Japanese Ladies Fashion in Shizuoka 7: Sweet Tooth Fashionista!

A typical example of a Japanese fashionista!
A slave of fashion, she barely has enough money to buy the essentials, albeit cheap from the many shops, especially in department stores.
She is eating one of these disgutingly sweet crepe/pancake contraptions that will be her lunch of the day, having just waited for untold time in a queue in front of a notorious crepe roulotte that was advertising their wares at half price that day!
Note the high heels shoes which are the rage this year and the mixture of kawaii and more normal clothing.
Typical hairstyle and accessories.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Fish Species 7: Bonito-Katuso-鰹

Bonito or “katsuo” in Japanese are extensively caught by fishermen from Numazu, Shimizu, Yaizu and Omaezaki Harbours (all Shizuoka Prefecture). The main fishing areas are Shizuoka, Mie, Kochi & Miyazaki Prefectures.
It is also called “katsu” (Tohoku Region), “Honkatsuo” (Kyushu Island), “Magatsuo” (Shikoku and Kyushu Islands. N.B.: the same name designates another fish in other parts of Japan!), “Suji” (Yamaguchi & Wakayama Pref.).
It appears on the markets early Spring~Autumn as “sho gatsuo” (first bonito in Spring) and “modori gatsuo” (return bonito end of Autumn).
They are traditionally line-caught but nets have been used extensively in recent years.
Of the same family this is the only tuna variety whose stocks are still preserved.

It can be appreciated raw, as sashimi with its skin or without it, preferably served with a saucer of soy sauce (shoyu) mixed with thin slices of fresh garlic, or with wasabi, a touch of lemon and shoyu,

or as nigiri topped with grated fresh ginger a thin slice of garlic, unless you prefer grated fresh ginger with chopped thin leeks.

The same is done with lightly grilled/aburi (or tataki) bonito as sushi nigiri.

Another very popular way to eat it that will please Europeans and North Americans alike, is “tataki”.

The fish is first seared/grilled over charcoal until it is lightly cooked on the whole outside then plunged into iced water to stop it from cooking any longer. It is then cut into large slices and served with freshly chopped garlic and thin leeks, “shiso” leaves (perilla/beefsteak plant) and wasabi.

Note 1: in restaurants specify whether you want the skin or not when ordering sashimi.

Note 2: the same fish is a staple food in Sri Lanka where it is first smoked and then prepared as soup or curry!

It is one of the most versatile fish in Japan.
It can be appreciated in many ways:
As a simple donburi/on a bowl or rice at home (see above picture),

Lightly seared and served as carpaccio,

as bogata sushi/whole fish stuffed with sushi rice,

as oshizushi/pressed sushi,

but my favourite is probably as zuke/marinated in soy sauce, mirin, sake, etc. before being served with a slice of garlic!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Ladies Fashion in Shizuoka 6: Colors!

I just did not have the time to take a front photograph this young lady/girl inside the crowd waiting to cross the street!
In any case the back was more interesting with all the colors!
A style quite popular in high schools away from studies when almost everyone has to wear a drab uniform.
This could be considered as a very free style although that includes a lot of visible cheap brand names.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Fish Species 6: Amberjack-Kampachi-環八

KAMPACHI-1

With the first days of Autumn Kampachi or Amberjack is appearing on our plates in Japan, although we have them almost all year round in Shizuoka!

The fish seems to have so many names in any language: Amberjack, Purplish Amberjack, Yellowtail, Greater Yellowtail, and Ruderfish in English, whereas in Japanese it is called Kampachi, Akahana, Kampa, or Shokko among others, not accounting for regional names!.

KAMPACHI-3

It is caught along Central and South Honshu Island, including a lot in Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture!
It is a very popular fish as it happens to come just in between Hiramasa/Young Japanese Amberjack-Five ray Yellowtail in Summer and Buri/Mature Japanese Amberjack-Five Ray Yellowtail in Winter, making a favourite for the season, but bringing a lot of confusion on foreign tables because of the similar names.
Kampachi (Seriola dumerili (Risso) in Latin) and Buri (Seriola quinqueradiata Temminck and Schlegel in Latin) are very similar but their season is different. Beware of scams! Actually the meat looks different.

KAMPACHI-2BURI-SUSHI

Kampachi vs Buri Sushi

Natural Kampachi is quite rare in Japan these days whereas human-raised are plenty.

