Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Junmai Nama Genshu Homare Fuji

Fuji-Takasago Brewery went through a scare when a magnitude 6 earthquake hit Fujinomiya City almost just after the terrible earthquake that hit Northeastern Japan. They found cracks in walls in over ten spots and are busy repairing them now.
But it did not prevent them from brewing in general and certainly not their brews made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Rice!

No the label did not break during the earthquake!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: Banana
Body: Fluid
Taste: Not as strong an attack as expected. Almost liquorish.
Fruity. Banana with hints of almonds and coffee beans.
Lingers for a while with alcohol background. Very pleasant despite high alcohol contents.
Hints of oranges, custard and macadamia nuts with further sips.
Changes little with food apart of getting a little drier.

Overall: Difficult to say whether best drunk on its own or with food.
Does marry well with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.
Personally appreciated it on its own a little chilled!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/06/17)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Seasonal Release: Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale 2011

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

While the rainy season continues to be rainy, our beer thoughts have turned distinctly summer and sunny. Today we are pleased to announce the 2011 release of a special fruited summer seasonal brew: Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale 2011 (ABV 5.5%):

A summer mikan (natsumikan)is a grapefruit-like citrus fruit that is tart and sweetly sour in flavor and wonderfully aromatic. The only fruit to make it through the doors of the Baird Brewery, of course, is fresh whole fruit recently plucked from the land. Our summer mikans are Shizuoka-grown, right in the Heda orchard of our carpenter-partner-friend, Mitsuo Nagakura. The bounty of fruit is painstakingly hand-processed by the Baird Brewery team before its introduction into the brewhouse and cellar. You can taste the glory of the freshness and wholesomeness of the natsumikan fruit in each sip of this extraordinarily zesty brew.

The refreshing citrus character of Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale is not supplied by fruit alone, however. The natsumikansare complemented beautifully by deft additions of four citrusy-spicy American hop varieties: Citra, Centennial, Santiam and Ahtanum. The quenchingly brisk and tart result is summer paradise in a glass!

Shizuoka Summer Mikan Ale 2010 will be available on draught and in bottles (633 ml) beginning Saturday, June 18. Please visit a Taproom pub or local Baird Beer retailer while quantities last.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


The Japan Blog List

———————————
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

Sushi Restaurant: Narukawa in Shizuoka City

“Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear Roll” made with fresh wasabi root from Shizuoka!

Service: Professional and very friendly. Keen to please customers
Facilities: Very clean overall. Great washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Extensive usage of local fish. Shizuoka sake.

Hiroki Narukawa/生川広樹さん

I’ve known Chef Hiroki Narukawa for ages since his apprentice days.
Since then he has flown on his own wings and has recently opened his restaurant Narukawa/なるかわ at a new and more spacious address.

In spite of the higher class atmosphere and the increased staff, the prices have not changed and can be considered as reasonable for the quality he serves even in this very difficult to please Prefecture!

Although the seating is modern and almost western in concept it is still very much a traditional atmosphere!

There are naturally menus and sets, but I would encourage you to have a look at the offerings of the day under the glass display and talk with Narukawa San before you start ordering!
Personally I do not bother looking at menus and prefer a more social introduction. The fact that I know the chef also helps! LOL

The Missus and I usually starts with sashimi!
The above is hirame konbujime/平目昆布〆/sole lightly preserved in konbu seaweed. From Shizuoka!

Aka mutsu/赤むつ/Rosy Seabass from Shizuoka.

Kaisui uni/海水海栗/Sea Urchin in his original seawater eaten as it is! Extravagant! From Hokkaido!

Hotate nigiri/帆立握り/Scallops Nigiri. Large! From Northern Japan!

The filaments, roe and liver of the same scallops. A dish that would please a lot of people all over the world!

Madai nigiri/真鯛/True seabream/grouper-Red Seabream/grouper nigiri. From Shizuoka!

Magurozuke nigiri/鮪漬/marinated tuna (akami/lean part). Probably from Shizuoka or North of Japan (I forgot to ask as I always ask for this morsel in Shizuoka!).

