Extravagant sashimi plate at Kohaku!
Service: Very friendly and welcoming. Great explanations.
Facilities & Equipment: Very clean and great washroom
Strong points: Traditional and modern izakaya gastronomy. Very inventive cuisine with introduction of some Western concepts. Great seafood. Great sake list. Wine and other alcohols available. Intensive use of local products combined with ingredients from other prefectures!
It is always an intense pleasure to discover a new izakaya even in a town where you have lived for 36 years!
My good friend, Yasushi Imaizumi, owner of IMAIZUMI Co Ltd. had been raving about Kohaku so we decided to visit the place last Friday!
Located in Shichiken-Cho Street which has recently become a “back street” with the disappearance of all the cinemas/movie theaters relocated to the 9th floor of Cenova Department Store it moved to its new address under a new name last November significantly contributing to the revival of an interesting street of Shizuoka City!
A daily hand-brushed menu posted outside is always a good sign!
Takashi Kawauguchi/川口貴士さん works there everyday at lunch and dinner with a true passion for his craft. The family is helping especially his mother, a great source of local lore, and occasionally by his sister and father. The latter surprised me when he mentioned a now defunct izakaya called “Wa no Ji” I used to patronize in the late 1970’s! I wonder if he knows some of my “secrets”!
A small but traditional entrance.
Sorry for the fuzzy picture but it was a dark rainy night!
As I will report again for lunch (they apparently serve an extravagant curry with all kinds of different toppings!) I promise to come up with a better picture!
Great calligraphy again!
The place was empty at 7:00 when we entered but we soon found out it had almost been completely reserved so be warned!
Reserve a seat the counter where you will be able to share some genial talk with the chef and the regular customers!
If you don’t read Japanese, do not worry. You will probably end up with everybody explaining everything!
Now, if you do read Japanese take your time in choosing the dishes because there is enough to tempt you coming back every week!
A traditional Japanese setting!
You will discover a great attention to details with an individual wooden tray for your plates and cups!
Plenty of drinks to choose from, especially local sake and shochu from everywhere else!
But it might be a good idea to check with the Chef first!
These top-class local Shizuoka sake were not on the menu!
Neither were these sake actually concocted by a winery in Yamanashi Prefecture!
You are in Shizuoka Prefecture looking at the richest sea in Japan, so you must order a plate of sashimi which is always bound to include a great majority of local products, some of which you will never find elsewhere unless you have very deep pockets!
The specialty of Shizuoka, fresh sakura ebi/cherry shrimps, surrounded by maguro akami/lean tuna, aji/horse mackerel and saba/mackerel!
Another rare specialty from Shizuoka, raw shirasu/hard mouth sardine whiting flanked by another famous fish of our Prefecture, katsuo, bonoto sashimi!
I know a lot of people who come all the way from Tokyo just to sample those three seafoods!
But like any izakaya worth its salt, the cooked cuisine is the main attraction at Kohaku!
Home-made liver paste! As a Frenchman, I can assure you it was a real beauty!
Now, pate and terrine spell the difference between bistros back home in France, but here in Japan home-made satsumaage/deep-fried fish and vegetable paste will tell you at once which the good izakayas are!
I will have to forget other izakayas for a while as there are just too many beauties to sample at Kohaku:
Kakuni/角煮! Dongpo pork (pork belly)!
Chef Kawaguchi takes a long time in cooking his kakuni, but he will coat it with cornstarch before frying it lightly for a last touch! You simply must sample this Chinese/Japanese true delicacy!
What with all the great sake we were drinking, there was a limit to what you could eat in a single evening. Therefore we decided to try another dish for which Kohaku is celebrated: Ox tail stew!
Now, this is real Western gastronomy served with fresh fried potato wedges!
With all that great sauce available Yasushi asked the Chef to boil some pasta on the quick, which was done on the spot. Before savoring the pasta we had poured on our plate with plenty of sauce, Takashi’s sister came to us to grate some fresh parmesan on it without being asked!
Now, I call that great attention!
To be continued, of course, what with the lunch curry!
420-0085 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-Cho, 18-1, PIVOT Shizuoka, 1F
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:00~23:00
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Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: