Shizuoka Izakaya 1~37

Shizuoka Agricultural Products from The Producers to the Gastronomic Table: Dinner at UZU

Organic vegetables shabu-shabu

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients, especially organic vegetables extensively used. Local sake. Home-made umeshu. Great shochu list.

Uzu has become the reference in the whole Shizuoka Prefecture when it comes to enjoy local ingredients of the highest quality in a Japanese Izakaya or Restaurant!

The “oyakata”/Chef, Mr. Yoshimura constantly scours the whole Prefecture for the best vegetables, meat, fish and fruit.
But he will neither scorn a great product if it is not from Shizuoka, especially shochu! But more than 90% of the food was grown, caught or raised in our plains, mauntains and sea!
The overwhelming result of his enthusisam is that he can please anyone whatever his/her gastronomic priorities.
A phone call beforehand will be enough to devise a vegan, vegatarian or omnivore meal!

As an example, let me describe what the four of us ordered there a couple of weeks ago. Do not forget we also had plenty of local sake/jizake/地酒!
Theabove picture features sashimi Shizuoka is particularly famous for:
-Katsuo/鰹/Bonito from Suruga Bay.
-Kinmedai/金目鯛/Splendid Alfonsino (interesting name in English!9 from the Izu peninsula.
-Benimasu/紅鱒/Rainbow Trout raised in Fujinomya City at the foot of Mount Fuji!

Shamo Chicken/軍鶏 from Umegashima up the Abe River.
This dish solely consists of grilled or fried offal including shirako/白子/sperm sacs! Don’t worry, these morsels can be served only if they are super fresh and the chef has a special license!

Organic tomatoes from Matsuki Biofarm in Fujinomiya City served as tempura!

Fried (enormous) lotus roots/renkon/蓮根 from Asabata/麻端 in Shizuoka City. So crunchy and satisfying!

Salad of organic mushrooms and broccoli from Matsuki Biofarm!

Organic Vegetables (from Matsuki Biofarm) Shabu Shabu!
Bear in mind this particular dishmust be ordered at least 2 days in advance!

The Shabu Shabu is served with a great soup (can be ordered vegan!) in which you either dip or simmer the fresh vegetables to your liking!

Depending on the season and the everchanging menu one can order organic salads such as above (I had it one month ago!) and many many other delicacies!
make a point of checking their homepage first (even if you don’t read Japanese, the pictures will give you a good idea of what’s in store for you!)

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Vegan Local Organic Salad at Uzu

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients, especially organic vegetables extensively used. Local sake. Home-made umeshu. Great shochu list.

I wish all my vegan and vegeterian friends could at least visit once Uzu Izakaya in Shizuoka City!
They try really hard to serve local organic vegetables, especially those grown by Mr Satsuki at Satsuki Bio Farm in Shibakawa Cho, Fujinomiya City at the foot of Mount Fuji!

The above salad was ordered last Thursday by the Missus.
It was enormous and I was certainly supposed to help finishi it!
We were actually lucky to get as they they were limited to 5 serving only.
We always make a point of ordering it as the vegetables will be different next time!

They did include many varieties, some of which I can’t remember.
There are red okra, white goya, Red Moon and Inca mezame potatoes (first fried), black tomatoes, green peppers, shishito chili pepper, red chickory/endive, orange, zucchini, the whole basket!

To be savored one at a time, with chopsticks (and a great glass of sake!)!

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Vegan Sashimi at Yasaitei (2010/08/04)

Service: Excellent and very friendly. All ladies!
Facilities: very clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden.

In these hot days of summer (and sultry nights) in Japan, one is in a constant need for water/fluid and vitamins.
Although I’m no vegan or vegetarian, I totally agree that fresh vegetables are best.
Here in Shizuoka, we are not only blessed with a wealth of local vegetables, but due to the central location in this country, vegetables from all other parts of Japane find their way quickly onto our plates.

“Mokuzu seaweed” appetizer.

We are also blessed with great izakayas who make a point of serving as much local produce as possible.
One of them is the famed Yasaitei in downtown Shizuoka.
It might be a good idea to call or reserve beforehand as it is packed what the time of the day/night or the economic situation!

A closer look at mokuzu seaweed served in rice vinegar with a few seame seeds and lemon zests.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, you must ask: “Yasai no Sashimi kudasai! (Vegetables Sashimi, please!)”.
And this a sample of what going to be served.
Actually you can even ask which vegetables you would like to sample by pointing at them displayed on the shelf along the counter!

The dressing is also vegan!
Sesame oil/goma abura, rock salt/gaien and miso paste!

A side view which will give you an idea of the plate design!

And another one!

Alright, time for a detailed explanation:
Front: Radish, Cucumber, both crucnshy and juicy, and “Makuwa Uri”

“Makuwa Uri” is Oriental Melon in English, although they come in many varieties.
If you call a melon “uri/瓜” in Japanese, it refers to thekinds eaten as vegetables.
This particular is a bit of a misnomer as it is sweet and can be eaten only raw.
It tastes like pears, but less sweet. it makes for a beautiful note among other vegetables.

As for the second row, I was served daikon, myoga ginger sprouts and mizu nasu/water eggplants. The latter are eaten raw and mostly come from Osaka.

The last row/supporting row consists of shiso/perilla leaf and finely sliced white onion (sweet!).

I hope I have given you an idea for a refreshing and healthy summer appetizer!

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Mando: Neo Japanesque Bar/SpanishTapas Bar

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great and very large washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to a little expensive.
Specialty: Tapas. Japanese sake, including many local Shizuoka Brands, shochu and wines.

More and more culinary specialties are being presented for the ever-growing pleasure of revellers in Shizuoka City.
The latest addition, which opened last month, is a very interesting combination of Japanese and Spanish cuisines served in a bar/restaurant very reminiscent of Spain.

A very-easy going place with very friendly staff (7) ably coached by veteran manager Takeshi Hirai (who also looks after two more establishments), one can first quaff one’s thirst in many ways:

Japanese sake (350~1,200 yen for a 90ml glass) is top-classincluding noless than 19 different bottles from Shizuoka Prefecture: Isojiman, Aoshima, Kokkou, Sugii, Doi, Takashima, Morimoto, Oomuraya, Kanzagawa, Eikun and Hatsukame Breweries!
Other prefecture are represented by 11 more brands.

Incidentally, if you come there just drinking,there is a space for guests who prefer standing with a glass in hand!

Plenty of wine, naturally!

Wine is available by the bottle, half-bottle, and glass.
7 liqueurs, plenty of cocktails, soft drinks, Japanese tea and herbal teas are also on the menu!

And shochu: 13 imo/tuber, 11 mugi/brley, 8 kome/rice, 3 awamori from Okinawa and 7 limited editions!

As for food, you had better check the menu of the day written on blackboard as it changes every day.
On the average 13~ tapas (30~600 yen) and 16~ dishes (20~1,400 yen) are on offer, although one can ask the chefs about avaibility of other foods!

If you can’t read the menu, no problem, just point at the food inside the glass display boxes: Fish,

Tapas,

More tapas,

Vegetable terrine,

and even more tapas!

Eating tapas with a glass of wine is probably the cheapest way to truly enjoy the place!

Mind you, they quickly add up!

A great place onyour own for a quick fix or with good company for a long night out!

MANDO, Neo Japanesque Bar
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku-cho 2-4-6, Mori Bldg 1 & 2F (along Genan Street)
Tel. & Fax: 054-221-5103
Opening hours: 17:00~02:00
Closed on Sundays
Parties possible on reservation (second floor can turned into private party space)
Credit cards OK
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Oden at Yasaitei

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: very clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden.

I’ve already extensively written about oden the Japanese comfort food, but it is always a pleasure to introduce restaurants and izakayas awhich serve the higher quality.
Yasaitei has been introduced in this blog for its vegan delights many a time, but it also serves very extravagant oden I might need a couple articles on that single subject!).

But let’s start from the beginning!

Like in most izakayas, a o-toshi/snack will come with the first drink (bear in mind that you ususally have to pay for it!). Teh quality of that very snack is good indication of the level attained by the establishment!

“Shugijku no goma ae”: Edible Spring Chrysanthemum leaves (lightly boiled) and thinly cut (and fried) aburaage (deep-fried tofu sheets) seasoned with a sesame dressing.

In Yasaitei, I usually order shochu as they have a few from Shizuoka Prefecture on hand.
This particular one is a favourite of mine. It is a kome shochu/rice shochu called Doman, the name of a rare crab found in Hamana lakein the Western part of Shizuoka Prefecture. The shochu is distilled by Tenjingura-Hamamatsu Brewery.

As for the oden served in Yasaitei they are Kansai/Western Japan style, that is they are stewed in very clear broth with an accent on light flavours. Yasaitei will serve the combination of your choice with a small piece of yuzu lime in the broth, plenty of finely chopped scallions and some yuzu koshio/lime and pepper seasoning mixture.

There is no way I could order all the varieties in one serving, so I decided for 5 of them and will taste the others next time!
Looking from the left, you will noticethe little piece of yuzu floating. Just touching the lime pice is a “ganmo”, a light variety of deep-fried tofu, very fluffy and containg little bits of vegetables and seaweed.
The egg itself has been boiled and then slowly stewed in the broth.
The two balls skered on a stick are “shinjyo age”, fish paste which had been deep-fried first. The two grayish slices in front are “Suji” made of sardine and other fish paste. Not to be confused with the eponymous “suji”, meaning beef tendons, which are also a popular oden morsel. The tube on the right is “chikuwa”, made from fish paste like kamaboko, then stuck around a stick and grilled.
All ingredients have simmered in the broth (around 80 degrees Ceksus) for some time, although not as long as Typical Shizuoka oden.