Asupara mentaiko maki/アスパラ明太子巻/asparagus and hot cod roe (with mayonnaise) roll. For the Missus! The asparagus is from Shizuoka, the mentaiko from Kyushu island!

While the Missus had her mentaiko I had a kanpyou maki/干瓢巻/gourd shavings first dried, then marinated. With real wasabi from Shizuoka, almost a dessert!

Suwagani nigiri/諏訪蟹/snow crab nigiri from Hokkaido!

Shiroebi kakiage/白海老あき揚げ/white shrimps tempura from Toyama Prefecture!

</

Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear roll made with freshly sliced wasabi root from Shizuoka. Extravagant!

For a closer view!

Menegi nigiri to daikon zuke/芽葱と大根漬/leek sprouts and pickled (lime) daikon. All from Shizuoka!


Ikura Mini Donburi/イクラミニ丼/mini bowl of salmon’s roe!

To be continued…

NARUKAWA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-5-2
Tel.: 054-221-1689
Business hours: 11::30~13:30, 17:00~02:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/33): Dry Curry & Meat Balls Bento

Dry curry is a very popular way of preparing curried rice in Japan!
Actually, there is nothing dry about it, only a “Japlish” expression!

The Missus, like most Japanese, loves curry, but more the Japanese style than anything else.
This means curry will be mild, even sweet.
You would be surprised how many shops serve curry in Japan, from Tonkatsu Curry to Curry Udon!

Anyway the Missus, after steaming the rice, mixed in curry mix powder and curry paste while the rice was hot.
She filled the main box with it and topped it with a few raisins.

I was not allowed inside the kitchen (even in the bigger one in our new apartment!) while she prepared the meat balls! All she would tell me is that they were made with pork and beef minced meat, cheese and parsley!
I must admit she makes great balls! (No pun meant!)
She added Shizuoka-grown celery for more fibers and vitamins!

The salad and dessert (she did not forget the latter!) box consisted of home-pickled mini melons and carrots, a semi-boiled egg topped with black sesame seeds, lettuce and beautiful Japanese cherries from Nagano Prefecture ( a present from a student!)!

Plenty of colors again, very satisfying (I was very busy physically today) and yummy!

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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

Food and Drinks Bloggers in Japan (expanded on 2011/06/15)

The number of foreigners and Japanese nationals who write about the food and drinks in Japan in English (or at least answer comments in English) has remarkably increased lately.
I thought it was about time to start some kind of round-up to help people discover these deserving foodies and their blogs!The list below is far from exhaustive, but I’m planning to update and announce it regularly!
Of course if you know more foodies residing in Japan, do please direct them to me and I will introduce them gladly!

HOKKAIDO TRIBE
(Hokkaido Island)
Meishu no Yutaka by Carlin
Hiroyuki’s blog

TOHOKU TRIBE
(Northeastern Japan: Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima)
Slow Food From Japan by Nigel Fodgen in Miyagi Prefecture.
Hokuriku Expat Kitchen

KANTO TRIBE
(Eastern Japan: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa)
Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass by Melinda Joe in Tokyo
Tokyo Foodcast by Etsuko Nakamura in Tokyo
Sake World by John Gauntner in Tokyo: The inernational Reference for Japanese Sake!
Tokyo Terrace by Rachael in Tokyo
Gaijin Tonic in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture
Nonjatta by Chris Bunting in Tokyo
The Soul Of Japan in Kanagawa Prefecture
Sake, kimono and Tabi In Tokyo
Tokyo Kawai, Etc… in Tokyo
Blue Lotus in Tokyo
The Japanese Food Report by Harris Salat in Tokyo
The Sake Chronicles in Tokyo
Watashi to Tokyo by Mari kanazawa in Tokyo
Japanese Food-Food Lover’s Guide by Yukari Yamamoto in Tokyo
Gaijin Life by a Canadian gentleman in Tokyo
Leo’s Japan Food Blog in Tokyo
Eating Out In Tokyo With Jon
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey
Food Sake Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto
Japanese Cuisine-Cooking Japanese Food At Home by Yukari sakamoto

