Shizuoka Supermarket Sashimi


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Last Sunday, as I had to “cook” that evening before the Missus came back from work, I ventured in Shizutetsu Store Supermarket in front of Ichiritsu High School.
Frankly speaking, I did not have a clue about I could concoct for my better-worse (sorry, Rowena!). That until I noticed ridiculously cheap seafood on display. Actually October is a great for lots of fish which come in plenty.

Here is what I bought on impulse:


“Maguro Sashimi/Tuna sashimi” for 480 yen. Allison, can you believe it?


“Ika Somen/Thinly cut fresh cuttle-fish2 for 217 yen


“Sakura Ebi/Cherry Blossom Shrimp” for 268 yen. These shrimps are exclusively caught of Yui shore in Shizuoka Prefecture.


“Katsuo Sashimi/Bonito Sashimi” for 480 yen from Shizuoka Prefecture, of course. Enormous portion!

“Myoga” and “Shiso” for 246 yen

Grand total: 1641 yen/less than US $ 16.50, enough for 4 persons (we managed to eat the whole, though!)!

Shizuoka Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Ko (revisited)


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Last Thursday, as I had to atone for some somewhat egoistical pleasure-seeking, I took the Missus to our favourite Sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko,located along Aoba Park.


Although we did order the inevitable favourites, “katsuo/bonito” sashimi, “Shirako to Ankimo/Combination of Cod Sperm sacs and Frogfish/Monkfish liver”, “Pon Kara Maguro/Deep-fried tuna cubes”, “Shishamo/Spirinchus lanceolatus”, “Hotate/Scallops”, “Maguro Zuke/Marinated Tuna sushi”, and “Amaebi nigiri to Shiraebi Gunkan/Sweet shrimp and white shrimp sushi”, the star of the day was “Kawahagi/Filefish”!

The chef took a splendid live specimen (see top pic) just caught off Mochimune coast in Shizuoka City out of the “aquarium” and proceeded to serve the complete fish in three different manners:


“O-Tsukuri”:
After having taken away the inedible skin, the chef first cut the fillets into very thin slices to be served with thin leeks and dip sauce made of ponzu mixed with the fresh liver of the same fish. As now is the best season, those comparatively thin fish come up with enormous livers!


“O nigiri”:
The chef managed to keep four slices aside to prepare nigiri with the fish flesh topped with a piece of its liver, some “momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper” and seasoned with ponzu!


“Kara age”:
The “cheeks bones” with their meat were last deep-fried and served as they are with some lemon. Simple and great!
All this with one single fish!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Japanese Cuisine: Tomii (revisited)


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Last Wednesday, my merry companions, Etsuko, Melinda and Tim and I finally arrved at Tomii in Shizuoka after a long day interviewing local sake breweries.
It was fitting that it was also the first time I visited this favourite Japanese Cuisine Restaurant as it had just gone through a total re-designing.

The place is definitely more comfortable for it, having done with the mixture of Japanese and Western-style seating and adopted a more practical arrangement of tables and chairs that can either divided into smaller rooms or left completely open. The counter has been reduced by a third but is far more ongenila for it.

As for the Cuisine it is as high quality as ever with the difference that local sake has been increased to a toatl of nine with the notion of changing regularly to cover as many breweries as possible during the year.
We had actually asked the restaurant to prepare a meal according to the sake served.
We did managed to taste eight of them!
Just look at the food which was served with them and see if you recognize any!

Are you tempted?
I’m sure you are!

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
HOMEPAGE

Shizuoka Sobaya (Soba/Buckwheat Noodles): Setsugetsuka


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Last week, during that memorable day spent in the merry company of Etsuko Nakamura, Melinda Joe and Timothy Sullivan, we had lunch at a sobaya I had planned to visit for quite some time in Shimada City: Setsugetsuka.

This is the kind of place I can recommend to a lot of people with very different culinary tastes, be they vegetarian, vegan or omnivourous (that’s for me).
The interior has just been revamped into a great Japanese semi-traditional atmosphere, which should please guests in search of a true Japanese setting.

The food from complimentary soba tofu (see above picture) to dessert is of refined quality at very reasonable prices.
The 7th generation chef (the place was opened 90 years ago) tries to combine classics and original recipes:


“Fuwa fuwa tamagoyaki”/a Japanese omelette with a twist: The tamagoyaki is first cooked, put inside a bowl with “dashi/soup stock”, then covered with beaten eggs and cooked again in an oven to attain a “cloudy omelette” reminiscent of a souffle!