For a closer view.
It is very healthy food, although packed with good calories!

For a side view. The spoon is lacquered, very soft on the tongue!

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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UZU (’09/09/13)

UZU-4

Vegetables Shabu shabu

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients especially organic vegetables extensively used.

I said before that Uzu was bound the become an addicton!
The difference is that the Missus shares the same addiction!
Accordingly we felt it was about time we checked the menu as it always a seasonal one.

UZU-1

The “0-toshi”, or a snack served automatically with the first drink order, is clearly representative of Uzu, not only as far as food is concerned, but also because all earthenware and glassware are made by local artists!
Did you notice the size of the boiled peanuts/
Yes, they are eaten boiled in Shizuoka and make for a healthier todbit than the usual roasted variety. These jumbo-sized ones are grown near Mount Fuji!

UZU-2

As for the sashimi plate we chose local fish including beni matsu/salmon trout raised in Fujinomiya City at the foot of Mount Fuji, Hanadai and Hondai, both varieties of groupers.

UZU-3

As for tempura,wewere told that a batch of wild mushrooms had just arrived.
No need to say we needed to be asked again.
Giant Enokitake, Shimejitake and Maitake!

UZU-4

But the star of the evening was the organic (all local) vegetables sgabu shabu (you will served seaweed/konbu dashi for it if you order so!)
Frankly speaking I did not havethe time to ask about thevegetables in detail as the Missus could not wait! Jut let me say they included red sweet potato and that they were a discovery!

Looking forward to the next one!
Incidentally the Missus had beer and white wine while I sipped local sake…

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK

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UZU (’09/06/12)

UZU-09-06-12-e

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients especially organic vegetables extensively used.

I will have to be careful, or UZU Izakaya is bound to become an addiction!
I visited that increasingly popular (need to reserve on Fridays especially!) last Friday for a quick dinner and some Shizuoka sake!

UZU-09-06-12-a

Thye kabocha/pumpkin tofu snack was still there!

UZU-09-06-12-b

Any sake is served in a different vessel, and you are offered a choice of cup for each sake you savour!

UZU-09-06-12-c

Fried organic new potatoes with their skins!
Uzu specializes in organic vegetables and “shamo” chicken!

UZU-09-06-12-d

Organic “Young Corn” grilled inside their husks. The “hair” around the corn is edible!

UZU-09-06-12-f

Again, a rare morsel to please vegans and vegetarians:
“Young corn” organically grown by Mr. Matsuki in Shibakawa Cho, at the foot of Mount Fuji, served raw! Yes, you head/read right, raw!
These were the only two available that night and I didn’t have to pay for them! Slightly different from the above, they are very tender and sweet. You eat them as they are, no need for “dressing”!

UZU-09-06-12-e

Now, that’s an iteresting morsel: Shamo Chicken Gratin inside a small organic kabocha/pumpkin!
Just small enough not to worry about the calories!

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Another bottle of sake!

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Grilled “Isaki/Chicken Grunt” ( a strange name for a fish!), caught off Shizuoka shores. Elegant!

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Deep-fried “shamo” chicken thighs and breast fillets!

No need for dessert!

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
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UZU (Revisited)

UZU-09-05-29-1

Service: excellent, easy-going and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: very reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Very fresh local ingredients especially organic vegetables extensively used.

Uzu is slowly becoming another regular izakaya of mine and that of my friends. Apart of the great welcome and atmosphere, their cuisine makes an extensive use of locally grown organic vegetables, making it one of those rare izakaya wher vegetarians are truly welcome!
As for the meat and fish, it is simply superlative. Moreover, one will be able to choose and taste geat local sake!

UZU-09-05-29-2

Last Friday, while my friends and I were having a “discussion” as to what we would order for food, tasty morsels had already come with our first sake!

UZU-09-05-29-3

To cut a long story short, here is what we savoured on that day!
(See pic above). A plate of “Shamo” (Shizuoka-bred) chicken sashimi, comprising giblets (heart, liver, etc.). You can be assured they are absolutely fresh. Eaten with Shizuoka Wasabi and soy sauce, they make for a decadent starter!

UZU-09-05-29-4

“Mizu Nasu”, a succulent egg-plant/aubergine which is eaten raw!

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“Sawara/young cod” sashimi. The fish was caught in Suruga Bay! Almost sweet!

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An enormous salad of grilled “Shamo” Chicken and Shizuoka-grown vegetables!

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A plate of grilled “Shamo” Chicken giblets! You must have guessed by now that we had decided to make it a chicken and vegetable dinner!

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All earthenware and glassware at UZU are made by local artists!
How about this sake glass decanter?

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And finally, “aburi”/grilled Shamo Chicken. With a little wasabi and nothing else, absolutely scrumptious!

We did have UZU’s lime sherbet for dessert, but I have already described this beauty in another posting!
Going there again next week, incidentally!

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK

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UZU

uzu-1

Service: Excellent and very friendly. Very Japanese atmosphere.
Facilities: goo washroom favilities. Great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable.
Specialty: Great sake from Shizuoka and Japan Great Shochu.

Uzu has been an institution in Shizuoka City for now 8 years and has maintained and improved on its quality, both in service and food (and drinks!) all the while.
The cuisine is typical of a new wave of young Japanese chefs who strive to offer dishes made from local ingredients, including organic vegetables and meat from animals raised in an healthy environment in the Prefecture, always looking for the unusual and delicious!

uzu-7

The atmosphere is so Japanese!
You can choose a table with a view on a minuscule garden, or if you prefer to see the chef and staff at work, sit at the counter.
Before looking at the ever-changing food menu, have a good look at the sake and shochu list.
I urgently recommend the sake tasting set with three sake from Shizuoka usually including Kikuyoi, Hatsukame and another one!

uzu-2

A typical example of their originality is the delicious sashimi we were offered, the Missus and I:
“Kan Sawara”: Young cod caught in the coldest time of the year in Suruga Bay off Shizuoka. They had found only enough for one day. Very firm flesh for a fish, but with a very soft bite and a taste that would have Tokyoites take the first train!

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They also offer plenty of variety to please European and American palates such as the above green asparaguses (large specimens grown locally) and mozzarella gratin!

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“Shamo Chicken”/Chicken comparable to the Bresse chicken in France, grilled to perfection, with a crispy skin and so tender flesh, and served with grated fresh wasabi!

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Vegans and vegetarians should not worry. There is plenty for them, such as this very unusual giant burdock root/”Oura Gobo” grown organically at the foot of Mount Fuji and deep-fried with a light cornstarch coating. Very satisfying bite and delicious!

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Also try their “O-cha-zuke”/rice in hot tea. Great hot vegan/vegetarian fare in Winter!

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Yes, yes, they have desserts!
You must try their fabulous home-made ice-creams and sherbets!

Will visit them soon again!

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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BU-ICHI (first visit in 2009)

bu-ichi-09-b

Last Thursday, the Missus and I finally found the time to make a quick visit to our favourite Izakaya in Shizuoka City, namely Bu-Ichi
Not only the food (most of it loacal) is great, but the Shizuoka Sake are regularly changed according to the food of the moment!

Moreover, vegetarians (and I’m sure they an make something for vegans! Japanese sake is vegan, by the way!) will be glad to learn that tenpura is one of their specialties. See above picture and try to tell what vegetables are served!

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Now for the sashimi lovers, it is simply first class (and very reasonable compared to the prices in Tokyo!). We asked only for a small set and savoured the following:
-Mejiro maguro/big-eyed tuna
-Hotate/Scallops with their “threads”
-Ika/Squid-Cuttlefish
Incidentally the flower is edible (grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!)

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As the last bite before we headed home, we ordered the “Shio-yaki-niwatori/salted grilled chicken.
Crispy skin and absolutely tender flesh! How they do it, I simply don’t have a clue! No need to say the salad was splendid!

Looking forward to our next visit!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable
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KAZE TO MATSU

Kaze To Matsu is a great example of a successful Izakaya which shows that a chef’s origins do not matter when recognizing and serving an intelligent combination of produce from Shizuoka and other Prefectures.

Mr. Matsumiya, for all his relative youth, shows a remarkable eclectism when choosing Shizuoka Sake to accompany brews from Gunma Prefecture, his home: Hakauin Masamune (Takashima Brewery, Numazu City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City) and Hana no Mai (Hamamatsu City). Naturally, all kinds of drinks, including wine, are available.
The place, seating 11 at the counter and 14 at very comfortable tables, is very popular, and I would definitely recommend anyone to reserve especially on week-ends.
My good friend Patrick and I made a point to come before opening hours to reserve two seats at the counter and we certainly well when the establishment was packed by 18:00!
We are both fans of sushi and ordered the “Special Sashimi Plate”.

From left to right:
“Kanpachi”/Amberjack, “Tennen Maguro”/Wild Tuna, “Nama Yuba”/Tofu Sheets, “Suwagani”/Suwa Crab, “Kanpachi” again, “Tachiuo”/Scabbard Fish (under the shiso flowers) and “Koushin Daikon”/A red inside daikon variety.

We spotted some fresh seashells on display. I had noticed them before, but I couldn’t remember their name. “Shirogai” is the usual name in Japan, meaning White Seashell.

As they were still alive and appetizing, we opted for a plate of sashimi!
Almost sweet they were, a discovery!