CHUBU TRIBE
(Central Japan: Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Yamanashi, Nagano, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi)
Good Beer & Country Boys in Aichi Prefecture
Yellin Yakimono Gallery by Robert Yellin in Shizuoka Prefecture
Mangantayon in Shizuoka Prefecture
Shizuoka Gourmet, Shizuoka Sake, Shizuoka Sushi, Shizuoka Shochu in Shizuoka Prefecture
Bryan Baird’s Beer & Brewery in Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture
Yabanjin in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture

KANSAI TRIBE
(Western Japan: Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama)
Colorfood Daidokoro in Osaka (Englis & French)
Dominique Corby In Osaka (in French, but can answer and read in English)
Nagaijin in Osaka
Kyoto Foodie in Kyoto
Our Adventures in Japan by K and S Minoo in Osaka
Japan Food Addict by Mai in Kyoto
Kurashi-News from Japan by Mrtin J. Frid in Kyoto
Sake & Japanese Navigator by Ad Blankestjin in Kobe
Kitchengardenjapan
in Hyogo Prefefecture by Tom and Nana

CHUGOKU
(“Central Country”: Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi)
Get Hiroshima Blog in Hiroshima

SHIKOKU
(Shikoku Island: Kagawa, Kochi, Ehime, Tokushima)
Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony in Kochi Prefecture
Still Clumsy With Chopsticks in Kochi Prfecture (Continuation of Obachan’s Kitchen & Garden Balcony)

KYUSHU
(Kyushu Island: Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima)
Not yet!

OKINAWA
(Okinawa Archipelago)
http://hwnpakeokinawa
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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

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

Fruit Cocktails by Wataru Matsumoto: 14-Jaboticaba No1

Service: very professional and friendly.
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall.
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Fruit cocktails. Cozy and a comfortable, for ladies and gentlemen alike.

This is the fourteenth recipe of a (hopefully long) series of cocktails concocted by Wataru Matsumoto, owner/bartender at BOTANICAL (Comfort bar) in Shizuoka City.

We called this particular cocktail “Jaboticaba No1” as I plan another visit to Nishikawa Garden and bring back more of these rare (in Japan) fruit!
You will find them only in a few orchards in Kyushu and Okinawa Islands and only one more away from these islands in Shizuoka City!

INGREDIENTS

-Jaboticaba: 5~6
-Tanqueray Gin: 1 measure
-Creme de Cassis: 1 dash
-Cointreau: 1 dash
-Cranberry Juice: 1/2 measure
-Ice

RECIPE

-In the glass half of a Boston shaker, drop the jaboticaba inside after having cut them in halves and taken out their pips.
Crush them as much as you can with a pestle.

-Add the Gin, Cassis, Cointreau and Cranberry juice.

-Pour ice in the metal glass of the Boston shaker. Drain any excess water. Transfer the ice into the glass half of the shaker. Close and shake well.

-Pour into a Martini glass through a strainer. Decorate with a Jaboticaba fruit.

Another very refreshing cocktail for hot summer evenings. Beware of the alcohol amount as it also disappears quickly!

BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)
420-0082 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-13, Shade Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-221-8686
Opening hours: 17:00~01:00
Closed on Mondays.
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/32): Nokorimono Bento!

The Missus is still very busy settling around in around our new appartment.
So, when she asked: “Do you want a bento today?”
I replied: “Yes, if possible!”
To which she commented” In this case, “nokorimono no bento” today!
“Nokorimono” means “leftovers (or what’s ever left in the fridge)!

Plenty of vegetables as you can see, and all locally grown.
After steaming the rice she prepared burdock roots/gobou/牛蒡 in “kinpira” style. She fried some red and green peppers in olive oil and wasabi dressing and black sesame seeds.
The okra served raw with katsuobushi/dry bonito shavings/鰹節.
She then topped the rice with the three of them.
When I ate from that box, I mixed the whole a bit beforehand.

