Oden at Yasaitei
Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: very clean
Specialty: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden.
I’ve already extensively written about oden the Japanese comfort food, but it is always a pleasure to introduce restaurants and izakayas awhich serve the higher quality.
Yasaitei has been introduced in this blog for its vegan delights many a time, but it also serves very extravagant oden I might need a couple articles on that single subject!).
But let’s start from the beginning!
Like in most izakayas, a o-toshi/snack will come with the first drink (bear in mind that you ususally have to pay for it!). Teh quality of that very snack is good indication of the level attained by the establishment!
“Shugijku no goma ae”: Edible Spring Chrysanthemum leaves (lightly boiled) and thinly cut (and fried) aburaage (deep-fried tofu sheets) seasoned with a sesame dressing.
In Yasaitei, I usually order shochu as they have a few from Shizuoka Prefecture on hand.
This particular one is a favourite of mine. It is a kome shochu/rice shochu called Doman, the name of a rare crab found in Hamana lakein the Western part of Shizuoka Prefecture. The shochu is distilled by Tenjingura-Hamamatsu Brewery.
As for the oden served in Yasaitei they are Kansai/Western Japan style, that is they are stewed in very clear broth with an accent on light flavours. Yasaitei will serve the combination of your choice with a small piece of yuzu lime in the broth, plenty of finely chopped scallions and some yuzu koshio/lime and pepper seasoning mixture.
There is no way I could order all the varieties in one serving, so I decided for 5 of them and will taste the others next time!
Looking from the left, you will noticethe little piece of yuzu floating. Just touching the lime pice is a “ganmo”, a light variety of deep-fried tofu, very fluffy and containg little bits of vegetables and seaweed.
The egg itself has been boiled and then slowly stewed in the broth.
The two balls skered on a stick are “shinjyo age”, fish paste which had been deep-fried first. The two grayish slices in front are “Suji” made of sardine and other fish paste. Not to be confused with the eponymous “suji”, meaning beef tendons, which are also a popular oden morsel. The tube on the right is “chikuwa”, made from fish paste like kamaboko, then stuck around a stick and grilled.
All ingredients have simmered in the broth (around 80 degrees Ceksus) for some time, although not as long as Typical Shizuoka oden.
For a closer view.
It is very healthy food, although packed with good calories!
For a side view. The spoon is lacquered, very soft on the tongue!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 20 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
5) 2010 Shizuoka Oden Festival!
The 2010 Shizuoka Oden Festival kicked off today!
I made a quick visit in-bewteen work to have a quick snack!
Going to the Aoba Koen/Aoba Park Street behind the City Hall, one just could miss it clearly markde as it was giant red lanterns with “ODEN” wrote on them (in Japanese only, mind you!).
Now, choosing one was a bit of a dilemna!
Knowing that the festival would last until Sunday, I decided to wait until a particularly big and troublesome local TV crew left the premises to get some hot food and a glas of local sake!
The great thing about these oden foodstands (they actually were held by regular izakaya in town) is that most of them made an effort to serve local Shizuoka sake.
Above picture shows Masu Ichi Brewery (Shizuoka City), Shidaizumi Brewery (Fujieda City) and Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City)!
But the one I had chosen today (I’m planning to go there again during the week-end!) had some unusual sake:
Hana no Mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City), Kumpai Brewery (Shizuoka City) and Kansagawa Brewery (Yui)!
This foodstand had been erected by “Showa Hormone Izakaya, south of Shizuoka JR Station.
All oden were very typical of Shizuoka-Style (almost every region in Japan has its own style) oden.
In Shizuoka, most oden are skewered with a stick for easier consumption.
“Motsu/kind of tripe”, also very popular here!
Pity I couldn’t tay all evening there. The Festival is held between 5 and 7 p.m. for 3 days. I wonder why they choose the colder time of the year. LOL
I find myself when trying to define Nodaya. It is not an “odenya” in the strictest sense of the word as it does not limit itself to oden.
Shall I define it as an izakaya specializing in oden?
Whatever the name, it is certainly extremely popular in a city which prides itself for the best oden in Japan. When we arrived there last Monday shortly after 7:00 p.m., the place was packed to the brim. Luckily for us, Momose-San, a member of our merry band had booked a tatami table well in advance. No wonder it is open every day. I can assure you you will need a reservation whatever the day and time!
As we were sitting in the tatami room at the far end of the restaurant (they also have a party room on the third floor) we barely had the time to walk by the large vats containing all kinds of oden including the typical dark-brown Shizuoka-style broth.
In any case there was no way that the five of us could have found five seats at the counter. Fine, next time…
Now, the big bonus is that they serve no less than four different Shizuoka in individual 300 ml bottles: Masu-Ichi (Shizuoka City), Hatsukame (Shida Gun), Hana no Mai (Hamamatsu City) and Shidaizumi (Fujieda City). I personally consumed one each of the last two (a junmai genshu and a nama ginjo!). You can’t beat jizake with oden! Incidentally, if you wish to know more about Shizuoka Oden and if you can read Japanese consult the 2008 March edition of DANCYU Magazine!