Japanese-style simmered Amberjack

Kampachi is savoured in many ways: Sashimi & Sushi, Grilled (Yakimono), Simmered (Nizuke), Meuniere and fried.
Choose comparatively small specimens. Beware of the large cheap specimens!

Ask for a variation in Sushi called “Kampachi Aburi”/kampachi lightly grilled on one side: a beauty!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Japan Gastronomy and Society: Own picked Straberries on Sale in Shizuoka City!

if you go to the country in Japan, especially in farming-rich areas you will discover many people selling thir own garden/field fruit or vegetables on makeshift stands.

I found this stand yesterday in the entrance of a small company building whose business is totally unrelated to farming but whose owner apparently grows his own benihoppe/Red Cheeks Strawberries.
He had put quite a lot on sale. 300 yen for at leat 500 grams of small but delicious, especilally for jams, is dead cheap!

Since “grown at home” is mentioned the company owner’s family muts be a local farming family!

A simple box is left on the stand for coins to be put inside.
Nobody was ther to look after it.
Back home in France the strawberries and the money box would have disappeared within five minutes!

No wonder Japan is such a safe and resilient country!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Ladies Fashion in Shizuoka 5: “Semi” Waiting for her Date?

Discovered this lady, probably a university student, very possibly waiting for her date although I couldn’t saty long enough to check. Incidentally the policeman on guard behind my back (they are afraid of terrorism?) never saw what I was doing!

I pesonally call this kind of fasion as “semi” as it combines new and old fshiomn:
The shoes/high-heeled bottines and knee cap high stockings are definitely this year year’s trend, but the skirt, cardigan and shirt are of another age, even if new, more reminiscent of fashion adopted by non fashion-conscious students.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Fish Species 5: Stone Flounder-Ishigarei-石鰈

Ishigarei, イシガレイ、石鰈 in Japanese, is another popular flatfish/flounder in this country. For the specialists the Englidh name is Stone flounder, and its Latin name Kareus bicoloratus. Interestingly enough these fishes are commonly called flatfishes in English, wheeras the Jaapnese write them as “leaf Fishes”!

In Japan, depending upon the region it will be called other names, such as Ishimochi, Ishimochigarei or Shirogarei.
Their season is mainly in Summer in Hokkaido and Eastern Japan, although they might appear a lot earlier in Shizuoka.

Ishigarei is considered the best of all flounders in this country. People generally avoid to catch them during the female egg incubation, but the same egg-bearing fish are a delicacy in Tokyo.

Always choose “lively” specimens when buying them as the taste will soon deteriorate if the fish is not dressed quickly first.
If an angler-friend of yours calls on the phone with one of them, don’t discuus and buy the fish!

Stone flounders make for such superlative sashimi that it becomes a bit of a waste to consume it in another way.

But who would pass such a Japanese-style carpaccio?

Or an Italian Carpaccio?

Sushi lovers will appreciate it as a sushi nigiri!

A truly extravagant sushi nigiri display. Eat it quickly!

Alright, you were not lucky enough to get it absolutely fresh.
In this case simmer it the Japanese way as Ishigarei Ni (Ni stands for simmer) with soy sauce, sake, mirin and ginger!

Or do it the Italian way with olive oil and dry tomatoes!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Ladies fashion in Shizuoka 4: Definitely Yankii!

Yankii/Yankee fashion has gone through a remarkable change of late.
Whereas a few years ago it was similar to white trash and definitely on the verge of dirtiness, the same girls have become more “distinguished/fashionable”. That is ,in looks only.
As ever they are rude, loud and completely or willingly oblivious of their surroundings.
They tend to walk in pairs, too.
They wear wigs, some enormous, instead of dying their hair in straw color and wear generally light colored clothes (at least in Shizuoka).
Their shoes are these high heeled contraptions reminiscent of Louis XIV’S (the old lecher must be turning over in his grave!) that don’t look comfortable to walk in and they are constantly checking I don’t know what on their cell phones or caressing i-phones with impossibly long false nails.

Whereas in Western culture they wouldn’t walk long without being assailed, people pointedly ignore them in Japan.
I had many an occasion to talk to them and I can’t say they are on the bright side of the society but interestingly enough they are almost prude when pleasures of another kind are concerned.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

French Recipe: Okabe Venison Bourgogne Wine Stew and Penne!