As for the side dish, she first boiled local white and yellow potatoes and then fried them with a tin of yakitori!
She added boiled morokko ingen/モロッコいんげん, a large variety of string beans (these are usually grown for their beans, but the Japanese like them young) knotted for design and some pearl tomatoes!

Very healthy and yummy leftovers, but where was my dessert? LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

Joboticaba and Tropical Fruits at Nishikawa Garden!

Jaboticaba!

I finally made it to Nishikawa Garden!
It is located far into Mariko, a good hour by bicycle from the center of Shizuoka City!

I thought I was lost by the end of my journey and had to retrace my route before making another U-turn and finding the board sign I was looking for!

I knew I was in the right place when I discovered the “Truck cafe” at the entrance of the greenhouse!
I couldn’t afford to make any mistake as they open the greenhouse and cafe to the public only on Sundays!

Yoshinari and Aya Nishikawa/西川宣成と文夫妻!

Mr. Nishikawa, a tea and citrus grower got interested in tropical fruit about 8 years ago and started experimenting with Jaboticaba and mangoes in particular.

The original Jaboticaba tree!

Having succeeded with their cultivation inside his two big greenhouses, he opened Jaboticaba Cafe and Garden in October 2009 to allow customers to visit his greenhouses and buy his products on Sundays!

I first visited his mango garden.
Interestingly enough they are not on sale as they are completely booked by private clients!

Although this particular crop is not officially registered as such it is grown organically without pesticides or artificial fertilizers!

Mr. Nishikawa does not follow the general practice of pairing the trees to one single mango for each main branch.
He believes in natural growth!

These will become beauties soon, but I won’t be able to buy a single one then…

Jaboticaba is an odd fruit indeed!
Mr. Nishhikawa originally imported the seeds from Okinawa.
Although “classified” as a tropical fruit it grows best in temperate conditions (around 20 degrees) and can resist lower temperatures as long as no frost occurs.
A visit to the Wikipedia Site should give you a good idea of its rarity outside Southern America, the more for it because of its fragility!

The fruit-bearing flowers appear directly on the trunk and branches away from the leaves!

Then the many flowers suddenly become green fruit before maturing later into a big dark red pearl!

Mr. Nishikawa cultivates four varieties depending on size and fruiting seasons!
All are sweet with a taste both reminiscent of lychees and grapes.

The smallest variety!
It is packed with polyphenols and antioxydants!

Some Jaboticaba are grown in Kyushu and Okinawa islands but don’t appear on the markets because of their fragility.
The only other place where they are grown in Japan (some are in Taiwan) is Nishikawa Garden in Shizuoka City! And organic to boot!

Organic coffee trees on sale!

Mr. Nishikawa has also succeeded with the organic culture of coffee but the crop is just too small to be marketed!

Now, the Nishikawas struck on the great idea of creating a Cafe to encourage customers and their families to taste the various products they make with Jaboticaba and other crops!

The cafe extends inside the greenhouse!

Choose your seat!

Have a good look at the menu before choosing between breads, cakes, jaboticaba drinks and others!

Beautiful home-made breads!

Yummy cakes, some of them made from recipes offered by Pissenlit Restaurant in Shizuoka City!

A lovely panacotta with jaboticaba jelly!
This is the only place you will find jaboticaba jelly in Japan!
They even make jams!

My neighbors were sipping those beautiful jaboticaba soda drinks!

Mrs. Nishikawa has a very unusual hobby!
Oranges that cannot be sold because of blemishes on their skin are peeled before being processed.
Mrs. Nishikawa collects the soft white part between the skin and the flesh, dries it between sheets of newspaper and use it to make this big picture of jaboticaba trees!
The technique is called “oshibana/押し花” or “Pressed Flower Art” in English!
Who said farmers could not be artists!

