Shizuoka Dessert: Kumquat Cakes at Aquavite & Pissenlit!

Kumquat tart and Tiramisu as served to the Missus at Aquavite!

Kumquat is kinkan/金柑/”Golden Citrus” in Japanese and it is a major crop in Shizuoka Prefecture. Some are even grown organically!
Just walk in Shizuoka City and you will discover them in many gardens where they are in full season right now!
People eat them under many guises from candied fruit to cakes and even fruit cocktails!
Needless to say that many restaurants vie for fame with cakes created with them!
Here are two creations I just had the pleasure to savor in Shizuoka City:

Italian Cuisine: Kumquat Tart and Tiramisu in Aquavite!

Mine was the same as the Missus’ but presented in a “manly” way! LOL
Both were decorated with chocolate, raspberry, vanilla creams and cocoa powder!

Kumquats are a bit of a bother to prepare.
They must first be washed, then cut in two to get rid of their seeds.
Next they need to be lightly boiled and then candied in sugar, alcohol and what else.
Only then can you include them into succulents tarts!

I do not need to introduce tiramisu made by Chef Masaru Aoki/青木勝 as it has become the reference in our city!
They make the perfect marriage, either savoring it separately or topping the tart with some on your fork (or spoon!)!

French Cuisine: Kumquat Pound Cake and Black Tea Sorbet at Pissenlit!

Chef Touru Arima/有馬亨 decorated his creation with raspberry and vanilla creams as well as local strawberry and organic mint leaves!

This pound cake must have required quite some preparation with the inclusion of finely chopped candied kumquats!
The kumquats were grown in Mariko, Shizuoka City, an area also famous for its black tea where it was first planted in Japan back in the 19th Century!

Attention to details! You just don’t know where to start from!
I did savor the candied kumquat first as I didn’t trust my sense of balance!
After that it was an exquisite exercise in demolition!

Black tea sorbet made for another perfect marriage with the pound cake, although I tended to eat it separately.
It was a pleasure later to scoop it carefully with whatever was left on the plate! LOL

AQUAVITE
420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg. 3F
Tel. & fax: 054-2740777
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00 18:00~22:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK
Non-smoking private room available!

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Small but beautiful washroom
Prices: Reasonable to expensive.
Strong points: Great use of local products, especially organic vegetables. Top-class Italian wines. Private room for~8 people
—————————–
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)
E-Mail: pissenlit2008@ybb.ne.jp
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

Service: Excellent and very friendly.
Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Superb washroom (mouthwash and toothpicks provided!)!
Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive, very good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products, especially organic vegetables and Shizuoka-bred meat
—————————–

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
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

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Jams with Shizuoka Products at Pissenlit!

Humans made jams the moment they tried to preserve the fruits and vegetables they found in abundance but couldn’t eat up.
Making jams was a traditional and seasonal occupation in many homes all over the World until not so long ago.
Then people got busier and had no longer the time or will to prepare them, what with the constant supply available in shops.
On the other hand this ready availability meant a loss in quality, added preservatives and a total lack of traceability.
Finally the time has come when most of us are looking for the real products although most of us still don’t have the time or will to create them.
Before opening his Restaurant Pissenlit in Shizuoka City Chef Touru Arima/有馬亨さん used to make more than 70 kinds of jams in the big hotel he used to work.
Having developed a personal relation with local producers he has been able at long last to concoct real jams for the pleasure and health of his customers!

It is my pleasure to introduce here the first batch! More are to follow!

Mateta Tomato (Iwata City) jam.
The beauty of this jam is that it can also be used as a condiment or sauce!
Actually all jams can be utilized in such manners, too!

Benihoppe Strawberry jam.
Benihoppe Strawberries first appeared in Japan in Shizuoka Prefecture in 2002 and are considered the best in this country for their perfect balance in taste!

Aoshima oranges (Mikkabi) jam.
Mikkabi in the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture is called Orange Town!

Hon-yama Green Tea jam.
Hon-yama tea is grown along the Abe and Warashina Rivers in Shizuoka City!
The whole Prefecture of Shizuoka is the main (45%) tea growing region in Japan!

