Japanese Cuisine & Restaurants

First visit at Sushi Yoshimizu

Chef Mamoru Yoshimuzu at work

Service: excellent, professional and friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable to slight expensive. Good value.
Strong points: Edomae-style sushi. Good sake and drinks.
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

Thanks to a bunch of new friends, I had the occasion last night to pay my first visit to an excellent Sushi Restauarant called Yoshimizu in Shizuoka City.
It proved a good idea to have gone there with friends as there is little chance to find a seat if you haven’t made a reservation.
The oyakata prepares only enough to be served to guests with reservations every evening!

Visiting a new restaurant with new friends can be a problem when taking pictures as you do not have the time, nor the best of lightings!
At least no smoke is interfering as it is an entirely non-smoking establishement, a rare case for a sushi restaurant!

The above is an appetizer combination of Aji Namuro/Pike Mackerel Tartare and Surumeika Meshi/Rivce stuffed briled squid-cuttle fish.

All the morsels are served on/in minoyaki earthenware.
The sushi style is uncompromisingly edomae-style (Tokyo style) by an oyakata/chef who also spent 3 years in London before opening his restaurants 5 years ago.

Isaki

Whenever possible the fish and seafood are local such as the above isaki.
There is no menu to choose from because one is serve a menu set depending on the day’s avaibility.
As for drinks, there is enough to please everywhere, including some great sake from Shizuoka Prefecture and elsewhere.

Mirugai.

The service is very professional but friendly.
All questions and queries will be answered with plenty of details.

Seitoro: Toro from the back of a minami maguro/southern tuna.
The fact that the place seats only 10 guests means that everyone is sitting at a counter in full view of the chef’s work!

Aka Ika: red squid seasoned with Himalaya salt and sesame seeds.
No small saucer is provided as all mrseld come -preseasoned by the chef. No need for extra soy sauce or wasabi!

Kinjiso leaves and ikura/salmon roe.
Before starting serving the chef will chef if you have any problems and ny food (in my case I can’t stand mentaiko) and will take good note (on his notebook!) to make sure you pleased and satisfied!

Kuruma ebi, boiled and seasoned.

Sagoshi/Young Sawara/Spanish Mackerel.

Anago sho/conger eel, so soft!

Megochi/Young kochi

Tamagoyaki (made with shrimp paste)!

Alright, I will have to go there again very soon, and on my own , for better pics!

Sushi Yoshimizu/鮨よし水
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Showa-cho, 4-8, Rumankan 4F
Tel.: 054-253-3889
Opening hours: 17:30~24:00 (mon., Tues, Wed.); 17:30~02:00 (Fri., Sat.); 17:30~22:30 (Sun. and National Holidays)
Closed on Thursdays and on Mondays after National Holidays.
Cards OK
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Sushi Restaurant: Dinner at Sushi Ko (Shizuoka City, ’10/04/22)

Take-away Sashimi Tray!

As promised, here is the full photograph report of pur dinner at Sushi Ko the other day.
Some pics are fuzzy, pressed for time as I was by the missus!
Sorry!

The Man In Charge: Mr. Oda!

Generous serving of Shosetsu sake (Shizuoka City, Yui)!

Like in any good sushi restaurants one can have a good look at their ware in glass displays!

The sashimi we ordered for the day!

Katsuo/鰹 or bonito (from Shizuoka Prefecture!).

Kinmedai/金目鯛 or Splendid alfonsino (from Shizuoka Prefecture!)

Served with chopped leeks and grated ginger.

The next sake: Junmai ginjo by Fujinishiki Brewery (Shibakawa Cho), rice milled down to 55%. Priveate label for Sushi KO!

Japanese-style tako/蛸 octopus Carpaccio plate!

Anago/穴子 or conger eel tempura.

Maguro zuke/鮪付け or marinated tuna

Botan ebi/牡丹海老 or large sweet prawn

Hotate/帆立 or scallop

Hirame/平目 or sole. Seasoned with lemon juice and salt only!

The deep-fried heads of the botan ebi!

Kujira/鯨 or whale

Vegan sushi tray! Menegi/芽葱 or thin leeks sprouts, Himesoba/姫蕎麦 or buckwheat sprouts, Mitsuba/三つ葉 or trefoil and Kawairedaikon/かわいれ大根 or daikon sprouts (lightly boiled) with umeboshi!

Hamaguri/蛤 or large clams. Unusual as they are quite a work to do for little profit!

Pirikara Hotate Futomaki/ピリ辛帆立太巻 or Spicy Scallops thick roll, one of Mr. Oda’s specialties!

Anago/穴子 or conger eel

Shiso, Nattou to Umeboshi Maki/紫蘇納豆梅干巻 or sushi roll with perilla leaves, fermented soy beans and pickled Japanese plum. Vegan!

Sakura Ebi Gunkan/桜海老軍艦 or fresh cherry shrimps. Only available in Shizuoka (cheap) unless you want to pay a helluva money in Tokyo!

Ikura Ko Donburi/イクラ小丼 or small bowl of salmon roe.

Nameko Jiru/なめこ汁 or nameko mushrooms miso soup

And Shizuoka Green Tea to finish!

SUSHI KO
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko (Shizuoka Cuty, ’10/04/22)

4 Sprout Sushi Set!

Vegan and vegetarian sushi exists!
Although Im neither, I always make a pont to order a few vegan nigiri at my favourite sushi Restaurant, Shizuoka City.
Every time the Missus and I visit the restaurant like we did last night, Mr. Oda knows what’s coming!
Although it is easier in Shizuoka than anywhere else, one should be able to taste them at any sushi restaurant worth its name. A little smile and politeness will do wonders!

The first thing I asked (there will be a full posting soon about the whole meal!) was to devise a set of sprout sushi as shown in picture at top of this posting.
The first sprout was menegi/芽葱 or thin leek sprouts.

The second one was himesoba/姫蕎麦 or buckwheat sprouts.

The third one was mitsuba/三つ葉 or trefoil sprouts with beautiful leaves.

The fourth one was kawairedaikon/かわいれ大根 or daikon sprouts, lightly boiled and topped with umeboshi.

We did have a sushi roll which is vegan: shiso/始祖 or perilla leaves, natto/納豆 and umeboshi/梅干!

SUSHI KO
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Horse Meat Sashimi at Tomii

Horse meat has been a favourite of the Japanese (and only the French and the Tatars!). They call it “Sakura” as it is reminiscent of the colour of cherry blossoms!
The best quality is produced in Kagoshima Prefecture in the Island of Kyushu.

It is usually served in very thin sashimi/carpaccio-style slices.

In sushi restaurants, it will usually be frozen for easier cutting, but Tomii beig a high-quality restaurant they avoid frezzing which might add water to the meat.
It is very sweet and tender, and a very special morsel.

It is always served with two types of seasoning at Tomii:
Soy sauce (light variety) with freshly grated ginger, or the same soy sauce with grated garlic. Both are complemented with very finely chopped fresh thin leek!

To be enjoyed with a great sake or shochu!

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Japanese Appetizers at Tomii!

A Japanese restaurant worth its salt will always an array of appetizers ready for its customers in a hurry or not having enough time to enjoy a full meal. Moreover, they will be exclusively seasonal. They are certainly the mark of the restaurant for all to remember.

I harbour no worry whatsoever when I visit Tomii in Shizuoka City in a rush. I actually look forward to savour their tidbits of the day!
Alright, here is what I had the other night:

I was certainly in a hurry and I’m afraid the pics slightly suffered from it!
From left to right:
“Shiromi sakana to jagaimo agemono”/White fish and potato deep-fried dumpling.
“Yuri”/lily bulb. The petals are first lightly boiled then marinated in sweet umeboshi vinegar and finally cut to shape.
“Endo mame tamagoyaki”/ Japanese omelette made with eggs and green peas.
“Komochi Konbu”/Herring roe pressed with konbu seaweed.

“Aka Konnyaku”?red Devil’s Tongue tuber jelly.
“Warabi”/western bracken fern, boiled.
“Komochi Konbu”/Herring roe pressed with konbu seaweed.
“Petit Vert/kimizu dare”/Petit Vert lettuce with sauce mde with egg yolk and sweet vinegar.

“Shirauo Karaage”/Ice goby deep-fried in a very light batter and seasoned with lemon juice. Simple and eminently tasty!

For a closer view: can you see their eyes?

Shizuoka Prefecture produces 50% of “Himono/Sun-dried fish” in all Japan! These three were caught in Suruga Bay, just off our city!

Top centre: “Tachiuo”/Scabbard fish grilled with sesame seeds.
Left: “Seguro Iwashi”/Black back sardines, also grilled with sesame seeds.
Right: “Choosia Fugu”/ A small variety of globefish, grilled and seasoned with grate lime zest.

Looking forward to my next visit!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Quick Fix at Tomii!

Kazuya Tomii/Chef-Owner at Tomii, Shizuoka City

There are times when I just fel too hungry to finish the day at work.
I always have a break at around 18:00 (I usually finish my day at 21:00), and I call it the “Stomach Pang Hour”. It is hard to resist the temptation everyday, so I’m bound to fall prey to mu\y yearnings and make a quick run for one of my favourite haunts.

When I reached Tomii the other day, they were really busy with big groups, which allowed me to take my time at te counter and take some pics of what stands or lies there for the guests’ attention (I mean the appetizers!LOL)

This is the full range of the sake form nurukan/warm sake. Four of them are from Shizuoka Prefecture!
As for the cold sake count three times as many varieties waiting in the fridge!

Being busy, Chef Tomii served a a few morsels/appetizers.
The above one is fresh bambaoo shoot from Oshika, Shizuoka Prefecture deep-fried in kabushi-age style sprinkled with o-kaka/fine fish shavings and pan-fried wakame seeweed with sesame seeds.

As I said I had plenty of time to take pictures of what was on the counter.
The above are small seguro/black back sardines from Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, prepared in Mirin boshi style/marinated in mirin sweet sake and generously sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Boiled Umi-tsubu-gai/ a popular variety of small conch shellfish.

Chef Tomii makes a point of mixing Japanese and Shizuoka specialties.
He serves real Shizuoka-style oden (Japanese pot-au-feu9 in a dark broth typical of our region.

On a plate just before serving. Hot Japanese mustard and dry seaweed powder will be added.

A dark Japanese/Shizuoka Witch Brew?

Another appetizer: Matsumaezuke/marinated finely cut vegetables and seaweed.

The sashimi plate I was waiting for!

Bottom line:
Suzuki/Seabass/鱸 on a slice of red daikon.
Next to it going to the right: Murasaki Uni/Violet sea urchin/紫海栗, Sayori/Japanese Halbeak/細魚 on a slice of yellow Kyoto Carrot.
Above the seabass, Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid/煽り烏賊.
And above: Honmaguro/Blue Fin Tuna/本鮪 Akami/Lean part/赤身

On the shiso/perilla leaf/紫蘇, Madai/True snapper-Seabream/真鯛 and Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid/煽り烏賊 again on a slice of red Kyoto carrot.

The wasabi is naturally freshly grated Shizuoka wasabi root!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Sashimi Feast At Ekimae Matsuno Sushi

Now, what makes sushi restaurants of so high level in Shizuoka?
Tokyoites will say that they have Tsukiji and that is enough…
Have you ever wondered how fresh fish, shellfish and others are “fresh” there?
“Fresh fish” at all costs has become a very misleading notion.
The fact it is alive and swimming does not mean it is fresh.

