Category Archives: Dining Room

French Gastronomy with Shizuoka Products at Tetsuya Sugimoto (Summer 2012)

Service: Highly professional and friendly
Facilities: Great overall cleanliness. Beautiful washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Freshest produce and ingredients only, mainly from Shizuoka Prefecture. Organic vegetables, top-class Shizuoka-bred meat and Suruga Bay seafood. Seasonal food only.

Map (Japanese)

If one wants to know what could be possibly created as French Gastronomy with mainly Shizuoka products whatever the time of the year, Tetsuya Sugimoto in Shizuoka City must be the reference in spite of the fierce competition from like-minded chefs all over the Prefecture.
Since pictures and simple explanations are better than a long and heavy prose, let me relate you my visit for lunch the other day!

The entrance sports a great noren/Japanese entrance curtain bearing the name of the restaurant!

Tetsuya Sugimoto has just celebrated its 3rd Anniversary!
Have a good look at the blackboard for seasonal offerings.
If you can’t read Japanese, no worries. Chef Sugimoto will be glad to explain everything in detail with a rare passion!

Look at both sides of the blackboard!

Although Tetsuya does everything by himself from purchasing his ingredients to cleaning the place spotless every day he still finds the time to add his personal touch to the entrance!

All these decorative vegetables past the door are organic!

Poached “Bioran” egg (by Mr. Shimizu in Shizuoka City) and delicious Hokkaido urchin on a cold jelly soup made with vegetables and agar from Shizuoka prefecture!

Aji/Horse mackerel Tartare on organic tomato with amazu/sweet rice vinegar dressing!

The horse mackerel was caught in the Suruga Bay, the richest sea in Japan.
The flowers are edible and organic!

Serrano Jamon ham from Spain astride a green eggplant!

From another angle!

I felt like a voyeur when I took a picture of the green eggplant! LOL

Anago/Conger eel (a fish which made Western Shizuoka famous all over Japan) on zucchini and tomato and topped with zucchini parpadelle.
All vegetables are organic and local!

From another angle!
The sauce is balsamico-based.
Tetsuya went as far as deep-frying the conger eel backbone and place it between the fish and the tomato for an intriguing crunchy surprise!

Beef bred by Mr. Mineno in Hamamatsu City atop organic vegetables.
Testuya obtained this superlative meat after mmeeting the breeder in person in his farm!

The beef! Look at that color and texture! Extravagant!
The sauce is Banyuls wine based!

Always brace yourself before discovering desserts at Tetsuya Sugimoto!
There is always a surprise in store to throw you out of your seat!
This time:
Mousse cake made with passion fruit grown in Mariko, Shizuoka City.
The pips of the fruit were dried, grilled and crushed for the topping!
As for the ice cream it was made with porter beer crafted by Hamamatsu Tenjigura Brewery in Hamamatsu City!

Do I need more to say?

To be followed…

Tetsuya SUGIMOTO
420-0038 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Umeya,2-13,1F
Tel./Fax: 054-251-3051
Opening hours:11:30~14:30,17:30~21:30
Holidays: undecided (do make a call first!)
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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,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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Japanese Antiques for your Dining Room: Tansu/Japanese Chests

Japan is still a very good country to prospect for antiques in spite of its devouring modernity.
When it comes to antique or even more homey tansu/箪笥, one should keep both eyes open as these Japanese-style chests can become extremely useful in any home because of their practical shapes and sturdy material, not to mention their aesthetic qualities.
Even if you are here for a short stay or plan to leave soon, they can easily be filled with your belongings actually helping with the ever tiring chore of removal.

Fine, Sir, but what is a tansu?Sorry, my good friend, I ought to have explained that a bit earlier!
Tansu is the word for chest, chest of drawers or cupboard, all in one word in Japanese. It is often used in the West, notably in the antique business, to refer to traditional Japanese chests, handcrafted and made of fine wood. The latter is important when it comes to pricing. Most popular woods are Hinoki/檜 or Japanese cypress, Keyaki/欅 or Japanese elm, Kuri/栗 or Chestnut,, Sugi/杉 and Kiri/桐 or Paulownia.
After all, it is a very vague term to describe a whole range of chests, but many collectors focus on finding antique Tansu. There are many workshops (especially in Shizuoka or other prefectures with a good supply of wood) in imitation of the classic antiques. Some are made of excellent reclaimed wood causing the new Tansu to retain a more aged look that some people seek. Make sure to ask first if the antique tansu is authentic or an imitation.
But my bet, that is if you have the time, is to look around in farms and in the country where there are not only authentic, but cheap and serviceable. Moreover, people tend to be happy to get rid of them!

