Chinese Cuisine: Hana Oto

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness. Beautiful toilets
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local ingredients in beautiful Chinese Cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

Whatever the nationality or the genre of the gastronomy, a good chef makes an exclusively use of ingredients not only superlative but whenever possible local! Only then the skills make the difference between a good and a great chef!

The entrance to Hana Oto/華音 is simple and unassuming, always a good sign!

Chef Yuusuke Toozaki/登崎雄介 had recently to move to a larger establishment to be able to welcome all his guests!
It is always a good idea to reserve a seat either at the counter or on the tatami floor!

The man himself (frightening smile!)

First of all he caters for all tastes as far as drinks come!

A shochu paradise!

You may as well as consult him before choosing a shochu if that is what you want!
Of course beer and wine are available!

Nice tokkuri!

As for the Japanese sake, there is plenty to choose from, too!
At least three great sake from Shizuoka Prefecture are catered!

Now Hana Oto is one of the rare restaurants serving Amagi Shamo, arguably the best chicken in the Prefecture and probably Japan!

This chicken is, among others, fed with wasabi leaves and soy milk from Izu Peninsula!

Served with freshly grated Shizuoka wasabi (and maybe a little soy sauce), a rare delicacy!

On that night I had beautiful sake brewed by Eikun (Yui) and Sugii (Fujieda) breweries!

Jukusei Tomato to Tamago Pirikara Itame/熟成とまとト卵ピリ辛炒め/Stir-fried hot ripe tomatoes and eggs!

Toozaki san makes an extensive use of the best quality vegetables of the Prefecture!
These ripe tomatoes were grown at Suzuki Tomato Garden in Shizuoka City!

A fulfilling and healthy dish with a great balance!

Unctuous eggs fried to perfection!

Nasu no Shyouga Shoyu Itame/茄子の生姜醤油炒め/Stir-ried eggplants in ginger and soy sauce!

These eggplants were grown organically in a family garden in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, proving a great search for the best ingredients!

Matsuki Farm Romeenu Retasu to Hikiniku no Pirikara Itame/松木ファームロメーンレタストひき肉のピリ辛炒め/Hot stir-fried Matsuki Farm Romaine Lettuce and minced meat!

The Romaine lettuce was organically grown at Matsuki Farm in Fujinomiya City!

Well, you can be assured this is only the start of a long relationship considering the untried dishes and the changes with seasons!
Keep tuned! LOL

HANA OTO/華音
420-0032 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Ryougae Cho, 5-8, Shin Kamogawa Bldg., 2F-D
Business hours: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Mondays

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!

Advertisements

Italian Cuisine: Dinner at Il Castagno!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great appetizers. Home-made pasta!.
Entirely non-smoking!

Not many chefs spend their good time making their own fresh pasta in Japan, and that only would be a good enough reason to visit Il Castagno in Shizuoka City!
But Chef Kenji Inami 謙司, who spent quite some time in the South of Italy, also endeavors to use ingredients from our Prefecture, be they vegetables, meat or fish for the best freshness and quality!

I’ve visited his restaurant countless times but only for lunch. Since we have just moved in the neighborhood we finally had the chance to share a full dinner there!

One cannot enjoy a true Italian dinner without (lots of) wine!
This white Lugano was perfect for a start!

We started with the set of appetizers!

Vegetables and Parmegiano quiche!

Deep-fried Parmegiano balls!

Home-smoked salmon!

Home-made ham!

Squid ink pasta!

Pork Pate di Campani with home-made pickles!

Exclusively home-made bread!

By then the white wine had disappeared, so we switched to a fine Montalcino red!

The Suruga Bay in Shizuoka has enough varieties of fish to satisfy any cuisine in the world!

Madai/red seabream~grouper!

We then naturally switched to pasta mode!
I dare say that Il Castagno offers the best (home-made) short pasta in town!

But you must also try his own style of Bolognese long pasta!

For a closer view!
Next time I’m thinking of a pasta only dinner! LOL

Yes, we still had room for dessert!

Fig compote!

Tempting, aren’t they?

Sorry, but I couldn’t resist the cheese!

It is a promise: next time all pasta!

Il Castagno
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48
Tel/Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed every Monday and 3rd Tuesday
Credit cards OK (dinner only)
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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 Agriculture New Generation: Takeshi Ichikawa!