All fish must be caught first and depending on their kind have to be either eaten right away or…
For example seabreams should be kept at least a day alive in an aquarium/tub to get them rid of unwanted parasites inside their innards. But at the same time keeping them alive longer will result in a loss of proteins and fat with the consequence of a fast quality decline.
Tuna has to be blooded very precisely first, then frozen. Once thawed and cut it is usually left at least a week for maturing/ripening before reaching the perfect taste.
On the other hand, squids must be dressed and eaten alive (still moving!).
It is a “case by case” (said in English) as explained by the chef at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in Shizuoka City.
Founded in 1930, the oldest sushi restaurant know what they are talking about!

Bachi Maguro/目鉢鮪/Big-eyed Tuna from Ogasawara/Shizuoka Prefecture, Tairagai/玉珧/Pen shell from Aichi Prefecture, Sayori/細魚/Japanese Halfbeak from Suruga Bay/Shizuoka Prefecture

The key to appreciating top-class sashimi at all times and seasons is to savour it locally. Only then will you be sure of its origin and quality.
Naturally you must also discover a trustworthy sushi restaurant and chef. Not very difficult here where the competition is intense!

Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard fish partly seared/aburi/炙り, Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid rolled with seaweed/nori/海苔, and Madai/真鯛/Japanese red seabream, red seabream snapper. All from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Ekimae matsuno Sushi pride themselves in providing Shizuoka Prefecture fare whenever possible, including Japanese sake (all from Shizuoka Prefecture!), and they make no bones (fish bones!LOL) about that! Shy and reserved, they will quickly warm up to your questions if asked in a gentle enough manner good manners!).

I sudenly felt an urgent longing for more Sayori/細魚/Japanese Halfbeak after having sampled it in the first sashimi set. It is such a great and delicate fish and ripened to perfection as a whole fish inside the refrigerated display window. It canbe manipulated in all kinds of designs.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic. I’m still getting used to the newly discovered possibilities of my old mobile phone camera (up to 2 MB).

Kawahagi no Kimo Ae/カワハギの肝和え/Thread-Sail File Fish sashimi seasoned with its Liver. From Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Now, here is a fish you must eat as fresh as possible!
Take it out alive (caught the day before maximum) out of the aquarium, dress it quickly, clean the liver, and serve the fish cut either in thin strips or slices with its liver chopped into a dip sauce, or season the cut fish directly (once cut) with its live, and serve it with chopped scallions/thin leeks and grated wasabi!
Ah, I forgot to mention that wasabi is from Shizuoka Prefecture (80% of the total national crop!)! Actually I’m repeating that every time! LOL

The chef had the grace (and pride) of showing me this (small, although reaching more than 20 cm!) Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid live and kicking before preparing it for me!

It was still moving (I mean the very strips) under my chopsticks.
The chef gently asked me to taste it first as it is with nothing.
Incredible! Crunchy, not the merest hint of “fishy” taste. An experience!
Then he asked me to try it with a little salt only. Another discovery!

Last, the chef brought an enormous fresh egg yolk in a small crystal bowl and invited me to add a little soy sauce to it before dipping the squid in it. You must try that!

This was lunch and I am not eating much then as a rul these days.
I decided to skip the sushi for another (near) day and asked for tamagoyaki/卵焼き/japanese Omelette as dessert.
It came in two varieties:
the thin slices were eggs mixed with fish paste and the other were plain tamagoyaki fried with shiso.

Have I convinced you?

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi/駅前松乃鮨
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 9-3 (in front of Shizuoka City JR Station, North Side)
Tel.: 054-251-0123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays and third Tuesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Sashimi Mini-Plate at Tomii (’10/01/09)

This is the second part of my “Quick fix” last night at Tomii.
I posted this article separately as it will also go to my sushi blog page and Sushi Nomads Website.

All the fish served on this “min sashimi plate” are seasonal (as always at Tomii).

Left top: “Honmaguro Akami”, or lean part of bluefin tuna backed with various sprout vegetables.
Right top: “Hirame” or sole on a leaf of shiso/perilla.
Left bottom: “Tai”, or seabream. In thei case “Madai”, or true seabream.
Right bottom: “Aori Ika”, or bigfin reef squid.
The wasabi is naturally freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Japanese Gastronomy: Zensai/Appetizer at Tomii (’10/01/09)

Dining or just “having a snack” in Japan in the right places can easily turn into an intimidating experience.
Last night, suffering from a bout of starvation, my body took me to my favourite Japanese restaurant for a “quick bite”.
People know me well there and don’t really bother to ask me for orders. I just tell them “a little today”, or “plenty today”! That kind of attitude will make my friends think I’ve gone snobbish at last…

Not at all, actually, which means anyone can expect great surprises in this country, even if it concerns a simple appetizer.

That particular plate wich came with the first drink consisted of the following:
From left to right:
“Tazukuri”, or grilled (very) small fish.
“Nishin no Kobumaki”, or herring simmered and rolled into seaweed.
“Sake Nekimitamaki”, or salmon steamed inside fish paste.
“Hoshoumaki”, or crab roll.

For a closer picture of “Nishin no Kobumaki”, “Sake Nekimitamaki”, and “Hoshoumaki”.

For a closer picture ofthe other ingredients:
The “Tazukuri”, or grilled (very) small fish at the back.
“Tsurudaikon”, or daikon coloure in plum water and cut in the shape of a “tsuru”, or Ja@anese crane.
“Tori no terrine”, or a small cube of chicken terrine.
“Fukumame”, or large simmered black bean.

The green is “Na no Hana”, or rape blossom sprinkled with “Karasumi Oroshi”, or grated pickled mullet roe.
The grated wasabi is fresh one from Shizuoka!

For a better view of the beautiful Japanese Crane pottery dish used to serve that great appetizer!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Japanese Cuisine: Stewed Pork in Black Rice Balls at UZU

One more dish we had yesterday at Uzu ozakaya in Shizuoka City was a new creation:
Kakuni Kuro Mai Dango/角煮黒米団子 or Stewed Pork in Black Rice Balls.

It did look a straightforward, but the first bite indicated the complexity of that dish.
Stewed Pork is first made in “Kakuni-style”, which takes quite some time to achieve.
The pork is then cut into tiny pieces and wrapped inside the rice ball.
Now the rice used is black rice. This is a bit of a misnomer a Japanese black rice has nothing to do with the “black rice” (which is not rice) used in Americas and Europe.
Actually it is a dark-red rice variety.
One part of the rice is first steamed into a glutinous paste. More black rice is added to the glutinous paste and the mixture is shaped into a ball with the kakuni inside.
It is steamed again with the result of solid/firm rice grains inside the glutinous rice ball, giving it a satisfying bite enhanced by the pork inside.
The balls (as big as a child fist) are served topped with sweet and sour sauce and fresh trefoil (for taste and colour).
A very satisfying, intriguing dish.

Another treat!
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Japanese Cuisine: Venison Sashimi/Shika Sashimi at UZU

Last night, for once the Missus and I quickly agreed to pay a visit to our favourite izakaya, Uzu, in Shizuoka City.
The place is renown all over the Prefecture for serving food prepared with ingredients coming almost exclusively from our Prefecture.
I thought it better to introduce the dishes in separate postings to make it easier for friends to choose which one to read according to their culinary, diet preferences!

This sashimi/raw meat is venison, that is the meat of a deer.
That particular deer was culled up in the mountains near the Abe River in Umegashima, Shizuoka City. Their number have to be controlled as they tend to overreproduce too quickly to the detriment of the ecological and economic balance of the region.

The sashimi/carpaccio was served with freshly grated wasabi grown along the Abe River, freshly grated garlic and chopped leeks. The soy sauce served with it was of the sweet light kind.

As for the venison, it has a light gamey flavour to it. It was extremely tender and almost sweet,

A treat!

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, but have a look at the pics!)
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Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Ko (’09/12/10)

When I go for sushi with the Missus, we invariably visit Sushi Ko in Sushi Ko.
I just can’t enumerate all the good reasons for visiting this sushi restaurant.
It is the best deal in town when it comes to quality, freshness, prices and service. Full stop.

We were served ankimo/アンキモ or monkfish liver (I call it Japanese foir gras!) with the first drink.
That helped us consider which sashimi to start with.
Here is what we ordered on that particular day (the fish served is only seasonal at Sushi Ko, so choosing sashimiis a great venture!):

-Bottom left: “honmaguro/本鮪”, blue fin tuna from Oma (Aomori Prefecture), chu-toro/semi-fat part.
-Top left: O-toro/belly fat part of same fish
-Bottom centre: “Aori Ika/あおり烏賊, Great Fin Reef Squid from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.
-Bottom right: Akami/lean part rom same tuna.

Notice the “shiso/紫蘇”, perilla flowers, grated “wasabi/山葵” from Shizuoka and “wakame/若布” seaweed at the back!

“Kinmeidai/金目鯛”, gold eye seabream from Izu penisula in Shizuoka Prefecture resting on a shiso/perilla leaf.

As we were not ready yet for the sushi (rice) we ordered one more sashimi: “aji tataki/鯵たたき”, or saurel/mackerel pike tartare Caught off Shizuoka shores).
Very fresh and enjoyable as you little bits at a time.

Just to prove how fresh the fish was (it was caught live from the tank), we were served its head and bones dep-fried. This is actually the traditional Japanese way to get their calcium for their bodies!

Sushi is not only superlative at sashimi and sushi, but they also provide a great array of excellent cooked dishes.
The Missus being ravenous, she couldn’t help asking for the “hotate gratin/帆立グラタン, scallops gratin! French cuisine at a sushi restaurant! Why not!

On the other I couldn’t help ogling at the “botan ebi/牡丹蝦, large prawns” from Hokkaido. I opted for them as sushi nigiri. These large prawns are very sweet and are exclusively eaten raw.

Once again, to prove their freshness, we were served the heads deep-fried!

“Maguro Zuke/鮪付け”, marinated tuna is another morsel that we must have. The tuna, akami/lean part usually is marinated for 10~20 minutes in a mixture of soy sauce, sake and mirin (and other “secret” ingredients) before being placed on the shari/rice ball. Almost makes for a dessert.

One particular creation by Sushi Ko is their Sushi Millefeuille (another French concept?)
They offer two kinds, one international style, the other Japanese style.
For once, we chose the Japanese style:
“kanpachi/間八” or greater Amberjack, “Kazu no Ko/数の子”, or herring roe and cucumber on the first tier, “Katsuo Bushi/鰹節” or dry bonito shavings and chopped thin leeks, the whole surrounded with dressing and “Tobikko/飛び子” or flying fish roe!

From then it was ordering morsels, one set of two/”nikan-二冠” at a time:
“hotate/帆立”, raw scallops muscle part.

“HIrame/平目”, or sole, served pre-seasoned with a little salt and lemon juice. Perfect as it is. No need for soy sauce!

“Me-negi/芽葱”, or leek sprouts for the vegans!

The Missus couldn’t stop and ordered Japanese-style deep-fried oysters!

And the ubiquitous “Ikura mini don/いくらミニ丼”, or mini bowl of rice topped with salmon roe and freshly grated wasabi (from Shizuoka, of course!).

As for me, I will not leave the place without the “Tamagoyaki/卵焼き” or Japanese omellette. Home-made (not all sushi restaurants go through the pain of cooking their own tamagoyaki!”) and artfully cut!

And the extravagant dessert: “Anago/穴子”, conger eel first grilled to a soft texture and topped with tare/sauce (always original at Sushi Ko!)!