Now, before you go prospecting, it always a good idea to acquire a little basic knowledge. One way to conduct a successful bargain!

Main types of Tansu:
-Choba-dansu/著場箪笥/Merchant Tansu. Used by merchants, they display elaborate metal hardware and were used in shops to impress customers. They come in many sizes depending on trade plied by their owners: sewing supplies chests, sea chests, merchant chests, futon chests or kitchen equipment chests. They could either open from a single side or be accessible from both sides.
-Kusuri-dansu/薬箪笥 were and still are apothecary/medicine chest. They were used to store herbs, especially at medicinal herbs/kanpoyaku/漢方薬 traditional pharmacists. They are often made of paulownia wood and have many small drawers. They make for the perfect chest for jewels, spectacles or other small collection object storage, or even display.
-Kaidan-dansu/階段箪笥, or step-chests are another very popular collection item, although their initial purpose was of a totally different nature. They were actually used to avoid taxation on other areas of a home when taxes were levied based on the size of one’s home! When the tax collectors appeared on the horizon, home-dwellers quickly moved those chests under the stairs away from their eyes! When small, they make for great display chests at homes and shops. When big, their aesthetical and practical qualities can be combined to save space.
-Katana-dansu/刀箪笥. These were used to store swords.They are long and low and often made of palownia to keep sword from rusting.
-Mizuya-dansu/水や箪笥 or Daidokoro-dana/台所棚 used in kitchens for the storage of plates, utensils and food items. They usually include many sliding doors and drawers of full plain wood, or adjourned wood, the latter coming with mesh or bars.

-Sendai-dansu/仙台箪笥. These are used to store kimomo and clothing. Originally made from the Sendai region, they are often made of zelkova wood with drawers lined in cedar. They usually come as one long top drawer with three slightly smaller drawers underneath. Some are true antiques as they were commissioned from former sword makers after the Samurai were disbanded in the Meiji era.
-Cha-dansu/茶箪笥. They were used to store tea ceremony implements. This is one type of antique chest that can still be found in homes or in the country!
-Funa-dansu/船箪笥. They were ship chests, used a scontainers from the Edo period to the Meiji Era. They came in three basic designs:
Kakesuzuri/かけすずり, a small chest with a single swinging door and multiple internal drawers inside.
Hangai/半外, a small chest for clothing storage.
Cho-Bako/庁箱, or account box.. This last comes in many more types, a pleasure for collectors!

Many regions of Japan made tansu. Check where the former castle towns on the posts roads stood and you will have a good chance to make a discovery. Look for the ironware and quizz their owners! Wood and lacqyuer types are also clue to the origin of some pieces.
The elements of antique tansu hardware were created from forged iron, and sometimes with copper. Search for design elements engraved or inlaid. Incidentally, black finish on the iron was created by applying rapeseed oil to the hot metal.

Recommended Books:
Traditional Japanese Furniture by Kazuko Koizumi
Japanese Cabinetry/The Art & Craft Of Tansu by David Jackson & Dane Owen

Recommended website:
Jtansu at: http://www.jtansu.com/Japanese-Tansu-s/1.htm
David Jackson: Tansu Restoration & Conservation at: http://www.tansuconservation.com/

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Food Humor: The Apple Bites Back!

my good friend, Bernard Heberle, who has been elected the best patissier in Shizuoka Prefecture in 2011 seems to have some time on his hands despite the mountain of work. An amateur of food humor, he regularly sends me photos featuring some pretty/nasty art on food.
I thought it would be a shame not to feature them from time to time to add a light note/seasoning to this blog!

This particular picture proves that you ought to be careful next time you cut your apple to keep the doctor away!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

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