Strawberries: From the Shizuoka Producer to the Gastronomic Table: Gentil!

Ms. Keiko Kubota/久保田敬子 at Gentil Restaurant

Ranking
Service: very professional
Facilities: Very clean, superb facilities.
Prices:~ Slightly expensive to expensive
Strong points: Beautiful and fresh ingredients presented and combined to perfection. Local ingredients whenever possible. Superb wine list. The best cheese trays in Japan! Everything thoroughly and kindly explained!

Map

Toukun Strawberries

Yesterday I visited my good friend, Ms. Keiko Kubota, Maître D’Hôte at Gentil/ジャンテイ・レストラン, the oldest French Restaurant in Town and probably Prefecture.
I do not need to introduce this extremely talented lady who has attained national and international fame as the only Japanese Compagnon d’Honneur du Guilde des Fromagers (フランス熟成士の組合ギルドデフロマージュからコンパニオンドヌール)!
The reason for my sudden visit was to introduce her to new strawberries that have just been created in Shizuoka Prefecture, namely Ookimi/おおきみ and Toukun/桃薫 produced by an association of 6 farmers in Yaizu and Fujieda Cities.
Not only did I introduce her to these beauties, but I also challenged her to create (with her chef) a couple of gastronomic delights!

Sautéed Foie Gras with Toukun strawberries, fried and glazed Toukun Strawberry, Foie Gras Mousse on Aromatic Herbs Tile and Toukun Strawberry Jelly!

Now, for the explanations!

The foie gras was sautéed as it is (its own fat is enough) with a little salt and pepper and served with slices of one half Toukun strawberry.

The other half of the Toukun strawberry was lightly fried and glazed in its own natural sugar.
The leftover juices of the strawberry were combined with those of the foie gras with a little Madeira wine for a perfect sauce!
Great balance between relatively acid strawberries and strong-flavored foie gras!

A tile (タイル) perfumed with aromatic herbs, arching above some cress, was then topped with foie gras mousse decorated with jelly made from the same strawberry!

Ookimi Strawberries

An Ookimi strawberry Farandole (ファランドル)!

Farandole is a dance from the South of France, meaning that all participants join hands in a dancing circle.

The Ookimi strawberries were delicately cut and placed in a circle with small balls of ice cream and sorbet in their centre.

Can you guess the ice creams and sorbets?
Strawberry, Vanilla, Yoghurt and Panacotta!
All elegance!
The perfect dessert for ladies?

I don’t have to tell that I’m also looking forward to Ms. Kubota’s creations with other Shizuoka products I will bring her soon!

Restaurant Gentil
Address:420-0031 Shizuoka Shi, Gofuku-cho, 2-9-1, Gennan Kairaku building, 2F
Tel.: 054-2547655 (Reservations advisable)
Fax: 054-2210509
Opening hours: 12:00~14:00, 18:00~last orders for meals at 21:30. Bar time 18:00~23:30. Closed on Mondays.
Credit cards OK
Homepage (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Wasabi Ice Cream, Wild Boar, Ayu Trout And Joren Waterfalls in Yugashima, Izu Peninsula

The false and the true wasabi ice cream!LOL

If you wish to visit Izu Peninsula, one of the most famous tourist spots in the whole of Japan, be it for a single day or longer, there is a very simple way to do that allows you to explore the area on or off the beaten tracks.

Wherever you come from in Japan or Shizuoka Prefecture, first go to Mishima City and change trains from the JR Railway Line to the Private Izu Hakone Senzu Line which will take you all the way to Shizenji, its final destination.
Then at the Shuzenji Bus Station (beside the Railway Station) choose your destination (buses cover the whole peninsula from there) and enjoy a quiet ride. Take the very back sats if you can as they are always elevated and enable you to enjoy the views on the way from a better angle!

This time my destination was the Jyoren Waterfalls/浄の滝 in Yuugashima/湯ヶ島.
Don’t forget to take a picture of the bus stop sign for your collection!

What’s that inside the beus stop shelter?

“Beware of the Wild Boars!”
It’s not a joke! (Mind you, they make for good food, too!)

They look cute, but their sausages are a local delicacy!

They are also delicious as Inoshishi Man/猪まん/large teamed wild boar dumplings!

Incidentally visit the nearby souvenir shop where you can find Shizuoka Green Tea, real Shizuoka Wasabi Schochu and extravagant Shizuoka sake!