The menu is very extensive and we had to limit ourselves to favourites for our first visit!
The tenpura (above pic) are served one at a time as they shoulbe! Succulent!

Vegetarians and vegans will rejoice to learn that Kaze To Matsu serve “Yuki Yasai Sarada”/Organic Vegetables Salad! Very well-chosen seasonal vegetables only.

A gentle piece of advice:
Whatever you have savoured, do end with their “Tamagoyaki”/Japanese Omelette!
I can assure ou you won’t need any dessert!

Kaze To Matsu
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Hitoyado-Cho, 1-4, 1F
Tel.: 054-251-2004
Business hours: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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DRINKING HISTORY AT YASAITEI

Last night I was invited by the owners of Odakkui, Katayurimo and Hana Oto Izakayas to share a very special bottle of sake (above pic).
This sake, a superlative Daiginjo, had been brewed back in 1997 by Okada Brewery which eventually ceased operations in 2006. In spite of its old age (for a sake) it had preserved in perfect condition all the time at very cold temperature by a collector cum liquor shop, Matsunagaya in Shizuoka City.
For the connoiseurs, this Daiginjyo is called Okinabeneten, brewed by Okada Brewery in Fujieda City. Rice: Yamada Nishiki milled down to an extravagant 35%. The yeast was a Shizuoka NEW-5 Yeast. Dryness is only +7~+9 and acidity a very low 1.0~1.3. The drawing process was “Fune shibori/tank press”. Alcohol was standard 15~16 degrees.
A great sake, so pleasant to drink with a dry elegant entry, short tail and a complex and rich aroma and taste. Tended to show different facets with food, alternatively turning drier and sweeter. An incredibly extravagant sake to drink with food. We drank it both chilled and heated.

Now, what did we eat with such a nectar?
First of all, sashimi of course. Not one kind, but two!
First seafood sashimi as shown on pic above:
(From top clockwise) Fresh Shirasu/baby sardines, Akami/lean tuna, Madai/red snapper, Hotategai/scallops, Katsuo/bonito. In the centre is boiled Tako/octopus. The whole was provided with wasabi (real one!), grated ginger, myoga cut into very fine strips and chopped thin leeks.

Yasai sashimi/vegetables sashimi, the specialty of the house. Great juicy and cruchy cucumber, daikon, red radishes, celery (Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of all celery in Japan!), myoga and sweet red pimento. You probably noticed the big shiso leaf concealing chopped sweet onions. A treat for vegetarians (and vegans!)!

Yasatei is also renown for its superlative Kansai-style oden!

And finally another treat for vegetarians: renkon/lotus roots sauteed with soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds!

Great food for a great sake!

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended

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BU-ICHI (Re-visited)


(Oumuraya Brewery, Hakuen Bishamon Honjozo)

The Missus has this special liking for Bu-Ichi Izakaya (which I share!), not only because she loves the food, drinks and atmsophere, bu also because she always to learn something new she will be glad to try reproduce (in her own way) back home! I’m not one to complain, and I certainly enjoy writing about the place over and over again!


Onething is certain: this is one the very best places in the whole Prefecture to enjoy sashimi as once again demonstrated by the succulent katsuo/bonito served with grated ginger and thinly-chopped leeks.


Another reason is the top-class Shizuoka Sake!
I (my wife drinks wine as a matter of course) chose this very limited edition (only 300 bottles) by Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada (Tim, are you reading?):
Hakuen Bishamon, Honjozo, a very soft, almost sweet sake (Dryness: +1, acidity: 1.3).


Sanma/Mackerel Pike is in season. We ordered a yaki sanma sarada/grilled mackerel pike salad. The fish is first grilled then shred into small bite-sized chunks and served with vegetables and home-made dressing. This is the recipe that the Missus has a special interest for!


Talking of vegetables,Bu-Ichi, in spite of all its great fish and meat, would be the perfect place for a vegetarian too thanks to perfect vegetables tenpura! Wherever they come from, they are always exlusively seasonal!


With such meals, sake tends to disappear too quickly! My next order was a Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai by Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City. Mr. Aoshima makes superlative sake getting recognition all over Japan in spite of its relatively small size. Incidentally he also speaks fluent English for those who would like to visit his brewery!

As we are both omnivores, we felt a little meat was in order to finish our meal (we usually skip dessert in Japanese restaurants as there is always the open possibility to visit another one later!).
Bu-Ichi serves a scrumptious sansho tori karaage/fried chicken with Japanese pepper. A beauty that my American friends in particular would swim across oceans to taste!

Look forward to the next meal there!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable
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WAGA

Waga is your typical new wave izakaya. Opened a little more than two years ago by the very young at heart (a fan of the Beatles,Queen and Led Zeppelin among others) Shuhei Ichikawa it seems very popular as I managed to enter it only at the third try and this somewhat late at night. In any case if you plan to patronize the place before 9:00 p.m., you had better resrve in advance!

The staff in their late 20′s (30′s?) are a smiling hard-working bunch, but nonetheless extremely welcoming and attentive.
Now as any good izakaya, Waga always has at least a couple of remarkable jizake on offer, although they do change regularly.

The first I ordered was a Hakuin Masamune Junmai by Takashima Brewery in Namazu, a real beauty!
It just drank like wine! Pity I could not stay too long this time, or I might have contributed to the bottle death!

Actually you had better keep your eyes wide open! Not many izakaya offer French Pernod and Ricard, and Portuguese Porto wines!

Now the first indication of a good izakaya, and especially in Shizuoka Prefeture, is its sashimi offering. If you ask for “moriawase/plate”, you will get a good idea of the establishment.
Now, the “Katsuo Tataki/Bonito slightly cooked”, “Kanpachi/Yellowtail” and “Maguro/Tuna” were simply of the higher level that would put a few vaunted Tokyo places at shame, but at very kind prices!

As I said, my friend and I were in a bit of a hurry, but we opted for dishes representative of the establishment. The seasonal dish was “Jukusei Tsurushi Buta Saute to Kisetsu no Kinoko Ankake/Sauteed matured Pork (with tofu) and seasonal mushrooms in sweet and sour sauce”. A hearty dish which should satisfy a big appetite!

Talking of solid appetites the “Karaage/Deep-fried Chicken)” was not only succulent but absolutely enormous. You would problems closing your hand around any of them!

When it comes to sake I’m a big drinker. I asked for the other Shizuoka Sake available, Takasago karakuchi Junmai by Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City. Very dry indeed, but so easy and pleasant to drink!

“Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette” is also another preriquisite at any good izakaya, and the one concocted by Waga is also a beauty. We certainly did not need any dessert!

Blimey! There is no way we could sample all the offerings. Which means I will have to come back in a hurry!

Waga
420-0839 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 2-1-20, Kuroyanagi Bldg., 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-271-7121
Opening hours: 17:30~23:30 (Monday to Thursday), 17:30~26:00 (Friday, Saturday and day before any National Holiday).
Closed on Sundays and National Holidays.
Set menus and parties possible.
Reservations recommended.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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BU-ICHI (Revisited)

Bu-Ichi Izakaya in Shizuoka City has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately I do not go there that often as it is reserved for my nights out with the Missus (well, too many people know me there, too!)!
Incidentally, the picture above was taken quite some time ago. The Oyakata tends to be dressed in white these days, but last night I told him I preferred him in his blue garb!
Apart of the great Shizuoka Sake list, a customer will find all the drinks he might want, including wine and Okinawa Awamori.
But the main attraction is of course the food:

Tempura and Anago/Conger Eel are two Japanese delicacies known all over the world, but when the two are combined in such delicate, crunchy, succulent manner one just shoud not bother about seasoning or even decoration!

Bu-Ichi acquired its fame because of the superlative seasonal sashimi such as “ainame/greenling or rock trout, a rarity brought all the way from Fukushima Prefecture.

Local fish is represented by “sanma/mackerel pike”. Bu-Ichi serves it in what I think the best way to savour it: thin slices with grated ginger, chopped thin leeks and myoga. The Japanese say “abura ga noote iru”, meaning they are fat. I would translate by “juicy”. The fish just melts in your mouth!

Whenever possible, Bu-Ichi serves local produce such as this beautiful round orange zucchini grown by a farmer in Miwa Cho, Shizuoka City. Which reminds me I have to interview this gentleman who has made Zucchini growing his specialty. Rowena, you would not believe it! Incidentally, have you ever thought of selling shiso in Italy? LOL

They were included in the next Tenpura order. To the Missus’ utter dismay I just ate them with my fingers without bothering about the salt and dip sauce provided!

Despite the heat of the day, we could not resist from ordering a bowl of “Gyu-suji-ni”/Beef joints simmered with miso and vegetables and served with a chopped leeks topping. Foodhoe would scream for it!

Although we did have dessert in the form of “matcha tea ice cream”, we usually have “tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette” at the end of a dinner in a good izakaya. Big Bill should see the sheer artistry involved in making such a seemingly easy dish! And the taste! I can guarantee you you would be hard put if you had to choose between a second helping and a dessert!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable

——————————-
UKIDONO

Ukidono is difficult to classify: in all honesty, it does not qualify as an Izakaya or Kaiseki (Japanese traditional) Restaurant. This is the kind of establishment that would deserve a visit from such Gastronomes as Chuckeats, Very Good Food, Luxeat and Dominique Corby.

