SHIZUOKA X CANNES 2011-Part 2

The cities of Shizuoka and Cannes in France (you know, the Cannes Film Festival!) have been sister cities for quite a while now.
The citizens of Shizuoka have been holding their own event every year in the middle of May in Shikencho Street in Aoi Ku in Shizuoka City.
This year Agrigraph joined the event as a great opportunity to introduce local farmers and their produce.
This year the event is held on May 14th and 15th as well as on the 21st and 22nd of May from 13:00 to 17:00 in Shichikencho. You still have tomorrow left! Do visit and I can guarantee you will discover quite a few things to your liking!

This time our stand concentrated on vegetables from Iwata City and sandwiches by Subway Company made with them!

Among the vegetables from that city featured organic lettuce, enormous luccola and small red daikon/radishes.
We also had some beautiful corn (that can be eaten raw. They are so sweet!) and various kinds of tomatoes!

Great sets for ridiculously low prices: 1 large lettuce + 1 enormous bunch of luccola, 1 bunch of small red daikon and 2 big corn ears for 980 yen. All top-class restaurants ingredients!

Three types of sandwiches by Subway Co.!

I chose the fresh vegetables and balsamico one!

Quite appetizing, isn’t it?

Nice bread!

Nice contents!

The event is being held again tomorrow on Aoba Koen/Aoba Park Street in Shizuoka City Aoi Ku from 12:00 to 17:00.
The Agrigraph stand is near the fountain bowl!
From what I saw today, tomorrow promises to be busy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass, Foodhoe’s Foraging
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!

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Oogoshyo Bento

Oogoshyo/大御所 stands for “Lord” or “Leading Figure” in Japanese.
Actually in this case it stands for the first Shogun of the Edo Era, Tokugawa Ieyasu who retired in Sumpu, presently called Shizuoka City!

The Ekiben as I bought it at Shizuoka JR Station today. They call it bento but it is a real ekiben sold inside the station!

The “mon” or Japanese arms/family crest (heraldry) is the mon of Tokugawa Ieayasu!

Clear explanations by Tokaiken Co as usual. I tend to repeat myself, but it shows how the laws are strict about bento and ekiben business in Japan, although the same cannot be said for all…

A piece of translucent paper protects the contents!

Remember that this ekiben was inspired by what a Lord of the Edo Era would eat at a normal repast (more or less…)
Now, what do we have?

I introduced this kind of rice in the previous ekiben.
It is called “sakura han/Cherry tree rice” and is covered with finely flaked tai/ 鯛/red grouper and the rice is a mazegohamn/rice mixed with the juices of the simmered fish.
Actually the whole rice in Japanese is called “tai soboro” and is made with two types of seabream called “madai” and “Himedai” and some egg.

“Sekihan赤飯/” or “red rice”. Red is a color for celebrations in Japan.
This sekihan is made with glutinous rice and azuki beans making for a thick, nourishing staple as served for unknown ages in this country.

Now to the side dish: prawn tempura, grilled mackerel, kamaboko/steamed fish paste, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, chicken ball/niwatori dango and soy sauce “bottle”.

The same (clearer picture!) with the opened “capsule” of wasabizuke/wasabi stems and leaves pickled with sake white lees.

The dessert box with the wasabizuke “capsule”. The apricot and the “wagashi” were protected by an extra film of translucent paper.

The two types of wagashi: the one on the left is made with o-mochi/glutinous rice paste and sweetmeats/anko and the second one is a gli\utinous rice ball covered with kinako/soy bean powder.

To be continued…

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

“Real Food Restaurant” Italytei

Service: Very friendly and attentive. slow food!
Equipment: Great general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Mainly local vegetables. Vegetarian meal ok!. Local sake, too!
Completely Non smoking!

Many Japanese and expats have special priorities when coming to a restaurant.
It could be a non-smoking establishement, the possibility of eating vegetarian cuisine, or simply healthy food in a healthy environement.
Real Food Restaurant Italytei could very well be the one you are looking for in Shizuoka City!

It is not easy to find in the basement street of Gofuku-cho street but it is worth the search!

Great traceabilty as half of their vegetables come from Matsuki Bio Farm or Nagomi Organic Farm in Fujinomiya City or from their own garden tended by Mrs. Akutsu.
As for meat, pork is first class LYV pork also from Fujinomiya City. Even the whole rice/genmai/玄米 is Shizuoka-grown!