Takeshi Ichikawa/市川武史 (22 years old!)

The Western part of Shizuoka Prefecture is also called the greatest garden of Japan by many for good reasons.
Not so much for the quantity but for the extravagant quality and abundance of varieties!
A lot of devoted farmers and cooperating researchers from all fields have contributed to this amply justified reputation, but all this work would have come to nought without an emerging new generation, the more for it that the previous generation was practically lost to the lure of towns and desk jobs.

Takeshi Ichikawa and one of his clients, Chef Hiroyuki Adachi/足立久幸 at Harmony!

Fortunately times have changed, and with the advent of the Internet more young people are attracted to a healthier life, however physically strenuous it might prove.
That is why more and more young men and women like Takeshi Ichikawa, instead of wasting time at universities where students are increasingly losing their goals, prefer to learn and study through real experience and enjoy the joys of true social life with their peers and customers.

Takeshi Ichikawa ‘s outdoors corn fields!

Takeshi Ichikawa, after graduating from Iwata Prefceture Agriculture High School, decided neither to continue school or succeed to his father as a Nashi/Japanese pear producer, but to start his own corn and lettuce cultivation. At the age of 22 he already has 5 years of experience and is still learning fast!
It was never easy, especially considering the resistance of older generations to changes. He has been trying for some time to encourage young farmers like him to venture into new types of culture including poly-culture. He told me that still too few are allowed by their families to move that step forward…

That crow has become a real scarecrow!

But Takeshi has stayed humble all the time. He fully realizes he still has lots to learn. He couldn’t believe me when I told him crows are found all over the world!

These corn ears in the outdoors fields will soon be harvested!

Greenhouse corn

Takeshi grows two varieties of corn, kankan Musume and SKA 318, both Japanese hybrids, both in greenhouses and outdoors for a longer harvesting season.
This means very few holidays during the year. Fortunately for him his school sweetheart has become his wife and she has become the true half of their farming team.
I was invited inside their home and I can tell you these two are really young at heart and certainly more modern and world-conscious than many people of their age!

That is what I call real corn!

Takeshi is appalled at the idea that some people use gene-modified corn and will replant corn only from his own crop!
These kankan musume corn are a real beauty not only in shape and color but in taste.
I tasted them both raw (juicy and so sweet!) and cooked. No wonder they fetch a good price on the market!

Takeshi does not rest on his laurels and grows other vegetables like Qing geng cai (Green pak choi) to answer market demands and his own consumption.

They certainly look appetizing, but once again it looks like a lot of work!

His education at a top-class agricultural high school is paying off as he is conducting his own experiments on potential crops!

But this does not mean he is rejecting his own roots: he grows his own rice!

I told him it reminded me of an English lawn!

Now, Takeshi’s father is a renown grower of nashi/Japanese pears with fields dispersed all over the city!
A proof that his kosui/幸水 and hosui/豊水 are popular is that he sells them exclusively on a direct-sale basis!

These trees are 30 years old!

These fruits need constant pruning, a back-breaking and neck-twisting work if there is one!

These fruit will be ripe next August!
I do not need telling you when I’m paying my next visit to Takeshi! (and his father!)

Takeshi Ichikawa/Chouchou Farm
438-0804 Shizuoka Ken, Iwata Shi, Kamo, 200
静岡県磐田市加茂200
Tel/Fax: 0538-34-0629
Mobile: 080-1614-2271

Lettuce: October~April
Corn: June~July (May for greenhouse)
Japanese pears/nashi: August~September
Rice: Middle of September
Other vegetables (please call for more information!)
Private orders welcome!

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!

Daikon or Turnip Leaves Furikake Recipe

My new Swiss friend Sissi and her pals at With a Glass got stuck with daikon and other root vegetable leaves and asked me to help with a few recipes!
Japan gastronomy has the great merit to accomodate as much as possible of any vegetables you can get your hands on as they know too well that thrift and simple recipes come hand in hand!

Here is a simple and easy to adapt “furikake” recipe you can use on top of a bowl of rice or on its own!
“furikake” means ‘condiment to be sprinkled over a dish”.
By the way daikon leaves is daikon ha/大根葉 and turnip leaves is kabu ha/蕪葉!