To be continued…

Cafe Jaboticaba (mr. & Mrs. Nishikawa)
421-0103 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Mariko, 7324
Mobile phone: 090-7605-3491
Business hours: Sundays only, 10:00~17:00

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With a Glass,
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

Japanese Izakaya: Odakkui

The first snack comes with a message!

Service: Very friendly
Facilities: Old but clean. Interesting and clean washroom!
Prices: appropriate
Strong points: Local traditional cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

Izakayas are the pillar of Japanese gastronomy as they are the best indication of any local food enjoyed in any particular region.
Naturally there are izakayas and izakayas!
To discover a worthy establishment you need only follow a few rules of the thumb:
A good izakaya serves:
-Local food made with local ingredients whenever possible.
-Variety in cooked and raw dishes
-At least one or two superlative local sake (or local drinks)
-A good choice of drinks to satisfy all tastes and priorities.
The (necessary) extras are:
-Conviviality
-Keen interest in customers’ requests
-Traditional atmosphere

Oddakui, although a celebrated (reserve your seat beforehand!) institution in Shizuoka City it is not easy to find as it is located on the second floor of an unremarkable building. Look for the sign below, and…

and above your head!

The MOTH: Naofumi Ohshiro/大代直史!

Naofumi is not only a great izakaya oyakata, he is also a remarkable business as he opened Yasaitei/やさい亭 with the help of Chef Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 to offer a complementary establishment to his customers with an accent on vegetables while Odakkui/おだっ喰い serves typical izakaya food from sashimi to oden and croquettes (the last two a must!)

Naofumi has his customers’ bien-être at heart: a message greets each of them wrapped around the chopsticks!
One problem with such establishments is trying to take pictures without a flash!
But don’t worry, do refer to Odakkui’s Homepage for a great rendition of their food and atmosphere!

The little details that make a place so welcoming!

A great sake from Shizuoka: Shisizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!
The ladies must try the umeshu made with brown sugar!

This salad is called “Shizuoka Umare Sarada/静岡生まれサラダ/Shizuoka Birthplace Salad!
it is made with mitsuba/三つ葉/Japanese honeywort and shirasu/シラス/hard mouth sardine whitebait!
Shizuoka Prefecture is known all over Japan for its shirasu!

The whitefish has been steamed and cooled down beforehand.
With avocado in between, it certainly makes for a complete and healthy dish!

Although the menu is worth exploring, you ought to sample their suigyoza/dumplings in soup!
Even the Chinese would come for that!

They (or the Vietnamese!) would also come for the Raw Spring Rolls!

Yummy and so healthy again!

The customers are always offered a dessert before leaving: Brûlé Pudding and Strawberry Sorbet! Another detail which spells the difference!
Sorry for the fuzzy picture!

This is only a short start as I must sample their croquettes, oden and sashimi! LOL

ODAKKUI/おだっ喰い
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa Cho, 1-8-1, Aoba Yokocho, 2F
Tel.]Fax: 054-253-6900
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery: JapanesePottery.com – June, 2011 Newsletter

Greetings from Kyoto,

It is with great pleasure that I write this to you from our new gallery located a few minutes walk from the Silver Pavilion. The setting is quite magical, that being an early Showa-period Sukiya style house built for a wealthy Tea and kendo patron; within the house full of tea rooms is also a kendo practice room!

Our New Gallery in Kyoto
Moving from Mishima to Kyoto will enable us to be closer to all the kilns we love in western Japan, as well as have access to more important secondary market works. I’m attaching a few photos of the gallery here and more can be found online at www.japanesepottery.com

The house was the residence for more then two decades of Tea Master John McGee, who returned to Canada to create a Tea room and center: http://www.shambhala.org/
arts/chanoyu.php. The spirit of Tea and wabi-sabi pervades the house and as such is the perfect stage for the many shibui ceramic art works we offer. In addition, we’ll be using the house—and garden—as a stage of sorts when showing new works online, such as for this Kato Takahiko Shigraki jar.

Kato, being the very talented artist he is, also carved a special wooden plaque for the gallery that reads from right to left Gin-Ro-An, which means Silver Dew Hermitage. I think ROsanjin would like it as much as RObert does.