If you are in a hurry hust buy one of their take-away meals or bento boxes!

Food is for omnivores but they can make it completely vegetarian with some advance notice. Might be a good idea to strike a special relation with the Owner/Chef mr. Aritsune Akutsu, a very affable gentleman worth knowing. Ask him about his vegetable jams!

You can also devise your own meal by choosing from the display window!

A very rural atmosphere inside!

I chose the tray on my last visit!
Certainly very healthy looking!

Organic Carrot Soup!

Roasted organic vegetables and home-made ham salad!

Organic vegetables open quiche and whole rice!

Will have to further investigate it for my health-conscious friends!

Real Food Restaurant Italytei/リアルフードレストラン伊太リ亭
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 3-4, Basement of Gofuku Cho
Tel.: 054-251-0456
Opening hours: 11:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Private parties possible
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!

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Tokusei Tai Meshi

Red Seabream or tai/鯛 is considered a lucky fish in Japan and is served for all kinds of celebrations.
The fish itself can come quite expensive, especially when caught in deep water.
In Shizuoka we have both the wild and human-raised varieties and is not that expensive, except when served as himono/dried fish/干物!

We were busy today moving into another appartmenet downtown and we just did not have the time to cook lunch.
I just went to Shizuoka JR Station, 15 minutes away by bicycle and bought 8 of the above (six for the removal staff and two for us)!

Tokaiken Co. sells two versions, one normal and the other called “Tokusei Tai Meshi”/Special Red Seabream Rice.
I bought the latter as this was a special occasion!

Precise explanations of the contents as usual!

The design is quite retro and ancient. too. The picture comes from a real painting/litograph/wood plate of old!

Now, what do we have here?

A piece of simmered red seabream with its soft edible skin atop the rice.
The rice is covered with finely flaked red seabream flesh which had been lightly sweetened beforehand.

The rice again is a mazegihan type/steamed rice mixed with the juices of the simmered red seabream.
Very tasty indeed and no “fishy” background!

As for the side dish, once again: nimono/simmered items/煮物, carrot, lotus root, fuki/giant butterbur stems, burdock root, tofu cake, konnyaku/elephant foot tuber.

The Japanese would never have their ekiben or bento without some pickles!
In this case daikon in umeboshi juice and cucumber!

To be continued…

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

Oyakodon: The basic Recipe (updated)

OYAKODON

I thought it was about time to update this old article of mine when I read the comments by my new friend Sissi at With a Glass!

Oyakodon must count as one of the top 5 as far as poplular food comes in Japan.
It is easy to prepare and improvise with.
Bear in mind that depending upon the region you are in Japan, the ingredients are totally different. For example, in Hokkaido you will be served salmon sashimi and salmon roe!
After all, “oyakodon” means “parent and child bowl” (ingredients!)!
Here are the main lines of a basic recipe here made with chicken and eggs, not bothering about quantities but concentrating on the method.

-Rice
Steam rice beforehand.
Oyakodon prepared with freshly steamed rice is miles ahead of reheated rice as far as taste is concerned!

-Chicken
Choose breast or thigh chicken. It is up to you to use or discard the skin. I prefer to discard it, unless I deep-fry the chicken first.

-Eggs
Choose the freshest ones as possible with large deep-coloured yolks.

-Vegetables:
Thinly sliced onion to be cooked together with the oyakodon. Soft winter or spring onions are best!
A lot of people feel like adding other vegetables. Keep in mind they have to be cut thin and need to be fried.
Fresh leafy greens for the final and important touch. My favourite is fresh mitsuba/Japanese homeywort. If not available, I use flat parsley or chopped leeks.
In many regions they also add chopped dry seaweed for the final touch.

-Stock soup/sauce:
You may use water, but dashi is a lot better. I pesonally use seaweed dashi. One might use chicken stock, too.
I add a little soy sauce, sugar, Japanese sake and sweet Japanese sake/mirin.
That is where improvisation and personal taste come in!
You may season with salt and pepper, but bear in mind that soy sauce already contains salt, so easy on that one!

METHOD:

-Cut chicken in small enough pieces. Fry or deep-fry them first. If you fry/sautee them, just season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. If you deep-fry them, season them with salt and pepper and cover them with plenty of cornstarch, unless you prefer the flour, egg and breadcrumbs method.
Once the chicken has been fried to 90%, take out and leave in another plate or on a metallic grill to get rid of excess oil.