All jars contain about 150g.
Mateta Tomato Jam: 1,300 yen
Benihoppe Strawberry Jam: 850 yen (mini jar for 350 yen)
Mikkabi Orange Jam: 500 yen
Hon-yama Green Tea Jam: 700 yen (mini jar for 250 yen)

All jams can be purchased at Pissenlit Restaurant or ordered by phone or e-mail!

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)
E-Mail: pissenlit2008@ybb.ne.jp
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
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 Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-Homare Fuji Junmai-Designating Mt. Fuji as a World Cultural Heritage Site

This must have been the longest title for introducing a sake made in Shizuoka Prefecture!
There are plenty of reasons for that! LOL

Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City made a point to tell everyone this is a true local sake as the rice is Homare Fuji sake rice grown only in Shizuoka Prefecture and as the water and yeast are also all from our Prefecture!

The Homare Fuji Sake Rice label was originally designed in the shape of Mount Fuji by a University student!
Hana no Mai Brewery is also advertizing the fact that Japan has applied for recognition of Mount Fuji as a World Heritage Site, both in English and Japanese!
Incidentally, February 23rd has been designated at Mount Fuji Day!

Rice: Homare Fuji 100%
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on October 12th, 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Light and fruity. Vanilla, macadamia nuts, dark chocolate
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity attack backed by strong junmai petillant and pleasant alcohol.
Well-rounded, soft and straightforward.
Slightly liquorish.
Varies little with food except for turning a little drier.
Junmai petillant makes a strong comeback with oranges and coffee beans after food.

Overall: A sake obviously designed for food.
Typical of Hana no Mai Brewery in that it will please young people and ladies.
No wonder it is a popular sake in local izakayas patronized by young people!
A sake to be appreciated chilled, at room temperature or lukewarm/nurukan!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
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

Japanese Restaurants Washrooms & Toilets Standards: The Best in The World?

Inside the washroom of a famous French Restaurant in Shizuoka City, Japan!

Washroom and toilets equipment and facilities are probably the most unsung export of Japan!
Just check the shares of such companies as Toto and Inax!
The Japanese live in a country which has to deal with extreme changes in climate and temperature on top of a very high humidity during blazing summers and flood-ridden typhoon seasons.
No wonder the Japanese have become the most picknicky people in the World in their island with an attention to detail that defies the imagination when it comes to personal hygiene!
After all, they are the biggest consumers of paper tissue and wet tissues in the World, too!

The toilets have their lid constantly closed over a heated seat!

In a region like Shizuoka celebrated for its gastronomy all over the country, new restaurants, bars, cafes and even izakaya are outdoing each other with their high-tech washroom and toilets!
Japan is probably the only country where I would dare pronounce the word “toilets” during a meal!
As an example to illustrate what you can and are entitled to expect let me “take you” to the facilities of a celebrated French restaurant which opened 4 years ago with the latest equipment of the time, a standard which has since been outclassed by many more establishments!

First the room itself is large enough for 2 people (spare me the idea!) and catering for many purposes.
As you can see on the above pictures the toilets are covered with a complete lid, a bonus compared to those gaping mouths contraceptions waiting for you back home (in France, in my case!)!
The seat of course can be heated and regulated to a comfortable temperature all year round.
Some new establishments will have toilets whose lid and seat will automatically lift and fall back down upon your entrance and exit!
The toilets themselves will be equipped with washlets spouting lukewarm water (can be regulated, too!). A boon for people with physical limitations!

Don’t start a futile search for levers or cord to press or pull, all handling comes under the form of a “computer box”!
Sometimes the Japanese characters can spell for troubling confusion but the most recent handling boxes are illustrated with small unequivocal “pictures” for a very easy understanding whatever country you come from!

You are “done with it”? Alright, let’s go and wash our hands at the sink located on the opposite side of the room.
A great improvement on most hotel toilet facilities where mirrors and basin are uncomfortably close to your toilets seat if not right in front of you!