Now, what does that sign say?
Wasabi Soft!

Here they are! Hee they are!

Real wasabi (soft) ice cream (I men the one in the front!) made with wasabi grown in Izu peninsula!
Really piquant and sweet! A must!

Alright let’s go to the waterfalls!
But first consult the board for some useful information!

Quite a few stairs waiting for you!

More wasabi is apparently waiting for you downstairs!

More information on the way to the waterfalls!

Do make a point to read it!

More wasabi ice cream waiting for you!

And fresh wasabi roots on sale!

Can you see the wasabi water fields on your way down?

Impressive, isn’t it?

What are they doing?
Fishing ayu trout/鮎!

Now, here is some great fun for you and your kids:
Ask (for a fee) the small shop below to lend you a rod, line and lure to catch the ayu trouts in the river flowing away from the waterfalls and have your catch grilled for immediate pleasure!

Go there in the colder season when the water is pure and crystal clear!

Our destination: Jypuren No Taki/Jyoren Waterfalls!
You will realize there why the water in Shizuoka Prefecture and Izu Peninsula is so famous!

I must take a dip there next summer! (I wonder if they will let me?)

Looking forward to visit other spots in the Izu Peninsula!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/01/28)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Seasonal Debut: Winter Wit; Big Beer Winter Weekend at Nakameguro Taproom

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

There is one word for this winter: cold! We plan to warm you up, though, with today’s release of a first-time Baird winter seasonal brew: Winter Wit.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*Baird Winter Wit (ABV 6%):

The newest everyday toy in our brewery is our Belgian ale yeast (brought in for the fermentation of Single-Take Session Ale). This yeast strain is known for its use in fermenting Belgian-style Wit bier. It ferments with a tart, spicy and only moderately phenolic character. The dead of winter hardly seems the season for a light, crisp and refreshing Wit bier, but we have addressed that problem.

Baird Winter Wit is heartier (14.7 plato), stronger (6% abv), and more gold (less white: 5.8 SRM) than a normal Belgian Wit. The grist is a classic blend of un-malted and malted wheat, floor-malted Pilsner and Maris Otter, with touches of rye (adding spicy complexity) and caramel malt (for the golden color). The hopping is light and performed with a combination of New Zealand (Motueka) and German (Traditions, Hersbrucker) varieties. The magic occurs when this ingredient combination is then fermented with our Belgian yeast strain.

The result is a pleasantly tart and spicy, sprightly carbonated ale with a hazy golden hue upon which sits a billowing head of virgin-white foam. The warmth comes in the finish, just enough to furbish without interfering with the refreshment. Glorious!

Baird Winter Wit begins pouring from the taps or our four Taproom pubs today (Friday, January 28). It is draught-only, and will be available at Baird Beer pouring pubs and restaurants throughout Japan beginning Saturday, January 29.

Upcoming Taproom Events:
We will be staging our annual Big Beer Winter Weekend at the Nakameguro Taproom on the three-day holiday weekend of Friday, February 11 – Sunday, February 13. This is the weekend in which we celebrate the storied beer history of strong ales and lagers (’Winter Warmers’ as they are known to some). We will be pouring a bevy of big Baird Beers as well as other strong ales both from abroad and right here at home. Ishikawa-san and the kitchen staff already have the wheels in motion for the offering of what promises to be an amazing menu of speciality dishes designed to pair with the various Big Beers.

Please mark your calendar. A detailed beer list and food menu will be announced shortly.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Sushi: Shizuoka Marine Products from the Ocean to the Gastronomic table: Ginta!

Suruga Bay Sushi Nigiri Tray!

Caring about local food does not concern only vegetables, fruits and meat from a certain region, but alそ its marine products!
In the case of Shizuoka Prefecture it can safely be assumed this represents half of its total food production!

Ginta

Mr. Hara, owner and chef of this minuscule sushi restaurant in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, has established a name as a reference products when it comes to sushi. Although he also serves marine products from other areas of Japan, it is eminently possible to devise and order solely from the Suruga Bay!

Just in case you did not know, Mr. Hara makes sure that his customers understand this the land (and sea) of Sakura shrimps!