-Using only a little oil (that left by the chicken is fine), fry the onion (and other vegetables) until almost properly cooked.
Add soup/stock. bring slowly to boil on a small fire. Add chicken and boil for a minute just to let the taste penetrate the chicken.
During that time, beat eggs (quantity is up to you!) with chopsticks to leave some parts white (some people like them well beaten).
As soon as the chicken has completely cooked, discard some of the soup if too much of it, and add the eggs.

Point 1: the chicken should be tender, not overcooked.
Point 2: Too much soup/stock will prevent the eggs from cooking fast, or you might end up with scrambled eggs
Point 3: the “real” (debatable) recipe calls for the eggs to be only half cooked before transferring the lot onto the rice.
In Kyoto, for example the eggs are most of the time well cooked and topped with a raw egg yolk.

-As soon as you are satisfied with the eggs, transfer the lot on top of a bowl filled with steamed rice.
Decorate with mitsuba and serve.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Oyako Meshi

I suppose many have heard of the Japanese delicacy called oyakodon/親子丼, meaning a pot/plate filled with rice with a topping made a chicken omelette (in Hokkaido it is salmon and salmon’s roe!).
“Oyako” means “parent and child”. In this case it means chicken and eggs. As don/丼/pot or plate does not qualify this ekiben is called “meshi/めし/rice or meal.
I bought it today at Shizuoka JR Railway Station at the Tokaiken Co. booth.

This particular ekiben being a very long best seller the original design is a bit retro!

For a better look after having taken the thread and chopsticks away!

It is not so big but quite deep and there is plenty inside it!

Now, what do we have here?

As seen from above the meshi/rice is topped with simmered chicken (no fat or skin), Japanese scrambled egg in “soboro” style (It is sweet) and green peas.

Once you dig in you realize this is “mazegohan/混ぜご飯 or mixed rice” (They also call it sakurahan/桜飯/cherry rice), a typical Japanese way of preparing rice. The rice has been mixed with the chicken pieces and fine strips of bamboo shoot, kamaboko/fish paste cake and burdock/gobou/牛蒡 root! Very tasty rice, indeed!

As for the side dish: nimono/simmered items/煮物, carrot, lotus root, fuki/giant butterbur stems, burdock root, tofu cake, konnyaku/elephant tuber.

The Japanese would never have their ekiben or bento without some pickles!
In this case daikon in umeboshi juice and cucumber!

To be continued…

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

Italian Cuisine: Shizuoka Agricultural products-Lunch at Via Del Borgo!

On a hot day (and the temperature has been hovering around a very unseasonal 30 degress celsius these past days) an Italian restaurant is probaby a good bet for lunch.
About time to check the latest lunch menu at Via Del Borgo, then!

One good thing about this spacious restaurant is that you can choose your spot among the available space without having to explain your reasons (not evident in Japan!)

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I have already introduced Chef Takahiko Katoh/加藤隆彦 and I intend to folllow him around if he intends to go independent someday (all great chefs are bound to in Shizuoka), so let's have a look at what I had the pleasure to taste this time:
Onion confit crostini!

Antipasti misto!

Grilled zucchini and bamboo shoot (the latter from Shizuoka) and pork and vegetables roll.

Light vegetable omelette.

Avocado and Scallops with pomegranate seeds and balsamico dressing.

Home-baked bread, premium olive oil and wine!

White beans and asapragus tips soup.

Crispy asparagus tips (not the overcooked and soggy stuff!)!

I said before this the place for risotto!
Chicken ragu and mushrooms risotto!

For a better view!

For once I chose the fish main dish: pan-fried and oven-baked red grouper with cold fruit tomato ratatouille and hot sauteed vegetables.
All ingredients are from Shizuoka Prefecture!

The fruit tomatoes offered an intriguing contrast with their chilled swetness!

All vegetables sauteed to perfection to enhance their taste and flavor: small spring onion, okra, rape seed flower and maountain wild mountain vegetables!

I usually do not eat cooked fish skin but the marriage of the tender flesh with and of the crackling skin of this madai/真鯛/red grouper was too much to ignore and I was rewarded with a supreme experience! Probably the “simplest” and best way to enjoy white-fleshed fish!

