Kumiki (Japanese woodcraft) and kumiko (lattice-like timbre trellis) that embellish the counter tables. Adorning the walls are murals of bonsai and pine trees that are hand-painted in a style reminiscent of the time-honoured Japanese art history.

SORA is located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, 60 Airport Boulevard, opens from 10.30am to 11pm daily.



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