Tenpura are served one at a time to ensure freshness.


Tenpura includes “sakura Ebi Kakiage”, made with Sakura Shrimps which can be caught only off Yui-cho shore in the Prefecture!


Soba come in many varieties from stright “10-wari” to:


violet soba (mixed with violet yam!)

Frankly speaking one cannot exhaust all the possibilities, so visit their homepage (Click on anything printed in blue or violet!). Even if you do not understand Japanese, you will enjoy the pics!

Incidentally, they serve great local sake from their neighbours at Oomuraya Brewery!

Setsugetsuka
Shimada City, Hotoori, 2-3-4
TEL: 0547-35-5241
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays and third Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE

LAUNCH OF GLOBAL FOODBUZZ BLOGGER COMMUNITY

San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.
“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”
Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.
“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.
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The Foodbuzz blogger community is growing at a rate of 40 percent per month driven by strong growth in existing partner blogs and the addition of over 100 new blogs per month. “The Foodbuzz.com Web site is like the stock of a great soup. The Web site provides the base or backbone for bloggers to interact as a community, contribute content, and have that content buzzed by their peers,” said Mr. Dehan.
Global Blogging Event
Demonstrating the talent and scope of the Foodbuzz community, 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs offered online food enthusiasts an international, virtual street festival of food and diversity. The new feature showcased blog posts from 24 Foodbuzz partner bloggers chronicling events occurring around the globe during a 24 hour period and included:
• Mid-Autumn Festival Banquest (New York, NY)
• The “Found on Foodbuzz” 24-Item Tasting Menu (San Francisco, CA)
• Aussie BBQ Bonanza – Celebrating Diversity (Sydney, Australia)
• The Four Corners of Carolina BBQ Road Trip (Charleston, SC)
• Criminal Tastes – An Illegal Supper (Crested Butte, CO)
• From Matambre to Empanadas: An Argentine Dinner (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
• A Sweet Trompe l’oeil (Seattle, WA)

“24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs” captures the quality and unique local perspective of our food bloggers and shared it with the world,” said Ryan Stern, Director of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community. “It illustrates exactly what the future of food publishing is all about – real food, experienced by real people, shared real-time.”
About Foodbuzz, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, Foodbuzz, Inc., launched its beta Web site, foodbuzz.com, in 2007. In less than a year, Fooduzz.com and its community of over 1,000 exclusive partner food blogs have grown into an extended online property that reaches more than three million users.

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Le Cafe-Labo: Classic Cakes (9)


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Some patissiers, when they design their cakes, show more good sense than others.
I don’t know how many times I found myself digging into a cake’s various layers encountering vastly different textures and ending up in a mess on my plate.

Le Cafe-Labo In Shizuoka City achieved the perfectly balanced confectionery when they came up with their new strawberry cake, Fraisee.
Between two thin layers of Genoise/French short cake a mixture of custard cream and butter cream provided enough solidity to enable the spoon or fork to smoothly cut through the whole cake and bring a satisfactory portion to the expecting palate.
The strawberries inside, although untreated, had been so well chosen that the spoon did not meet with any change as far as the texture was concerned.
The strawberry coulis, the dried strawberries, the blueberry and the icing sugar enhanced the whole cake with the exact amount of sweetness and elegance!

A cake to be savoured slowly!

LE CAFE-LABO
424-0886 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Kusanagi, 46
Tel.: 054-3441661
Also available at Isetan Dept. Store, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-Cho

Robert Yellin Mishima Yakimono Gallery Newsletter: Bizen Yaki/Bizen Pottery


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(Wakimoto Hiroyuki )

Greetings from Mishima,

Just coming back from California last week I once again realized how important the seasons play out in Japanese culture. Talking with my friends in San Diego most had no idea about how the
Japanese take the seasons to a poetic height, for instance changing vessels to match the seasons. Here autumn is in full swing and thus autumnal delicacies and fitting pottery are to be
seen everywhere. I can argue that no other Japanese pottery style fits autumn better than Bizen.

A month or so ago I did visit Bizen and selected works by Harada Shuroku, Wakimoto Hiroyuki and Kakurezaki Ryuichi.

Works by Wakimoto

and Harada are mostly listed in the gallery–some preview photos for Wakimoto–and after my return from California I started listing Kakurezaki’s works. All three are major figures, yet


Kakurezaki is surely *the* Bizen ceramic artist representing the *now* for Bizen. Four of his larger not yet listed works can be viewed here:
1, 2, 3, 4.