Panacotta and fruit for a light and delicious dessert!

Instead of the usual coffee I had a refreshing orange juice and the little biscuits!

To be continued… LOL

Service: professional and friendly
Facilities: Extremely clean overall and beautiful washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Local products extensively used. Good Italian wine list. Private rooms available.
Private rooms can be made non-smoking with full isolation!

VIA DEL BORGO
420-0034, Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa Cho, 3-2-7
Tel.: 054-221-7666
Business hours: 11:30~13:30, 18:00~21:00 (last orders)
Private rooms available.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

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!

SHIZUOKA X CANNES 2011

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I know this guy! LOL

The cities of Shizuoka and Cannes in France (you know, the Cannes Film Festival!) have been sister cities for quite a while now.
The citizens of Shizuoka have been holding their own event every year in the middle of May in Shikencho street in Aoi kU in Shizuoka City.
This year Agrigraph joined the event as a great opportunity to introduce local farmers and their produce.
This year the event is held on May 14th and 15th from 13:00 to 17:00 in Shichikencho. You still have tomorrow left! Do visit and I can garantee you will discover quite a few things to your liking!
Anyway I visited the event today and I hope this quick report will encourage you to have a good look tomorrow!

I actually visited the place twice before the start and later in the afternoon!

The Agrigraph staff busy organizing their stand!

This stand was designed especially to show and seel farmers’ produce!

Unpacking the goodies!

Red orange jam pamphlets!

Enormous zucchini harvested in the morning!

Beautiful turnips. The leaves and stems make for great soups and pickles!

Busy writing the boards!

Not only in Japanese, but also in French!

I came back later to see how things were going.
I found the Shizuoka Prefecture Agricultural High School busy selling their famous bread and cakes!

Busy cutting samples to taste!

I found some good friends like Matsukiya Wine Shop selling French wines!

There were all kinds of shops selling curios, wares, souvenirs and wahtnot!

Cooking ware from France!

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Cute little things!

A bycicle taxi, Japanese version!

Back to the Agrigraph stand…

So much great food to try there!

I love these mixed sets. Quite a few of the vegetables were organic.

Sampling the farmers’ jams!

I know that the kid was after the little tomatoes!

See you tomorrow!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass, Foodhoe’s Foraging
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!

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Tokusei Maku No Uchi

Makunouchi (幕の内) is a popular type of Japanese bento which consists of fish, meat, pickles, eggs and vegetables along with rice and an umeboshi.
The word makuno-uchi bentō (“between-act bento”), dates back to the Edo Period (1603 to 1867), when they were served during the intermissions (幕間) of Noh and Kabuki theater performances.

From the Meiji Period onward, Makunouchi has become a common convention for bentos sold at train stations. Though the selection and number of items in a Makunouchi bento vary from store to store, it often contains more items and costs more than other offerings.

Tokaiken at Shizuoka JR railway station sells two types one, norml Maku no Uchi Bento/幕の内弁当 and Tokusei Maki no Uchi Bento/特製幕の内弁当 or Special Maku no Uchi Bento/Ekiben.

The box as usual comes its own disposable chopsticks.

Shizuoka Prefecture is the largest producer of green tea in Japan!

Clear indications of the contents as usual!

The rice is covered with a special piece of paper for extra protection.

What do we have here?

Steamed rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds and small umeboshi/salt-pickled Japanese plum. Great for digestion!

From left to right, bottom up:
-Lower compartment
Fried beef and konyaku vermicelli
Preserved apricot
Tamagoyaki/ Japanese omelette
Menchikatsu or Japanese-style pork fillet croquette
Deep-fried prawn in batter and breadcrumbs
White and pink kamaboko/fish paste cake
Grilled mackerel
-Upper left compartment
Wasabizuke/wasabi leaves and stems pickled in Sakakasu/Japanese sake white lees
Small bottle of soy sauce
Pickled daikon
-Upper right compartment
Fried chicken ball on a bed of fried bamboo shoots
Nimono/simmered food: carrot, lotus root and green string beans

Once again, healthy and fulfilling!

To be continued…

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!

French Cuisine: Shizuoka Agricultural Products by Ms. Keiko Kubota at Gentil!

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
no-smoking-logoNon-smoking at tables (bar’s smoke does not reach tables)!

