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

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #5
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Topic: Seasonal Release — The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale 2008

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Every winter I look forward especially to one day — the annual release ofour Carpenter’s Mikan Ale. This year, that day is today (Wednesday,February 20). 2008 marks the 7th annual release of this special fruit beerwhich originated unexpectedly, but naturally, from the earnest and genuine friendship forged between a Carpenter and a Brewer. The Brewer never intended to embark on the path of fruit ale production but was led there by the creative inspiration of the Carpenter as well as by the Carpenter’s wonderful orchard that was teeming with delicious citrus fruit.

*The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale 2008 (ABV 6.5%):

The mikans used in this brew are fresh, succulent, and local — harvested on the land and by the hand of the Carpenter. The Brewer processes them minimally, combines them with the other wholesome, traditional and minimally processed malt and hop ingredients characteristic of Baird Beer, and orchestrates the whole in a process of simple and traditional brewing. The result, we believe, is a product greater than the sum of its parts — as is true in the case of great human friendship.

The 2008 Carpenter’s Mikan Ale incorporates wheated malt in a 44 percent addition to the grain bill, sudakito sugar in a 5 percent amount, and freshly squeezed mikan juice is added at the rate of 3 liters per hectoliter of boiled wort. The peels left over from the fruit added as juice are placed in part in the whirlpool and the rest in the conditioning tank for aroma contribution. Softly citrusy Centennial and floral Sterling hops are dosed generously together with the mikans to provide an exquisitely complex yet balanced fruit character. The wonderful aromatics of this character waft gorgeously from the billowy white head that forms in the glass. Final transport to beer Nirvana comes courtesy of the tight and spritzy natural carbonation that commands your taste buds to stand alert in glorious attention!

The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is now on tap at the Fishmarket Taproom in Numazu.
It also will be available on draught and in 633 ml bottles at Baird Beer retailers throughout Japan.

Cheers!
Bryan Baird
HOMEPAGE

Ankimo: Presentations


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I have already introduced the recipe for preparing Ankimo/Frogfish Liver (Japanese Foie Gras) in a precedent article.

Although there are very few variations possible from the basic recipe, Lindsay at DeLuscious Life will be glad to hear that there exist many ways indeed to present that celebrated Japanese culinary experience:

It could be the very traditional and simple manner of just serving it inside a lacquer bowl:
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(Fuji Sushi, Shizuoka City)
Another very traditional way is to present it cut in round slices with ponzu, chopped thin leeks and “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper”:
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(Sushi tetsu, Shizuoka City)
As it is easy to shape, you could emulate Sushi Ko’s, Shizuoka City, creation:
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Now, there is a slightly more complicated, if not tradtional fashion to prepare ankimo.
Suehiro Hamanako No Aji in Hamamatsu City cooks the ankimo again (after steaming it) in soy sauce, mirin and sake, and probaly one more secret ingredient, obtaining a great morsel reminiscent of real terrine or pate:
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to be served as follows:
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two diiferent tastes and aspects!

Ankimo is rapidly acquiring great popularity abroad, especially in the States where it is served in a traditional but definitely imposing way:
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(Courtesy of Chuckeats.com)
or as a totally new gastronomic adventure such as “Ankimo with Plum sauce and Truffles”!
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(Courtesy of Chuckeats.com)

Let’s seee if we can discover more!

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (5)


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Usually, on Monday, my bento/lunch box consist of (home-made) sandwiches and I do not bother to describe them. But today, the Missus reverted back to normal Bento. I hope Rubber Slippers In Italy will like it!
DeLuscious Life might also be tempted for its balance!

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Rice came under the form of three “nigiri/rice balls” of rice mixed with “umeboshi/Japanese pickkled plums” and “goma/sesame” partially envelopped in “shiso/perilla” leaves and accompanied by three kinds of “tsukemono/pickles”: home-made wasabi stems and leaves pickles, red daikon pickles, and home-made “asabata” daikon pickles

As for the “garnish”
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(From left to right), potato, cucumber and pepper ham salad, deep-fried cuttle fish dumplings wrapped in lettuce, boiled mini asparaguses and mini corn, cherry tomatoes.