We did have a lot of drink, I can assure you, but we remembered what we savoured!
Next time? Very soon, I’m sure!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/12/04)

I suppose I do not need to introduce Tomii again as it is my favourite Japanese restaurant in the whole of Shizuoka Prefecture!
To make a long story short, I paid them a visit last night on my way back from university before going home.

I was not that hungry, so I just ordered “o-tsukuri/sashimi plate”.

From left to right:
Yellow carrot, Suzuki/black bass, various sprouts, Kyoto ninjin/Kyoto re carrot, Aka Ika/red squid, shiso/perilla flowers and beni shigure daikon/red daikon variety.

For a clsoer view of thefresh vegetables!

From left to right:
Kan buri/Winter yelowtail on shiso/perilla leaf, Uni/seaurchin under a slice beni daikon/red daikon and bachmaguro/tuna variety.

I had sake with all that of course.

I particularly enjoyed a new brew by Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City:

Doi Brewery: Kaiun Junmai
Rice: Oyamanishiki
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.5
Amino acids: 1.2
Bottled in March 2009

Clarity: very clear
Colour: faint golden hue
Aroma: Fresh, discreet, feminine, fruity. Memories of vanilla, banana and pineapple.
Body: velvety
Taste: Soft attack. Well-rounded. Shirt tail.
Pleasant, fleeting, feminine, sophisticated.
Fruity and dry, but very smooth.
Pineapple, soft citruses
Junmai tingle appears with food with a late appearance by almonds.
Very soft and fleeting finish with more dry almonds.

Overall: Extravagant, sophisiticated, fleetingly feminine are not exaggerated descriptions for this sake, the last created by Master Brewer hase who passed away in 2009.
Now, how would you drink it?
With your love? as an extravagant aperitif? Or on your own away from the bustle of everyday life….

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————
Sushi Restaurants: Sushi Ko (’09/09/25)

SUSHIKO-09-25-5

Last night, I took two of my students to Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City to introduce them to the highest quality for the best value sushi in town.
Most sushi restaurants in Japan do not advertize their prices, whereas Sushi Ko does so expcept for the sashimi of thday, which are nonetheless of very good value.

Moreover they serve local seafood whenever possible, and seasonl one only. You do not visit Sushi Ko to fill yourself with cheap fat rolls, but to appreciate healthy top class sushi and sashimi.

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My students, being both ladies. we ordered a Chablis bottle to start.
Halfway, I ordered for myself a glass of succulent Shizuoka Sake, “Shosetesu/正雪 brewed by Kansawagawa Brewery (located in Yui, one of the best spots for fihing in the Prefecture!).
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Sashimi: Katsuo/bonito, Shimaaji/Stripde Jack and Kinmedai/plendid alfonsino

Since the last time I visited the place in June with the Missus, the seasonal fish haven’t changed that much yet and we almost ordered the same.
We started with a plate of sashimi consisting of katsuo/bonito, shimaaji/striped jack (a variety of saurel) and kinmedai/plendid alfonsino (a variety of grouper) all caught off Shizuoka’s shores!

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Next we ordered a “tennen-aji” a saurel caught in the wild as a tataki/Japanese-style tartare served with the rest of the fish.

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The fish being extremely fresh, its bones and head were later served deep-fried/karaage!

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Then, it was for the Sushi Ko classics:
Sushi Millefeuille with maguro/tuna, kyuuri/cucumber, avocado adn topped with tobikko/flying fish roe!

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Piri kara hotate maki/spicy scallops roll. A superlative roll made with with finely cut scallops, tobikko, chili pepper, finely chopped leeks and peanuts with mayonnaise and what else.
A must at Sushi Ko!

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A plate of vegan sushi!

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The last order is unfortunately going to creat consternation among some of my friends in the US: kujira/whalemeat seasoned with a little salt and a good amount of goma a bura/sesame oil without any siy sauce. Succulent!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

———————-
Local Sashimi & Sushi only at Ginta!

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The particularity of Ginta, a minuscule sushi restaurant located near the harbour of Yui in the eastern part of Shizuoka City is that it proposes sushi and sashimi plates from fish exclusively caught in Suruga Bay only a few miles and fathoms from the very shore!

The other day I convinced the Missus to pay Ginta a belated (for me as it was a first for her) visit and sample the fish of the moment.

Iforgot to say that the prices are ridiculously low when taking the quality and rarity in consideration!

The “Jizakana/Local Fish” set of 8 above is priced at 1,800 yen/ 19 US $!

Here is a description of the sushi (Picture above):

Above, from left to right:
-Tora Fugu/a popular species of globefish, served pre-seasoned (no need to dip it in the soy sauce)
-Hanadai/A kind of grouper, served pre-seasoned
-Tachiuo/Scabbard Fish, v
-Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps, served in “gunkan” style.

Bottom, from left to right:
-Kanpachi/Albacore
-Kurodai/another kind of grouper
-Kurozawa Aji/Saurel caught in Kurozawa area, next to Yui.
-Kose/a purely local fish also called “kushikinme or goso (in Numazu City). It is apparently a local variety of grouper.

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Having enjoyed kose for the first time, we decided to order it as a full sashimi plate.
A real beauty: firm, almost crisp, not a hint of “fishy taste” and absloutely delicious!

No wonder customers come all the way from Tokyo!
Now, the advantage I have on such customers is that Mr. Hara is so enthusiastic sharing his knowledge with local patrons!
——————
Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/07/31)

TOMII-09-07-31

Visited Tomii last night for the first time in three weeks. It was about time I sampled one of their sashimi plates!

No fussing needed, will just explain:

Top: Amaebi/sweet shrimps

Center: Hirame/Sole. Kanpachi/Amberjack, Toro/Tuna fatty part

Bottom: Akami/Tuna lean part, Hirame engawa/Sole “verandah” (actually this is the border flesh that is usually thrown away abroad!), Aka Ika/Red squid, Sanma/Mackerle pik-Saury

Notice the shiso/perilla flowers!

What did I drink with that?
Hakuin Masamune Yamahai by Takashima Shuzo in Numazu City, a sake geeting national recognition these days!

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Tempura Plate at Tomii (’09/07/01)

TOMI-TEMPURA-MEL
(Courtesy of Melinda Joe)

This was the second dish we were served at my favourite Japanese Restaurant, Tomii, in Shizuoka City after accompanying Melinda Joe at Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City during her Japan Times interview.

Can you recognize any of the tempura?

Waiting for your answers! LOL

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

—————————
Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/07/01)

TOMII-SASHIMI-MEL
(Courtesy of Melinda Joe)

Last week, Wednesday, I had the occasion to sample a plate of sashimi at my favourite Japanese Restaurant, Tomii, in Shizuoka City after accompanying Melinda Joe at Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City during her Japan Times interview.

Can you recognize any of the sashimi?

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————–
Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/06/22)

TOMII-09-06-22

Just came from a “quick fix” at Tomii as I was too hungry to continue work! (I’m back at the office right now!)

Just ordered “o-tsukuri/Sashimi plate” as the calories are non-existent (the Missus is preparing dinner!).

From top clockwise:
-Madai/Japanese Snapper species
-Aburi Tachiuo/lightly grilled Scabbard Fish
Note the shiso/perilla flowers in between!
-Hata/Grouper
-Murasaki Uni/Violet Sea Urchi from Aomori Prefecture
-Hamo/Pike Conger Eel, lightly boiled
-Aka Ika-Kensaki Ika/Red cuttlefis-Squid
In the middle:
-Mebachi-maguro/ig-eyed Tuna Akami/lean part

I honestly wisjh you were all here!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

————————–
SASHIMI PLATE AT TOMII (’09/05/20)

TOMII-09-05-20b

I suppose I need not introduce my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City any more, as I just have stopped counting the articles I wrote about this place!

Anyway, Last night I went for a quick fix before resuming work.

Look at pic above showing what I was served as “o-sukuri/sashimi plate:
Front row:
-Uni/Sea Urchin, “Saimaki Kuruma Ebi/Shrimp variety, Aka Ika/Red Cuttle Fish, Ishidai/Seabream variety
Second row:
-Hon Maguro Akami/Blue Fin Tuna Lean Part, Kurodai/Black Seabream, Houbo/Bluefin Robin.
Note the Shiso/perilla flowers!

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Apart of the freshly grated wasabi, I was presented two kinds of soy sauces: normal soy sauce and the other a mixture of soy sauce and sweet pickled Japanese plum/Ume Shoyu. The later is great with white-fkesh fish!

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Before that I was served “Shunsai/Spring Vegetable”, a very tasty morsel for which vegans and vegetarians would swim across the Pacific Ocean!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

———————
SUSHI AT SUSHI KO (revisited)

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As advertised on Foodbuzz, I finally managed to drag the Missus to a belated visit of our favourite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City: Sushi Ko!
I also succeeded in persuading the Missus in helping me with the pics. I hope this will become useful with friends who need information!

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As we are just in season we started with katsuo/bonito. Maybe I told you that the best bonito is caught by fishermen from Shizuoka Prefecture who bring it to the Habours of Numazu and Yaizu!
Notice the shiso/perilla flower sprig!

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Every time, and I say every time, we visit Sushi Ko, the Missus must have deep-fried tuna served with momijioroshi (grated daikon with cayenne pepper)! Alright, it’s a great morsel, indeed!

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Kawahagi/Filefish is in season, too.
We asked Mr. Oda to serve it as to serve it as tsukuri:

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You oll a few pieces around a couple of hosonegi/thin leek and dip it in a sauce made with the fresh raw liver of the fish and some soy sauce and sake (see pic at the top)!

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The “jowls” came later deep-fried!

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I then challenged Mr. Oda to serve us one of his vegetarian sushi set:
Menegi/dwarf leek, Soba Me/Buckwheat Sprouts, Mitsuba/Trefoil, Kawaire Daikon!

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Maguro Zuke/Marinated raw tuna. Another specialty of the house!

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Kujira/Whale meat. Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the rare places where you can find it in Japan!

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Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps, fresh from Yui as gunkan. Can be found in that state only in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Pirikara Hotate Maki/Hot Scallops Roll. Another specialty of the house. American Friends, I can hear you salivating (drooling)!

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Tamagoyaki! Cute, ain’t it?

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Ikura no Mini Donburi/Mini bowl of salmon roe!

We did drink a lot, and only ate that. Mind you, we came back home full and content!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Vegan & Vegetarian feast at Tomii: Sansai/Japanese Mountain Wild Plants

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It seems I can’t away from Tomii these days!
The reason (s) is (are) pretty simple:
This Japanese restaurant not only offers the best value for food (although a little expensive), but they scrupulously serve only seasonal culinary marvels!

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“Sanbo”

Its young (33) second-generation chef-owner, Kazuya Tomii, has always been surprised to hear that many expat vegans or vegetarians had a hard time to find appropriate food in restaurants or even markets.

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Vegetables and fruit from Shizuoka Prefecture

Having spent 6 years learning his trade in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gifu and Shizuoka before taking over in 2004, he knows very well there is plenty to savour for non-meat eaters!

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Sansai/Japanese Wild Mountain Plants from Yamagata Prefecture

When I went there for dinner last Friday, he had just received a whole batch of “Sansai” from a relative in Yamagata Prefecture who owns a mountain (no joke) awash with these succulent wild plants!
I don’t have to tell you that I went vegetarian on that particular night!
I asked him to just prepare them away as he deemed best with some great local Shizuoka Sake!