Things have been moving recently at Gentil, The oldest French Restaurant in Shizuoka (founded in 1964!)!
The chef having had to leave due to his wife’s conditions, Ms. Keiko Kubota, 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), decided it was time to take things in her own hands. With the help of an able apprentice (the whole staff is feminine!) she has taken the reins of the kitchen to propose a very healthy and sophisticated gastronomy based on local products.
She is coming with all kinds of refreshing ideas I plan to report on in earnest.
Let’s start with the “quick” lunch I had the other day!

Have a look at the appetizers’ plate above before you read the explanations!

Kokabu/small turnip soup made with the whole vegetable inclusding its leaves.
This kokabu is grown by Mr. Muramatsu in Fujieda City!

Left: kochi/鯒/Sand Borer Flathead sashimi in carpaccio style and kasago/瘡魚/False kelpfish; Marbled rockfish in escabeche style.
The fish were both caught in Suruga Bay and the vegetables as well as those below were grown by Mr. Tanabe in Hamamatsu City!

Zucchini and cress roll, red daikon/koshin daikon/紅芯大根 over roasted ham from Mr. Kuwahara in Fujinomiya City. Actually the raw ham was purchased from Mr. Kuwahar before being processed by Mochizuki in Ikawa.
How about that for traceability!

This chicken called “Jidori/地鶏/ raised by Mr. Aoki in Fujinomiya City was first processed in Japanese-style “nanbanzuke” before being sauteed to perfection.

For a better look of the chicken and the fresh vegetables!

The whole was topped with thin slices of old Mimolette chesse for a superlative mariage of savors (don’t forget this THE PLACE for chees in the whole Prefecture if not in the whole country!)!

The dessert tray!

This sorbet was conceived with “Ibupiacce” roses grown in Shimada City!

Shizuoka Matcha pound Cake!

Panacotta made with coconuts milk and milk, sorbet made with Shizuoka-grown strawberries and a little “ai/for love” biscuit!

Ms. Kubota told me she expects me in June for experiments with cheese and local products!
You bet I will come!

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)

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Izakaya: VILLA D’EST QUISINE

Service: Friendly and unassuming
Facilities: old-fashioned but very clean with cute washroom
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Home-style seasonal cuisine. Wines, sake and shochu. Very traditional Japanese atmosphere!

It seems ages since Toshiharu Matsuura opened his charmingly quaint izakaya, Villa D’Est Quisine, in Takajyo, Shizuoka City, when the area was not yet the famed gastronomic venue it has become since!

The whole place was conceived in Traditional Japanese style all with dark wood for a cozy meal, especially appreciated by ladies.

From the inside you don’t see the street hidden by greenery.

You can sit at the counter, tables or on the floor at a Japanese traditional low table.

View of the counter and kitchen from the table seat!

Mr. Matsuura will be glad to explain if you cannot read the hand-brushed menu!

Cute white wine decanter!

Tasty snacks (o-tooshi) coming with the first drink!

A favorite sake of mine, Morimoto Brewery from Kikugawa City!

Mr. Matsuura’s cuisine is a mixture of Japanese, ethnic and European creations, making for an interesting fusion-style style.
The above is fresh Spring vegetables and asparagus salad with Parmeggiano cheese.

Fried Spring Vegetables with Katsuo bushi/dry bonito flakes.

Another favorite sake of mine: Kaiun by Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City!

Mr. Matsuura’ specialty: maboodofu!

Sansai/Wild Mountain Vegetables tenpura!

Home-style yummy and crunchy!

For a closer view!

Sauteed “Jidori” Chicken from Fuji City!

Don’t worry, this is only the first article as I will visit it again to taste seasonal food!

VILLA D’EST QUISINE
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 3-10-19
Tel.: 054-251-4763
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays
Parties welcome
HOMEPAGE/BLOG (Japanese)

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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!

BBQ with Shizuoka Agricultural Products Under Mount Fuji!

Last Monday we were lucky and blessed with splendid weather before Typhoon No1 fell around our ears the next day!

Our merry band of gastronomes rode from Shizuoka City to Fujinomiya City getting nearer and nearer Mount Fuji!

We finally arrived at our destination, Bayern Meister Bier, run by Stephan Rager already busy preparing the BBQ in the space outside the Brewery.
Alright before I lose them for good let me imtroduce the true gastronomes of Shizuoka Prefecture who attended the event:

Mr. Yoshimura from Uzu Restaurant in Shizuoka City.
The leader of the band! Sorry, but I just couldn’t catch him alone during the whole day!

