Category Archives: Uncategorized

Shizuoka Oden 2: Yasaitei

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

oden-y1.gif
I suppose I’m running the risk of starting a long debate in our good City/Prefecture of Shizuoka, but there is Shizuoka Oden and Shizuoka Oden!
By this I mean that one can eat different kinds of Oden, some cheap and expensive, some great and ugly, and whatever else has comes to appear on our tables after some TV shows extolled the qualities of our regional delicacy (which is not).
Shizuoka people “seem” to appreciate Oden cooked in dark soup over long periods of time, but if they happened to witness how those dark broths were concocted or when and where the Oden themselves are prepared and stored, they might entertain second thoughts.
This said, I’m not here to criticize but to introduce the good food, especially slow food, and places that serve them!
Yasaitei, which I have introduced for another reason now serve very healthy and tasty Oden. They are comparatively more expensive than in most “odenya”, but this is an izakaya where you will also appreciate the soup (“tsuyu”) that comes with it!

oden-y2.gif
The broth is Kansai-style in that it is light and gives the right colour to the Oden.
It will be served with “yuzu koshio”, a mixture of black pepper and lime extract instead of the ubiquitous lump of strong Japanese mustard (“karashi”), and with finely chopped leeks that will add a welcome touch to the soup that you will drink upon eating the Oden.
Last but not least, the Oden at Yasaitei are of prime quality, freshness and extremely tasty in an elegant way!
They change accordingly to the season, but have Ms. Yoshino explain all of them before you choose them. I garantee you will learn a lot!

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended

Soba/Buckwheat Restaurant: Yoshino

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

yoshino4.jpg

I love soba, and many Japanese and expats do too!
It is not only great for health (vegetarians, listen carefully), it is tasty and satisfying!
Unfortunately there is soba and soba. Meaning: a lot of places do have to be avoided…
What makes Yoshino special is that they are very exactting about their quality and serve only soba on the day. If they run out, they simply close the place!
yoshino3.jpg
For the connoisseurs hey serve both ni-hachi (80%) and ju-wari (100% which tend to run out quickly!)
Although Mr. Hiromichi Yoshino opened his restaurant only in 1999 after serving his time in another famous soba restaurant, Kuromugi in Shizuoka, the place has become so popular you do have to choose your time of the day to enjoy the food. Actually, you ought to take your time as this is a real “slow-food” soba restaurant. As it sits only 22 plus a few at the counter, you will understand it could become a scramble sometimes.
The more for its side dishes (“tsumami”):
yoshino1.gif
The “tamagoyaki” (fine, some vegetarians might not agree!) and the:
yoshino2.jpg
“yakimiso” (soba/buckwheat powder mixed with miso and cooked under the grill), a must in any good soba restaurant.
But people who really know me would not be convinced if I fail to mention that also serve Shizuoka sake!
They serve no less than 8 kinds!:
Fujinishiki/Arabashiri (Shibakawa Cho)
Hatsukame/junmai + Kame dai ginjo 3 year-old koshu (Okabe cho)
Isojiman/ dai ginjo + junmai ginjo (Yaizu City)
Kikuyoi/daiginjo (Fujieda City)
Onnanakase/Oomuraya-Wakatake daiginjo (Shimada City)
Kokkou/junmai ginjo (Fukuroi City)
Now, a little secret for the sake lovers, these high-quality sake certainly come cheaper than anywhere else!

Apart of the whole gamut of cold and hot soba, they serve exquisite tempura, satsumaage, oniage, yakimiso,and so on.

Last but not least it becomes a no-moking place at lunch!

Yoshino
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 1-7-10 (just behind Shin Shizuoka Center)
Tel.: 054-2553277
Business hours: 11:00~22:00 (or until run out soba)
“Kaiseki course” on reservations

Sashimi Set

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

sashimi-oboro.jpg

Here is a sashimi set I ordered at Oboro No Tsuki in Shizuoka City on June 28th.
Not only the fish is first class but the presentation was definitely high grade!

At the back, “katsuo”/bonito. Front left, “aji”/saurel or horsemackerel. Front right, “aka ika”/red cuttlefish

Simple Recipes: Ratatouille

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

ratatouille.jpg
Ratatouille as accompaniment to Stuffed Tomato and Grilled Goat Cheese

In Summer Ratatouille will please both omnivores and vegetarians as it can be served on its own as it is or as an accompaniment to other foods (see pic above).
It can be made in almost any country in the world, but particularly here in Shizuoka Prefecture due to the abundance of great vegetables!

Ingredients (for 4 to 6 people):
Onions: 3 large
Aubergines (egg-plants): 4
Courgettes (zucchini): 4
Tomatoes: 500g
Peppers (pimento): 2 to 4 (mix colours)
Garlic: 2 cloves
Olive oil: 1 cup (extra virgin oil PLEASE!)
Bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, laurel)
Salt & pepper to taste
Soft spices to taste (clove, nutmeg, sage, etc.)

