Shizuoka Izakaya: Shibata


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sake, shochu and sushi

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For once, I did not foot the bill (although I tried hard) as I was invited by Mr. Sakurai, an old friend of mine and the sire of a favourite student of mine. Therefore I must admit I do not have a clue to how much the bill amounted to, although the place is fairly reasonable.
Shibata was opened 20 years ago and has already gone through a total renewal in 2003.
It is extremely popular and busy. Reservations are a must on week-ends!
Mr. Sakurai had ordered a set menu (probably the most expensive one, judging from the quality and quantity!). We had only the drinks to worry about!

Like any worthy Izakaya in Shizuoka, Shibata features a good number of Shizuoka Jizake on its menu: Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery,Yui Cho), Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City)!
Before I go through all the morsels I’d better hoot for Rowena, Gaijin Tonic, Foodhoe and Simaldeff to prepare themselves (and call their friends, LOL)!

The “snack” coming with first drinks was a proof of the quality of the establishment: boiled bamboo shoot, grilled clam, shellfish in its shell and broad beans.

But the enormous sashimi plate (for three persons) could have been enough with adequate drinks:
Sazae/Turbo shells in its shell and insides in a small plate. Maguro Chutoro/Tuna Fatty part (right). Awabi/Abalone (small on left). Bottom right, raw Sakuraebi/Sakura Shrimps from Yui Cho and Shirasu/Sardine Whiting from Mochimune. Centre, Uni/Sea Urchin in a cup. Centre left, Shime saba/pickled Mackerel. Bottom left, Aori Ika/Aori Squid and Suzuki/Seabass.

But then, dishes came down at speed (if I had a single criticism to vent, it would be that dishes come too fast!):
Ise Ebi to Kani Gusoku Ni/Spiny Lobster and crab legs in Japanese-style sweetand sour sauce. The lobster is Australian and the crab Russian, but very tasty!

Ooba no Tsutsumi mushi/Clam steamed inside a bamboo leaf. reminiscent of Vietnamese food. Both delicate and fulfilling!

Yuba Chakin

Fish and shellfish in white sauce baked inside yuba/”toofu skin”. A dish that would be appreciated anywhere as you could easily make a vegetarian version! A shame you have to open it!

The last dish before the dessert (sorry I got carried away and forgot to take a pic of the latter!) was a typical Japanese fare: Sawara no kidomeyaki/Large Mackerel variety grilled topped with garnish made with Japanese herbs and spices. and Nasu no Denraku/Egg-plant or Aubergine grilled topped with a sweet miso sauce.

Holy Macaroni! Getting up proved an almost exhausting excersise!

Shibata
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 2-5-8
Tel.: 054-251-2405
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays
Credit Cards OK

Chocolat Fin: Traditional Cakes (2)


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Chibouste or Chiboust, although a very venerable confectionery、 has been the source of much confusion as it was first a cream invented by a French Chef as defined in Wickipedia:
“Crème Chiboust, also called Crème Saint-Honoré, is a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) lightened with whipped cream or stiffly beaten egg whites, originally devised by the French pastry chef Chiboust in Paris around 1846 to fill his Gâteau Saint-Honoré”。
Now, it represents a cake itself. So far (I mean myself)、 the best and more “traditional” version I’ve ever eaten is prepared by Chocolat Fin in Shizuoka. Naturally, this is open to friendly discussion!

A shallow tartelette is first filled with baked/steamed apples and then topped a chiboust cream (as described above). Particularly bothersome as each cake has to be made individually. I have little liking fおr the cut square versions, a sure sign of sloppy work.
Once the cake has settled inside its metal mold it will sprinkled with sugar and then “brule” as to form a crisp layer of caramel.
The apples can be soaked in liqueur or perfumed with cinnamon. The Chiboust cream, too, can be enhanced with liqueur and so forth.
Frankly speaking, I have a special admiration for chefs who are ready to spend time preparing such cakes!

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

Shizuoka Cheeses: O-Sashimi Cheese


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This is the second cheese variety by Fuji Milk Land Co in Fujinomiya City.
The name “O-Sashimi” means that they suggest it to be eaten like Sashimi!

Actually it is easy to cut either into thick or thin slices.
It does go well with soy sauce, and even with a little dash of wasabi.
I also found it tasty on top of a salad, on toasts and of course on pizza. Easy to eat for children, too as salt contents are low, but as an adult makes a perfect snack with beer!

Fuji Milk Land
Milk Land Co. Ltd.
Fujinomiya City, Kami Ide 3690
Tel.: 0544-54-3690

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: “Noen no Megumi” Orange Juice


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Mikkabi area near Hamamatsu City in the estern partof Shizuoka Prefecture has been renown for its oranges, especially for a variety called “Mikkabi Aoshima Mikan”

It is always a special pleasure when you can discover them in the guise of 100% juice produced by local farmers!
Tasting notes:
Natural sweetness. Solid juice (100%). Great natural orange taste.
Both refreshing and satisfying!
Great for children and adults in summer.
Would especially recommend as dessert drink for children lunch boxes!

Noen No Megumi/Mikkabi Aoshima Mikan
Okamoto Mikan “Factory” ATA
hamamatsu City, kita Ku, Mikkabi cho, 276-1
Tel.: 053-524-4155