Here is what I was served (I keep all the items in Japanese in case you have the occasion to find them. Asking in English would be very complicated. If needed, I will send a glossary to any friend who asks for it!):

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Hors d’oeuvres/starter:
From top clockwise
-Ginbo
-Ukogi
-Ichiya Kogomi

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Top: Amadokoro with white miso sauce
Bottom: Aka Kogomi

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A better view of the sansai from Yamagata Prefecture!

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Nice ware to serve hot sake in!

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Udo and konyaku kimpira!

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Sansai Tempura!
From left to right:
-Aka kogomi
-Tara no me
-Udo leaf
-Amadokoro (long stem)
-Koshiabura

Note: vegans, when making tempura, should use cornstarch instead of egg whites!

tomii-veg11

Agedashi yasai with mochi!
Now, this particular dish is absolutely vegan and vegetarian. Very satisfying!

I guarantee you I was full!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
———————
JAPANESE FUSION CUISINE AT TOMII

tomii-fusion

I visited Tomii, my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City last night to sample the “Sansai/Wild Mountain Vegetables” menu (coming posting for vegans and vegetarians!). Befi\ore the last dish, I was offered a great dish in its simpicity and taste that I couldn’t include in posting for vegans and vegetarians!

I call it “Japanese Fusion” because it is clever, if simple, association of Japanese and Italian tastes:

Two kind of (green and white) extremely frsh asparaguses were simply fried in olive oil. No need for boiling them.
They were then served with freshly grated Parmeggiano and sprinkled with a balsamico-base dressing.
Mr. Tomii added a “onsen tamago/Japanese-style poached egg” to break and eat together wth the asparaguses.
Some pimentoes added the final colour touch.

Simple and so “oishii/scrumptious”!
A great combination of crunchiness (asparaguse) and tenderness (egg)!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
——————-
SUSHI RESTAURANT: GINTA

ginta-1

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to introduce a “hidden treasure” to my friends Anselmo and Ticiana Zeri with Ticiana’s moter, Helda, who were on their 6th visit of Japan. Anselmo had found my blogs some time ago as he researched on Japan and had contacted me for more information.
Anselmo then decided it was grand time to visit Shizuoka Prefecture.
It was my pleasure to guide them for two days in and around Shizuoka City.
Yesterday I took them to Ginta, a minuscule Sushi restaurant not far from Yui Harbour famed for its sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps.
To cap it all we are in the middle of the season guaranteeing the best seafood available in this small city.

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Now, Mr. Hara’s restaurant is unassuming and can be easily missed. But I can guarantee you you do need to reserve if you venture there at lunch as hordes of tourists and businessmen from all corners of Japan make a point tocome just to savour the region’s specialties.

There are indeed many possibilities, and a very good, amost ridiculous prices.
We decided to sample the 3,000 yen sakura ebi full course:

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Raw Sakura Ebi, caught in the very morning in Suruga Bay.
Mr. Hara demostrated us how to recognize fresh Sakura Ebi. Take a few between two fingers. They should slip easily away!

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Boiled sakura Ebi salad. Great with Eikun, the local sake available in Ginta!

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Sakura Ebi lightly pickled in rice vinegar.

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Sakura Ebi in “Suimono/clear hot soup” style with tofu.

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Sakura Ebi Kakiage/Sakura Ebi Tempura. Extremely generous portions.

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The Kakiage is served with salt and matcha tea mixture. Perfect with tempura! We hust ate them with our fingers!

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Sushi set (part of the full-course!):
Tai/Seabream sushi served with its deep-fried scales between the fish slice and rhe rice.
Aji/Horesemackerel-Saurel with a dash of fresh grated ginger.
Kawahagi/Filefish with its flesh chopped in tartare style with its fresh liver in gunkan manner topped with a dash of fresh grated wasabi. A rare morsel indeed!
Sakura Ebi in gunkan manner topped with a dash of fresh grated wasabi.
Mr. Hara advised us not to dip the sushi directly into the soy sauce, but to “brush” it with a piece of pickled ginger (provided on the same dish) after having dippe it into soy sauce. “That will be just quite enough soy sauce!”, he added.

Actually, once mr. Hara has warmed up to a particular customer, he can become an incredible source of information that even fishmongers at Tsukiji would not be able to equal! I can guarantee you an interesting report next I go there to sample his local fish sushi sets!

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Now, what are these Sakura Ebi-shaped things?
This is another specialty of Yui: People there take the long antenna (three times as long as the body) and dry them in the sun after having “shaped them”. These will be used all year long crushed into powder over a bowl of freshly cooked rice!

Since the Missus gotextremely jealous of our little venture, you can expect a report soon!

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka Shi, Shimizu Ku, Yui cho, Imajuku, 165. (get off at Yui Station and walk to your right. Only a few minutes away)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Reservations on the telephone recommended!
—————-
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!

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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!

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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)
———————–

Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/04)

sashimi-tomii-09-02-04

As said before, there are times I cannot work until late without taking a break and have a quick bite. I prefer to eat good food, then, even to a minimum. I’ve long stopped “filling a hole” with the nearest junk food.

To make a story short, I found myself in front a sashimi plate at my favourite Japanese restaurant, Tomii (the second posting in a row, I know! LOL).

Here is what I was served:
(From right to left, bottom row)
-Isaki no Yakishimo/Isaki is a local seabream/snapper. “Yakishimo” can be called “Aburi”, that is the fish has been ever so slightly grilled on its skin. The fish was caught in Suruga Bay.
-Freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka
-Aori Ika/Cuttlefish variety. Body and “ears”/fins
-Shiso/perilla flowers
-Uni/sea urchin on a small shiso/perilla leaf
(From right to left, top row)
-Madai/”true Snapper”. It was caught in Sagara (Shizuoka Pref.)
-Sliced balck daikon
-Hirame/sole caught off Miho, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City
-Akami/tuna lean part
All the chopped vegetables are local.

Culinary art at its best!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
———————
“Zensai/Japanese Hors d’Oeuvres” at Tomii

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Good Japanese Cuisine Restaurants in this country have a way to encourage you to eat and ord by serving “Zensai”, or Hors d’Oeuvres with your first drink. Whereas it can be mediocre at the best in most establishments, it becomes a real treat at Tomii, one of my favourite “Nihon Ryouri”?Japanese Cuisine restaurants in Shizuoka City!

This is what I was served last night as I took a break from work:

-Hotate Kainashira Daikon Oroshi/in the small pot, cooked scallops and served cold with grated daikon and sauce.
-Na no Hana/Rape flowers atop:
-Tori no Matsukazekaze Yaki/Japanese-style Chicken Terrine
-Fuku Mame/ a large sweet black bean
-Aka kabu/Red Turnip atop Tako/Simmered Octopus and in front of Uni Shinjo Take/steamed fish paste coated with sea urchin sauce

I wouldn’t mind dining on s eries of them!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
———————
Sashimi at Tomii: The Epitome of Excellency!

tomii-08-12-16a

Many people have been asking me: “How can you afford that?”
Well, I don’t smoke and I don’t drive, either. I can imagine what some people in the Northern part of the US might tell me… and I don’t care!
All that “saved” money goes into good food, good drink, good travel and improved relations with my (better, ok for this time!) half! And nothing for those “poor” doctors out there!

I’ve been a regular customer at Tomii in Shizuoka City for many, many, many reasons. But the one I value most is that everyone at this great Japanese restaurant are willing to talk about, explain and extoll the virtues of their craft. Craft, I said? It is probably nearer to artistry as Melinda, Etsuko and Tim will vouch for me!

Anyway, to write a story short, I just popped at Tomii this evening (yes, I’m writing this just after I came back to “work”), and asked for a sashimi plate (well, this is not the way to ask it: You should say: “O-tsukuri, kudasai!”). I did not need to tell them what to serve me. I wouldn’t even have dared!
On the other hand, they didn’t mind explaining no less than three times to make sure that the old geezer got his stuff right!

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From right to left:
“Kiiro Ninjin”?Yellow Carrot (sashimi is not all about fish, vegetables are rapidly becoming an essential part of the picture!), “Beni Daikon”/Red (“rouge”) Daikon, “Wasabina/not wasabi, but a leaf vegetable with a similar taste!”, “Hirame/Sole”, “Hime Daikon/Princess Daikon”, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers (edible as Rowena will agree!) on top of “Toro/Tuna Fatty Part) and “Bakudai No Ki no Mi/Impossible to translate”, only that it is an edible part from a tree (sorry, I was not attentive enough!)!

tomii-08-12-16c
From right to left:
“Uni/Sea Urchin Roe” (in front) with freshly grated “Wasabi/Japanese Horseradish” (let me tell for the umpteenth time that wasabi was first grown in Shizuoka City in the 17th Century and that Shizuoka Prefecture still produces 80% of the world total!), “Ishidai/Ishidai Snapper” just behind, the green daikon is called “Uguisu Daikon/Nightingale Daikon”, “Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp”, and “kanpachi/Japanese Amberjack” just behind!

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From right to left:
“Kuroi Daikon/Black Daikon”, “Aori Ika/Aori Cuttlefish”, “Akami/Lean Tuna” on a “Shiso no happa/perilla leaf”. To back it up a mixture of seasonal sprouts: “Kushinsai + Soba no Mi (Buckwheat) + Cress (from Shizuoka like most of them) + Kawaire Daikon + Cabbage + Broccoli” (about time you call a local farmer for explanations!)!

Small servings they might look, but I challenge anyone to find better quality!
Now, for people who really want to know it, you will have to fork out at least three times as much in Tokyo, and as far the US and Europe are concerned, you might as well start riding a bicycle like I do!
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Sushi Restaurant: Ekimae Matsuno Sushi (revisited)

matsuno-2008-11-10c

As the grotty weather last Sunday prevented any cricket to be played, I just went to do some “work” at my classroom. When lunch came, I decided it was about time I paid a visit to an old favourite sushi restaurant of mine, namely Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in fornt of Shizoka City JR Station.
They do make a point to serve local fish whenever practical and last Sunday was no exception!

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The “snack” served with the sake (See below article) from Yaoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka was “Seguro Iwashi”/”black back sardine”, a succulent fatty fish in season.

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The “sashimi no moriawase”/sashimi plate were all fish (as well as all other fish cited in this article) brought from Yaizu Harbour in Central Shizuoka Prefecture:
From left to right:
-“Akami”/tuna lean part
-“Yari Ika”/cuttle-fish (calamari)
-“Kawahagi to Kimo”/filefish cut in thin strips and mixed with its own liver. Sweet dipped in a mixture of three different miso paste rice vinegar!
-“Bora”/mullet. So fresh there was no need for soy sauce. Just a little “yuzu”?lime juice was perfect!

matsuno-2008-11-10d

The chef recommended a couple of seasonal morsels:
the first one, above, was “Tachiuo Aburi”/scabbard fish lightly grilled on one side. Just a little salt, wasabi and lime juice. The meat melts away between your teeth!

matsuno-2008-11-10e
The second one was “Houbo”/blue fin robin. Tender and sweet!

matsuno-2008-11-10d_0001

As for dessert I asked for “Tamagoyaki”/Japanese omelette (not shown) and “Kanpyou Maki”/dry gourd shavings maki!