So when we visited the restaurant last week, the Missus and I, we decided to order only locally.
The above snacks coming with Eikun sake from Yui are namako/sea slug/海鼠 lightly boiled and pickled and ika shiokara/pickled cuttle-fish/烏賊塩辛.

Top: Hirame Konbujime/sole marinated in seaweed/平目昆布〆, Tachiuo Ponzu Momijioroshi/Sacbbard Fish seasoned with ponzu and grated daikon with chili pepper/太刀魚ポン酢もみじおろし, Fugu Ponzu Negi Momijioroshi/Globefish with Ponzu, leeks and grated daikon with chili pepper/ふぐポン酢ねぎもみじおし, Kawahagi Kimo Ae/Filefish with its liver/かわはぎ肝和え

Bottom: Kanpachi/Greater Yellowtail-Amberjack/かんぱち, Aji/Horse mackerel/鯵, Ishidai/Barred Knifejaw/石鯛, Sakura ebi/Sakura-Cherry shrimps/桜えび

We both ordered the above Suruga Nigiri Tray composed of 8 different fish and shrimp all from the Suruga Bay on the other side of the quay!
For 1,800 yen/20 US $, a real bargain (considering you will not find it in Tokyo!)!

You can see and check the seasonal tray on small cards on the wall!

We couldn’t resist from ordering the sakura ebi kakiage/sakura shrimps tenpura/桜海老掻き揚げ, the representative dish of the local seafood!
One dish is enough for two, I can guarantee you!

And of course a bowl of sakura ebi shiru/sakura shrimps soup/桜海老汁!

You can be sure that the next visit will come soon!

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Yui, Konjuku, 165 (5 minutes walk from Yui JR Station)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Yui, Konjuku, 165 (5 minutes walk from Yui JR Station)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/5): Shuumai & Scallops Rice Bento!

The homey art of bento, like major gastronomies in Japan and France, is not so much the art of coming up with all kinds of creations and new ingredients, but to accomodate what’s available in an elegant and delicious manner. (Never complimented the Missus so much! I will have to tone down my comments! LOL).

So, after a good look in the fridge and in the pantry, the Missus prepared “mazegohan/混ぜご飯/mixed rice” with a small tin of high-quality scallops preserve a friend had brought some time ago, and some soy sauce, Japanese sake and dashi/Japanese soupstock.

Once properly steamed she mixedthe whole to uniformity, and filled the first box, topping it with tobikko/とびっこ/flying fish roe and finely chopped ciboulette/French chives. Great colors!
The pickle are home-pickled wasabi stems and leaves.

The Missus complained she should have introduced more colors in the side dish, but it was fine by me!

The red turnips/kabu/蕪, Brussels sprouts/mekabetsu/メカベッツ, white asparaguses, “snap green peas in pods and rape flower/na no hana/菜の花 are simply boiled.
The shuumai were (home-) madewith minced pork, “oba” perilla, and sesame oil.

For dessert, separated from the rest with lettuce, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette/卵焼き with boiled black beans inside!
They look as so many eyes…

I certainly needed all that for a long work day!

Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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Suruga Brewery: The Newest Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture!


Takahiro Nagashima/長島隆弘 of Nagashima Sake Shop and Daigo Hagiwara/萩原大吾 of Suruga Brewery

I finally found the occasion to pay a long delayed visit to the newest Sake Brewery In Shizuoka Prefecture (and probably in Japan!): Suruga Brewery/駿河酒造!


Tenkou/天虹/”Heaven’s Rainbow”, Suruga Brewery’s representative brand!

My good friend Takahiro Nagashima of Saketen was on hand as he had wanted to visit and deal with Suruga Brewery the very moment they arrived in Shizuoka City!


Delivery truck formerly owned by Yoshiya Brewery.

Suruga Brewery may have a short history but it has been a pretty eventful one!


Haginishiki Brewery of old times!

It all started in 2006 when some members of the family owning the Haginishiki Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to separate themselves form the old brewery to create the new one.


Chumasa sake casks from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

So they first moved to Kakegawa City where they started brewing their own brands at the former Sogatsuru Brewery which had laid dormant for 10 years.


Hagi No Kura Brand flag

They produced brands such as Hagi nO kura, Sogatsuru and Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura. Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura was the official name of the “new” brewery then.


Equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

One cannot start a new sake brewery with a new license in Japan.
The only way you produce your own brand of sake is either to obtain the collaboration of another brewery or to buy the license of a brewery.