Recipe:

Peel and slice the onions, aubergines and courgettes. Cut the tomatoes in pieces. Cit in strips the peppers after ridding them of their seeds.
Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan. Throw in the onions first and one minute later all the vegetables the garlic cloves , the bouquet garni, salt, peppers and spices.
Cover and let simmer on small fire for one hour and thirty minutes, mixing now and then to prevent the stew to stick on the bottom of the saucepan.
If too much water is rtill left in the stew, half cover halfway. Take garlic and bouquwr garni before serving.
NOTES: This the basic recipe. I usually add some tomato puree. The size of the cut vegetables depend on their purpose. The smaller they are cut, the shorter the cooking time. Can be served hot as accompaniment (side dish) or as main course for vegetarians (add chick peas!) or refrigerated as snacks for beer in summer.

Tanuki No Ana

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

tanuki-no-hana.jpg

Tanuki No Ana (“The Racoon’s Lair”) is a must if you wish to tell later that you have tasted Shizuoka Prefecture’s best sake wherever you might want to boast about it!
tanuki2.jpg
Mr. Makoto Naruoka and his wife Chieko moved to the present address in 1997, but have been serving Shizuoka Sake since 1980!
Actually, if you check the labels posted on their window, you will find out that some breweries have gone out of existence!
A regular customer there, I hallenged the following brews on that day:
denichiro.jpg hakuin.jpg takasago.jpg
Denichiro by Kokkou Brewery (Fukuroi City), Hakuin Masamune by Takashima Brewery (Numazu City) and Fuji-Takasago Brewery.
tanuki1.gif
Served with some hearty food perfect with sake, I had a hard time to limit myself once again.
I will spare you from viewing all thos labels again but just know that Tanuki No Hana has no less than 20 breweries fro the following 18 breweries:
Oomuraya (wakatake-Shimada City), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Syosetsu, Haginishiki, Yoshiya-Chummasa, Sanwa-Garyubai, Kumpai (Shizuoka City), Kikuyoi, Shidaizumi, Sugii-Suginishiki (Fujieda City), Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City), Takashima-Hakuin Masamune (Numazu City), Fujinishiki (Fuji Gun), Moriomoto (Kikugawa City), Hatsukame (Okabe Cho), Doi-Kaiun (Kakegawa City).
Sake-lover, what are you waiting for?

Tanuki No Ana
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-Cho, 2-2-5
Tel.: 054-2556704
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays
Credit cards OK

Izakaya: Take Chan no Daidokoro

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

take1.jpg

Take Chan No Daikoro might have opened in Shizuoka City only two years ago, but you will need to reserve your seats if you are than two of you!
take5.jpg
Why? (silly question, if there was any!)
Because the food is great and very reasonable, they have plenty of local sake, their fish in particular is local whenever possible and service is attentive and easy-going.
I visited the place more on a hunch than anything else last Friday and was glad to notice the following local sake:
Isojiman Hojozo (Yaizu City), Kaiun Honjozo (Kakegawa City), Shosetsu honjozo & Junmai (Shimizu Ku), Shidaizumi Ginjo (Fujieda City), Chumasa Honjozo (Shizuoka City) and Hana No mai Honjozo & Junmai(Hamamatsu City) !
Of course they have shochu, Beer, Awamori and so on!
take4.jpg
I first ordered “kinme”, a fish caught off Izu Peninsula. A beautiful soft sashimi!
take3.jpg
I could not help notice the beef sashimi on the menu for a mere 720 yen, and my carnivorous instincts took over. And I did well to listen to them. So sweet and tender!
kuromutsu.gif
As I needed some more food with the sake I was drinking so fast, I asked the “oyakata/chef” to recommend me a grilled fish. He advised to try “kuromutsu”.
It came cooked to perfection. The flesh came off so easily off the bones and was so soft and juicy!
I had the good fortune to come early as by the moment I was going to take my leave, it was absolutely packed and had all the six staff running!. I also discovered a few pairs of ladies obviously enjoying themselves.
I will have to come again to check the rest of the menu, but the sashimi sets seemed very reasonably priced and the kushiyaki yummy. Parties are possible but you had better reserve a good week in advance!

Take Chan No Daidokoro
420-0024 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Naka Cho, 22, Saitouya Bldg
Tel. & fax: 054-2215065
Business hours: 11:30~13:30 (Tuesdays ~Saturdays), 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays.