Her are my tastig notes for the sake:

Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City): Chuumasa Junmai Ginjo
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Contents: 300ml
Bottled: April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Dry, light and fruity: Pineapple, ricey
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: Pineapple, almonds, nuts, coffee beans.
Nice acid finish with bitter chocolate, coffee beans and banan.
Turns drier with food with a strong comeback by coffee beans and almonds, although it did suprised me with a sweetish finish at times.

Overall: A “Shizuoka Type” Sake.
Very elegant, pleasant and easy to drink.
Great with sushi and sashimi.
Strong character and many facets revealed all way through.

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oyuki Cho, 9-3 (just across from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit after Matsuzakaya Dept)
Tel.: 054-2510123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————-

Sashimi Set: Tomii (Nov. ’08)

tomii-sashimi-08-11

Here is an example when sashimi is served not only for its taste, but also for its artistic presentation at Tomii Japanese Cusine Restrant in Shizuoka City:
The dish is of lacquered wood.

Top left: kanpachi/Amberjack on a bed of fine leafy vegetables and topped with shiso/perilla flowers (all edible).

Top centre: Uni/Sea Urchin (Murasaki/Violet variety).

Top right: Isaki/A snapper variety behing a fine slice of red radish.

Centre left: Hon Maguro/”Trie” tuna (it acyually melts inside the mouth!)

Bottom left: Aka Ika/”Red” cuttle-fish

Bottom centre: Hirame/Sole in front of a fine slice of red radish

Bottom right: beside freshly grated wasabi, Sakura Ebi/Cherry Blossom Shrimp (only caught in Yui, Shizuoka Prefecture. It will be very difficult to get them fresh in Tokyo!) on a shiso/perilla leaf

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————–
Zensai/Hors d’oeuvre at Tomii

tomii-zensai-1

There is a fine line between cooking and art that the good Japanese Restaurants are happy to cross for the unending pleasure of their customers.
It does require a lot of attention and love for one’s craft.
Chefs at Tomii in Shizuoka City not only work hard to satisfy their clients, regular patrons or not, but will be more than happy to explain and introduce their creations.
Yesterday evening, being starved before the ned of a long working day I just popped in and asked for a “quick fix”.

tomii-zensai-3

It came under the shape of two small dishes on an earthenware tray.
The round tray on the left contained “o-kahijiki no hitashi, a typical Japanese vegetable just lightly poached and cooled down served in its own juice with very little (secret) seasoning, and aburaage/fried tofu sheet.

tomii-zensai-41

Japanese chefs make a great use of natural decoration to enhance their creations and Tomii is no exception.
We are in the Fall/Autumn when leaves are changing colour.
The momiji/Japanese maple leaves (front) had been picked along the Abe River the day before, while the large kaki/persimmon leaf (under the small dish) wa ordered to a farmer.

tomii-zensai-2

The main plate contained what you might expect in the better restaurants in Kyoto:
Kuwai chips.
Kurumi (walnut) inakani and kuromame(cooked sweet black bean).
Kikukabura: a Kyoto-style preparation of a piece of daikon finely cut into the shape of a chrysanthemum and slightly pickled in sweet rice vinegar.
Aka konyaku no ageni: Kyoto-style red konyaku
Tori no matsukaze no yaki: a piece Japanese-style chicken terrine

I can have this every day!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

—————————-
SUSHI RESTAURANT: SUSHI KO (revisited)

Last Thursday, as I had to atone for some somewhat egoistical pleasure-seeking, I took the Missus to our favourite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko,located along Aoba Park.


Although we did order the inevitable favourites, “katsuo/bonito” sashimi, “Shirako to Ankimo/Combination of Cod Sperm sacs and Frogfish/Monkfish liver”, “Pon Kara Maguro/Deep-fried tuna cubes”, “Shishamo/Spirinchus lanceolatus”, “Hotate/Scallops”, “Maguro Zuke/Marinated Tuna sushi”, and “Amaebi nigiri to Shiraebi Gunkan/Sweet shrimp and white shrimp sushi”, the star of the day was “Kawahagi/Filefish”!

The chef took a splendid live specimen (see top pic) just caught off Mochimune coast in Shizuoka City out of the “aquarium” and proceeded to serve the complete fish in three different manners:


“O-Tsukuri”:
After having taken away the inedible skin, the chef first cut the fillets into very thin slices to be served with thin leeks and dip sauce made of ponzu mixed with the fresh liver of the same fish. As now is the best season, those comparatively thin fish come up with enormous livers!


“O nigiri”:
The chef managed to keep four slices aside to prepare nigiri with the fish flesh topped with a piece of its liver, some “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper” and seasoned with ponzu!


“Kara age”:
The “cheeks bones” with their meat were last deep-fried and served as they are with some lemon. Simple and great!
All this with one single fish!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
————————
TOMII (revisited)

Last Wednesday, my merry companions, Etsuko, Melinda and Tim and I finally arrved at Tomii in Shizuoka after a long day interviewing local sake breweries.
It was fitting that it was also the first time I visited this favourite Japanese Cuisine Restaurant as it had just gone through a total re-designing.

The place is definitely more comfortable for it, having done with the mixture of Japanese and Western-style seating and adopted a more practical arrangement of tables and chairs that can either divided into smaller rooms or left completely open. The counter has been reduced by a third but is far more ongenila for it.

As for the Cuisine it is as high quality as ever with the difference that local sake has been increased to a toatl of nine with the notion of changing regularly to cover as many breweries as possible during the year.
We had actually asked the restaurant to prepare a meal according to the sake served.
We did managed to taste eight of them!
Just look at the food which was served with them and see if you recognize any!

Are you tempted?
I’m sure you are!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE
———————————–
SUSHI KO (revisited)

Thursday! If everything goes well (Rowena, don’t start shooting!) t means eating out with the Missus.
Well, no surprise at all, as she requested we visited that (ver) old favourite of ours, namely Sushi Ko Restaurant in Shizuoka City!
No need to explain anything. Let’s keep to the basics and explain some of the morsels we ordered (not all, as it would become a boring repeat!).
Above is “Ika Somen/cutte fish cut very thinly, hence the name “somen/thin noodles”. The cuttle-fish variety is “Yari Ika/Halberd cuttle fish or calamari in Italian”.

“Sanma/mackerel pike”, a seasonal fish, although tis particular one came from Hokkaido. We shall have to wait until September for the Shizuoka specimen!

“Shima Aji/Saurel variety”. Another seasonal fish. Almost sweet!

We could not resist from ordering that very special maki/roll: “Piri kara hotate maki/hot scallops roll coated with “tobiko/flying fish roe”. That one is for you, Allison!

Finally, my favourite (my wife tends to shun it!): Japanese Foie Gras/Ankimo-Frogfish Liver!

Naturally I will spare you such details as French Chardonnay wine for the Missus and Shizuoka sake for me (I know, I know…). If you come to shizuoka,make a point to contact me! LOL

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

———————–
TOMII: SASHIMI SETS

Last Friday, I finally kicked myself into visiting my favourite Japanese Cuisine Restaurant after a long absence, namely Tomii. As I had a couple of commitments later in the evening I opted for one of their renown sashimi sets.


As I had come early enough, I had all freedom to take a couple of pics of the chef at work!

As shown on above picture, the sashimi set I was served consisted of:
Makogarei/Halibut Variety (on a shiso leaf), Hamo/lightly boiled pike conger eel (decorated with shiso flowers, Rowena!), Akami/lean tuna, Madai/seabream, Uni/Sea Urchin and Aka Ika/red cuttlefish.


I was still a bit hungry and espied the Gyuusashi/Raw beef on the menu!

I just could not resist it!
Served with two small plates of soy sauce, some grated ginger, grated garlic a nd thinly chopped thin leeks, a pure delice!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE
—————————
DOUMAN CRAB AT SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI SUSHI RESTAURANT

“Douman” is the name of a very rare crab of fairly large proportions exclusively caught in Summer in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Fishermen will be lucky if they manage to find 2 or 3 specimen caught in their nets in a single day for the whole lake!

It has become one of the symbols of the area as demonstrated by the rice/kome shochu of the same name brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
Consequently only a few privileged establishments may serve it from time to time.
One such place is Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumii Aji Sushi Restaurant, a little secret place of mine.
As introduced in other articles, it is tucked away from the city bustle south of Hamamatsu JR Station.

I make a point to reserve a seat or two before I visit them as hey will make sure to keep a bottle of Shizuoka Sake just for me.
Last Friday, they just happened to have an excellent bottle from a favourite Brewery of mine, namely Hatsukame in Okabe Cho.
That particular brand, called “Fujisan”, is a honjozo made with rice from Toyama Prefecture and yeast from Shizuoka Prefecture, perfect in summer with sushi and seafood!
Light food was on order as it had been an excessively hot day now that the rainy season is finally off our heads.

Pickled myoga, and ham and avocado salad were perfect with the first couple of glasses of chilled sake.

With a kitchen conveniently closed away, Suehiro has the knack to serve the right mixture of sashimi, sushi and cooked fare which ensures you will not leave the place worrying about a still empty stomach.
Mind you, this is an expat notion which does not count for the Japanese habit to visit at least two or three different places in the same night.
We opted for some akami/lean tuna and suzuki/seabass sashimi and a plate of Hamana Lake prawns deep-fried inside Spring rolls.

Finally we were ready for the Douman Crab!
My friend took the opportunity to order a glass of shochu of the same name while I gamely took care of the sake.
In Hamamatsu City they just serve it steamed as it is without any dressing or seasoning.
And our half (can you imagine the price of a whole one?) did not need any whatsoever. It came very full of so soft, tasty, even sweet meat that you naturally take your time savouring a little at a time with chopsticks. Forbid a fork or spoon!
I’m afraid this will be my first and last time I experience such a delicacy. That is unless Suehiriro calls me (and other customers?) next time they chance upon one (two would be impossible, so do not plan a party!)

We still hjad one more morsel before we left for the Liquid Kitchen, a bar held by a cricket friend of mine: Hamana Lake anago/conger eel and ikura/salmon roe sushi.
As this restaurant always comes up with local delicacies on a purely seasonal basis, I wonder what will compel me to visit it again!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Tel.: 053-452-6288
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30&17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
————————–
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
———————————
SUSHIYA NO ICHI

Ken Ichikawa is a bit of character. As a youngster, he actually enjoyed prowling the roads of Shizuoka with other hot rodder friends! He even went as far as Australia for a work stint before coming back to Shizuoka City and open his restaurant.

In spite of this somewhat macho maverick reputation, his sushi are designed for everyone, but with a special thought for calories-conscious ladies who wish to cut on the rice. His offerings are definitely edomae-style sushi.

His sashimi are simply of first and foremost quality. In spite of the consequent prices, you cannot resist the maguro toro and akami (fat and lean parts)!

Shizuoka Katsuo/Bonito has to be perfect as this is THE specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture!

Do not hesitate to ask him about the fish and shellfish (and vegetables!) of the day. He will serve them raw as sashime or sushi, or cook them to perfect simplicity. Try the lightly cooked oysters and ikura/salmon roe mini-donburi!

As for myself, I never fail to ask for his ankimo/Japanese foie gras in season!

When you ask for sushi, Mr. Ichikawa will always propose diverse variations. For example, would you like your hirame/sole with lime and Okinawa snow salt instead of dipping it in the soy sauce?
Would you like the wasabi under or on top of your anago/conger eel? and so on…
Hint: just ask him to prepare two different “kan/piece” of the same fish!
There are so many morsels to try that a single article will not do him justice!
You can expect a few more postings in the near future!