Okini and all the best from Kyoto!

Robert Yellin (Robert@e-yakimono.net)
Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Ginkakuji-mae-cho 39
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
JAPAN 606-8407
Phone- Int’l: 81-75-708-5581, fax: 81-75-708-5393
Within Japan: 075-708-5581, fax: 075-708-5393
www.japanesepottery.com

Other News

As summer slowly drifts by we’ll be having a few autumn exhibitions with Iga great Fujioka Shuhei surely set for mid-October. I’ll also be traveling a bit more to regional kilns so also please look for a few summer mini-exhibitions.

And, of course if ever in Kyoto please do stop by. The area is rich with history and as noted a very short walk to the Silver Pavilion and the Philosopher’s Path.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

Fruit Cocktails by Wataru Matsumoto: 13-Leaf Ginger & Watermelon

Service: very professional and friendly.
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall.
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Fruit cocktails. Cozy and a comfortable, for ladies and gentlemen alike.

This is the thirteenth recipe of a (hopefully long) series of cocktails concocted by Wataru Matsumoto, owner/bartender at BOTANICAL (Comfort bar) in Shizuoka City.
No worries about copyrights as Mr. Matsumoto is only too happy to share his secrets!

Now this cocktail conceived as a kind of Salty Dog is very much a Shizuoka-style cocktail as the leaf ginger and watermelon were grown in our Prefecture!

INGREDIENTS:

-Fresh leaf Ginger: 1 (if unavailable use as fresh a root as possible or pure ginger juice)
-Watermelon 1 wedge
-Beefeater gin: 1 measure
-Ice cubes : 1~2 large
-Salt

RECIPE:

-Apply salt over the rim of a large glass like one in the picture above. Drop large cubes of ice in it.

-Grate the fresh leaf ginger to extract its juice.

-Cut the watermelon into small pieces (discard the seeds!)
Reduce to pulp (you must be able to almost “eat” the watermelon.

-In a large tumbler pour the gin, leaf ginger juice and watermelon.
Mix well and pour over the ice for a good chill.

A very refereshing cocktail for hot days and nights.
Beware, it tends to disappear quickly!LOL

BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)
420-0082 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-13, Shade Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-221-8686
Opening hours: 17:00~01:00
Closed on Mondays.
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Shizuoka Sake Fair: 19th Shisa Heiya Bishu Story 2011

Junmai Ginjyo created by Oomuraya Brewery (Shimada City) with Hyakumangoku Rice, Yeast and water all form Shizuoka Prefecture (limited batch!)!
Courtesy of Marcus Grandon

On the 9th of June 2011 the 19th Shida Beya Bishu Monogatari 2011 was held in Yaizu City at the Hotel Ambia Shyofuku!
”大19回志田平野美食物語2011” means “19th Shida Plain Beautiful Sake Story 2011”!

Welcoming 400 guests through the lobby!

My friend Marcus and I have been invited at the event for the last 4 years and we can afford (politely) to take some liberties.
After having gone through the reception motion we decided to take a quick peek before the official entrance!

Getting the sake tasting space ready before the rush!

Preparations for the meal by the hotel staff were almost completed!

Almost finished!
About time we made ourselves scarce!

The sake kegs from the 6 participating breweries in front of the entrance hust be fore the official entrance!

400 guests patiently queuing up…

Guests seated and everyone waiting for the official beginning of the festivities…

Isojiman Brewery in Yaizu City!

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!

Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe, Fujieda City!

Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City!

Sugii Brewery from Fujieda City!

Aoshima Brewery in Fujeda City!

Still looking at the “wrapped” food before the brewers’ presentation…

Official speech and presentation!

And then… Tasting Battle Royale!

The yearly attendance by John Gauntner proves this is a major sake event in Japan!

The dessert was sakekasu/sake white lees mousse!

Growers of the Shizuoka Homare Fuji sake rice!

This emblem was created by a university student!