My plate!

What with wild deer making themselves a real nuisance in Shizuoka Prefecture (and almost all over Japan) succulent meat is readily avalaible if you know when, where and whom to ask!
The other day my good friend Yasushi Imaizumi/今泉康さん, owner of IMAIZUMI Fashion Company and a well-known local gastronome, gave me a good 2 kg of venison from a deer that had been culled by licensed hunters in Okabe, Fuijeda City!

Being a native of Bourgogne, France, I knew the simple way to prepare it: Wine Stew/Bourguignon as for beef!
Although the meat was basically rump whereas meat on the bone would have been more proper, I still cooked it in the above manner.
This was a source of a bone of contention with the Dragon as I was for the analog recipe whereas she cooks such dishes through pressure cooking (autocuiseur/圧力鍋 !
If you are for the pressure cooker, the process is the same though the cooking will take only a few minutes but you still will need to strain and reduce the sauce.
Now, i did it the long ang and traditonal way:
-I cut the meat (about 2~3kg of it) into large chunks and marinated them overnight with a cup of whisky (you can try cognac or even vodka!), a bit of salt, plenty of pepper, bay leaves, a little sage and plenty of thyme powder (whole would have been best!).
-The next day, I took the meat out of its marinade and drained it. Some people wipe the marinade off but I don’t. The beauty of the Bourguignonne recipe is that it is wide open to priorities!
I didn’t discard the marinade!
-I cut a large carrot into big chunks, peeled a whole garlic and separated the cloves. I did not cut the latter. I peeled a large hard fresh onion. Some people would cut the onion into quarters but I wanted to keep it for the dish whereas quartered onion would have almost melted.
-I first fried cubes of baco in a little olive oil in a learge pan.
-I then fried the venison (with the bacon) all over in plenty more olive oil over a hot fire. Once the meat had completely changed color I dropped the carrot in, added some flour and cooked until the flour became a foxy color.
-I then reduced the fire to very low. I added the garlic, some tomato ketchup, the whole marinade and 2 thirds of a bottle of strong red wine (it was Italian as I didn’t have a French one!). People in Corsica also add a good portion of fresh home-made pistou/pesto, bvut I didn’t have the time or will to prepare it although I love it.
-I mixed the whole roughly and placed the onion in the middle punctured with a couple of whole cloves, put the lid on and cooked the whole on a very little fire for over 2 hours.
=I then took the venison, bacon and onion carefully out and drained the sauce.
I discarded the vegetables and reduced the sauce to a good half.
While it was reducing I cut the venison into single-bite chunks.
Once the sauce had been properly reduced I asted it and seasoned a little more and I put the venison and bacon back into the sauce and cooked it on a low fire while I was preparing some penne in plenty of salted water in which I had poured some olive oil.
I dropped the penne inside two large plates, placed plenty of venison in the middle, poure enough sauce (there was olenty left for the next two days!). On top of it all I placed the hot and (only then!) quartered onion for better effect and enjoyment. I put a finaltouch by sprinkling plenty of chopped fresh parsley all over it.

Pretty simple and open to variations!

The Dragon’s plate!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Fish Species 4: Sole-Olive Flounder-Bastard Halibut-Tonguefish-Hirame-平目

Hirame/平目

“Hirame” could be translated in many ways depending of your country of origin: Flat Fish, Sole, Turbot (although the latter should define “karei”) and what else. There are many varieties, wild or human-raised. In Japanese, the names are numerous: Hirame, Shitabirame, Ooguchikarei, Oyanirami, etc.

Actually, they can be divided into two main groups:

1)The Olive flounder or Bastard halibut (Paralichthys olivaceus; Japanese: ヒラメ/平目) is a species of large-tooth flounder native to the north-western Pacific Ocean.
It is often referred to as the Japanese flatfish or Korea(n) flatfish (광어) when mentioned in the context of those countries.
It is the most common flatfish species raised in aquaculture in Korea. They are raised in Japan and China as well.

Shitabirame/舌平目

2) Tonguefishes (shitabirame/舌平目in Japanese) are a family, Cynoglossidae, of flatfishes. They are distinguished by the presence of a long hook on the snout overhanging the mouth, and the absence of pectoral fins. Their eyes are both on the left side of their body, which also lacks a pelvic fin.