Now, last but not least, Mr. Ichikawa has a great selection of Shizuoka sake, too!
Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Masu-Ichi (Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kasawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho) and Kokkou (Fukuroi City)!

What’s better that jizake for sushi, I’m asking you! LOL

Sushiya no Ichi
420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 2-7-1
tel.: 054-2558262
fax: 054-2522604
Mobile: 09040874578
Closed on Modays
Parties possible upstairs
Credit Cards OK
Japanese homepage
———————
EKIMAE MATSUNO SUSHI

It had been some time since I last visited this little favourite sushi restaurant of mine in Shizuoka City: Ekimae Matsuno Sushi.
Sunday 22nd was a bit of a horror weatherwise with downpours pelting the city the whole day, which meant all sport activities were out of question.
Sushi is is one rare cuisine you can really appreciate during the rainy season, and since this particular establishment opens for Sunday lunch, I just could not resist the opportunity.
I have many reasons to love this restaurant:

They serve Shizuoka sake. On this day I ordered Chumasa Junmai Ginjo by Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City). Absolutely perfect with sushi!
Moreover, because they serve real sushi, not conveyor-belt or what else, only real sushi lovers patronize the place.

Their sashimi sets make use of seasonal fish only and most from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture:
Left top, a triangle of 3 varieties: Madai Seabream (top angle), Suzuki/Seabass (left angle) and Onikasa/Scorpion Fish variety.
Right top: Aji/Saurel-Pike mackerel
Bottom left: Torigai/Surf Clam
Bottom right: Katsuo/Bonito

If you happen to be a regular, all kinds of tidbits come either free or at ridiculous prices:
-Konbujime Kisu/Sand borer marinated in seaeed
-Negima. Negima by definition is a piece of tuna (“maguro”) on a skewer with a piece of leek (“negi”), hence the combination of the two as negima (lee + tuna), and not the pork and leeks brochettes served at izakaya in spite of their borrowed name!
-Ni Iwashi. Sardines are season now and are very fat, making them pefect for a bit of simmering!
-Shoga Gari: Fresh ginger root pickled in umesu/plum vinegar.

Their “Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette is absolutely superb and I never miss an opportunity to savour it, however full I may be!

Allison and Rowena would cross the Ocean for it!

Vegetarians and even vegans would not be at a loss with gobo/burdock root and Kampyo/Gourd shavings Maki!

Can’t wait for the next visit!

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oyuki Cho, 9-3 (just across from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit after Matsuzakaya Dept)
Tel.: 054-2510123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————
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
———————–
SUSHI SETS: FUTABA ZUSHI

Yesterday, on our way to The Taproom in Numazu City, Lojol and I decided to try some of the sushi this city is celebrated for. After some soul-searching we opted for a traditional Sushi Restaurant with a long history, namely Futaba Zushi.
As we had no intention to interview the owners and staff of the place we settled at a table instead of the counter and asked for one of the sushi sets as pictured above:

We were served:
– Akami/Lean part of Toro, Hirame/Sole, Toro/Fatty part of Tuna, and Ika/Cuttlefish
-Anago/Conger Eel, Ebi/Boiled Prawn, Tamago/Japanese Omelette
-Tekka Maki/Tuna, Kappa maki/Cucumber Roll
Very fresh, tasty and reasonable!

We decided to order a few more individual sushi from the menu as we were still hungry and did not wish to drink on an empty stomach.
We chose:
-Aji/Pike Mackerel-Saurel, Torigai/Surf Clam
-Kohada/Small Sardine and Uni/Urchin
Succulent!
And very kind service!

I definitely have to visit the place and write a full posting!

Futaba Zushi
Numazu City, Senbonminato Machi, 121-8
Tel.: 0555-9620885
Business hours: 11:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
—————————
WASABI: AN ENCOUNTER WITH A GREAT CHEF!

I have recently had the pleasure to make a new friend, namely Dominique Corby, a great French Chef who learned his craft at the Tour d’Argent in Paris, among others, before coming to Japan to look after the kitchen of the Sakura Restaurant in the New Otani Hotel in Osaka and of the 6eme Sens in Tokyo.

Dominique is a chef always looking for fresh seasonal natural ingredients for his cuisine which is resolutely a marriage of Japanese and French culinary traditions.
As he recently wrote a post on his blog on wasabi, I took the opportunity to send him a few samples of fresh wasabi grown in Shizuoka City, Utogi, Abe River for the simple pleasure of introducing him to one our great products in Shizuoka Prefecture.

They were almost one metre-high full with stems and leaves (all edible) and freshly uprooted in the very morning (I sent them by cool box just before lunch to reach him just in Osaka just before lunch the next day).
Dominique and his staff appreciated them to the point that a dish was created for the benefit of some customers on the very day.
See above picture. Dominique described it as follows:
-“sur une feuille et tiges de Wasabi, Sawara et Agi abute, kogomi,wasabina, nobiru, mousse de lait au wasabi fraîchement râpée, petite réduction de jus de homard”
-“on a wasabi leaf and stems, sawara and aji abute (grilled large mackerel variety and saurel), kogomi (young ferns), wasabina (a kind of Japanese lettuce), nobiru ( a kind of wild garlic), freshly grated wasabi milk mousse, reduced lobster juice.

A great compliment to a great product by a great chef!
—————————
HI NO KI

Last week Monday started inauspicuously with the morning rain forcing me to embark on one of those smelly airtight buses. To compound my (relative) misery a matrimonial spat resulted in no bentobox being prepared for my lunch.
Oh, well… I’ve always been an incorrigible (irresponsible) optimist and proceeded to work as if nothing untoward had occured.
At noon the skies, which must have appreciated my positive attitude suddenly cleared up and encouraged me to get out of the office quickly and venture downtown in search of a new place to visit.
Enjoying a notable lunch in Shizuoka City is not such an easy task as most restaurants limit themselves to “lunch sets” while izakayas simply stay closed so early in the day.
Wandering in the vicinity of Isetan Department Store my sore feet (cricket umpiring duty the day before) finally carried me to an establishment I had always been curious about: Hi No Ki.
Well, the time could not have been more propitious to try out this venerable (founded in November 1986) “Kaiseki/Kappo Ryori” restaurant (traditional Japanese Cuisine)!

The irony was that “kaiseki” lunch is arguably another form of “set lunch”!
At noon they offer three repasts while dinner comes in six different offerings.
Japanese customers do feel more comfortable with a well-orchestrated dinner, but the chef will readily take “ippin/one item” orders or think up of a tailor-made menu according to a pre-arranged budget.
Actually “joren/regulars'” preferences seem to be more the order of the day as I noticed many middle-aged guests being served a dish of sashimi, a bowl of rice with miso soup and pickles at the counter without even as much as ordering.

Customers may choose to sit at the counter and watch the chef Kuniaki Kaneiwa, a passionate craftsman who is more than willing to talk about his trade, a quality that lone diners do appreciate to the full.
All dishes will be described and explained in great detail by simply asking politely.
Otherwise, if you prefer to converse with your friends or guests, you may choose a table by the bay window or a private tatami room for more privacy.

The accent is more on quality than quantity with consequent prices.
Sashimi is just perfect and cut the right size for quick tasting.

Fish, when cooked (marlin above), offers another intriguing taste to customers.
The judicious choice of “tare/sauce” and soft Japanese spices alone is an invitation to savour the morrsel.

The small assortment of varied “oden” introduces this typical Japanese culinary experience at its best without encumbering your stomac’s capacity. A great French Chef like Dominique Corby will surely agree with me!

The tempura is a marvel of delicious simplicity and lightness that is best appreciated with one of three Shizuoka Jizake served at Hi No Ki: Shosetsu (Yui Cho), Masu-Ichi (Shizuoka City) and Kaiun (Kakegawa City).

I’m planning to visit the place again soon to see if I could order a vegetarian dinner!

HI NO KI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-Cho, 1-5-2, Grande Maison Ryogae Cho
Tel.: 054-252-2935
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays (open on National Holidays)
Cards OK for dinner only
—————————
TIDBITS AT TOMII

Tidbits?
I’m running out of title for this perennial outing!
Alright, let’s make the best out of it!
The above seasonal sashimi set includes (from left to right):
“Katsuo/bonito”, “Uni/sea urchin”, “Torigai/surf clam” under “Hirame/sole”, “Ishidai/seabream variety”, “Aka ika/Red cuttlefish” and “Akami/tuna lean part”.

To help me wait for my next order, I was offered “on the house” a few pieces of succulent “Konbu ko mochi/herring roe pressed on both sides of a seaweed leaf”.

The order in question is a bit of an acquired taste for some, but for a Frenchman!
“Ba sashi/thin slices of raw horsemeat” served with grated ginger, grated garlic and thinly cut leeks.
I actually offered a few pieces to the ladies ogling at my dish!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

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SUSHI KO REVISTED

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Last Thursday, it was back to Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City on my wife’s orders. Not that I complain at all, but I was wondering what we would order this time we hadn’t eaten last time!

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I finally managed to get my hands on the “Sushi Ko” label pasted on their Fujinishiki Brewery Junami Ginjo Nama bottle which will join my ever-growing collection. Not only it has the merit to become a collection item, but it is a great sake perfect for sushi!

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Among the day’s orders, we sampled the seasonal “Madai/Seabream Carpaccio” (I’ve always wondered why people call everything “carpaccio” since it applies to red meat only in Italy… I would have to ask Chuckeats!)
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Talking of seasonal seafood, we could resist asking for the “Yari Ika Somen/Spear Cuttle Fish cut in very thin strips”. Simple but very artful, it disappeared within a blink of the eye!
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The Missus has always had a love affair with raw scallops. Notice that the edible flowers (Rowena, that’s for you!) are “shiso/perilla” buds, a great addition for decoration, too!
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When we ordered the inevitable “Sushi Millefeuille”, the chefs had to prepare a couple more variations for other customers who couldn’t helping ogling! I wished Evelyn were with us!
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Allison would have wished to be with us to taste another Sushi KoSpecial, namely the “Spicy Scallops Roll”!
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I had my fill by then (the sake contained more calories than my wife’s Chardonnay!), but my better (…) half had to sample their succulent “Anago/Conger Eel”,
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and “Ikura Mini Donburi”!

Chuck, you know what’s in wait fro you when you come to Japan! Simple, Succulent and So So Satisfying!
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SUSHI KO MORSELS

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Visited (pilgrimage?) Sushi Ko Restaurant In Shizuoka City again with the Missus last night.
We happened to a few morsels only available in season.
I wonder if Chuckeats had ever the occasion to sample such delicacies in the same manner. I hope he will find inspiration for his next visit at a sushi Restaurant in New York!
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We could not resist the “Sayori/halfbeak” (look at the “mouth”, and you will understand its name!) as it is at its best right now. Sprinkle a little lemon juice and wasabi on it before dipping it (just a little, please) in soy sauce.
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The fish was cut whole for the two of us. Notice how the dressed fish was used as support for the sashimi. The skin was lter offered grilled around a short wooden brochette.

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We were fortunate enough to find “botan ebi/large sweet prawns fresh with their eggs. two provided enough eggs for a single “botan ebi ko gunkan”.
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Not an easy treat to find, as it must absolutely fresh. The eggs were sweet with not any disagreeable “fishy” background. By the way, this is the only sushi featuring the colour “blue” that comes to my mind!
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As any botan ebi served fesh, the heads were served deep-fried later. Crunchy and delicious. Fine, I admit they would have come with all kinds of “decorations” in New York, but you would certainly not get them at the same reasonable price!
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Of course we did have quite a few morsels I have described in other postings, but the last is wirth mentioning:
“Gyuu Aburi Menegi Nigiri”/slightly grilled prime beef topped with leek sprouts. That one is for the carnivores. LOL.