See you next year!
But before that be assured I will pay a few visits to these 6 breweries!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/32): Italian Sushi Roll bento!

The Missus, getting more and more used to her new kitchen (same size, but more open and practical) went into sushi mode today!
As said yesterday, nothing really complicated yet, but some of my favorites creeping back into the recipe!

I called these sushi rolls “Italian” for the simple reason that they are wrapped in Trevise!
The Missus first prepared sushi rice and added some black sesame seeds to it.
She then made the rolls with freshly chopped avocado, walnuts, and “kanikama/surimi” and finally wrapped them in Trevise cabbage leaves.
The home-made pickles are mini-melons coming from local musk melon farms to which she added her own pickled Japanese pepper/sanshyou.
The taste of the latter is very zippy!

Now, for the side dish:
My favorite, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette containing boiled black beans!
Home-pickled cucumber and mini tomatoes salad.
Yellow kiwi fruit (dessert!).
Celeri leaves.

Once again vey nourishing and colorful!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/06/08)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

New Seasonal Releases: Kiwi Strong Pale Ale and Wabi-Sabi IPA

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

We are excited to announce the release of two more first-time seasonal Baird Beers: Kiwi Strong Pale Ale and Wabi-Sabi IPA. Both of these brews are innovative and distinct hop-forward treats.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*Kiwi Strong Pale Ale (ABV 5.5%):

As you know, we love hops — all hops! Two years ago we got our greedy hands on our first lots of New Zealand hops. The more we experiment with them, the more we love them. This crisp yet hardy Strong Pale Ale is hopped exclusively with the New Zealand varieties we have on hand (Hallertau Aroma, Motueka and Cascade). The aroma is beautifully fragrant, reminiscent of ripe citrus fruit and flowers in bloom. A honey-malt sweetness in the mouth quickly gives way to an invigoratingly brisk, bitter-dry finish.

Kiwi Strong Pale Ale begins pouring from our Taproom taps Wednesday, June 8. It is available for immediate release to all Baird Beer retailers in Japan and to individual consumers via our online Eshop.

*Wabi-Sabi IPA (ABV 6%):

Can there ever be enough permutations of the great India Pale Ale style? Of course not. In this beautifully nuanced, Japanese esthetic-influenced ale, we marry in the conditioning tank ample dosages of earthy-herbal dry hops (Hersbrucker, Styrian Golding, Santiam) with deft additions of whole leaf Shizuoka green tea. The result of this international botanical marriage is, in a word, sublime.

Baird Beer, as you know, is unfiltered and the addition of whole leaf green tea to Wabi-Sabit IPA has contributed a very strong particle sediment. Do not fear or fret, this is all-natural good stuff and it tastes great! You will not find this in a can or mug of your favorite industrial brew. Enjoy!

Wabi-Sabi IPA will be available at our Taproom pubs and at other Baird Beer retailing establishments in Japan beginning Friday, June 10.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


The Japan Blog List

———————————
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

Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’11/31): New Home Bento!

Due to our moving to a new home just completed the Missus simply had not the time to make a bento for me for nearly a month!
Thus this is my first bento made in our new home!

The Missus kept everything simple this time. She said more complicated affairs will still have to wait!
After having steamed she rice she mixed it with her own pickled Japanese pepper seeds/sanshou/山椒 and added a “kinpira” of carrots and burdock roots/gobou/牛蒡 she had prepared last night. It certainly made for simple and nice colors.

The “side box/dish” also came in simple colors and healthy balance!

She deep-fried (actually shallow-fried) “tontoro/soft pork” cut into rough strips, not with breadcrumbs, but with karaage crumbs which are a lot finer. She placed them on a bed of Shizuoka-grown celery (our Prefecture grows half of the total Japanese crop!) and added a touch of color and balance with lemon pieces for seasoning and sweet pearl tomatoes for taste and vitamins!

She finally added her own pickled cucumber (with black sesame seeds) and boiled black beans (bought in a market).

If she plans to concoct something more complicated in the future I’m not going to complain! LOL

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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