The best season is Autumn to Winter. They are still available until Spring in Shizuoka Prefecture. Wild ones come from Hokkaido and Aomori. Human-raised ones mainly hail from Oita, Ehime, Mie, and Kagoshima Prefectures.

Hirame Sashimi

The domestic wild catch is around 7,600 tonnes a year, while farmed fish amounts to around 7,100 tonnes a year. A recent increase has been observed in recent years, though. A lot are imported from Korea through Fukuoka and Shimoseki.
They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans, mainly in shallow waters and estuaries, though a few species are found in deep sea floors, and a few in rivers.

Hirame can be enjoyed in many ways:
As sashimi, cut in various thickness, according to the chef’s preference and presented artfully.

It can be enjoyed cut in small dices, as tartare, especially shitabirame/tonguefish with tomato and strawberry!

Of course, hiirame is great as sushi nigiri with all kinds of seasoning. I prefer it just seasoned with a little lemon juice or yuzu (if available) and salt (preferably “snow salt” from Okinawa!

The Japanese have a fondness for “engawa”, that is the frilled border along the fillets which are usually thrown away in other countries. The texture is different, almost crunchy.

Hirame is great marinated with konbu/seaweed as konbujime/seaweed marinated.

The same konbujime hirame can be served as oshizushi/pressed sushi topped with more seaweed!

An interesting oshizusshi combination is hirame topped with kabu/turnip and seasoned with yuzu juice and zest!

It is also very popular dried as himono/干物, especially shitabirame/tonguefish.

Naturally the Japanese all kinds of hirame cooked in the French way in a simple and succulent manner as above,

or as a beautiful gratin!

Last, but not least, how about grilled hirame with uni/sea urchin sauce?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Ladies fashion in Shizuoka 3: Knee Cap High Stockings!

typical black ensemble in Shizuoka City!

Knee cap high stockings are definitely the norm this year.
The colors are mostly black and beige with some variations in the latter.

Stockings are either just arriving at knne hight or completely above them.
Girls/ladies will wear the same stockings at different height depending upon their mood even withi a single hour!

The advantages of such a fashion are multiple:
They bring extra warmth and comfort in winter when they are worn in spite of the cold.
They can adjusted at different heights.
They are easy to complement with other clothes.
They also tend to “thin and extend” the legs!

Japanese girls like to walk in pairs and possibly wearing the same clothes.
They think they have a better chance to attract attention while not running the danger of being singled out. It is called “pair look” in Japan.
They always make a point to stop many times together to look more sexy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune-Junmai Daiginjyo Yamahai

Yamahai is a traditional way of making sake which leaves a lot to nature.
It is difficult to master and most breweries avoid even mentioning the name!

But Takashima Brewery in Numazu City are extremely proud of their Yamahai and do not hesitate to advertise it clearly for all to see on their labels!

And making a top-premium Junmai Daiginjyo out of a Yamahai is not only extravagant, it is also a true tour de force!
One ought to enjoy such nectar slowly out of an high quality earthenware sake cup!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune-Junmai Daiginjyo Yamahai-Genshu

Rice: Komachi
Milled down to: 45%
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu/no pure water added)
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Dryness: + 4
Acidity: 1.5
Bottled in February 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Assertive and fruity. Bananas, oranges
Body: Fluid and a little liquorish
Taste: Fruity attack, sweetish at first but turning quickly dry.
Strong junmai petillant.
Banana backed by dark chocolate and sweet nuts with a late appearance from oranges.
Lingers for a while warming the back of the palate and throat.
Complex. Dark chocolate asserting itself with the second sip with further attack from junmai petillant and dry almonds.
So pleasant and easy to drink.
Gets drier with food with very strong junmai petillant and oranges.

Comment: A discovery!
To turn a Yamahai in such a superlative sake is simply a mark of the extraordinary skills of Takashima Brewery!
Can be indifferently enjoyed on its own or with food, a feat not easily done with Junmai Daiginjyo!
Will definitely rate as one of best 5 sakes drunk in 2012 even by April!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Ladies Fashion In Shizuoka 2: FLORAISON

Manager Sakura holding a 3.1 Philliplim skirt

As to answer requests in particular from Sissi, Quizoxy and Bena nDR in particular, I though it might be helpful to introduce the best fashion boutiques in Shizuoka as well!