The entrance to the actual restaurant bears nothing special about it, although it is part of the whole Fugetsuro Complex including the abode of the last Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

One of the annexes was transformed seven years ago to accomodate a better-class izakaya, but still cheaper than the unaffordable Fugetsuro Restaurant, a renown, if somewhat old-fashioned, kaiseki restaurant across from Shizuoka JR Station.

One may opt for a cozy, almost private room

or even better (in my own view), the outside “corridor” along the inside of the building where you sit on high stools against a high wooden counter admiring

the inner view on the famed Japnese Garden! If you are lucky, you will be offered the intimate view of guests and kimono-clad ladies walking on the narrow bridge on their way to one of the private guest houses.

Although the food is of very high quality, the main attraction is the Shizuoka Sake List.
Apparently, they store more than a full thousand kinds of sake in their basement, featuring most of the Shizuoka Breweries.
Last week they ahd the following on offer:
Aoitenka (Yamanaka Brewery, Kakegawa City), Eikun (Yui Cho), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City), Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Chuumasa (Yoshiya Brewery, Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Oomuraya (Shimada City), Hakuin Masamune (Takashima Brewery, Numazu City) and Haginishiki (Shizuoka City)!
You can order the sake by the “ichi go” flagon (180ml. from 924 yen), as a tasting set of three diferent brews (from 1,386 yen) or by the bottle.

One can choose the easy way by ordering one of the four courses (3,465~9,471 yen), although the card would be far more fun and would probably come out cheaper if you are two or more.

For raw fish amateurs one may fancy it in salads, such as the hirame konbujime/sole marinated in seaweed as above,

or even better as a full sashimi set as above:
From top left clockwise:
Thin slices of Isaki/a variety of grouper typical of Suruga Bay intersped with thin slices of lemon, Akami/Lean tuna, Suzuki/Seabass, Hirame/Sole, Chutoro/semi-fat tuna and Hirame Konbu Jime/Sole marinated in seaweed (different method from above).

Frankly speaking, I will need to visit the place a few more times before I can do it justice!
Incidentally, Ukido includes a very reasonable hotel with full amenities I will try to report on later!

Ukido
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi, 11-1, Fugetsuro
Tel.: 054-2520131
Business hours: 11:30~15:00; 17:00~22:00 (until 21:00 on Sundays)
Closed on Mondays
Credit Cards OK
——————————–
ASPARAGUSES SEASON!

Although the asparaguses season is almost finished in Shizuoka, we still get plenty from other parts of the country as people here show an insatiable taste for them.
The Japanese and Sizuokaites will practically eat only the green variety although the latter does comprise a host of sub varieties. Here the trend is for large specimens like the ones grown in Shimizu Ku as demonstrated in the picture above sauteed with Chinese XO Sauce by Hana Oto Izakaya in Shizuoka City. A way that surely please the likes of Foodhoe and Bill!

Shizuoka ladies do have their own way to cook them. Everyone down here seem to sautee them and Yasatei, for all their very Japanese character, have opted for the Italian way: Akita Prefecture Asparaguses sauteed in olive oil and parmesan cheese!

Villa D’Est Quisine, on the other hand, seems to have opted for a median method of lightly frying Hokkaido asparaguses with olive oil and lean bacon.

In all cases those large green asparaguses combine a outside crunchy texture breaking easily under the teeth to reveal a tender juicy inside! Something difficult to obtain with overcooked lean samples!

HANA OTO
420-0033 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 3-9, Hoshi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-273-8591
Business hours: 18:00~03:00 (until 05:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed on Mondays

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended

Villa d’Est Quisine
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 3-10-1
Tel.: 054-2514763
Business Hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays
——————————–
YASATEI: VEGETABLES SASHIMI

As often happens on a long work day, I needed a quick fix around 7 p.m. keeping in mind that I would eat dinner at 9:30 back home.
I have taken the habit in such a dilemna to visit Yasaitei and eat vegetarian food there.
I have already introduced their specialty, “Vegetables Sashimi”. As it changes with the season I know I will eat something fresh and different every time!

Allison and maybe Rowena would jump on that, I’m sure!

From left to right:
Small red radish, freshly cut ginger root (still thin and just out of the garden with leaves and all), “myoga” leaves (another variety of ginger, thinly sliced daikon on shiso leaf, radish again and Japanese cucumbers (very crucnchy and juicy at the same time!)

The seasoning plate contains miso, salt and sesame oil.
A repast for vegetarians and vegans alike! (I’m neither, sorry!)

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business haours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
———————–
VILLA D’EST QUISINE (2)

Last Monday, due to insistent requests from my “Monday Night Out Friends”, I finally could not postpone my next visit to this old favourite of mine, Villa d’Est Quisine in Shizuoka City ( 2 minutes walk from my work, actually!)

Toshiharu Matsuura’s establishement has always been a gastronomic experience to look forward to since September 1997 as his cuisine almost exclusively makes use of seasonal produce.


What makes the experience even more pleasurable is that you suddenly find yourself inside such a traditional Japanese setting with wood everywhere, be it at the counter, at a large table (very practical for long-legged expats!) or on the tatami (usually I don’t mention it, but the toilets are a little beauty!) and where all the food is served in Japanese pottery (The owner has many friends among artists!) with wooden utensils.

The menu changes practically every day, depending on produce avaibility in the local markets (I know where Mr. Matsuura buys his vegetables, fish and meat, and I can tell you you will not find anything fresher!).

It can be very simple such a green salad with parmesan cheese,

to fairly complicated such as ” Cold Shunsai Chyawanmushi”.
Although the oyakata works by himself and is very busy, he will always oblige and explain his cuisine.
This is a very rare place where both omnivores and vegetarians can enjoy food together!

As for the drinks he will please anyone with his excellent assortment of sake, shochu and wines.
Moreover he makes a point of serving Shizuoka Jizake such as the brews from Morimoto/Sayogoromo Brewery (Kikugawa City) and Takshima/Hakuinmasamune Brewery (Numazu City)! And do not forget he also has some organic drinks in store!

Especially recommended for ladies, couples and loners alike.

Villa d’Est Quisine
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 3-10-1
Tel.: 054-2514763
Business Hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays
————————
SHIBATA

For once, I did not foot the bill (although I tried hard) as I was invited by Mr. Sakurai, an old friend of mine and the sire of a favourite student of mine. Therefore I must admit I do not have a clue to how much the bill amounted to, although the place is fairly reasonable.
Shibata was opened 20 years ago and has already gone through a total renewal in 2003.
It is extremely popular and busy. Reservations are a must on week-ends!
Mr. Sakurai had ordered a set menu (probably the most expensive one, judging from the quality and quantity!). We had only the drinks to worry about!

Like any worthy Izakaya in Shizuoka, Shibata features a good number of Shizuoka Jizake on its menu: Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery,Yui Cho), Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City)!
Before I go through all the morsels I’d better hoot for Rowena, Gaijin Tonic, Foodhoe and Simaldeff to prepare themselves (and call their friends, LOL)!

The “snack” coming with first drinks was a proof of the quality of the establishment: boiled bamboo shoot, grilled clam, shellfish in its shell and broad beans.

But the enormous sashimi plate (for three persons) could have been enough with adequate drinks:
Sazae/Turbo shells in its shell and inides in a small plate. Maguro Chutoro/Tuna Fatty part (right). Awabi/Abalone (small on left). Bottom right, raw Sakuraebi/Sakura Shrimps from Yui Cho and Shirasu/Sardine Whiting from Mochimune. Centre, Uni/Sea Urchin in a cup. Centre left, Shime saba/pickled Mackerel. Bottom left, Aori Ika/Aori Squid and Suzuki/Seabass.

But then, dishes came down at speed (if I had a single criticism to vent, it would be that dishes come too fast!):
Ise Ebi to Kani Gusoku Ni/Spiny Lobster and crab legs in Japanese-style sweetand sour sauce. The lobster is Australian and the crab Russian, but very tasty!

Ooba no Tsutsumi mushi/Clam steamed inside a bamboo leaf. reminiscent of Vietnamese food. Both deicate and fulfilling!

Yuba Chakin

Fish and shellfish in white sauce baked inside yuba/”toofu skin”. A dish that would be appreciated anywhere as you could easily make a vegetarian version! A shame you have to open it!

The last dish before the dessert (sorry I got carried away and forgot to take a pic of the latter!) was a typical Japanese fare: Sawara no kidomeyaki/Large Mackerel variety grilled topped with garnish made with Japanese herbs and spices. and Nasu no Denraku/Egg-plant or Auubergine grilled topped with a sweet miso sauce.

Holy Macaroni! Getting up proved an almost exhausting excersise!

Shibata
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 2-5-8
Tel.: 054-251-2405
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays

—————————
KATAYURIMO

Katayurimo is the third member of a triumvirate I have a special liking for in Shizuoka City. I have already introduced the other two, Odakkui and Hana Oto whose “masters” shared dinner with me in the company Mr. Mori at Kodarumatei.
Yukata Mori opened his izakaya (can you guess the connection between names?) in May 2005 and already seems to have acquired quite a following as the place will be full by 21:00.
As he is working on his own with a waiter or waitress to serve a maximum of 9 at the counter and 12 at the tatami tables, do not expect shogun service in spite of his ever-smiling welcome.
It’s all slow food there!

There is plenty to drink, including a fine kome/rice shochu (Acha no Tsubone) by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City who printed a private label for Takayurimo. You will find more shochu, sake and so on to please veryone.

As for local Shizuoka Jizake, it tends to vary almost everyday. I was lucky enough to drink from a bottle of junmai called “Susono Katsurayama Shiro” by Fujinishiki Brewery (Fujinomiya City). I felt the more pleased for it as it was a first!

