Category Archives: Uncategorized

Italian Gastronomy: Quick Dinner at Soloio (April 2014) in Shizuoka City!

Service: Pro and very friendly
Equipment & Facilities: Great overall cleanliness and superb washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Fresh local ingredients whenever possible. Both traditional and inventive Italian cuisine. Good wine list at moderate prices. Open late!

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The other day, having been busy all day as it is bound to be on holidays (!) we decided it would be better to visit our friends at Solio Italian Restaurant in Shizuoka City, Aoki Ku!
As they serve only slow food it was perfect for relaxation and great food!

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Sommelier Mieko Osawa/小澤三江子さん and Chef Takehiko Katoh/加藤武彦さん

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As Takehiko is very particular about the vegetables he uses, one ought to have a go at his great bagna cauda!

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All local vegetables including some from his own garden!

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I never tire of looking at them!

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On that particular day one item than Frenchmen cannot ignore was on the menu!

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Ris de veau/veal sweetbread with mushrooms in Marsala wine sauce!

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Actually both Takehiko and Mieko had just come back from a week-trip to Italy!
They offered us some succulent wild boar and pork salami served with cold confit onion!

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Takehiko is also very careful about the fish he serves especially as carpaccio!

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Madai/Japanese red seabream from Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Pasta is always made with the best and freshest ingredients!

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White fleshed fish and spring cabbage linguine!

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Might look simple enough, but I can guarantee that the taste is superb!
We certainly never eat what we can make at home, and there are secrets that will never be fully revealed!

SOLOIO

Chef Takehiko Katoh/加藤武彦さん/Sommelier Mieko Osawa/小澤三江子さん

420-0858 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho, 9-7, Kita, 1
Tel./fax: 054-260-4637
Business hours: 16:00~24:00
Closed on Monday
Credit cards OK
Private parties welcome!
Happy hour: 16:00~17:00: 1,000 yen set-3 appetizers plate and 1 glass of house wine!
Smoking allowed BUT Non-smoking until 20:00 everyday!

Tequila Diner’s Smoked Chicken Gizzards at Aoi Beer Stand in Shizuoka City!

Service: Easy-going and friendly
Facilities: Very clean overall. Beautiful washroom inside Den Bulding.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Craft beers only!

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The other day in the afternoon I felt really thirsty and a little hungry, so another visit to Aoi Beer Stand in Aoi kU, Shzuoka City was on the cards!

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The 11:00~23:00 opening hours make it such a practical place!

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there seems to be a little mistake…

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Corrected! “Setsugekka”!

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Tequila Diner’s smoked chicken gizzards! テキーラダイナーさんの砂肝スモーク!
Tequila Diner is one of the best Hamburger Restaurants in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

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The craft beer: Setsugekka by COEDO Breweing Company in Saitama Prefecture!
Great ale!
Can you see the waitress’s juicy arm? LOL

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With the gizzards!

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Crunchy and tasty, a perfect snack for a great beer!

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

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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, 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, 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

Japanese Fish Species 11: Turbot-Makogarei-真子鰈

“Makogarei/真子鰈” or Pleuronectes yokohamae Gunther for the specialists is one of the many kinds of turbot indigeneous to Japan.
You will find it on the markets between June and August.
Depending where you live, you might do well to know its other names: “Aome” (Sendai), “Mushibirama” (Konahama), “Mako” (Tokyo) or “Amakarei” among many.
It is net-caught all around Japan.

It has comparatively a lot of flesh for a turbot, making it a choice morsel for nigiri or sashimi.

It can reach a length of 45 cm. Contrary to many other fish, the size will bear no incidence on the taste, but if you wish for extra taste, avoid female specimen bearing eggs/roe, and if possible, although a bit extravagant, choose a live fish (possible at Parche, Shizuoka JR Station!).
A good sushi or Japanese restaurant will deep-fry the bones and head for you, making for a great snack with great ale!

As a sushi nigiri, it is served as it is, and can be savoured with a little salt and lemon juice only as seasoning.

Many people also ask their sushi nigiri seasoned with tare/sauce.

One more way is to present it as konbujime/marinated in seaweed.

Being a large fish, it can be easily manipulated into bo sugata sushi/baton sushi with the rice inside the fish.

Small specimen are appreciated grilled whole with some lemon, soy sauce and grated daikon.

Another popular cuisine is to stew/simmer the whole fish in soy sauce, mirin and sake as ni-zakana.