Mr. Shimura from Narusei tenpura Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Takashima from Takashima Sake Brewery in Numazu City.

Mr. Nakata from Hiro Sushi Sushi Restaurant in Kikugawa City.

Mr. Sano of Sanoman Co. in Fujinomiya City.

Mr. Tozaki (nice guy, actually!) from Hana Oto Chinese Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Sano from Kamoshibito Japanese Restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Mr. Kuawahara from Yukai Co. in Fujinomita City.

Mr. & Mrs. Rager from Bayern Mesiter Bier in Fujinomiya City.

At any BBQ (in Japan) you expect beer and a lot of it!
What better place then to hold our BBQ at Bayern Meister Bier! Stephan Rager, the only German Beer masterbrewer owning and making beer in his own brewery in Japan founded his establishment 7 years ago.

Stephan’s Diploma!

One can visit the brewery any time of the year as it also includes a small restautrant and shop (it can be really cold in winter there!).

Of course the whole place, inside and outside can be rented for parties!

Stephan even grows his own hop for special limited brews!

The bier!

The three regular beers: Weissen, Prinz and Spezial (don’t worry, a more detailed interview is in the offing!)!

All the meat, beef, pork and chicken (all local!), and local vegetables were provide by Mr. Sano of Sanoman. Extravagant!

That’s the Man!

Fresh vegetables from Fujinomiya City.
Soon I will run articles on the incredible vegtables grown in that area!

Prime beef!

Not only Mr. Sano provided all the food but he spent most of his time cooking it!

Prime pork. Sorry for the blurry pictures, what with beer and the sun, I had a hard time focusing!

A novel way to draft black beer!

Sausages, of course!

The whole range (well, a small part) from Sanoman Co.!

Fresh liver!

A late arrival, Mr. Kunugi from Kunugi Trout Farm in Fujinomiya City!

A whole plate of sashimi of Fuji Rainbow Salmon Trout!

Yakitori!

While the yakitori grilled we took a pause for the very Japanese tradition of self-introctions (mine was the shortest!LOL)!

Ready to eat! With a little salt and pepper, nothing else, just perfect!

And then the start of the real Fujinomiya Yakisoba!

Sano San of Sanoman Co. busy at work again!

The real Fujinomiya Yakisoba for the true gastronomes only!

After the BBQ we visited Mr. Kuwahara’s Yukai Farm where truly extravagant pigs are bred in incredible surroundings!

Right under Mount Fuji which provides all the water to the farm!

Everyone had to comply to the strict hygiene rules and sterelize their footwear!

Although the pigs tend to herd together they benefit from more space than in any usual farm. And their sties are cleaned twice a day.
The pigs are taken away from other herds kept at a long distance to avoid any disease and the culling is done away from the farm by a specialized company or maximum quality and minimum stress.

Visitors must go upstairs to observe the pigs without causing any stress to the animals.

They are literally kept in an incredibly clean “house” naturally ventilated. Not only the water but also the air they breathe is pure!

As for their feed, even humans can safely eat it. I actually did (sweet corn!)!
The motto is: “Quality, not quantity”!
As for traceability, you just can’t beat them!

As the last stage of our day we visited “mangenton” delicatessen owned and run by Mr, Sano’s Sanoman Co.

They even have a restaurant for private parties!

An embarrasment of choice!

The sausages!

A very busy place, any tine of the day of the season! Just look at the number plates of the cars and you will be surprised!

They even have a TV screen to suggest you recipes!

Last but not least they sell their own smoked ham!
I don’t need to tell you what my next visit will be all about!

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Yakisoba: Fujinomiya Yakisoba-The real one!

Fujinomiya City is famous all over Japan for the so-called B-Class Gourmet Fujinomiya Yakisoba.
Actually I have little liking for this “B-Class Gourmet/B-Kyu-Gourmet/B級グルメ” branding which has been invented by scoop-hungry TV channels in Japan with a total disregard for authenticity and true local gastronomy.
Well, at least some honest gastronomes are fighting hard to put things into their right place!
Yesterday I spent the whole day in Fujinomiya City as I was invited to a grand BBQ (article coming soon!) where a true Fujinomiya-style yakisoba was prepared with the best ingredients that could be found in Fujinomiya City!