Today I’ll be listing a katakuchi pouring vessel as well as a smaller vase. All are museum quality works and please do view them when you have a moment, if for nothing else then to refresh
the senses in these surreal days.

Also, Ajiki Hiro’s son Jun is also now showing some of his fine chawan with us; they are very much in his father’s artistic realm. Quite a few potters here are now copying the Ajiki style, especially their checkered Basara style, blatant copying really.
I won’t name names, yet one is a very celebrated–shameless–potter here.

In May our gallery was featured on a NHK special on Bizen and since then a small book was published by NHK with additional photos and copy. All in Japanese though, if anyone is interested
in seeing a copy please email me.

Also, if you happen to be in Tokyo on Oct. 25th, John Gauntner and I will be hosting a Sake-Pottery Lecture Dinner; please email me for further details or see John’s web site noted above, the events page.

In any event, thank you for your interest in our gallery and wishing you all a pleasant autumn.

Cordially,

Robert Yellin
Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (33)


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Today the Missus made good use of yesterday’s leftovers and home-preserved vegetables.

There are always two or three boiled eggs in the fridge, so one of them found its way in today’s lunch. The Missus had kept aside some of the edamame served last night for my evening drink, took them out of their pods and also kept them overnight in the fridge.
Yesterday my Monday’s lunch consisted of deep-fried pork/tonkatsu muffin sandwiches. She seasoned the pork leftovers with home-made sweet pickled ginger and ponzu vinegar. The vegetables accompanying the meat in its little box are okura and aubergines/egg plants she had first fried, cooled down and then marinated overnight. The little tomato had been pickled/marinated separately.
The white-green thing in its foil paper is “wasabi zuke/wasabi stems and leaves pickled in sake white lees”, a very Japanese condiment. Most of the total national production is made in Shizuoka Prefecture!
As for the rice, she steamed it with fresh mushrooms, soy sauce and I don’t know what (she wouldn’t tell me…). All I can is that I loved it!

For once she did not omit dessert as mini apple slices were included in the salad!

21st Shizuoka Prefecture Sake Brewers Festival


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I usually keep all Shizuoka Sake postings for Shizuoka Sake Blog, but I thought for once it might be of some interest to show what can one expect at a hotel fuction dinner in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture.
The Festival which is held every year by the Shizuoka Sake Brewers Association took place in Hamamatsu City this year as the rotation came to the West of our Prefecture (it will be held in Numazu City next year).

I came early to be able to greet the many Master Brewers and owners I know and make personal acquaintance with the few I haven’t had the pleasure to meet yet.

Before entering the Main Hall, I had a good look at some sake specialists blind-tasting brews as part of a national competition. For all my love of sake and probably because of it, I never felt becoming a recognized taster. I am more interested in the people who work so hard to produce those great nectars.

Although Grand Hotel Hamamatsu is a venerable institution, its main function hall is pretty big as it easily managed to cater for than 400 guests and all the Brewers’ stands.
I did enter it long before the actual event to say hello and talk shop with the Brewers (a bit pert, I reckon, but I did work hard to make myself accepted in a very closed traditional world).

I also took the opportunity to take pictures of new labels from Sogatsuru-Hagi no Kura, Aointenka and Doi Breweries I soon will visit in Kakegawa City.

The actual event lasted two hours while all guests either stayed at the tables and enjoyed the meal and sake selection already served on each table seating eight diners, or like myself went around the whole room tasting sake at the Brewers’ stands and came back now and then for drink of water and some food served as soon as they were seated. A very practical system for the guests but extremely trying for the staff!


Set of three appetizers


Set of three sashimi


Set of fried vegetables


Cooked seafood plate


Chicken confit and mushrooms as meat plate


Seabream (snapper) rice, pickles and soup


Dessert: hot “Amazake”, made from sake white lees (non-alcoholic)

Alright, I did not go into many details but I will be glad to answer requests for explanations! At least that should give a good idea of what to expect at such functions in Japan!

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2008 #21
bryan-sayuri.gif

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Germany is a great Mecca of beer culture in the world. Oktoberfest is an annual celebration of German beer culture held in Munich around this time. This year, Baird Brewing will be participating in that
celebration by hosting our own Oktoberfest event at the Nakameguro Taproom beginning Friday, October 3 and running through Monday, October 13.

