Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Bandai Brewery-Shuzenji Monogatari Tokubetsu Honjozo

Shuzenji in Izu City, Izu Peninsula, is witnessing a fast resurgence of its tourism, what with the increasing influx of overseas tourists and the Olympics looming large over the whole Peninsula.
Accordingly local products tend to reflect the local history and folklore more and more for the pleasure of visitors.
Bandai Brewery, the only sake sake brewery in the Peninsula has come out with a brand of its Tokubetsu Honjozo with the name of Shuzenji Monogatari/Shuzenji Story!

Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees

Clarity: very clear
Color: light golden hue
Aroma: dry and fruity. Dry plums
Taste: Dry and fruity attack.
Dry plums,loquats.
Lingers for while warming up the palate before departing on note of drier plums.
Turns smoother with food.

Overa;;: solid, dependable and straightforward sake conceived to accompany food.
A lit unusual for Shizuoka for its old fashioned approach.
Will make for a nice souvenir back home though.
Recommended pairings: Japanese yam salad, onsen tamago:hot spring eggs, marinated oysters.

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

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Early Spring Sushi Millefeuille by Kenta Birukawa at Sushi Shokunin Birukawa in Shizuoka City!

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.

The other I finally managed to find a couple of seats free at Sushi Shokunin Birukawa, my favorite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka Prefecture I have already introduced to many an overseas client. The problem is that it is very popular and it is tough, nigh impossible to get a seat on holidays or weekends! Even on a Thrursday it was fully booked by 6 pm!

Anyway, to make along story short, we once again challenged our good friend, chef Kenta Birukawa who moved some 15 years ago to Shizuoka from his native Akita Prefecture to another Sushi Millefeuille! It is not listed on the menu, but if you are recommended in person by your servant he will happy enough to concoct you an original one according to your taste an priorities!

The only thing we agreed on was the name: Early Spring (that is, for 2018!) Sushi Millefeuille!
Bear in mind that “Early Spring” in Japan, and especially in Shizuoka City, quite before the real Spring has actually come to grace us with its mild weather after this year’s unusually severe winter!

The Dragon (my worse half!) did not wait to demolish as it is her sorry habit but I had time enough to notice that the sushi rice is made in Kenta’s particular recipe, that is the rice vinegar used in seasoning the rice contains red amazu rice vinegar for 1/10th ration and that the millefeuille was topped with avocado nmayonnaise and salmon roe!

I could notice before Dragon further demolished the edifice that it contained scallops, squid and boiled lotus root!

And I forgot to mention that the banderolle around the millefeuille was composed of small cubes of akami/red lean tuna and Japanes omelet/Tamagoyaki!

Can’t wait for the next one!

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

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Umeera by Bandai Brewery!

This is another schochu by Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji, Izu City in the Izu Peninsula and is the more interesting for using another famous local farm product!

It was also awarded the Izu Peninsula Geopark label!

The name, “Umeera” means “very tasty”!

It is made with fresh water collected in deep sea water currents of the Izu Penisula and New Summer Ornages cultivated in Izu Prefecture!

Classified as liqueur in Japan
Rice white lees shochu, pure rice alcohol, Izu Peninsula New Summer Oranges, sugars, deep-sea fresh water
Single distilling method
Alcohol: 25~26 degrees

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: dry and fruity. strong summer oranges
Body: very fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack. Deep new Summer oranges
Lingers for quite a while on the palate with more soft of the same oranges and rice spreading over the palate.
Changes little with food if for a slightly sweeter turn.

Overall: another rare, elegant and intriguing shochu!
Drinks like a fine strong aperitif distilled alcohol or liqueur.
Very elegant liqueur, but low enough in alcohol to enjoy at ease.
Would well poured on a cassata ice cream!
Will do very with asparaguses, salads, and seafood in Western gastronomy!
Another splendid gift to offer anywhere in Japan and overseas!

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

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Wasabi Shu by Bandai Brewery

It has been quite some time since I enjoyed the only true shochu made with wasabi in Japan, namely Wasabi Shu (can also be pronounced “Wasabi sake”)!

it is made by the only sake brewery/shochu distillery in Izu Peninsula in Shuzenji, Izu City!

Although made with rice shochu and wasabi essence it is sold as a liqueur for various lawful reasons!

Classified as liqueur in Japan
Rice white lees shochu, wasabi essence (20%)
Single distilling method
Alcohol: 20 degrees

Clarity: very clear
Color: transparent
Aroma: dry and fruity. mild wasabi
Body: very fluid
Taste: dry and fruity attack.
Soft and mild wasabi
Lingers for quite a while on the palate with more soft wasabi and rice spreading over the palate.
Changes little with food if for a drier turn.

Overall: A rare, elegant and intriguing shochu!
The rare kind that even ladies would drink straight at any time of an evening or of a celebration.
Thoroughly enjoyable at any temperature or on the rocks, although best on its own.
Probably best enjoyed on its own as a nightcap but will go with any Japanese food, especially sashimi and light vegetables dishes.
Will do very with asparaguses and oysters in Western gastronomy!
A splendid gift to offer anywhere in Japan and overseas!

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