Sushi Ko
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae Cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 on Sundays
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advised
Credit Cards OK

Homepage (Japanese)
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SASHIMI SET AT TOMII

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Was in a bit of a hurry today during my “dinner break”, but was still hungry enough to visit Tomii in Shizuoka City. Chuckeats and Very Good Food are going to wonder what such dinners consist of! LOL.
Tomii, my favourite Japanese cuisine restaurant in this Prefecture, never disappoints you, your being a gastronome or an artist. The only problem is that pictures are no easy task with a mobile phone!
Here is what I was served when I asked for “Sashimi Moriawase/Sashimi Set”:
From left to right:
Aka Ika/Red Squid, Hirame/Sole, Akami/Lean Maguro, Madai/”True” Seabream.
It was served with soy sauce for the fish and miso for the vegetables, which included Take No Ko/Bamboo Shoots from Oshika, Shizuoka City.

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

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SUSHI TETSU OHSHIO

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Every sushi restaurant worthy of its name will come up with a specialty or two making it worth visiting and introducuing to friends.
Well, in the case of Sushi Tetsu Ohshio Restaurant in Shizuoka City, almost next to the large Sengen Shrine (you could combine the two, actually), I was lucky as it was not one but two morsels out of the ordinary which will entice me to come again.
I have in my mind that Chuck and Foodhoe would be definitely interested!
As the third generation, Kazuhiro Ohshio, is also a blog and fishing devotee, I went as far as ordering the following dish by e-mail!
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“Shirako Yuzu Kamayaki”/shirako/Cod Sperm Sacs cooked with Clams and mushrooms in a white miso-based bechamel inside a large yuzu/lime!
While I was waiying for it to be ready, I first oredered a plate of sashimi:
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Hirame/Sole, Maguro/Tuna, Kuro Ika, Kuro Squid, and Aji/Saurel. Fine little morsels, I can assure you!
I could not resist ordering the Ankimo/Frogfish Liver when I saw it under the show window glass!
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Simply served with ponzu, chopped leeks and momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper. Pefect!
I ordered the private brand sake, a junmai nama by Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, and exchanged a few words with Mr. Kazuhiko Ohshio, the second generation whose father first opened their restaurant about 56 years ago.
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I actually noticed later they were also serving a kome/rice shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture from the same Brewery. I have rarely seen any Sushi Restaurant both serving a sake and shochu made in our Prefecture!
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My “treat” finally came, and I slowly savoured it with the utmost concentration! What could I call it? A Japanese-style “vol-au-vent”? I simply will have to try and make it at home! Luckily the chef was kind enough to give me the recipe.
I did not have much time for that first visit, so I asked for my bill.
But I was asked to stay a few minutes to enjoy the “dessert” offered on the house to all customers at the end of their meal.
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Now, I’m sure that even Chuck will feel he has to sample it!
You will not find this “nothing to get excited about” morsel in the chef’s words outside Shizuoka Prefecture: a mousse (according to the chef, although I would call it a blanc-mange) made with sake-kasu/sake, white lees collected after the sake is pressed, topped with Shizuoka wasabi pickled in sake-kasu and a sweet sauce again made with sake-kasu!
Problem is, as it is a seasonal recipe, it will not be served very long and I might have to wait until next year to savour it again!

Sushui Tetsu Ohshio
420-0862 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Sengen Cho, 1-36
Tel.: 054-245-1381
Credit Cards OK
Business hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Wednesdays

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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SUSHI MILLEFEUILLE AT SUSHI KO

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(picture kindly provided by Mika who shared our dinner!)

As Chuck, Trine and Luxeat already know, you do not have to go to an expensive French restaurant to experience great gastronomic ideas.
One of the chefs at Sushi Ko Sushi Restaurant recently came up with his own interpretation of a famed French cake which has quickly gained popularity with all customers:
Sushi Millefeuille.
It consists of one layer of “shari/sushi rice”, one of “akami/lean tuna”, one of thin slices of cucmber, one of sliced avocado, one more layer of “shari”, the whole topped with “tobikko/flying fish roe”.
A couple stems of thin leeks for decoration.
The dressing consisted of mayonnaise mixed with wasabi on ponzu with a little “momijioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper” on top for taste and effect.
Simple, tasty and reasonable!

Sushi Ko
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae Cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 on Sundays
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advised
Credit Cards OK

Homepage (Japanese)

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SUSHI RESTAURANT: SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMI AJI (2)

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No this is not the day’s laundry, but the skins of the fugu/globefish that had just been dressed yesterday by Ms. Yokota at Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumi Sushi Restaurant in Hamamatsu City!
The fish were caught in Hamano Lake in the morning, so one could not expect anything fresher!
Ms. Yokota has the government license to cut and dress fugu, and since I’m still alive this morning, I suppose it is the proof she is very proficient at her art!
Contrary to what many people think, she explained that it is not only the female fish ovaries that contain mortal poison but also the male fish liver. There are over 100 varieties of fugu/globefish in Japan and almost all of them are poisonous, so beware!
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Incidentally the skin of the fish is edible and is usually served in thin stripes either raw with grated daikon or grilled on a stick.
But I had come mainly for the nigiri I had ordered over internet, served with thin leeks strips between the shari (rice) and neta (topping) with a little momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper. Bliss!
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People tend to forget that fugu makes for a great treat deep-fried or as tempura. Just eat them with your fingers and suck on the bones!
Simply extravagant morsels with sake!
Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumi is becoming a favourite place of mine. Pity it is so far from Shizuoka City!
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Well, I had not come for the globe fish only, although an all-fugu menu is available.
Ms. Yokota also prepares some great Japanes Foie Gras/Frog Fish Liver/Ankimo, and I had also ordered beforehand.
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It came with an interesting variation as the chef, after having steamed it in sake in the traditional way, further simmers it in mirin, soy sauce and what else. The latter should be even easier to eat for expats!
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Being in Hamamatsu City and near Hamana Lake, I had to taste the local Anago/Conger Eel sushi: so sweet and melting!

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Ms. Yokoto knowing I was coming made sure I could choose from Shizuoka Prefecture sake.
She certainly did not disappoint me:
Garyubai by Sanwa Brewery, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City.
Kaiun by Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City.
Den-Ichiro by Kokkou Brewery in Fukuroi City.
Jizake Kobo by Morimoto Brewery In Kikugawa City.
I chose the latter, a hearty shiboritate genshu with a strong alcohol content. Perfect with grea sushi!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Tel.: 053-452-6288
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30&17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday

—————————–
SUSHI RESTAURANT: SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMI AJI

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I had wanted to visit a certain Sushi Restaurant in Hamamatsu City since I discovered “Sushiya No Neesan” Blog (Japanese).
My wish was finally granted last Friday, December 14th when I managed to get an evening free after University in Fukuroi City.
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Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumii Aji (Suehiro-Tastes from Hamana Lake) is conveniently located at short distance from Hamamatsu JR Station South exit (only two tarffic lights away).
It is a very traditional Sushi Restaurant. It was converted into the present establishment from a Japanese Restaurant 28 years ago by the second-generation owner, Mr. Katsuhisa Yokota presently ably helped by his daughter, Chisako, who literally grew in the restaurant, learning her trade by daily observing her father’s skills.
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Since this was my first visit I opted to try my favourites and gradually order recommended tidbits.
I started with some succulent “shirako” (male cod sperm sacs. This is the real translation, not whiting as some people prudely call them…) with ponzu vinegar and momiji oroshi/grated fresh daikon with chili pepper.
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I then asked for the inevitable akami/lean tuna. Chisako San proposed raw kuruma ebi/prawns just caught in Hamana Lake. Succulent!
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This particular Sushi Restaurant for its “fugu”/globefish. I chose to have it deep-fried/karaage. No need for chopsticks. Just eat with your fingers and lick them. I was offered chopped boiled globefish skin with it and I had to use chopsticks, then (LOL). Certainly better than your fish and chips!
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Back to raw fish, I asked for hirame sashimi/sole-flounder. That disappeared quickly, I can assure you!
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keeping an eye on what was on the counter, I noticed a large dish full of unagi kimo/eel liver simmered Japanese-style by Mr. Yokota. Absolutely perfect with Japanese sake!
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I was going to switch onto the traditional kampyo maki/dried gourd shavings and negi toro maki/finely chopped leeks with tuna, when I was offered a dish perticular to Hamana Lake District: Haze tenpura. “Haze”, or goby is a small fish caught in Hamana Lake at low tide. It is best eaten as tenpura (with your fingers) with a little salt and pepper.

All right, I finally had to call it a day, what with the local sake from Hana no mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City). I had a train to take back to Shizuoka City. But it will be a short time before I visit the place again to try the other morsels!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Tel.: 053-452-6288
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30&17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday

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Soba Restaurant: Bokunenji

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My Japanese better (worse?) half who is a soba-addict had always wanted to visit Bokunenji in Shuzenji, Izu peninsula. The comparatively long train and bus journey (a couple of hours from Shizuoka City) means that we do not have many opprtunities to visit this charming little city.

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Bokunenji is your typical traditional Japanese restaurant set in an ancient wooden house fit with tatami and cushions. A bit tough for my stiff body, but stiil worth suffering a little!

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Bokunenji serves “juwari” soba/buckwheat noodles in 9 different manners, hot or cold, as well as 8 kinds of side dishes. Any soba restaurant worth its salt should serve “tamago yaki/Japanese omelette” and “yaki soba miso”/soba seeds and miso grilled on a wooden spoon. Therefore we ordered tamago yaki, which was excellent by any standards.

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As for the noodles my better (worse?) half ordered hot noodles with slices of duck, and I “oroshi soba” (cold noodles served with grated daikon radish).
They were really tasty andI came to understand why the place is so popular as demonstrated by the guests keeping coming in all the time.
Eating such food in such a place will provide with a true Japanese experience.
The prices are a bit stiff, but this is a very popular tourist spot.
Among the proposed sake, they serve Isojiman (Yaizu City) Honjozo, which is definitely a plus in their favour!

Bokunenji
Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Shuzenji, 3451-40
Tel: 0558-730073
Business hours: 10:30~16:00
Closed on Wednesdays
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Numazu Uogashi Sushi (Shizuoka City)

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The Shizuoka JR Station is slowly turning into a better quality gastronomic spot, a boon for travellers in a hurry. I have already mentioned in other postings that Asty has shops catering for all ages and genders.
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Now, if it is sushi and Shizuoka Prefecture sake you are aiming for, pay a visit to Uogashi Sushi Restaurant at all times of the day.
Uogashi Company originally hails from Numazu City, a major fishing port in Japan. Which means that they can provide their many restaurants with higher quality at a lower price. They also offer another bonus as they also include fried/cooked seafood and oden in their menus.
On our way back from Shuzenji on Thursday, November 29th, my better (worse?) half and I decided to take advantage of the place as it saved time and money.
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We particularly appreciated their deep-fried oysters and mambo fish (above picture).
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Their “all-maguro sushi set” was a real bargain regarding size, quality and price.
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Foreigners will be glad to learn about their special “maguro roll”. I’m sure Allison will appreciate the thin slices of tuna, hame and lettuce rolled together, cut and served with wasabi and seasoned mayonnaise!

