Japanese Tea X Potage=”Pochage” by Marufuku Seicha in Shizuoka City!

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Marufuku Seicha Co. and her young President, Ms. Asami Ito, have always been endeavoring to create new products from Shizuooka tea to explore new expansion avenues.
Their latest venture is a happy marriage between Japanese and French gastronomies: “Pochage”!
“Pochage” stands for Potage and Tea, the latter being pronounced “cha” in Japanese!

I was given the opportunity to taste it/them and here are my findings!

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The packaging follows the strict norms of Japanese food regulations with all the data on ingredients, processing and consumption dates, which are aso repeated on each potage pouch!

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You can buy each pouch individually or in packs of 6, 3 of each variety as above.
The packaging design makes for a great souvenir/present!

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Inside this particular package you will find one more leaflet bearing all information on the tea company, its fields, and even 3 “rings” to attach to your soup cup to know exactly what is inside!

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Three different pouches, extremely resistant but easy to open!
Now let me turn to each content and the actual tasting!

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Shizuoka Tea and potato potage!
The powder has a nice color to it and its flavor, even when dry, is of strong green tea.
Each pouch content contains enough powder to which 150ml of hot water can be added.
Note: pour in the water half at a time and mix well for perfect solving before tasting it.

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The soup is of a rich, slightly dark, green typical of green tea leaves.
The taste although markedly of tea is not as pronounced as its flavor and the potatoes blend perfectly with the bitterness of the tea.
It does not need any extra seasoning, although I would recommend serving it topped with some crumbled dry potato chips!
Great in the morning with breakfast!

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The second one is Hojicha and mushrooms potage!
Hojicha is dry grilled green tea, whose color will change to a nice yellow-brown. The addition of mushroom powder will result into a rich brown color.
The aroma is more discreet that the Shizuoka Tea and potato, but still rich enough.

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The taste is smooth and definitely dominated by mushrooms, but in a very balanced manner.
Again there is no need for extra seasoning, but I would serve it topped with a few fried pieces of mushroom.
Will warm you up in winter!

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The third one is matcha tea and corn!
The matcha aroma dominates the powder with its distinctive characters.

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The corn perfectly balances the bitterness of the matcha into a very elegant and rich potage.
It definitely could be served chilled into a refined vychissoise.
Serve it topped with a few grains of boiled corn and tiny green sprouts!

All in all, a discovery!
The concept is somewhat feminine but gentlemen will surely appreciate the balance between green tea and other ingredients.
Enjoy!

MARUFUKU SEICHA/丸福製茶株式会社

420-0006 Shizuoka City, Aoi KU, Wakamatsu Cho, 25
Tel.: 054-271-2011
<strong>HOMEPAGE (Japanese & English)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Hana No Mai Brewery-“Kira” Junmai Ginjo “Kura Dashi” Nama Genshu

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I just had the opportunity to taste a very unusual, that is for that establishment, by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, in my usual not so secret lair!

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The name, ”煌”/”Kira”, could be roughly translated as “bright” and is increasingly used in names.
The sake was sold in Cenova Department Store, Shizuoka City, not in the bottle, but from a tank into a bottle to be closed in front of the customer!
It is a junmai (no pure rice alcohol blended in) ginjo nama (unpasteurized) genshu (no pure water blended in!

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Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice blended to 60%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees
From the tank on October 1st, 2015

Clarity: very clear
Color: very faint golden hue
Aroma: light, dry and fruity. Discreet. Dry plums, pears
Body: fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack backed up by puissant junmai petillant.
Complex: dry plums, pears, dry custard.
Lingers for a while warming up the palate before departing on notes of chestnuts, sweet oranges and dry sweet potato.
Varies little with food but for a drier note.
Turns a little sweeter with rise in temperature with sweet potatoes taking the lead.

Overall: a very unusual sake for Hana No Mai Brewery, which should actually appeal more to adults thantheir usual brews.
Best enjoyed slightly chilled on its own.
Would make a superlative aperitif!
Suggested pairings: grilled fish, yakitori.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Beer Tasting: Aoi Brewing-Mikan Sour Ale (2016 version)

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Aoi Brewing’s 2016 version of their Mikan Sour Ale is at last available on tap at Aoi Beer Stanad in Miyuki-Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Served on tap
Barley and wheat, Pilsner Malt (Germany), Wheat malt (Germany), Magnum hop (Germany) Chinook hop (USA), Willamette hop (USA), mikan mandarine (Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City), French saison yeast (France)
Unfiltered
Natural carbonation
Alcohol/ABV: 4.8 degrees
IBU: 8
Production: 450 l
Bubbles: Longish head, very fine bubbles, white color
Color: smoky lemon color
Aroma: very light. Citruses
Taste: very dry, sour and fruity attack.
Starts lemonish to end definitely on sour mandarines.
Some acidity will appear late.
Lingers long enough on palate for true tasting before departing on strong notes of light acid mandarines.
varies little with food but for a more pronounced acidity.

Overall: splendid hot afternoon craft beer!
Very elegant in spite of its marked sour dryness and further strong acidity.
Will equally please both genders of any age.
Best savored in the afternoon!
Suggested pairings: nuts, cold meats, BBQ, strong cheese.

Beer Junkie MOTEL

420-0035 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 11-5, IMAKKOKO Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-253-6558
Opening hours: 18:00~25:00
Closed on Tuesday
Parties welcome
FACEBOOK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP
FACEBOOK

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK
FACEBOOK

Some Aoi Brewing beers are also available at the mother company’s other restaurant,

GROWSTOCK

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Tel.: 054-293-9331
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK
FACEBOOK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Dinner at Sushi Shokunin Birukawa in Shizuoka City!