All meade from “leftovers”!

Shizuoka Cheeses (1): Minami Hakone Mozzarella


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Shizuoka Prefecture does come with pleasing surprises, indeed!
Not only are we supplied uncountable kinds of marine and agricultural products, including even meat, some companies have for some time manufactured remarkable dairy products.
One of these, Oratche in Tagata Gun, has been noticed for creating cheese with local milk, including mozarella cheese.
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This is definitely a bonafide for vegetarians and lovers of good food as they can trace it back to its very origin, instead of relying on importers’ information.
This particular mozzarella has the great merit to be firm, making it easy to cut, arrange and present. It is tastier than a lot of bland items I was brought to sample in this country, and so easy to adapt into salads, sandwiches and panini.
I definetely plan to fill zucchini/courgettes flowers with it in season before deep-frying, or steam them and serve them with cream-mushroom sauce! I’m pretty sure that Lindsay at DeLuscious Life is expecting the recipe!

Minami Hakone no Mozarella
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Vietnamese Cuisine: Holiday Lunch at Annam


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For all their popularity, real Vietnamese restaurants are far and between in this country. Actually, I will go as far as to say that Annam in Shizuoka City is probably the only genuine Vietnamese Restaurant in the whole Prefecture of Shizuoka!
Therefore, I was only too happy to pay them a long overdue visit for lunch last Sunday.
Luckily enough, they propose a “set lunch” for Sundays and holidays. At 2,800 yen (about 24 US$), it may sound a bit steep to some, but the quality, if not the quantity, does warrant it. Even on a Sunday, past 13:00, the restaurant was still half full with more customers coming in. Therefore a lot of people tend to agree!

The menu was served as follows:
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“Sup Mimosa”: a very elegant, tasty, soft soup to sharpen your appetite.
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“Ba men khai vi”/ Set of 3 hors d’oeuvres:
“Cha guo”/Fried Spring Roll
“Goi du du”/Green Papaya salad
“Goi cuon bom”/Prawn Spring Roll
Served with 2 kinds of dressing. Delicious!
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Main dish: “Ga mong mat ong”/Chicken sauteed with honey. A bit small, but cooked to perfection. Very Vietanamese!
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Pho Soup: I had a choice of “Pho bo huoc”/Beef Pho or “Pho ga”/Chicken Pho.
I chose the Chicken Pho. A bit small again, but delicious.
Foodhoe would have loved that!
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Dessert: “Trang miong”/diifficult to describe. maybe a sweet potato vichyssoise? gGeat!
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As for drinks, I had a choice between Vietnamese Coffee or Lotus Flower Tea. I chose the latter. Extremely refreshing, even drunk hot. I would recommend it to anyone!
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You can buy it at the restaurant.

I had a glass of Shosetu sake from Kansawagawa Brewery in Yui to go with the meal (extra).
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Gaijin Tonic would have been interested in the drink the owner graciously offered to me after I had finished my sake (I always pay my bills in full, but sometimes “service” comes in!): A Vietnamese “Shochu” (called “Vodka” in Vietnam. Communist influence?) called Nep Moi. At 36.5 degrees (they have two more, at 25 and 45 degrees), quite heady, but eminently drinkable on the rocks. Tastes more like a liqueur with reminiscences of flowers, coffe beans and bitter chocolate. A dessert in itself!

Annam
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tenmacho, 17-9
Tel.: 054-2502266
Fax: 054-2502323
Lunch: 11:30~14:30
Dinner: 17:00~22:00 (last orders: 21:30)
Closed on Mondays and day after National Holidays
Homepage
Slightly expensive
Credit cards OK

Shizuoka Izakaya: Odakkui


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

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

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

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