Vegetarian Cuisine: Yasai Tenpura

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(Pic taken at Tomii Restaurant)

I heard a lot of vegetarians cmplain about the lack of cuisine and variety in this country.
I cannot/may not surmise for the whole of Japan, but I’m certain that Shizuoka Prefecture does not deserve this criticism. It is the largest and most varied poducer of vegetables (and partly of fruit) Prefetcure in the whole country!

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(Pic taken at Yasaitei Restaurant)

Now, one way to eat great, tasty and hot vegetarian cuisine (notice I use the word cuisine, not food) is to order vegetable tenpura (“Yasai Tenpura”) in your/his/her favourite restaurants!
Alright, “true” vegetarians will retort that they use egg white in their batter. If you are that strict, you can always try and cook them yourself, using corn starch instead of egg white. This is not the purpose of this article, but if you wish me to tell you the recipe in detail, I shall be happy to oblige! (Absintheur, you can always use plain oil instead of sesame oil in Czech Republic!)

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(Pic taken at Oigawa Restaurant)

Good Japanese restaurants and izakaya wil be glad to serve you tenpura made up with only vegetables, like we did last week with Lojol.

Ask for “yasai tenpura”. If the chef enquires whether you wish anything else, just say “yasai dake” (“only vegetables”). If he asks you what you would like to eat in particular, reply: “makashimasu!” (“as you see fit!”). I’m certain you will end up with season vegetables only, and if you come back to the same place, the chef will remember you and suggests all kinds of vegetables and combinations!

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New Summer Orange Drink

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A lot of fruit varieties are grown in Shizuoka Prefecture from to oranges to bananas and dragon fruit.
Some of them find their way into great refreshing drinks produced by completely local farmers association.
This particular one is called New Summer Orange Drink and has been put out by the Izu Taiyouu Nokyou in Kawazu, kamo Gun, Izu Peninsula.

It contains only 30% of pure orange juice, but is rich in vitamin C and carotin. Added ingredients include grapes juice and honey. It sweet, but only a little, tangy with a nice honey backdrop.
Definitely makes for a good drink for anyone, including sportsmen/women and children.
Can be bought In Asty, Shizuoka City JR Station.
For more information, call: 0558-368316

Karasumi

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Karasumi, known as “boutargue” in French, or as “btarga” in Italian, is the dried roe pouches of the mullet.
It is a quite expensive morsel in Japanese cuisine as well as in Europe (that is the real one!).

Numazu City is quite renown for its karasumi, and fishermen have just started drying them under the sun, after getting rid of blood vesels, carefully cleaned them and sprinkled them with salt.

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They are served thinly cut as they are in Japanese restaurants, or used in Italian and French restaurants, especially with pasta.

This year’s catch was only one fourth of the usual expectation, so brace yourselves when you open your purse!

Shizuoka Beer 2-2: Bayern Meister Edelweiss

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Bayern Meister 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.

“Edelweiss” is the second brew I had the pleasure to taste.

Product name: Edelweiss First Class Premium Beer
Contents volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5.5%
Ingredients: malt, hops and live yeast all imported from Southern Germany.

Clarity: clear and clean
Colour: Dark orange
Foam: disappearing quickly. Soapy head.
Aroma: Sweet and fruity
Taste: Fruity, Yeasty, tangy, moreish (British expression), looking forward to drinking more.

Comments: Refreshing and reassuringly solid.Nice long aromatic aftertaste. Can’t wait fro the second glass

Tasting conducted by Patrick harrington & Robert-Gilles Martineau

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

Shizuoka Beer 1-2: Tenjigura Porter

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This is the second brew from Tenjigura Brewery in Hamamatsu City:
 
Name: Tenjingura Beer-Porter
Unfiltered
Ingredients: Malt, Hops
Volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 4.5%

Colour: dark coffee
Foam: fthin head and disappearing quickly
Aroma: light
Taste: Fizzy, light/Bitter caramel

Comments: Refreshing drink, for a hot day. Good as a thirst quencher.

Tasting conducted by Patrick Harrington & Robert-Gilles Martineau

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

Shizuoka Beer 4-1: Autumn by Gotenba Kogen Beer

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Autumn (or “kooyou”, “red Leaves” in Japanese) is a seasonal limited beer brewed by Gotenba Kogen Beer Co Ltd. (actually the brewery itself owned by Yonkyu Company is located in another locationin Gotenba City):

Gotenba Kogen Beer/ Autumn
Barley and Wheat Malt
Alcohol: 5.5%
Contents: 500ml

Foam: Plenty. Firm head
Colour: Light amber
Aroma: Sharp
Taste: Lager. Strong dry taste at first which tails off quickly.

Comments: Typically Japanese. Does not linger much.
Tasting conducted by Patrick Harrington and Robert-Gilles Martineau

Gotenba Kogen Beer Co., Ltd.
719, Koyama, Gotemba-shi, Shizuoka-ken, 412-0033
Tel 0550-87-5500
Homepage

Cake Shop: Chocolat Fin

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Mr. Fujio Nakagawa opened his renown cake/confectionery shop back in 1988 after learning his trade and honing his skills in Tokyo for 10 years and in Shizuoka for another 10 years.
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His cakes and creations are definitely French inspired with the difference that they are aimed at knowledgeable adult clientele.
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Cakes vary in shape and taste with the seasons, especially fruit, including such classics as “Chibouste” (my personal favourite) and Mont Blanc. he makes great use of true liqueurs which give this extra note that so many other cake shops lack.
His biscuits, chocolates and meringues have to be tried.
Very smiling and attentive service by young full-time staff.
Order-made party and birthday cakes of any size any time.

Chocolat Fin
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 1-3-7 (2 minutes walk from Shin Shizuoka Center)
Tel. & fax: 054-2516321
Business hours: 10:00~20:00

Also: Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shin Shizuoka Center, Basement 1F
Tel.: 054-2215878