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Service: shy but extremely attentive and kind
Equipment & Facilities: overall very clean. Excellent washroom. Non-smoking private room possible
Prices: reasonable (that is for true sushi!)
Strong points: Sushi mainly created with local seafood. 3-year old wasabi root exclusively used. Grilled and deep-fried fish, tempura. Excellent list of sake and shochu.

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Chef Kenta Birukawa/尾留川健太親方!

Kenta Birukawa opened Sushi Shokunin Birukawa last July after a long time spent as the main chef of Sushi Ko in Aoba Park Street, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City for the pleasure of his many fans including your servant.
It is located near Komagata Street which is being completely renovated with the addition of high-rise mansions which promises a flow of affluent customers to all the establishments who decided to stay or move recently!

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Whatever his skills a chef builds his reputation on his/her choice of ingredients.
Kenta always has enough live local fish in his aquarium tank along with products chosen on a daily base through his many contacts in local and national ports. And when it comes to wasabi, even the op restaurants in Tokyo or Kyoto do not come near to equal him as he exclusively uses roots grown for three years in the mountains of Utogi, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka Ciy, the very location where the first wasabi were grown for their roots in the beginning of the 17th Century.
The wasabi is grated a little at a time before being served on each plate or sushi!

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Incidentally Kenta and his little jewel of a mother are from Akita Prefecture as can be noted on the tea cups and the noren/entrance curtain to the kitchen! Apparently Shizuoka City is very popular with denizens of Akita Prefecture as they have formed their own association in our city!

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It was actually our first visit as we knew the place would be too crowded during the first two months, and still is, so you had better call first or reserve in advance!
The tone was set with the o-toshi/snack coming with first drink consisting of succulent whelks!

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A small board is shown and circulated among the customers to inform them of the special fish and seafood of the day, a very useful and practical way when it comes to sashimi or cooked fish!

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As for drinks there is much to choose from among the sake, comprising many local ones (expect more not featured on the list!), wine and soft drinks!

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And do not forget the shochu and the beer!

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As for individual sushi the prices are clearly stated. You can also discuss your budget directly with Kenta without any worries. He will also gladly accommodates your special orders not featured on menus. Just keep on eye on what the regulars order!

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Another big plus the rice is steamed in small bunches, and if you are lucky enough he will prepare it in front of your very eyes!
Kenta has his own recipe which includes a mixture of 90% usual rice wine with 10% of red rice wine as demonstrated above! Not many restaurants will go to the pains of such explanations with their customers, so do not forget your camera!

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Not including the kitchen hidden by the noren/entrance curtain to prevent kitchen odors to bother customers the restaurant is a model of a clever use of the limited space with the inclusion of a Japanese-made grill/salamander!

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Guests can see how their own fish is being cooked!
“White-grilled” (no sauce basted on fish) conger eel in our case!

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“Shirayaki anago”/white-grilled conger eel!
Just add a little grated wasabi on top of each piece before savoring it!

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Kenta is famous all over town and beyond for some tidbits you must absolutely sample!
One of them is “Kawahagi o-tsukuri”/Filefish (also called leather jacket in Australia!) sashimi plate!
Cheaper and tastier than fugu/globefish and super fresh as they picked up alive form the tank!

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The fish is cut in very thin slices and served with cut leeks/scallions to be rolled inside each slice of fish. a great opportunity to show your skills with chopsticks!

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And as for the dipping sauce it consists of the live liver of the very same fish chopped thinly and mixed with rice vinegar and what else!

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The “jowls” of the same fish will then served to you as deep-fried! To eat with your fingers!

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Another morsel you must absolutely order is “maguro zuke”!
Slices of tuna akami/lean part are marinated for a short time in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, mirin and secret ingredients before being served as nigiri. Almost a dessert!

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Also make a point to check what local fish are available!
The above is a fish that made Shizuoka Prefecture famous all over Japan: “kinmedai”/splendid Alfonsino caught off the shores of Inatori on the west coast of Izu Peninsula!
Seared on one face you can savor at least two different savors!

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If you wish for something from other shores try the deep-fried “shiroebi”/white shrimps from Toyama Prefecture!

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Vegetarians can order a plate of fresh vegetable tempura prepared by Kenta’s mother!

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“Maki”/sushi rolls aficionados are faced with an embarrassment of choices as Kenta will gracefully prepare your orders even if they are not featured on the menu!
Dragon ordered this “futomaki”/large roll filled with fresh salmon, salmon roe, grated “yamamaimo”/Japanese yam and thin scallions!

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For “dessert” (for vegetarians and vegans) ask for “kanpyo maki”/roll filled with simmered dry gourd shavings, and don’t forget to mention with “plenty of wasabi”!

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Kenta cooks his own tamagoyaki/Japanese omelet (not evident in many sushi restaurants!) so don’t forget some!

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And wash down the lot with some very tasty miso soup!
There are usually three kinds depending on the season.
This time we were offered tofu, nameko mushrooms or cockles.
Dragon opted for the tofu added with a generous portion of fresh seaweeed!

This was only a small dinner, so expect more in the near future with different morsels!

SUSHI SHOKUNIN BIRUKAWA/寿司職人尾留川

420-0037 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Hitoyado-Cho, 2-5-8
Tel.: 054-251-9787
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations highly recommended
Credit cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, 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, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 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, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City