FLORAISON in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, is one of the boutiques owned by the very top fashion retailer in Shizuoka Prefecture, namely IMAIZUMI Co Ltd. (in Japanese, but have a look at the pictures!).

Staff Natsumi holding a CARVEN one-piece dress.

Although IMAIZUMI Co Ltd. as a whole covers all upscale fashion for all ages, FLORAISON specializes in elegance for adult ladies from young to not so young.
Their brand list, both made up of creations from famous houses and little-known small designers is impressive:
3.1 Philliplim
CARVEN
Sacai
MUVEIL
Ilian Ioeb
SEE BY CHLOE
SHARE SPIRIT
Marylin Moon
Athena NY and many others!

A small view of the dresses available.

FLORAISON was opened fairly recently in 2008 and has been looked after ever since by Sakura San, a young and ever-energetic manager.
Her BLOG is a must-see! Although written in Japanese it is a goldmine of photographs on fashion and gastronomy!

Elegant bags for career women and young ladies!

The boutique offers the whole gamut from shoes to bags, accessories and all imaginable clothing according to seasons!
Although the designers are quite stable their creations come and go quickly, so regular visits are on the calendar!

Their shoes are not only elegant but so practical!

And beautiful belts and scalves for the last touch!
Actually they also offer a very interesting range of original accessories, but I will have to take more photos!

FLORAISON
Imaizumi Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-14 (behind Isetan Department Store)
Tel.: 054-271-8945
Business hours: 11:00~20:00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
BLOG (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 Fish Species 3: Yellowtail-Buri-鰤

BURI-1

Buri/鰤 or Yellowtail, as Hiramasa or young Yellowtail is caught in Summer and Buri/Mature Yellowtail is caught in Winter.

How do you recognize them apart?

BURI-AGO
Buri has a “square chin” as they say in Japanese. Look at the back extremity of the mouth,

BURI-HIRAMASA-AGO
whereas it is more rounded for the hiramasa.

In Japan they are caught south of Hokkaido Island.
They come under many names: Wakashi, Inada, Warasa, Wakana, Hamachi and Mejiro.

Buri/Yellowyail is most popular when caught in rising waters in Winter when called Kan Buri/寒鰤 or “Cold Yellowtail”.

BURI-SASHIMI

Buri sashimi after light grill/Aburi/炙り

Young Yellowtails are best eaten as sahimi or

BURI-SUSHI-2

Buri Sushi

or as sushi as they are leaner then.

Older buri, containing a lot of fat, are better eaten cooked as

BURI-TERIYAKI

Buri Teriyaki,

BURI-ARA

Buri Ara with the whole head, or

BURI-MOPPONZU

Buri Mopponzu, including innards, especially liver and heart.

In the West of Japan, a New Year Meal cannot be conceived without buri!

Natural Buri catch accounts for 70,000~80,000 tonnes, while human-raised buri accounts for over 130,000 tonnes every year.
Imported buri accounts for less than 3,000 tonnes.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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 (12/17): Wasabi Musubi and Kabocha Mimosa Egg Bento!

Some of my work brings me in close contact with local farmers and it certainly has its perks as you will discover in this particular bento!

First, the “wasabi musubi”!
But before explaining that particular bit let me say that the “decoration” consists of chikuwa/steamed fish paste roll, a variety of kamaboko you can buy anywhere and that the Missus filled with fresh cucumber and boiled broccoli flowers.

The wasabi leaves and stems were given to me by Mr. Mochizuki who cultivates wasabi in Utogi, its birthplace!
The Missus pickled them separately, with konbu seaweed added to the leaves.
She made musubi balls with freshly steamed rice mixed with pickled wasabi stems and enveloped them in pickled wasabi leaves!
I very much doubt you can do that outside Shizuoka Prefecture!

The side box contained two more products I obtained from local farmers!

The egg mimosa was made by mixing the boiled egg yolk with boiled kabocha from Mr. Oda’s Farm in Yaizu City!
The Missus added some mini tomatoes, salad beans and lettuce to complete the salad!

The Missus then introduced ton toro pork/very soft pork she cooked together with fresh shiitake grown organically by Mr. Nanjyo in Do, near Utogi. She used the recipe for tebasaki adding coca cola and chili pepper for a very zippy concoction! I know more but the Missus said this was how far I could reveal her secrets!

A very unusual and tasty bento!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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