As Mori-San takes his time carefully preparing your orders, you can usually expect two different kinds of ‘”otooshi/snacks” to come with the first drink order.
I certainly relished the home-made “kuro hanpen/black sardine fish paste” served slightly boiled and cold with a dah of wasabizuke (wasabi pickled in sake white lees), all from Shizuoka Prefecture!

The next snack was “noresore/conger eel whitebait”, usually a specialty from the West of Shizuoka Prefecture, which had to be imported from Fukuoka this time as it is already out of season down here.

Just enough to help me wait for the sashimi of the day!
From top to bottom, left to right:
“Katsuo/bonito” from Shizuoka Prefecture. Soft, tender and juicy!
“Saba/mackerel”. Great freshness, no “fishy” taste whatsoever and plenty of “fat”!
“Houbo/Blue Fin Robin” from Shizuoka Prefecture. A comparatively rare variety in Japan, served in top notch French and Italian restaurants. But sashimi is still best!
“Seguro Iwashi/Seguro sardine”. So fresh and almost sweet. Th e latter morsel was served with orange vinegar from Hamamatsu City instead of the usual shoyu/soy sauce.

I was about to “call it a day” as the night was still very young (I had another “appointment”) when I could not help notice the day’s menu board boasting bamboo shoots cooked in four different ways! I can hear Foodhoe salivating!
I was not the only one to be intrigued as three of my neighbours joined me in querying Mr. Mori about it. The poor (still smiling) gentleman found himself ordered to prepare the bamboo shoots (from Asabata in Shizuoka City) in the four different ways advertised! No way he could escape as we all had de facto agreed to share our orders! Talk about natural unconcerted ganging up!
Incidentally the one I asked for (see above) was the “steak style”: it had been boiled to the right softness beforehand and kept in a cool place. It was first cut to size then cooked and served hot.
You can’t beat a good izakaya when it comes to instant friendship (and hard work for the master!)!

KATAYURIMO
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwacho, 1-4-2, Harada Bldg. 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-221-4175
Business hours: 17:~24:00
Closed on Mondays and every second Sunday
————————
OIKAWA

Shizuoka is certainly witnessing a remarkable revival of its traditional izakaya thanks to many youn(ish) enterprising restaurateurs, but some “old hands” are still leaving their mark on the local gastronomic scene for the benefit of all.

Mr. and Mrs. Yamamoto, who are well into their seventies, opened Oikawa no more than 11 years ago, proving there is no set age to start new ventures!

The popularity of their izakaya has never abated since it opening, and I can tell from personal experience that you had better make reservations on weekends!
One reason for their popularity lies in their proximity to Shin Shizuoka Center, but conveniently located in a fairly quiet side street and less than 15 minutes walk away from Shizuoa JR Station.
The owners and their staff are very warm, if busy, individuals who will take the time to introduce the food and drinks they serve and answer any questions. And if you happen to come from outside our Prefecture you will definitely feel the need to ask a few!

Sashimi are seasonal only, and if I were you I would not bother much with the menu and just ask for the chef’s recommendation of the day. You just cannot make a mistake!
Look at the set we were served last week:
“maguro/tuna”, “Hirame/sole”, “Shime saba/pickled mackerel”, “Shirasu/Sardine whiting” (freshly caught in Suruga Bay) and “Yude tako/boiled octopus”, with plenty of locally grown vegetables.
Now, hungry people will have a field day although they might need a Japanese-speaking friend to help them read all the morsels described above your head, but I would recommend:

“Kara-age kuro hanpen/deep-fried sardine fish paste, a Shizuoka specialty.

Tenpura: the one featured above is “Ashitaba plant”.
Any tenpura of the day should please you as vegetables are supremely fresh and plentiful in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Talking of tenpura, Oikawa is famous for its “Kimchee Tenpura”, a very crispy and tasty invention of theirs!

The “Musubi/rice ball” being enormous, I would suggest you to order them one at a time!

Great traditional atmosphere and food, but the one reason I would take anyone there is their incredible range of Shizuoka Jizake!
Just go through the list below (written down last week, and more to come apparently!):
Shosetsu (1-Yui Cho), Masu Ichi (1-Shizuoka City), Hatsukame (4-Shida Gun), Isojiman (2-Yaizu City), Suginishiki (1-Fujieda City), Shidaizumi (1-Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (3-Fujieda City), Wakatake (1-Shimada City), Morimoto (2-Kikugawa City), Kaiun (1-Kakegawa City), Kokkou (2-Fukuroi City), Eikun (1-Yui Cho), Fujinishiki (1-Fujinomiya City), Takasago (1-Fujinomiya City), and Sanwa (1-Shimizu Ku)!

OIKAWA
Shizuoka City, Aoki-Ku, Takajo, 1-11, Sano Bldg
Tel.: 054-272-6551
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays and Mondays

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HANA OTO

In recent years Shizuoka has witnessed the welcome resurgence of traditional izakaya thanks to a merry band of young(ish) restaurateurs such as the owners of Oddakui, Yasatei and Hana Oto (and others that I will visit soon!). They all prove time and again to be true exponents of traditional Japanese gastronomy by going back to the basics and caring about their patrons’ pleasure. These gentlemen and ladies (yes, you heard me right!) are not afraid to serve and promote local products, be they fish, meat, vegetables, sake or other delicacies.

Unearthing Han Oto can become a small adventure in itself as it is tucked in one of those “dark corners” on the ground floor of one the most ancient buildings in the Ryogae-Cho district, the oldest haunt of Shizuoka night owls.
It used to be a “yakitori” until Yuusuke Tozaki and his younger brother, Keisuke, took it over in February 2004.

Great fans of the famous sake manga artist Akira Ose (“Kurabito Claude”), they changed nothing, preserving the ancient and warm atmosphere, only adding their own little touches.

Not only great sake including some jewels from Shizuoka Prefecture (Sugii, Takashima, Oomuraya and Kaiun Breweries for the moment) but also great shochu, including an extravagant real tea and rice shochu by Fujinishiki Brewery (Fujinomiya City) called “Chyakkiri Shi”!
Of course all kinds of spirits, awamori, soft drinks and even wine are available.

Now, Yusuke Tozaki has a special predilection for vegetables, especially from Shizuoka, and the enormous Shimizu Ku green asparaguses I was served sauteed with Chinese XO sauce were absolutely scrumptious! Foodhoe will want to fly there, I can tell you!
Even a vegetarian would have enough reasons to patronize the establishement!
But I am not, I ordered a plate of sashimi:

But before that, I had to taste a great Yamahai by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City with a little home-made pickled wasabi plant.
I could have checked the menu, which is renewed everyday but I let the owner choose for me.

Sashimi were absolutely fresh and delicious.Mind you, when you know the level of fish in this Prefecture it almost becomes a matter of course!
I was served “Mejimaguro tuna”, “Katsuo/Bonito”, raw “Tako/Octopus” and “Kurodai Seabream”.
I’ll let you judge!

The first sake having disappeared without notice I savoured another great Yamahai by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City.

As I had another commitment I unfortunately had to depart, but the owner would let me go before I tried another beauty called “Tatsuhisa” by Eiku Brewery in Yui that was not on the menu for the simple reason that the owner’s private sake!
Blimey, Gaijin Tonic would never leave such a place! I will have to convince Lojol to accompany me for a lengthier visit next time!

HANA OTO
420-0033 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 3-9, Hoshi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-273-8591
Business hours: 18:00~03:00 (until 05:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed on Mondays
———————
KODARUMATEI

kodarumatei8.jpg
(Mr. Takateru Kodama)

Shizuoka City can be a dangerous place at times.
That is, if you accept an invitation to dining and drinking by a notorious band of Shizuoka Izakaya owners and their staff!
I’ve had the great luck to get to know this particular of jolly men (a lady was supposed to join us but I will have to wait until next time!) through Mr. Ohshiro, the enregetic owner of Odakkui:
Mr. Tozaki and his assistant Mr. Sugiyama of Hanaoto Izakaya and Mr. Mori Katayurimo Izakaya.
kodarumatei10.jpg

Kodarumatei moved to its new location last Autumn and is a very busy place. Needing to reserve a table on a Monday night is certainly a proof of the establishment’s popularity!

kodarumatei1.jpg
I decided to take a back seat as far as ordering was concerned. After all those guys know their stuff!
Sashimi was quickly agreed upon and we were brought this grand plate that would attract Chuckeats‘ attention! simple, tasty and sublime! Shizuoka Prefecture is blessed with one of the richest sea in Japan, and all of the fish were caught the day before off our coast!
kodarumatei9.jpg
Kodarumatei is renown for its selection of sake, including some great brews from Shizuoka Prefecture: Kikuyoi, Suginishiki, Kaiun, and others depending on arrivals. one more reason to patronize this establishment!
kodarumatei2.jpg kodarumatei3.jpg
Now here is food that would have Foodhoe and Gaijin Tonic coming running! Apparently deep-fried minced chicken balls and pork brochettes are a must in this establishment and I totally agree!
kodarumatei4.jpg kodarumatei6.jpg
Vegetables are certainly not forgotten as demonstrated by some great tempura and salads that would please any vegetarians!
kodarumatei5.jpg
But my pick of the day was the grilled whalemeat steak presented cut on a simple dish. Simply crumptious!
kodarumatei7.jpg
We could not resist our carnivorous instincts and oredered an extra dish of sauteed beef.