INGREDIENTS:

-Daikon leaves or turnip leaves: the equivalent of the leaves of one root (you might have to increase that particular ingredient. Do experiment!)
-Seame oil: 1 + 1/2 tablespoons
-Sake/Jappanese cooking sake: 2 tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 + 1/2tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1 + 1/2 tablespoons
-Katsuo Bushi/dry bonito shavings: 2 pinches
-White roasted sesame: 2 tablespoons
-If you have them, dried small shrimps (saura ebi or others) or small dried fish

RECIPE:

1) Wash the leaves throroughly and cut thin.. Heat frying pan and pour sesame oil in it.

2) Fry daikon/turnip leaves over a strong fire.. Once they have become soft, add sake, mirin, and soy sauce once a t a time and fry each time until ingredient is absorbed.

3) Add seame seeds and katsuo bushi and fry just a little. If you have the shrimps and fish first fry them over a frypan with as they are and add them at the last moment with the sesame seeds and katsuo bushi..

Serve hot or lukewarm over a bowl of hot rice.
Can be kept inside a Tupperware in the fridge (no need to freeze) and served cold or reheated1

Will come with more soon!

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!

Vegetarian Japanese Lunch at Locomani!

Service: Very friendly although a bit shy!
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Vegetarian menus. Healthy rice flour cakes.
Completely non-smoking!

Light-hearted vegetarianism has become increasingly popular with vegetarians and non-vegetarians in this City and Prefecture.
The access to abundant vegetables, many of them organic all year round, is the main reason. Another reason is that this region of Japan is noted for its exceptional gastronomy and that gastronomes are happy to switch to a healthier and lighter fare from time to time to give a much needed rest to their system!

A Mediterranean look to the facade!

Menus of the day written on blackboard outside,

and inside!

All wood warm atmosphere inside.

Keep an eye (and a space inside your stomach!) open the home-made very healthy cakes!

Cream cheese cake!

Natural brownies made with rice flour!

Apple and walnuts pound cake made with rice flour!

Mr. Shigeyuki Aoshima/青島茂幸 prepares at least 2 full vegetarian and one non-vegetarian courses every day apart of single dishes and others.
As the menus change regularly according to the vegetables in season one does not tire from visiting the place regularly!
This time I chose the “deep-fried soy bean meat lunch course/大豆ミート唐揚げランチ”!

Raw and cooked vegetable salads (some from Shizen no hikara Organic Farm!)!

Lettuce and warm potato & onion salads!

String bean salad and Japanese-style pickled cucumber and seaweed!

Deep-fried soy bean “meat” with grated daikon (and ponzu)!

Rice (half whole/genmai and half polished)!

Miso soup and organic tea!

I couldn’t resist a dessert!

A succulent cream cheese cake!

I certainly felt both full and healthy!

LOCOMANI
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 1-10-6
Tel.: 054-260-6622
Closed every Wednesday and one Monday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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!

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/06/01)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Seasonal Release: Rainy Season Black Ale 2011

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

The rainy season kicked off a bit early this year and, fortunately, we were not caught off guard. Yes, Rainy Season Black Ale 2011 was brewed in plenty of time to meet the early arrival of Japan’s grey season. This hoppy black ale begins pouring from our Taproom taps today, Wednesday, June 1.

New Seasonal Baird Beer Releases:
*Rainy Season Black Ale 2011 (ABV 6.0%):

A torrential down-pouring of hops define this otherwise roasty, toasty, espresso-like black ale. 60 bittering units of clean, crisp lupulin-resin (courtesy of Warrior, Magnum, Horizon, Tradition, Glacier and Santiam) emerge from our kettle boil; the lupulin-oils (from our friends Tradition, Glacier and Santiam) join the gig via dry-hopping in the conditioning tank and contribute a pleasant herbal-spicy-peppery aromatic character. After a few sips of the pint glass you will find yourself licking from your lips a resinous stickiness that can best be characterized as pungently pleasurable. Here’s to the rainy season!

Rainy Season Black Ale 2011 is available throughout Japan in both draught and bottle (633 ml) form at pubs, restaurants and liquor shops that constitute our wonderful and growing network of Baird Beer retailers. Check out the expanding list of Baird Beer retailers on the retailer’s page of our website: http://bairdbeer.com/en/bairdbeer/retailers.

Individual consumers can order bottles direct from the brewery via our website E-Shop: http://bairdbeer.com/en/shop/.

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