Simple Recipes: Dragonfruit Shoots Tempura

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The Missus came back home last night with an unsual “vegetable”: Dragon Fruit Shoots.
The Japanese have come with the best idea to sample any new vegetable: tempura!
Technically speaking it originated in Portugal whose sailors introduced it to Japan a few centuries ago. The word itself is Portuguese.
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My better (worse?) cut them into halves and prepared batter. She favours her own style, heavier than the Japanese, but lighter than the European/American “fritters”
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She took the opportunity to add some other tempura made with shrimps and goya.
Served with ma-cha tea powder and salt mixed with sakura/cherry blossoms powder, it just turned out perfect with beer and sake!

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Shizuoka Beer 2-1: Bayern Meister Beer-Prinz

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Bayern Maeister Beer Co. Ltd. is based in Fujinomiya City and has employed for some while a Master Brewer from Southern Germany called Stefan Rage who is deservedly making his own name in the Shizuoka microbrewery world.

“Prinz” is the first brew I had the pleasure to taste.

Product name: Prinz Draught beer
Contents volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5.5%
Ingredients: malt, hops and live yeast all imported from Southern Germany.

Clarity: clear and clean
Colour: Golden
Foam: solid and regular
Aroma: both light and sharpish/grapefruit-Oranges
Taste: Light, easy to drink. Welcome acidity/light oranges and grapefruit. Lingers on the palate.

Comments: Refreshing and reassuringly solid.Goes very well with food. A good summer drink.

Bayern Meister Beer Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Prefecture, Fujinomiya City, Kami-Ideji, Kawaharatan, 1254-1
Tel.: 0544-443311

Shizuoka Beer 1-1: Tenjingura Weizen

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Since we are in the middle of an extraordinarily hot summer, it is about time we delve in the local beers! And there are more than you might think! Considering the abundance of great water in Shizuoka Prefecture, we should wonder why we are not afloat lakes of beers put out by local breweries!

The first of a (hopefuly) long series shall start with a brew by Tenjingura Brewery in Hamamtsu City:

Name: Tenjingura Beer-Weizen
Yeast: German Weizen yeast
Ingredients: More than 50% Wheat malt
Volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5%

Colour: Nice darkish amber
Clarity: Clear
Foam: fine and disappearing quickly
Aroma: Bread, yeast
Body: Velvety on the palate
Taste: Fruity, Yeasty, bread

Comments: Both refreshing and nourishing. Almsot sweet with very little acidity. A beer for all seasons.

Tenjingura/Hamamatsu Brewery-Distillery
420-0808 Shizuoka Ken, Hamamatsu City, Tenjin Machi, 3-57
Tel.: 053-4616145
Fax: 053-4633851
Homepage

Izakaya: Nanase

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

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

Nanase
Address: 420-0833 Shizuoka City, Higashi Takajo 2-40 (Go up Kitakaido from Shin Shizuoka Center, turn right at Casino Pachinko, second corner)
Tel.: 054-2495551
Fax: 054-2486644
Business hours: 17:30~22:30
Closed on Sundays and 2nd and 3rd Mondays
Reservations advised

Cafe-Labo Confectionery and Cake Shop

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For the 6 years it has been in business in this fickle city, CAFE-LABO and its chef-patissiere, Ms. Takami Kawanaka, have achieved a solid reputation of quality, originality and reliability under the guidance of its mother company, Settle Down.
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Predominantly French-style cakes, biscuits, jellies and assortments, both classical and avant-garde, are made and re-invented in close relation with seasons and trends.
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A staff of 6 will help you choose individual cakes for your own consumption, your special ones and parties alike.
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Not only will you be tempted by the vast array of confectioner, but also by the wines imported exclusively by Settle Down Co. from Alsace, Beaujolais, Bourgogne and Banyuls as well as jams and sweets from all over France!
My favourites?: “Figue” and the”macarons”!

Access: From Kusanagi JR or Shizutetsu Stations, 10 minutes walk

Address: 424-0886 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Kusanagi, 46
Tel.: 0543-441661
fax: 0543-441670
Business hours: 10:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Credit Cards OK

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Nashi Pear

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The Nashi pear, Pyrus pyrifolia, is sometimes called the Asian pear . It has also been called Japanese pear or Taiwan Pear, as well as sand pear, apple pear, bapple, papple, and bae, from the Korean 배. In India is it called nashipati. Nashi pears are widely grown for their sweet fruit, a popular food in East Asia. They are sweet on the tree and are eaten crisp or else bletted.
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Nashi pears generally are not baked in pies or made into jams because they have a high water content and a crisp, grainy texture, very different from the buttery European varieties. Also, Nashi pears are not as intensely sweet, having a more refreshing, light taste.

They are grown in various areas in Japan under different cultivar and brand names.
I have the luck to be offered every summer a full box of them coming from Yaizu City where their brand name is “Shinsui”/新水. They are the perfect fruit for a hot summer and have far more value than a whole bottle of soda!

“No Name” Standing Bar

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For all the aping of Tokyo trends, real standing bars are a scarcity in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Although the concept should fit within the heavy-drinking environment prevalent in our region, especially Shizuoka City, it does not seem to appeal.
True to say, people here are not in a hurry and prefer to stay long in their favourite dens instead of the frantic bar hopping in vogue in larger metropolises.
Now, would you believe that the only standing bar worthy of attention in Shizuoka City does not have a name or phone number despite the fact it has been in existence for more than four years?
It is located along the subterranean thoroughfare grandly called “Golden Chikakai” linking Gofukucho Street to the JR Station. Enter it near Parco Department Store and walk along the left-hand side passageway. You can’t miss as long as you keep your eyes open and take your time.
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Now, if you are somewhat of a voyeur or exhibitionist, this might be the place to patronize at all hours of long evenings, as all kinds of passers-by hurry past it with long side glances at the denizens ogling at them behind the illusory safety of large glass window/doors.
Interestingly enough, gents and ladies of all ages both patronize this waterhole. You might therefore discover another personal reason for stopping by as it is comfortably air-conditioned for all seasons.
The Manager of the place, Mr. Sumiteru Yamato is always ready to serve you with a smile and a chat. All drinks are standard 500 yen (900 yen for full pints of draught beer). Snacks are available (200 to 500 yen). All COD. No cover charge. No surprise.
But plenty of scotch (including single malts), bourbon, cocktails, liqueurs, bottled and draft beer. Enough for the true fans.

Business hours: 17:00~24:00