The pork, the same as shown in above picture was provided by Sanoman Co/さの萬株式会社 which produces some of the best pork in Japan.
As for vegetables, good quality cabbage (especially in the Spring!) grown in Fujinomiya City is enough as it will contribute all the water you need!

Just a little good oil to fry the pork and the cabbage together. The pork will add all the necessary extra fat for a lighter fare!
Good salt and pepper only for first seasoning! The yakisoba are first put on top while more pork is added.

And naturally who else but Mr. Sano, President of Sanoman, would graciously volunteer to cook it all!?

Hot work, even for Mr. Sano!
Luckily the BBQ was held at Bayern Meister Bier run by Stephan Rager, the only German Brewmaster to run his own Brewery in Japan (article coming, too!).

The best yakisoba are not prepared with water, but with beer!
And Stephan added his own beer! Extravagant!
(A lot of picture taken for posterity!)

A good (not cheap common stuff!) yakisoba sauce chosen in person by Mr. Sano and here you are:
Healthy, tasty, simple and extravagant Fujinomiya Yakisoba!

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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/30): Wasabi Pork Sausage Bento!

Wasabi sausages!!??
Yes, they certainly exist!
These were conceived with the best pork you could find in Japan produced by Sanoman Company in Fujinomiya City. The wasabi of course is from Shizuoka Prefecture, that is, from a nearby wasabi field.
Actually, I went to Fujinomiya City yesterday to report on a grand BBQ organized by Sanoman Co. and I just couldn’t resist bringing back these sausages to the Missus!

The Missus just steamed plain rice before filling the box and sprinkling them with black roasted sesame seeds and adding some fresh ginger pickled in sweet vinegar.
As for the vegetables she prepared “kinpira” with burdock roots/gobo/牛蒡, local chili pepper and dry shredded cuttle-fish. She filled the other other half with hot Chinese-style sauteed eggplant and green pepper.

As for the side dish she prepared her specialty, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette and simply boiled and fried the sausages to which she added fresh celery.
The dessert was made of grapes and oranges wedges.

For a better view of the wasabi pork sausages!
A real delicatessen’s delicacy (the oxymoron of the day!)!
You must absolutely try them!

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

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French Cuisine: Veal and Macha Creme Brulee at Pissenlit!

Time to visit one the very best French restaurants in Shizuoka Prefecture: Pissenlit!
In this particular case I just barged in on Sunday for lunch and looked at the specialties of the day board!

For once I couldn’t drink alcohol and opted for Chef Arima’s delicious ginger ale made with real ginger roots!

To help me wait for my order (after all, all good food is slow food!) I was offered rillettes made with wild boar hunted in Noda, Shimada City! I could have ordered it!LOL

The appetizer was a delicious salad of udo and bamboo shoots. They had been lightly steamed/boiled before being served with a succulent vinaigrette. Udo/Aralia Cordata is a kind of sansai/山菜/Wild mountain vegetables. This particular one was found up Abe River in Shizuoka City. The bamboo is also grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.

A vegetarian delight!

And now for the main dish: veal!
Veal is not easy to find bred in Japan and even more difficult bred in Shizuoka Prefecture!
This extravagant meat comes from a one-month old 120 kg calf bred in natural environment with its herd.
Chef Arima shared half it with Matsuki Bio Farm’s Restaurant in Fujinomiya City where the calf hed been raised.

The veal was pan-fried/oven-roasted before being seasoned with a beautifully soft Dijon mustard seed sauce. The perfect marriage!

It was presented atop an extraordinary pancake made with potatoes/seri (セリ/Chinese celery or Japanese parsley) and cheese! I garantee you that pancake alone is worth ordering!

As usual the vegetables were all organic from Hirokawa Garden in Mishima City!

I never tire of looking at (and tasting) them!

Always cooked to perfection for maximum enjoynment of their true savors and tastes!

The veal is a beautiful pink with juices oozing instead of the unhealthy dry white samples imported to this country!

And now a real Shizuoka dessert: matcha creme brulee!

Shizuoka-grown Benihoppe/Red Cheeks strawberries!

It is just a pleasure to crack the caramel open and to delve into the cream below!

And the more you delve, the more matcha!

To be continued…

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products.
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

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