As I was limited timewise on that first encounter, we agreed to call it a day (actually my new friends went “next door” after sending me off! I told you Shizuoka City could be a dangerous place, didn’t I?), But I can assure this newfound friendhip will lead to some memorable outings in the future!

Kodamarutei
Owner: Mr. Takateru Kodama
420-0835 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Yokota Cho, 2-1, YY bldg., 2F
Tel.: 054-2728833
Reservations advised
—————–
ODAKKUI
odakui1.jpg

When I entered Odakui on February 8th, I must confess it was already the second establishment I visited that particular night. I had only intended to stay there long enough to give myself a good idea of this establishment introduced to me by its “sister” izakaya, Yasatei.
Well, well,…
Lucky I was on my own. I can’t imagine what would have happened if a certain Gaijiin Tonic and Foodhoe had been with me! I very much doubt I would have been able to teach from 09:00 the next morning!
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The owner, Naofumi Ohshiro, who opened Odakui 8 years ago before helping open Yassaitei 5 years later, did not know who I was (he could not believe I’m a lecturer!). The gentleman seems to decide on the spur of the moment who he likes or not, unless it was because he is an unconditional fan of the famed Japanese manga artist Ose Akira who wrote the series “Kurabito Claude”, the story of a third-generation Japanese-American who visits Japan to explore his roots and to subsequently become a sake brewer.
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Nevertheless, when I ordered sake, he told me to bear with him and accept a cup of an absolutely extravagant Junmai Daiginjo (one of the most expensive sake I ever saw in Shizuoka Prefecture!) brewed by Oomurya Brewery in Shimada City as a welcome greeting! Look at the “Oni’s” face on the label and compare it with Mr. Ohshiro’s on the picture at the top of this posting, holding the famous “Dobu” nigori sake from Nara Prefecture. Can you see a resemblance?
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I ordered a Shosetsu brew by Kanasawagawa Brewery in Yui ( Isojiman and Chumasa are also on his list) which came with a great-looking snack. The very friendly staff jhelped me choose an assortment of sashimi:
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Top: Kanpachi/Amberjack
Middle: Saba/Mackerel & Akami/lean tuna
Bottom: Hirame/sole
All great quality, tasty and cut in the traditional way that Lojol would expect!
As Mr. Ohshiro had realized he had found a soulbrother, he came back whenever he could get a minute or two in his busy izakaya, which sits half a dozen at the counter and a good dozen more at two tables set as “horikotatsu”, to engage in this unending conversation on sake and Shizuoka Brewers.
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As the conversation was just too great to go back home early, I ordered the grilled “kuro hampen”/dark sardine paste, a specialty only made in our Prefecture, served with grated ginger and chopped leeks. Mr. Ohshiro then insisted I sampled the “Dobu” nigori sake introduced in Akira Ose’s first book. Great sake which completely caught me off guard.
But I wanted to drink a full glass of that “Oni” above-mentioned, or I knew it would stayed on my mind fordays ahead. My host kindly pointed out it was pretty expensive (it was), but I waved his reservations away. I’m sure that Melinda, Etsuko and Tim would have approved! The brew was simply extraordinary, and for all its delicay went down so well with food! I know I’m going to do something really silly soon!

Blimey, I had to leave knowing we had not talked about half of what we ought have to, but I knew we had parted at the right time as I had some difficulty riding back home in a straight line on my bicycle!

Why do I have the impression that Odakui will become my “next door” (Japanese expression for the second place of the night)? Who am I to complain anyway?
Kanpai & Banzai!

ODAKUI
420-0034, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-8-1, Aoba Yokocho, 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-2536900
Business hours: !7:00~24:00
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HAYASE

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Izakayas have been “sprouting” all over Takajo Machi in Shizuoka City, an area recently referred to as the “Shizuoka Daikanyama”.
My better (worse?) half and I found this little place called Hayase along a fairly large street and decided to give a try.
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An unprepossing, almost discreet, izakaya, it was open in February this year. Apparently it is already quite popular and were lucky to enter it around 19:00 as it got full within half an hour.
The inside is extremely clean for an izakaya specialized in “yakitori”. It sits about 8 people at the counter, 6 more at tables and chairs and a dozen on tatami floor.
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We found ourselves in a little dilemna as Hayase also proposed some sashimi we just could not resist. The bonito was absolutely excellent.
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After that we started ordering yakitori in earnest, and I just did not have enough time to take all the pictures I wished to. Which will give me a good excuse to come back, especially considering the reasonable prices for such a place which could become quickly expensive at other establishments.
The service is attentive and generous and the sake (and other drinks) are great:
4 jizake from Shizuoka Prefecture:
Karakkaze (Hana no Mai Brewery/Hamamatsu City)
Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Honjozo (Fujieda City)
Takasago Homare Fuji Junmai (Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Fujinomiya City)
Garyuubai Junmai Muroka (Sanwa Brewery/Shimizu Ku)

Look forward to my next visit report!

Hayase
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajyo, 3-22-7
Tel.: 054-221-9480
Business hours: 17:00~23:00 (Off on Sundays & National Holidays)
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WAGOCORO

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Wagocoro is your typical Japanese “Kakureya”/”Hidden Place”: You have heard of it, but never been able to discover or notice it until you find it one day almost next door!
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The Japanese, especially in Shizuoka, have an affinity for such places, but tend to jealously protect them away from other potential customers, which in my humble opinion is not very fair. I almost feel a malign pleasure in discovering and uncovering them!
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The present owners acquired the place some time ago from the original tenant who had made it a shochu bar. The place is simply replete with Japanese antiques and interestingly enough Mr. Oguriyama and his son have faithfully preserved it in its entirety. Notwithsatanding the great food and drinks, the ancient Japanese atmosphere is a worthy enough reason for a visit.
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Now this izakaya have three “rooms”, the main one where you can sit around a tradiionla Japanese “irori/fireplace” where you can grill your own food over charcoal. Another room with tatami seating amide a crowd of antique furniture and objects and a third room with a kind of counter and high seats. No need to say but the irori is my favourite. Make sure to reserve it!
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You have a hint of the quality of the food as soon as you order your drinks and subsequently are offered the “otoshi,snack”!
Now, Wagocoro has already acquired a solid reputation for quality of food coupled with comparatively reasonable prices. Therefore when I visited it on Monday, December 3rd in the company of my monthly “Monday Gastronomy” companions,we already had a good idea of what we would order!
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The sashimi and grilled fish (see pictures above) are simply first class.
Their “kakuni/pork simmered for four hours” has already become the talk of the town and expats in particular will be happy to learn they concoct savoury deep-fried oysters and even vegetarians will be glad to sample the deep-fried lotus roots/”renkon”!

We simply did not have any strength left to explore the rest of the seasonal menu which will have to wait until our next visit!
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Like any good izakaya, Wagocoro has a great range of local sake: Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City), Wakatake (Oomuraya Brewery/Shimada City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Isojiman Brewery (Yaizu City), Hakuin masamune (Takashima Brewery/Numazu City) and Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda).
The four of us emptied a great bottle of Suginishiki Shiboritate Yamahai Honjozo in no time!

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Now the big plus is that they also serve two Shizuoka shochu, namely wasabi Shochu by Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji and rice shochu by Hanan no mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City which went as far as designing an original label!
What else could you ask?

Wagocoro
420-0882 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ando, 1-6-15
Tel.: 054-2470059/09091805779
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays and second Wednesdays
Reservations advised
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Takasagotei

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If you happen to be staying, let’s say for a single night in Hamamatsu City, near the JR Station, I would suggest you visit Takasagotei Restaurant on the second floor of Hamamatsu Sago Terminal Hotel just right of the JR station south exit.

As a hotel izakaya since the 1970′s they are definitely above the run of the mill level of the fare usually delivered in business hotels.

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Their sashimi offerings are within the good level prevalent throughout the Prefecture.

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I found their mushroom tenpura (vegetarians, please note!) excellent.

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They also had an unusual “shirasu gyoza” (deep-fried whitebait dumpling), which would go well with a beer.

They also have the great merit to offer a large range of Shizuoka sake out of their long drink menu, which warrant a visit by other Prefectures’ guests:
Hana no Mai (Hamamatsu City: 2)
Hamamatsu-Tenjingura (Hamamatsu City: 1)
Senju (Iwata City: 1)
Doi-Kaiun (Kakegawa City: 1)
Oomuraya-Wakatake (Shimada City: 1)
Isojiman (Yaizu City: 1)
Hatsukamei (Shida Gun-Okabe Cho: 2)
Shosetsu (Yui: 1)
Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City: 1)

Takasagotei
430-0926
Hamamatsu City, Sunayama-cho, 322-7, Hamamatsu Sago Terminal Hotel, 2F
Tel.: 053-4538686
Business hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:00~22:00
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Imaizura

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Umaizura (actually mean Horse Face! The kanji for horse is featured in the address, Mr. Konagai forename and izakaya’s name!) is one of those “kakureya” (hidden spot) that would be impossible to discover without a guide. I was lucky enough to be introduced to this very traditional izakaya by my ne “sake friend”, Mr. Koyama who is in the preocess of writing a homepage for the Shizuoka Sake Brewers Association.

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The entrance, once discovered in a dark side street opens onto a very comfy interior replete with traditional and antique Japanese furniture. You have a choice of sitting between a counter where you can have a look at the Shizuoka-style oden (I had to forego them this time!), rooms and corners all with tatami, some with dug space for your legs (expats better request for those), others with cushions on the tatami floor.