Finally youwill be able to sample the sake from seven Shizuoka Breweries, including the private brands for Uogashi only by Hana no Mai and Oomuraya Breweries

Numazu Uogashi
Shizuoka City, JR Station, Asty
Tel.: 054-2862276
Business hours: 07:30~23:00
Credit cards accepted
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Fugetsuro Restaurant

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(from top middle, clockwise: Salted Cuttle fish marinated in tea leaves and rice yeast, Conger eel pike and urchin in green tea jellied fish broth, Tea leaves walnut tofu curd, Tuna simmered in green tea with tea leaves dumpling cake, Matutake mushroom cooked in tea leaves)

On Thursday, November 1st was held a Tea Dinner Party at Fugetsuro Restaurant, Shizuoka City, as part of the events organized for the World Tea Festival.
Apart of the usual personalities, that food was the main interest.
“Tea for food” was the them a opposed to “tea as drink”.
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Mr. Hitoshi Yamada, Master Chef at Fugetsuro was asked to design a dinner for some 120 guests including tea in all dishes.

Including the first dish described above, the menu ran as follows (I let you judge!)
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(Raw fish assortment: Tuna, seabream, sole, seasoned with fresh tea, edible flowers, salt and soy sauce)

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(Surugani: tea sob/buckwheat noodles, seabream cooked in whole rice, “kouyou” carrot, tea leaves)

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(Oven-baked black pork seasoned with tea, five color vegetables, tea sauce)

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(Tofu bean curd and whole rice Pouch, deep-fried tea leaves. Seasoned with “macha” tea salt)

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(Autumn salmon marinate in seaweed and tea, yuuba/bean curd sheet. Seasoned with golden vinegar)

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(Tea rice, salmon roe, soup)

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(Persimmon, grape, “macha” tea Bavarois,green tea cube jelly)

Fugetsurou
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 11-1
Tel.: 054-2526500
Fax: 054-2528411
Homepage (Japanese)
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Sashimi Set at Tomii

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I was served this set of seasonal sashimi last Friday at Tomii Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
Absolutely succulent!

From left to right:
Akami (lean tuna)
Kurodai (“black Grouper”)
Uni (sea urchin)
Aka Ika (red cuttle fish) on a bed on a bed of Tosaka Nori (Tosaka seaweed)
Hirame (Sole)
———————
Izutsuya

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Yui (will be part of Shimizu Ku in 2008) is renown all over Japan for the only place where “sakura ebi” (“Cherry Shrimps”) are caught. In season, it is the only place where you can eat them fresh in the morning literally out of the net in local restaurants!

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Such a restaurant is Izutsuya, located along the main road called “Sakura Ebi Street” about 15 minutes away from the station on foot. It will also become a good opportunity to visit Yui which has quite a lot to offer, especially the the Hiroshige Ukiyoe Museum (which includes an interesting local products shop).
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Sumo officionados will notice an interesting latticed paper window with hand-brushed sumo designs in Chinese ink.
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Itsuzuya offers all kinds of dishes and appetizers with sakura ebi.
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As for people with hearty customers, choose one of the “set menus”. They are very good value, typically Japanese, and scrumptious!
Do make a point to try “Sakura Ebi Kaki Age” (picture above). It is a gastronomic experience!
As for sake lovers, do not worry! Itsuzuya serves a Shosetsu Brewery (Yui) nama honjozo in small 300ml bottles!

Izutsuya
Ihara Gun, Yui Cho, Yui, 314 (go down at Yui JR Station/Tokaido Line)
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays if Mondays happen to be National Holidays)
Caters for large parties.
Tel.: 0543-752039
Fax: 0543-754415

———————
Tomii/Part 2

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Tomii has been my favourite Japanese Restaurant (I mean “Restaurant”, not izakaya!) since it was open on May 11th, 1998.
Tomii has been my favourite for sashimi in Shizuoka for many years!
The present “oyakata” is Kazuya Tomii who came back to his parents establishment in April 2006 after spending 6 years honing his craft in Kyoto and work under the tutelage of experienced chefs for a couple more years in Shizuoka.
The cuisine served there is intensely Kyoto-style making a great use of the fish and vegetables available in the Prefecture land and sea. Whenever possible, Mr. Tomii uses only Shizuoka products, but will be more than agreeable to prepare cuisine from other Japanese regions.
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Appetizers (o-toshi) are always so perfect and unpredictable! either typically Japanese (above), or defunitely with a foreign accent (below).
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Not only the food, but the drinks will take to another level:
Great selection of Japanese sake from all over Japan and especially from our Prefecture!
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(Kokkou, Fukuroi City)
Also great selection of shochu. Mr. Tomii has starting exploring the shochu from our Prefecture (with a little push from me) and has discovered Saisuke (imo/tuber) distilled by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City!
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I’m sure I shall be able to convince try and serve others!
As for wine, no problemo: you can ask for the wine list of Aquavite upstairs, the best Italin restaurant in town which looked after by Mr. Tomii’s sister!
The fish and sashimi are of the best quality. Period.
This is what I had last Friday:
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and I had this late February:
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As for other food, you ought to try one of their “chyawanmushi” (Japanese salted pudings) suc as the “kani” (crab):
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For the tempura amateurs, just ask what is available. You won’t be disappointed!
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Now, for even better news:
Mr. Tomii will soon prepare a set menu series for the customers who prefer to eat at tables with their guests along with more traditional food and service. On the other hand he will put more emphasis on a a la carte menu for casual and regular customers alike who prefer to sit at the counter and choose tidbits to go with their drinks so as to create a more comfy atmosphere!

Tomii
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-2740666
Fax: 054-2730033
Opening hours: 11:00~13:00 (bookings only)
17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays & National Holidays
Credit cards OK

—————–

Shizuoka Station: Fuchuan Taigetsuro

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If you don’t have the time to leave Shizuoka Station for a look at the city but still have enough time to eat and drink before you take the next train, Asty does have a thing or two on offer.
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Now Fuchuan Taigetsuro’s third generation “oyakata”, Tsutomu Yagi, has more than one reason to attract you:
-“Tororo jiru” (yam grated into soup), a specialty of Shizuoka City.
-Mainly local fresh sashimi from Suruga Bay such as hirame/sole from Oi River Bay and tachiuo/scabbard fish
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-One of the best sakura ebi kakiage in the Prefecture!
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-And last, and certainly not least, the drinks!
Sake brewed in Shizuoka and served in a bamboo set
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Kokkou Tokubetsu Honjozo, Kikuyoi Junmai 55, Masuichi Honjozo, Yoshiya Brewery Abekaido Tokubetsu Honjozo, Masuichi Daiginjo, Shosetsu daiginjo, Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo! Enough to make it an entire Shizuoka Sake experience!
He also has shochu, wine, whisky, beer and their home-made Umeshu.
Set menus run from 5,000 to 10,000 yen, although simple menus are 1,580 thru 3,750 yen.
As for myself, I choose a few morsels to go with the great sake, which should be enough!

Fuchuan Taigetsuro
420-0851 Shizuoka City, Kurogane machi, 47 (inside Shizuoka City JR Station, Asty)
Tel.: 054-2871231
fax: 054-2873449
Working hours: 11:00~21:00
Reasonable to expensive
Credit cards OK

———————–

Hamamatsu Izakaya: Nikomanma

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Last Friday (April 13th!), my good friend Bernard Heberle, the patissier at Abondance in Hamamatsu City, took me to one of his favourite “izakaya” called “Nikomanma” or “にこまん馬” in Japanese.
Mr. Michiaki Genma opened his very traditional looking resraurant near Wachiyama Park. The interior is the logical succession to the exterior in design with antiques eveywhere, wooden partitions you can open or close at will, parquet sitting room, dinin room and counter.
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Nikonmanma specializes in shochu and has “Doman” kome (rice) shochu, a favourite of mine brewed by Tenjigura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City. But it also serves a very fine Junmai sake, “Shusseijyo”, from the same brewery.
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It is a very popular place and you definitely have to reserve on Fridays and Saturdays. Luckily we came very early, otherwise even Bernard’s persuasion would have been in vain.
The menu is of the better kind with some real finds such as the squid and its ink as tempura!
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Try the Japanese omelette and deep-fried chicken, but start your meal with a sashimi assortment of the day!
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The place definitely warrants a few more visits as I could not possibly exhaust the menu, even in the company of my bulky friend!

Nikomanma
432-8003 Hamamatsu City, Wachiyama, 3-4-3
Tel. & Fax: 053-4725558
Working hours: 18:00~24:00
Homepage
Closed on Sundays
Credit cards OK
—————————–

Shochu Bar: Yumeshin

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Yumeshin opened in early 2006 and I had always meant to “have a look at it”.
The almost simple outside actually hides quite an interesting place: Absolutely Japanese with a “kotatsu seki” (Seats on the floor with a deep space for the legs) all along a good size counter.
Botlles of shochu absolutely everywhere! I even recognized “Mitake” from Yakushima!
Interestingly enough, Mr. Yamaoka serves only one shochu from Shizuoka Ken:
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Saisuke by Sugii Brewery/Distillery in Fujieda City.
Mr. Yamaoka actually participates to its creaion every year at Sugii Brewery/Distillery!
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The Master of the place is a quiet person at first contact, but will warm up quickly to the conversation. He has acquired quite a clientele in this very short span of time who come not only to taste the interminable list of shochu, but also taste the very Japanese izakaya-style food:
yumeshin-ankimo.jpg yumeshin-tempura.jpg
Ankimo (Frogfish liver) & Tempura (succulent!)
As this was my first visit, I will have to write a few more postings: there are a lot of morsels to explore with the drinks!

Yumeshin
Shizuoka Shi Aoi Ku, Chiyoda, 1-2-1 (along the Kitakaido. A few minutes from Shizuoka Center by car, 5 minutes by bicyle, 20 minutes on foot. Bus stop nearby)
Tel./fax: 0542473651
Open every day from 16:00 till very late at night (morning!)
Very reasonable

——————

TOMII

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Tomii has been my favourite for sashimi in Shizuoka for many years!
The present “oyakata” is Kazuya Tomii who came back to his parents establishment in April 2006 after spending 6 years honing his craft in Kyoto and work under the tutelage of experienced chefs for a couple more years in Shizuoka.
The cuisine served there is intensely Kyoto-style making a great use of the fish and vegetables available in the Prefecture land and sea. Whenever possible, Mr. Tomii uses only Shizuoka products, but will be more than agreeable to prepare cuisine from other Japanese regions.

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Last night (February 23rd) being “my” weekly night out, I visited the establishment and ordered sashimi first as usual. I never specify what I want as Mr. Tomii knows me well enough to know what I fancy.
The plate above contains toro (fat tuna), akami (lean tuna) hirame & hirame engawa (sole and sole filet fringe), fresh uni (urchin) on yuba (“tofu skin”) at the front and shime saba (pickled Mackerel at the back decorated with slices of kinkan (kumquat), live torigai (large cockle) in its shell, and freshly grated wasabi!
Tomii has plenty of other attractions, but that is for a different blog! Just know they offer some great Shizuoka sake!

TOMII
Address: Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tokiwacho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg 1F
Tel.: 054-2740666
Fax: 054-2730033
Busines hours: 11:00~13:30 (Reservations only); 17:00~22:00 (reservations advisable)
Lunch set: 1,500 yen
Dinner: 3,000 yen~
Private tatami room available
Credit cards OK

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