More equipment from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery

They brewed their sake under the name of Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery until 2009.
Then in 2010, Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City decided to stop their activities.


Press from Yoshiya Brewery

They then were able to buy Yoshiya Brewery’s license and call themselves Suruga Brewery.
Not only did they buy the license but also all the unsold sake and equipment from Yoshiya Brewery!


Tanks from Yoshiya Brewery

Sake brewery equipment is hard to make and obtain, and terribly expensive, so buying a defunct brewery’s equipment is quite common in Japan.


Another view from the outside

But they moved to their present address in Shizuoka City only last year.


Chumasa brand

I was personally extremely happy to learn and verify that they kept the names Yoshiya Brewery’s sake brands, Chumasa, Onigoroshi and Abekaido in their own range of labels headed by their representative brand name, Tenkou.


Entrance to the koji muro/麹室

Now, the family branch who decided to go alone also possessed land and a supermarket in Nishiwaki, Suruga Ku (hence the new name of the brewery) in Shizuoka City.
They just transformed the supermarket into a very efficient, cost-saving brewery!


Inside the koji muro

They had their own well dug 50 meters deep into the Abe River subterranean bed. This water is top-class for sake even that deep inside a city!


Modern temperature regulator

The brewmaster/杜氏 at Suruga Brewery is Mr. Kazumo Kobayashi/小林一雲 (39) of NaganoPrefecture and of the Nanbu Brewmasters School who brew the sake with his team of three “kurabito/helpers”.


New tanks/oke/桶

The present yearly production is of 350 goku/石/about 63,000 liters.


Having a peak at premium sake ready to be pressed!

The shikomi/actual brewing is done in two stages, in November~December, and then again in March~April.


Modern tanks where fermenting is being conducted

Apart of the brewing personnel who reside in the brewery only during the brewing, Suruga Brewery, Daigo Hagiwara, who represents the 3rd generation, employs 4 full staff and 2 part-timers.


It’s brewing!


One cannot escape the manual work, however modern a brewery might be!


They still keep reminding themselves of their new name!


The Abekaido Brand!


Mr. Hirai, the accountant and jack of all trades!


A treasure trove of old and very old sake!


Their best and most expensive sake!

Don’t worry, I’ll start tasting reports soon!

Suruga Brewery
422-8044 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Suruga Ku, Nishiwaki, 923
Tel.: 054-281-1331
Fax: 054-251-1475

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/4): “Tai Meshi/Sea Bream Rice” Bento!

Last night I had the extreme luck to be offered a “Madai/ Red Sea Bream” by a friend whose father is a dedicated angler!

A human-raised red sea bream is already an expensive fish to buy, but a real natural specimen is extravagant. And it was at least a two hand-span long fish (the Missus’ hands! Not a “fishing story”!)!
The Missus (most of it) and I dressed the fish after dinner to prepare it for today’s lunch box. We were left with two large fillets and flesh-covered backbone and tail. The Missus is sun-drying the latter as himono/dried fish/干物!

As for preparing the “Tai Mashi/Sea Bream Rice”, the technique is quite simple:
The Missus steamed the rice in water with a little dashi/fish soup stock, a little soy sauce, pieces of konbu/seaweed and the two sea bream fillets on top of the rice.

Once the rice was ready, she broke the fillets of sea bream (after peeling their skin off) and mixed them gently with the rice.
She then placed plenty of the same rice in the first box and decorated/seasoned them with real ciboulette/French chives.
The fish is so tender nad soft that it reminds of high-quality crab! No wonder it is expensive!

As for dessert, she included some sweet-boiled black beans and as condiments her own home-pickled red daikon.

As for the “granish box” she interestingly enough found herself with too many ingredients, She decided to concentrate on colors, arrangemant and balance.

From right to left:
Pieces of ripe avocado in tartare sauce.
Large prawns she boiled/steamed in shallow water with a dash of Kirsch (Cherry Liqueur/from SSwitzerland!)
Plum tomato
Lettuce and wasabina (a lettuce calles such because its taste reminds of wasabi!)

From left to right:
The same lettuce (belaow) and wasabina.
Soft-boiled egg seasoned with roasted black sesame seeds.
Fried green and red pppers.

Don’t tell me I’m lucky! I know it!

Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Please check the new postings at:
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