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Umaizara is still an upper-class of izakaya tendered for the last 8 years by Mr. Konagai who shows great care in choosing the sashimi of the day. All food is cooked with care, whatever the syle, traditional or more modern to satisfy all tastes and appetites:

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One more reason is of course the Shizuoka sake :
Hatsukame (Okabe-Cho) (4 varieties)
Kikuyoi (Fujieda City)
Hana no Mai (Hamamatsu City)
Isojiman (Yaizu City)
This is not an extensively list as it changes regularly. Mr. Konagai will be only too happy to tell you what he has in stock and describe the brands he has on hand.

Now, as I shall have to visit it again for the oden and more sake, expect another article very soon!

Umaizura
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Baban Cho, 39-3
Tel.: 054-2713636
Business hours: 17:30~?
Closed on Sundays.
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Tonami

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Tonami originally opened in 2002 but was bought by the present couple owners mid 2005, for the better, I must say.
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The name “Tonami” means “Rabbit Wave”, and for rabbit lovers, the place is simply full of them!
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Located in the middle of the Shizuoka “Gourmet Town” Tokiwa-cho district, it is a very welcoming place where individuals or small parties of up to four will comfortably sit. I noticed that customers greatly vary in age, always a good sign.
As in any such establishments, sashimi is a good criterion for judging the quality of the fare: the sanma (saury, mackerel pike) was excellent and very fresh (they serve us the bones and head deep-fried later) and very tasty.
They do have original recipes and unusual morsels. I would like to recommend the following:
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(in above order) Deep-fried avocado and scallops Spring rolls, deep-fried whalemeat (yes, you red it!) and kushiyaki (Japanes brochettes)
They also serve a mean Japanese-style tripes curry!
All at reasonable prices for such an establishment.
As for drinks, the usual, but they also serve an excellent Shizuoka Sake, namely Isojiman Honjozo (Yaizu City): no need for dessert!
A place certainly worth a second visit!

Tonami
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 2-9, K Montania Bldg., 1F
Tel.: 054-2512012
Business hours: 17:00~24:00 (weekdays), 15:00~22:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Tuesdays
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Kobayashi

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If you are hungry and thirsty, on your way to the station after a long day’s work, but not in a hurry, Kobayashi is certainly one of the most natural places to visit.
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It stands at a corner just before the back entrance of parco Dept. Store, only a few minutes walk from your train (or your next destination?). The present (young) generation looking after the establishment is the third one following the steps of its founder in the 1950′s.
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Both officionados of “oden” (fish paste balls and others slowly cooked in Japanese broth) and “kushiyaki” (japanese brochettes) will findtheir favourite morsels there. Note that the “oden” are very much “Shizuoka-style”, that cooked a long time and comparatively of daek colour, although the broth was lighter than in some other typical “odenya”
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As for drinks, local patrons enjoy the usual fare, but I had the pleasure to discover a local sake on sale, Sugunishiki Honjozo (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City). If you on your way back to another Prefecture, make sure to taste it!

Kobayashi
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya Machi, 5-1
Tel.: 054-2524932
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
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Nanase

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It was the turn of Mr. Kawashima, a member of our “Monthly Monday Eatout Group” to choose our meting place in August, and he elected for our ever-grwoing group (we accounted for 7 participants this time!) an original izakaya called Nanasei.
The restaurant was created 6 years ago by Mrs. Junko Sunada on the first floor of the large house she lives in with her family.
Actually the first floor consists of a counter (see picture above, sitting 6) and a Japanese tatami room (sitting 6~7).
The place is very comfortable and easy-going but sophisticated at the same time, all that for comparatively reasonable price. You have more the impression to eat at home than in izakaya/restaurant. It makes the place all the more attractive for small groups searching relative peace and quiet in an intimate environment.
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Mrs. Sunada makes a great use of local products, especially vegetables, with an accent on lightness and familiar (as of family) tastes, all the while creating original cuisine for all to enjoy, whatever the age or gender. A vegetarian (that I am not) could very well order or reserve a full meal there!
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The more you eat, the more you feel like drinking, and I have a suspicion that Mrs. Sunada has mastered the art to iduce a customer into sampling her drinking menu!
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Now, the last is the real reason behind our friend’s choice!
As he is a fervent lover of sake, the menu gives him ample cause for rejoicing apart of the beer and wine:
I will cite only the truly local sake among the long list:
Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City)
Shosetsu (Kanzawagawa Brewery, Yui City)
Hatsukame (Okabe-cho, Sida Gun)
Karakkaze (Hana No Mai Brewery, Hamamatsu City)

I would recommend Nanasei both to couples and groups who wish to share a gastronomic adventure away from the tussle of the town.
Set menus and a la carte are available. I would suggets both for value and interest to choose the set menu of the day and eventually add one or two more dishes if you are still hungry!

Nanase
Address: 420-0833 Shizuoka City, Higashi Takajo 2-40 (Go up Kitakaido from Shin Shizuoka Center, turn right at Casino Pachinko, second corner)
Tel.: 054-249551
Fax: 054-2486644
Business hours: 17:30~22:30
Closed on Sundays and 2nd and 3rd Mondays
Reservations advised

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Taisaku

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It certainly took me a long time, but I finally paid a visit to Taisaku, the third oldest Izakaya in Shizuoka City! It has entered it sixty-ninth year of existence and is still going solid thanks to a strong sense of tradition nurtured by the family down to the present 3rd and 4th generations.
It has alway enjoyed a great reputation and certainly deserves it!
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Taisaku prides itself in serving, whenever possible, products from the local seas and lands. The sashimi are true delicacies, especially raw sakura shrimp (large pic above), not easy to serve so fresh unless you have a direct contact in Yui City, or katsuo/bonito thanks to Yaizu City fishermen. The aji/horsemackerel was a beauty, too. I had to limit myself to those three raw servings this time and will have to come regularly to sample the whole menu changing every day (impossible!). I had time and stomach space left to sample their “kisu to anago no satsumaage”, a fish paste made from two fish caught in Suruga Bay and cooked to perfection.

Now, if you know me well, there need be another reason for my introducing an Izakaya: the local sake!
I gave up on posting the labels for the simple reason that the list is too long! Here you are:
Garyubai Dai Ginjo (Sanwa Brewery, Shimizu Ku)
Isojiman Junmai Ginjo + Hionjozo (Yaizu City)
Hatsukame (Shida Gun)
Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City)
Matsu Ichi, including Taruzake/sake from the cask and “kan”/warm (Shizuoka City)
Shosetsu Junmai (Yui City)
Kokkou (Fukuroi City)
Karakkaze (Hana no Mai Brewery, Hamamatsu City)
8 Breweries for 11 types of sake, all from Shizuoka Prefecture!

As Taisaku is located in Central Shizuoka just behind Shin Shizuoka Center, expect it to be full with patrons of all ages, genders and status!
If you wish to talk about local history, you will find the master of the house quite amenable indeed. Not only did he took out old books for me, but he also gave me the name of another Brewery that existed before WWII!

Taisaku
420-0858 Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tenmacho, 1-10 (entry on 1F, restaurant on 2F)
Tel.: 054-2531639
Business hours: 17:30~?
Closed on Sundays
Parties up to 20 possible on 3F
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Maguroya’s Tuna Burger

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Last Thursday I had the occasion to taste again Maguroya Izakaya’s fine Tuna Burger in spite of my worse half’s interference!

It is actually an original creation of theis Izakaya in downtown Shizuoka which specializes in anything about Tuna/Maguro.
Americans and all expats ought to try it. The price is ridiculous when you compare to some notorious chain junk food restaurants. And the taste is simply an experience. I’m sure you will get hooked!
For people who prefer to make them at home, it is pretty simple:
Buy some tuna already ground for “negitoro”, make a ball of the wanted size, dip in flour and then beaten egg and very fine breadcrums or “karaagekona”/powder for deep-fried food and deep-fry!
Of course you will be responsible for a perfectly grilled bread, nice vegetables and tartare sauce!

Maguroya
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 1-11-9, 2F
Tel.: 054-2514101
Open: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Sundays
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Kashimaya
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Kashimaya has long been an institution In Shizuoka City where its 78-year existence makes it one of the oldest izakaya in town.
It certainly deserves its enormous popularity as it strikes the ideal combination of good food, good drinks and good prices. And smiling service!
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It has kept its traditional atmosphere with tatami, wooden counters and decorations.
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Their sashimi is top-class (isaki/grouper and katsuo/bonito in above pics) and usually comes from Shizuoka waters. But you had better come early as sashimi is the first item they tend to run out of quickly!

As for other food you will be able to savour izakaya classics as:
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broiled liver sticks, negima (Pork and leeks sticks) and tsukune (chicken balls)
But make a point to try their cooked fish, especially tempura:
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As any good Shizuoka Izakaya, they do serve local jizake:
Isojiman Honjozo and Daiigunjo
Kokkou Junmai Ginjo (a favourite of mine!)

The kind of place where you easily become a regular as their menu do follow the seasons!