The sperm sacs/shirako of the male specimens are much appreciated in European-style cuisine!

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 Shellfish Species 4: Heart Clam-Torigai-鳥貝

torigai1.jpg

“Torigai/鳥貝” has many names in English: Heart Clam, Surf Clam, Japanese Cockle. In Japanese it is called “Bird Shell”!
They appear on the market in Spring and earlier in Shizuoka Prefecture. They are mainly found in Tokyo Bay, Ise bay and Seto Inner Sea. Some are imported from Korea, but catches can wildly vary, especially with the occurence of “red tides”. A lot are imported from Aichi Prefecture to Shizuoka.

TORIGAI-SHELL

They must be absolutely fresh to be consumed.
One easy way to check if they are still fresh is to slam them on the wooden board. They should immediately retract, even if cut out. They are at their cheapest between March and May.

Torigai in its natural element

Torigai Ngiri sushi!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
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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

Weird Japan (2): Junk Food Bar in Shizuoka City!

Someone will have to explain the meaning of the word “junk” to some people here! LOL
Maybe they are confusing junk food with fast food, although I would like to know what they mean by “soul” as well!

Americans will understand that “Jumbo Dog” probably means “Jumbo Hot Dog”, but what is a “Got Burger” or “Junk Rice”?

They are quite insistent about it with “Junk Food & Bar” pasted on the entrance door!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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 (11/54): Kuri Gohan Bento!

The Japanese love chestnuts as a vegetable, especially with rice which they call Kuri Gohan/栗ご飯!

Usually the Japanese cook the rice with preserved chestnuts, but as the latter came raw from the Missus’ family garden they were boiled separately and later mixed with cooked rice and black sesame seeds.

The color of the chestnuts is not as beautiful as those coming from preserves, but they look real and yummy!

I could also have called this bento, sesame chicken bento!

The Missus coated chicken filets/sasami with golden and black sesame seeds before frying them in olive oil.
She later placed them in the box over a bed of cress with some lemon for seasoning and radish for decoration.

She added stir-fried spicy burdock roots chips and her specialty, half-boiled onsen tamago/hotsprings egg!

For dessert, kaki/persimmon/柿from her family’s garden!

Very healthy seasonal yummy bento indeed!

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Wagashi/Japanese Cakes at Mochi No Ie in Shizuoka City

If you happen to visit the Toro Ruins or the magnificent Serizawa Keisuke Art Gallery in Shizuoka City take the time to visit Mochi No Ie just inside the Toro Ruins Park!

You are in for a time slip!

The whole 180-year old farm house was brought piece by piece from Okkaizu/奥会津 City in Fukushima Prefecture some time ago!

It harbors a traditional Japanese restaurant serving local o-mochi/rice cakes and soba/buckwheat noodles at hours coinciding with the opening hours of the Serizawa Keisuke Art Gallery.

The watermill wheel was also brought all the way!

This is Japan!
Can you see the goldfish?

Beautiful noren representing a rabbit pounding rice cakes on the moon!
They have another shop inside Shizuoka City JR Station with the same noren!

Of course inside is all wood!

Traditional Japanese fireplace!
The whole house is a microcosm of country life in 19th Century Japan!

Green tea is served in cups with the design of the place!

The small shop inside the house where you can buy o-mochi and soba to take back home!

One can either sit at tables or on tatami straw mats.

They also serve soba (for another report) but they are famous for teir mochi/soft rice cake of various kinds.
The above is Karamimochi/からみもち, an appetizer version served with grated daikon and freshly grated wasabi!

You break the whole thing with your chopsticks and mix it before savoring it. Great with beer!
Moreover, it is vegan as they use only rice flour to make them!

A combination of two true Shizuoka wagashi/Japanese rice cakes: Abekawa mochi/安倍川もち made of rice flour covered with sweatmeats/anko/餡子, and Kinako mochi/きなこもち rice flour cakes served with dry soy beans flour.
Again these cakes are vegan!

For a closer view! A great healthy dessert!

The owners always kindly invite newcomers to visit the upper floor!

Up the wooden stairs…

A cute noren/curtain!

Upstairs is a real museum but you can eat there upon reservation and make it a wholy non-smoking private room!

Beautiful overview of the entrance garden!

Farm crop baskets!

Original drawings by Serizawa Keisuke!

I’d love to possess this fan painted by the same artist!

Many things to discover in dark corners…

I’m planning to visit their shop at Shizuoka Station soon, but I must come back here again soon to enjoy their soba!