Credit Cards OK

Blueberries Season

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Blueberries are already being harvested in Sena farms, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
For example, Mr. Tsutomu Fujimaki (57) who has been growing the fruit for the last 7 years has started picking 20 varieties of blueberries from no less than 600 plantings.
The ripe fruit reach as much as 1cm diameter.
Apart of the best items found fresh on your tables, a lot will go to make succulent jams.
Some gourmets even preserve in shochu or sake!
Some fine samples can be bought at the Shizuoka JA direct agricultural products sale shop in Shizuoka City.

Agricultural products: Biwa/Loquat

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

biwa.jpg

The Loquat season has reached us in Shizuoka Prefecture at last!
Called “Biwa” in Japanese, it is considered as a fairly expensive delicacy as the beginning. Fruit sold at stores are carefully chosen. The bigger, the better it seems.
The most noted growers are located in Okitsu where 20 of them have formed the Okitsu Biwa Association. They particularly sweet and juicy.

Whenever I can, I pick the small ones you can find almost everywhere and either make sorbet of “biwa shu” (preserved in Shochu and sugar).

Today’s “bento”/boxed lunch

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

bento1.jpg

On Mondays, as I’m too busy to come back home for lunch, my better (worse?) half usually prepares a boxed lunch, or “bento”, in various guises.

This time, it was all very Japanese:
bento3.gif
As for staples, she made “shirogoma to tobiko tsuke shyouga nigiri” (balls of rice steamed with fresh ginger topeed with white seame seeds and flying fish roe), “tamafoyaki” (Japanese omelette) and pickled fresh ginger roots.

bento2.gif
As for garnish, she fried asparaguses inside bacon to go with French pickles, fresh mini tomatoes, golden kiwi fruit, lettuce and processed cheese.

All this with avegetable juice pack.
Cannot complain, can I?

Marine products: the bright side and the dark side

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

takaashigani.jpg

The bright side:
“Taka Ashi Gani” (“Tall Leg Crab”), the largest crab in the world found in Suruga Bay, notably off the northwestern part of Izu peninsula has significantly in numbers in recent years.
Fishermen realized they were catching to many young specimen in the deep sea nets. They decided to preserve the caught crabs and with the help of Heda Marine Association taught local children about the importance to preserve marine resources and replenish existing stocks when they show the crabs to the kids every year before releasing them back to depths of 500 metres about one kilometre off Heda Harbour.

The dark side:
uni.jpg namako.jpg
Poachers have increasingly caught “uni” (sea urchins) and “namko” (Sea slug/beche de mer) and the Japanese had to take drastic measures with boat confiscations, heavy fines (between 100,000 yen and 2,000,000 yen) and even prison sentences.
Sea urchins will find high prices on the Japanese markets while China and Hong Kong have an unquenchable craving for sea slugs.
Both command higher and higher prices, due to the decreasing catches and measures to preserve stocks.
As an indication, illegal poaching cases increased from over 900 in 2002 to more than 1,200 in 2004 and still on the way up!
On the other hand the legal export of sea slugs has increased by 43.5 % from 2004 to 2005 to reach 7,900,000,000 yen in sales of which China’s share amounts to 520,000,000 yen, an increase of 60% in one single year.
The total illegal catch was 32 tonnes last year in Hokkaido.

Shizuoka Oden 1: Ogawa

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

ogawa01.gif

Yes, Shizuoka Prefecture and especially Shizuoka City are famous for their “oden” thanks to an abundant supply of fish and recent reports by NHK, TBS, Fuji TV and TV Tokyo!
There are probably over 300 registered shops/restaurants selling oden in Shizuoka City alone.
I will try and introduce the notable ones as I hop around.
ogawa03.gif
I visited Ogawa in Baban-cho, near Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City yesterday, May 20th, with my better (worse?) half. We chose the wrong moment of lunch time as we had to queue for a good 20 minutes. Therefore if you want to sample that particular shop’s wares, I would suggest you to come on a week day sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
ogawa02.jpg
Shizuoka Oden are characterized by their dark strong tsuyu/soup. Ogawa’s is just a little lighte than the average. Like in other similar local establishments, the oden there are on the soft side as they are cooked for a long time.
I would recommend Ogawa to both Japanese and foreigners as the taste is just strong enough for all and very reasonably priced (80 yen a stick).

Ogawa
420-0867 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Baban-cho, 36 (along Sengen Shrine Street)
Tel.: 054-2522548
Fax: 054-2522549
Orders possible by fax and mail
Opening hours: 10:00~18:00
Closed on Wednesdays

Shizuoka Gourmet: The Purpose

r-g-okinawa.jpg

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

This blog will serve as an umbrella blog for already existing blogs for sake, shochu and sushi made and savoured in Shizuoka Prefecture, and all other aspects of Shizuoka Gastronomy, such as beer, liqueurs, wine (only one!), restaurants, bars, produce and so forth!