Oden are great, but we chose lighter fare first: sashimi set. Such an offering would not disgrace any Japanese restaurant:
(from right to left) “Buri/yellow tail”, “Kurodai/seabream variety”, “Akami/lean tuna”, “Hirame/sole”, “Isaki/grouper typical of Shizuoka”. By the way, the echalette, shiso and freshly grated wasabi are naturally from Shizuoka.
Momose-San and I reflected whether we would be able to appreciate such great fish at such reasonable prices in say ten years time, considering the ever-dwindling world supply and Tokyo’s unquenchable thirst and greed for our local products. But I’m digressing (although this will become the gist of a future article)…
Kawashima-San could not resist the small raw “yari ika/cuttlefish”! I managed to steal one and I can assure you it is not an acquired taste!
Nodaya also ha some great tempura such as “Tara no me/shoots of the Japanese Angelica Tree/Aralia elata” (also called the “King of Tempura” in Japan!)
and Japanese-style fried vegetables on sticks.
Foodhoe is going to kill me with all that teasing!
Alright, alright, we did order oden!
They came in three styles actually.
The one above is made in light broth, Kansai-style,
while most are definitely Shizuoka-style served sprinkled with “dashiko/powdered stock” and “aonori/dried grenn seaweed powder”.
As for vegetarians, I would definitely suggest “daikon”, an oden cooked in miso paste!
My friends did not allow me enough time to record all the other items we ordered but know that there are more than you can eat in a single evening including vegetables, fish, eggs and meat!
No wonder it’s packed with regulars!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 16-10
Business hours: 17:00~23:30 (~23:00 on Sundays and National Holidays)
If you are hungry and thirsty, on your way to the station after a long day’s work, but not in a hurry, Kobayashi is certainly one of the most natural places to visit.
It stands at a corner just before the back entrance of parco Dept. Store, only a few minutes walk from your train (or your next destination?). The present (young) generation looking after the establishment is the third one following the steps of its founder in the 1950′s.
Both officionados of “oden” (fish paste balls and others slowly cooked in Japanese broth) and “kushiyaki” (japanese brochettes) will findtheir favourite morsels there. Note that the “oden” are very much “Shizuoka-style”, that cooked a long time and comparatively of daek colour, although the broth was lighter than in some other typical “odenya”
As for drinks, local patrons enjoy the usual fare, but I had the pleasure to discover a local sake on sale, Sugunishiki Honjozo (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City). If you on your way back to another Prefecture, make sure to taste it!
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya Machi, 5-1
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Yes, Shizuoka Prefecture and especially Shizuoka City are famous for their “oden” thanks to an abundant supply of fish and recent reports by NHK, TBS, Fuji TV and TV Tokyo!
There are probably over 300 registered shops/restaurants selling oden in Shizuoka City alone.
I will try and introduce the notable ones as I hop around.
I visited Ogawa in Baban-cho, near Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City yesterday, May 20th, with my better (worse?) half. We chose the wrong moment of lunch time as we had to queue for a good 20 minutes. Therefore if you want to sample that particular shop’s wares, I would suggest you to come on a week day sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Shizuoka Oden are characterized by their dark strong tsuyu/soup. Ogawa’s is just a little lighte than the average. Like in other similar local establishments, the oden there are on the soft side as they are cooked for a long time.
I would recommend Ogawa to both Japanese and foreigners as the taste is just strong enough for all and very reasonably priced (80 yen a stick).
420-0867 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Baban-cho, 36 (along Sengen Shrine Street)
Orders possible by fax and mail
Opening hours: 10:00~18:00
Closed on Wednesdays
I suppose I’m running the risk of starting a long debate in our good City/Prefecture of Shizuoka, but there is Shizuoka Oden and Shizuoka Oden!
By this I mean that one can eat different kinds of Oden, some cheap and expensive, some great and ugly, and whatever else has comes to appear on our tables after some TV shows extolled the qualities of our regional delicacy (which is not).
Shizuoka people “seem” to appreciate Oden cooked in dark soup over long periods of time, but if they happened to witness how those dark broths were concocted or when and where the Oden themselves are prepared and stored, they might entertain second thoughts.
This said, I’m not here to criticize but to introduce the good food, especially slow food, and places that serve them!
Yasaitei, which I have introduced for another reason now serve very healthy and tasty Oden. They are comparatively more expensive than in most “odenya”, but this is an izakaya where you will also appreciate the soup (“tsuyu”) that comes with it!
The broth is Kansai-style in that it is light and gives the right colour to the Oden.
It will be served with “yuzu koshio”, a mixture of black pepper and lime extract instead of the ubiquitous lump of strong Japanese mustard (“karashi”), and with finely chopped leeks that will add a welcome touch to the soup that you will drink upon eating the Oden.
Last but not least, the Oden at Yasaitei are of prime quality, freshness and extremely tasty in an elegant way!
They change accordingly to the season, but have Ms. Yoshino explain all of them before you choose them. I garantee you will learn a lot!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Reservations highly recommended