Kashimaya
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Kamiishi cho, Showa Doori, 7-15
Tel.: 054-2523989

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Yasaitei

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If you had to define an Izakaya in Shizuoka City as a Japanese Izakaya for Vegetarinas, Yasaitei would at stand the top of the list. The name itself means “Vegetables Stopover”!
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Right from the moment you order your first drink, a plate of fresh seasonal vegetables will appear for you to savour with your favourite dressing!
Talking of drinks, Yasaitei is truly a Shizuoka establishment when you realize they serve not only 4 Shizuoka jizake from Syozetsu, Isojiman, Kikuyoi and Hana No Mai Brweries, but also 2 rice/kome shochu from Tenjigura and Hana No Mai Distilleries!
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Their vegetables, most of them from growers living in our Prefecture come under various guises: fried, steamed, deep-fried, and so on.
Now, for the true vegetarians, ask Ms. Naomi Oshino and her charming staff not to include any fish or other animal stock in the sauce. She will be glad to oblige!
The place has be opened only two years ago, and it is full any day of the week. Do reserve your seats as they are limited!
Yasaitei is not the kind of place you can justly describe in a single article. It does deserve a few visits before you can assess its true value. The prices are consequent to the quality, but they are fair in the light of the culinary venture!

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended
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Villa D’Est Quisine

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Since Mr. Toshiharu Matsuura opened this original izakaya in September 1997, it popularity has never abated.
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Located inside a small house , it is relatively isolated from the bustling centre. Once you passed the unassuming entrance, you find yourself in a mini replica of an old Japanese abode all wood and beams. A counter, a large table and some seatings on a tatami, all in traditonal Japanese furniture.
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Mr. Matsuura serves a very original cuisine changing every day combining all tastes, Japanese, Asian and European alike using fresh market produces in very tasty dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.

Vegetarians will be glad to learn he is willing to satsfy them with his own original recipes!
But omnivores like me will enjoy the addition of meat to the great vegetables dishes!
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As for the drinks he will please anyone with his excellent assortment of sake, shochu and wines.
Moreover he makes a point of serving Shizuoka Jizake such as the brews from Morimoto/Sayogoromo Brewery (Kikugawa City) and Takshima/Hakuinmasamune Brewery (Numazu City)!

Especially recommended for ladies, couples and loners alike.

Villa d’Est Quisine
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 3-10-1
Tel.: 054-2514763
Business Hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays

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Tanuki No Ana

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Tanuki No Ana (“The Racoon’s Lair”) is a must if you wish to tell later that you have tasted Shizuoka Prefecture’s best sake wherever you might want to boast about it!
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Mr. Makoto Naruoka and his wife Chieko moved to the present address in 1997, but have been serving Shizuoka Sake since 1980!
Actually, if you check the labels posted on their window, you will find out that some breweries have gone out of existence!
A regular customer there, I hallenged the following brews on that day:
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Denichiro by Kokkou Brewery (Fukuroi City), Hakuin Masamune by Takashima Brewery (Numazu City) and Fuji-Takasago Brewery.
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Served with some hearty food perfect with sake, I had a hard time to limit myself once again.
I will spare you from viewing all thos labels again but just know that Tanuki No Hana has no less than 20 breweries fro the following 18 breweries:
Oomuraya (wakatake-Shimada City), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Syosetsu, Haginishiki, Yoshiya-Chummasa, Sanwa-Garyubai, Kumpai (Shizuoka City), Kikuyoi, Shidaizumi, Sugii-Suginishiki (Fujieda City), Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City), Takashima-Hakuin Masamune (Numazu City), Fujinishiki (Fuji Gun), Moriomoto (Kikugawa City), Hatsukame (Okabe Cho), Doi-Kaiun (Kakegawa City).
Sake-lover, what are you waiting for?

Tanuki No Ana
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-Cho, 2-2-5
Tel.: 054-2556704
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays
Credit cards OK
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Take Chan No Daidokoro

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Take Chan No Daikoro might have opened in Shizuoka City only two years ago, but you will need to reserve your seats if you are than two of you!
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Why? (silly question, if there was any!)
Because the food is great and very reasonable, they have plenty of local sake, their fish in particular is local whenever possible and service is attentive and easy-going.
I visited the place more on a hunch than anything else last Friday and was glad to notice the following local sake:
Isojiman Hojozo (Yaizu City), Kaiun Honjozo (Kakegawa City), Shosetsu honjozo & Junmai (Shimizu Ku), Shidaizumi Ginjo (Fujieda City), Chumasa Honjozo (Shizuoka City) and Hana No mai Honjozo & Junmai(Hamamatsu City) !
Of course they have shochu, Beer, Awamori and so on!
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I first ordered “kinme”, a fish caught off Izu Peninsula. A beautiful soft sashimi!
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I could not help notice the beef sashimi on the menu for a mere 720 yen, and my carnivorous instincts took over. And I did well to listen to them. So sweet and tender!
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As I needed some more food with the sake I was drinking so fast, I asked the “oyakata/chef” to recommend me a grilled fish. He advised to try “kuromutsu”.
It came cooked to perfection. The flesh came off so easily off the bones and was so soft and juicy!
I had the good fortune to come early as by the moment I was going to take my leave, it was absolutely packed and had all the six staff running!. I also discovered a few pairs of ladies obviously enjoying themselves.
I will have to come again to check the rest of the menu, but the sashimi sets seemed very reasonably priced and the kushiyaki yummy. Parties are possible but you had better reserve a good week in advance!

Take Chan No Daidokoro
420-0024 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Naka Cho, 22, Saitouya Bldg
Tel. & fax: 054-2215065
Business hours: 11:30~13:30 (Tuesdays ~Saturdays), 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays.

Credit Cards OK
——————
Yukichi

The city of Fujieda have seen a lot of changes these past years with more people coming to live there due to the crowding of nearby Shizuoka City. The old JR Station has disappeared to be replaced by a whole urban complex around both exits. It means that the city has more or less become the “bedtown” of Shizuoka City. It is not all negative as it has encouraged businesses, especially in the restaurateur’ field, to set shop for the benefit of returning workers and company employees.
And some of them are definitely worth visiting.

So, Patrick of Think Twice met me last Friday at Fujieda Station and we went to Yukichi I had a checked an hour before.

Yukichi is an izakaya of a better standard opened in 2005 and it is extremely popular. We were very lucky to get our seats as most were already reserved! Most customers are in their early 30′s.
Now as a general rule, one should patronize only izakaya who serve local sake/jizake. We were not disappointed: Yukichi has some great ones on hand from Aoshima Brewery/Kikuyoi (Fujieda City) and Hatsukame (Okabe Cho)!
I also always make a point to order a chef’s sashimi set recommendation.
The one we were served (see pic above) included not only great fish but succulent chicken sashimi. An acquired taste for some I must agree, but such an unusual combination.

Now, the fact that especially makes you want to come back to Yukichi is that the Lady in charge, Ms. Yoko Naruoka will come to show you a tray with the fresh fish of the day for you to choose from before the “banchyo/chef”, Mr. Masaki Kobayashi prepares your choice either as sashimi or cooked fish as you wish. We opted for “kisu tempura” and “maguro no kama yaki”!

As we had planned to visit another place later, we limited ourselves to a glass of each sake cited above with an extra serving of “tamago yaki” and took our leave with the promise to come back very soon!

Yukichi
Fujieda City, Ekimae, 1-7-21, taiko Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-6469494
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Sundays and every second Monday

————————————

Bu-Ichi

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Bu-Ichi has long been a special favourite of mine and has never disappointed over the years thanks to the shy chef’s constant attention to details and knack for discovering the right staff.
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From starters to main it is a succession of solid good qulaity izakaya fare.
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But Bu-Ichi’s forte is fish, either as fist-class sashimi or
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cooked, grilled or home-preserved.
The menu will take quite a few visits to exhaust.
Now all drinks are available, but sake from Shizuoka will satisfy anyone and does include some rarities such as:
Sayogoromo Honjozo (Morimoto Brewery), Kokkou Tokubetsu Junmai, Kikuyoi Junmai, Fujinishiki Daiginjo (who got the highest accolade for Daiginjo in 2007!), Hatsukame Junmai and Isojiman Honjozo!
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Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable

—————–

Takano

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I had meant for a long time to introduce one of, and probably, the oldest traditional izakaya in Shizuoka City, namely, Takano.
Conveniently situated near the JR Station, it was founded in 1923 and is presently looked after by the fourth generation in the person of Susumu Takano (36) who has the advantage of speaking fluent English. His parents and relatives are still near to give a hand, and he certainly needs all their help as the place usually is packed by 5 p.m.!
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I could not postpone the visit any longer when my good friends Neil and Mark agreed to all meet there last night (May 18th) in the company of a lady friend, Miki, and Mark’s better half later.
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I made sure to take their picture before we became hopelessly overwhelmed by our drinking as usually happens in the company of those two Englishmen, especially when I can drag them from the beer into sake!
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Food at Takano is plentiful, very reasonable and of good quality. Always ask for the sashimi assortment if you want to know what we people in Shizuoka eat.
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And do not miss the specialty of Shizuoka, Sakura Ebi as Tempura or Kakiage. You will never tire of it!
Susumu is a fan of shochu, but he has obtained some good jizake by associating his establishment with Haginishiki Brewery (Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku)
For hot (kan) sake you have Haginishiki Honjyozo
We decided to taste all the cold jizake available:
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Haginishiki “Minami Alps” Tokubetsu Honjozo
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Haginishiki Toro No Sato Tokubetsu Junmai
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Haginishiki Junmai Ginjyo
We asked for three more bottles of the last one!
By that time, I was getting a bit fuzzy and decided to postpone further experiences to future articles!

Takano
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 5-4 (behind Parco Dpt. Store)
Tel.: 0542510131
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

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4 thoughts on “Shizuoka Izakaya 1~37”

  1. I love Bu-ichi,too!!

    Thank you, it’s so helpful!!
    I recommended this website for some tourists today. I’d like to read all articles about Shizuoka. I need three nights and more…!!

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