A clean and classic white basin with a single adjustable cold/hot water tap/faucet.
I’ve seen other establishments in town adorning this particular section with black marble or false antique basin and tap!
I personally prefer white as an undeniable proof of good hygiene, but this is open to personal tastes!
Actually in this particular restaurant, all wasroom equipment is white from the toilet seat to the hand-washing liquid bottle!

Paper tissues and individual towels are clearly separated! No danger of exchanging germs here!

A cloth-lined basket for the hand towels and a (closed) dustbin for the paper tissue and others!

The washroom is equipped with a large mirror for ladies to rectify their make up and for gentlemen to inflate their ego.
Now, what is in that box on the table left of the mirror?

Extra service: maothwash capsules and cotton swabs (ear buds in England!)!
You might smile or grin, but such mouthwash could come very handy after too much drinking or before going back to work after lunch. Now, I know a lot of uses for cotton swabs….

All this has become a reference for basic excellence. More and more establishments offer even better facilities and I make a point to clearly assess this “unmetionable trait” in all reports on my gastronomic aventures!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
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

Saint Valentine Chocolates with a Difference: Shizuoka Tea Chocolates at Pissenlit!

No less than 3 types of Shizuoka St. Valentine Chocolates!

Saint Valentine is coming near!
Now, all those chocolates that will tempt you might make you think twice about that waistline of yours…
BUT, how about offering and savoring both healthy and delicious chocolates?

Chef Touru Arima/有馬亨さん is putting no less than 3 varieties on sale at his Restaurant, Pissenlit in Shizuoka City, and also takes orders through phone calls and e-mails!

Chef Arima in his kitchen!

The chocolate before the cut!

The chocolate is of the soft type covered with very fine tea powder produced in Shizuoka!

The dark chocolate covered with fine green tea powder.

The white chocolate covered with houji tea.

The Three Graces:
Front: Namaiki Noir (Green tea powder on DGF Yucatan Chocolate)
Top left: Namiki Vert (Green tea powder on Varona Ivoire Chocolate)
Top right: HOUJI (Houji tea powder on Varona Ivoire Chocolate)

All chocolates come at 1,100 yen for 24 pieces in their own box!

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)
E-Mail: pissenlit2008@ybb.ne.jp
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
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 Bento/Lunch Box (12/05): Tamago Chahan & Soft Ton Bento!

Soft ton stands for “soft” of course and ton is actually another way to pronounce Buta/豚/pork in Japanese! It is a very popular way of eating pork in Japan as it is very eclectic!

The Missus had plenty of plain cooked rice left from the night before and she made a simple and tasty Tamago Chahan/玉子チャハン/egg fried rice, Japanese style with it!
She next prepared soft ton in tonkatsu style (ton/pork being repeated as you can see!) she placed on top of the rice seasoned with tonkatsu sauce. For the finishing touch she added chopped parsley and home-pickled onions with amazu/sweet vinegar!

The Missus conceived a typical Japanese side box with a salad of boiled carrot sticks and string beans seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing resting on ice plants. Mini tomatoes for more design, colors and vitamins and Japanese pear/Nashi/梨 for dessert!

I know that this combination of fried rice and tonkatsu would appeal to a lot of people!
What with the side dish a perfectly balanced yummy bento!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass, Einfach Bento,
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 (2012/01/25): Seasonal Release: Angry Belgian Brown Ale

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

Seasonal Release: Angry Belgian Brown Ale

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Our experiments with yeast strain and fermentation regimen continue. Now up: Angry Belgian Brown Ale.

New Baird Beer Seasonal Releases:
*Angry Belgian Brown Ale (ABV 6.5%):

Our Angry Boy has gone Belgian, fermented at high temperature (around 25 C) with our house Belgian yeast strain (rather than our normal house Scottish ale strain). The flavor comparison is interesting: subtle yet definite.

Angry Belgian Brown Ale begins pouring from our Taproom taps today (Thursday, January 26). It is draught-only and will be available also at other Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants throughout Japan.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

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