This 10-day celebration will feature a special line-up of German-style beers which include:

*Old World Kolsch
*New World Alt
*Smoke Dark Lager
*Braumeister’s Bock
*Imperial Pils
*Export Lager

Also, the Nakameguro Taproom kitchen will be offering a special selection of German-inspired Beer cuisine designed to further enhance the German-style beer experience. Please plan on stopping in the Nakameguro Taproom and joining us for the revelry.

Today, the Baird Brewery is releasing for general sale three new fall seasonals: Old World Kolsch, New World Alt and Bull Run Ale.

(1) Old World Kolsch (ABV: 5.2%):

In the annals of German beer history, Kolsch actually is a relatively “new world” style at a mere two centuries old. It is a pale, dry, assertively hopped golden ale know as the “beer of Cologne.” A fruity-winy bouquet is one of its hallmarks. Baird Old World Kolsch is brewed with German Pilsner and Wheat malts, as well as English Maris Otter, and hopped with American Magnum and Sterling varieties. The appearance is highlighted by a gorgeously full head of long-lasting white foam and a slightly hazy white-gold color. The aroma is zesty and lemon-like. The flavor is dry and quenching with a hint of bitter hop fruit.

(2) New World Alt (ABV 5.2%):

“Alt” in German means “old” and when used in connection with beer the implication is that the beer is of a type that pre-dates the pale, bottom-fermented styles most commonly found in Germany today. “Alt” as a beer style in and of itself generally refers to amber-colored top-fermented ales associated with the city of Dusseldorf and its environs. A typical Altbier is light to medium in body and sports lots of hop character. Baird New World Alt is brewed with German Pils and Vienna base malts while deriving its copper color and body from additions of both Caramunich and Caraaroma malts. 40 BUs of Horizon, Perle and Vanguard hops punctuate the flavor experience from start to finish.

These most definitely are not the typical Alt and Kolsch versions available at other breweries in Japan. We believe the German beer gods are smiling contentedly at the Baird interpretation. What say you?

Both beers will be pouring from the taps of the Fishmarket and Nakameguro Taprooms, as well as at other Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants throughout Japan, beginning Friday, October 3. Bottle-conditioned versions (360 ml bottles) also are available for sale direct from the brewery via our online estore and through our fine network of Baird Beer retailing liquor shops in Japan.

(3) Bull Run Ale (ABV 5.5%):

This is a fantastically smooth, balanced but hearty American-style Red Ale. The rich malt character and lovely red hue make this a perfect autumn season libation. The snappy hop character (Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, Ahtanum), though, makes it a very satisfying thirst quencher too.

Bull Run Ale is available on draught only at the Nakameguro Taproom. A limited supply of 633 ml bottles also are available for purchase from the brewery and through Baird Beer retailing liquor store in Japan.

Prost!

Bryan Baird
Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

Le Cafe-Labo: Classic Cakes (8)


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We are in the middle of the fig season!
As Shizuoka is a mjor grower of this great fruit, one can expect all kinds of preparations!
Did you know that figs are great as vegetables starters, chilled, peeled and cut in thick slices with plenty of “goma tare/sesame sauce”? my new vegan friends, Miss V’s and Julie would love to try them!

So Le Cafe-Labo in Shizuoka City put this new creation, “Tarte aux Figues/Fig Tart” in its display cases yesterday. I did not hesitate as my private students have this very sweet tooth that helps me so much with my postings!

The basic pastry is “pate sablee” layered with a mixture of pate sablee and green pistachio paste (directly imported from France). Home-made fig jam has been spread over the pistachio pastry to preserve its identity. Quartered figs (with their skins!) were then assembled over the tart and subsequently lightly “brulees”.

The balance is perfect and the tart does make quite a bite to enjoy. Even a big eater like Foodhoe should feel satisfied!

LE CAFE-LABO
424-0886 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Kusanagi, 46
Tel.: 054-3441661
Also available at Isetan Dept. Store, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-Cho

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (32)


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Yesterday’s bento was a quick fix, but I must admit it was pretty satisfying!
She just boiled an assortment of pasta, cooled them under cold water, drain them and mixed them with smoked salmon, mayonnaise, capers and some spices.
She added the usual plum tomatoes, cress, bits of processed cheese, French cornichons and lettuce.
She topped the whole with some very soft-boiled egg halves.
Actually, most of the yolk of the upper half flowed into the pasta salad contributed for more taste!

But she forgt the dessert again!