To be followed…

MOCHI NO IE
Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Toro, 5-15-13 (Just inside the Toro Ruins Park)
Tel.: 054-263-1663
Opening hours: 10:30~17:00
Closed on Mondays

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Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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 Bistro: Ninosa in Shizuoka City!

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: excellent overall cleanliness
Prices: reasonable to slightly expensive, good value.
Strong points: Bistro-style gastronomy

For all the great restaurants, especially French and Italian, serving exquisite modern gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture there are still a few (very good) establishments creating and serving unpretentious food along more traditional/classic lines.
I recently had the occasion to sample dinner in such a restaurant, namely Ninosa, a French-style bistro located away from the bustling center of Shizuoka City.

As unpretentious it might be, they still have a very appropriate and reasonably-priced wine list. This riesling wine called Andlau from French Alsace certainly married well with the food of the day!

You can choose whether to eat the French way or the Japanese way!

The menu is easy enough to read but you might need bring a Japanese-speaking friend along!

An appetizer graciously offered with the wine!

A French bistro classic: “Fromage de Tete”!

“Fromage de Tete” in French means “Head Cheese”, and is a jelly-based terrine made with different parts of the head of a pig, notably the nose, cheeks and ears!

A dish that brought back memories from my native France!

Yummy-looking, isn’t it?

The French love North African cuisine and Ninosa has come up with a dish combining Moroccan and Japanese gastronomies:
Scallops and Snow Crab Pastilla!

It certainly looked very appetizing lying on its bed of julienned vegetables!

A great use of local vegetables!

Tender and delicate seafood inside a light and crusty pie!

Another French Bistro classic: Young Duck Roast served with Porto Wine sauce!

Cooked to perfection!

Another great use of local vegetables!

If I may allow myself a single reproach I would say that they could have served a bit more of this succulent mashed potato!

If I had to find a single reason to visit Ninosa, it would be their desserts!
Peach Compote!

The peach is served atop its own jelly!
Frankly speaking, there were too many things to taste inside this dessert! LOL

Not to mention the tantalizing home-made vanilla ice-cream!

Home-made jelly sweets with coffee for the finishing touch!

To be followed…. of course! LOL

NINOSA
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Shintori, 1-10-11
Tel.: 054-251-3502
Business hours: 11:30~13:30, 18:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays and 3rd Tuesday
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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

Maboodofu and Kinshinsai at Hano Oto!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness. Beautiful toilets
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local ingredients in beautiful Chinese Cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

Hana Oto/華音 has become an institution in Shizuoka City and it is almost impossible to find a seat at times in spite of their larger new establishment!
It is always a good idea to check regularly as at least half of their offerings are only seasonal.
This time I decided to try one “regular” and one “seasonal” offering!

For once I took a picture of their hand-written menu to make sure I remembered later!

First, the seasonal dish: Shiba Ebi to Kinshinsai No Togarashi Pikurusu Itame/芝海老と金針菜の唐辛子ピクルス炒め/Shiba shrimps and kinshinsai fried with pickled chili peppers!

For a closer look!

The unripe flower part of the kinshinsai is edible, quite soft and tasty and marries very well with other sauteed ingredients.
As for the Shiba Shrimps, these are medium-large seasonal shrimps with the right size and taste for such a dish.
The pickled chili peppers’ salt and heat combined very well with the soft taste of the kinshinsai and shrimps and their light transparent sweet and sour sauce!

On the other hand the maboodofu was of a puissant taste with some strong spices including star anise, although it wasn’t so hot!

I like the way they serve the tofu in medium-sized soft cubes that can be cut easily enough but that you can still scoop with chopsticks.
Great poured on top of plain steamed with rice!
And plenty of beer to drink with it!

To be continued…

HANA OTO/華音
420-0032 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Ryougae Cho, 5-8, Shin Kamogawa Bldg., 2F-D
Business hours: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Mondays

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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

Chicken Meatballs Spaghettini with Marutaka Farm Puree

Cooking, especially at home, shouldn’t be difficult.
The point is to find and use good ingredients

Marutaka Farm/まるたか農園 in Miyakoda, Hamamatsu City makes a truly extravagant tomato puree made with tomatoes originally grown solely to be eaten fresh. Not wishing to throw away good produce during the peak harvest season they started making this sauce with the pulp of the tomatoes with the sole addition of salt!

You can adapt it to any Italian recipes but must keep in mind it is not as concentrated as European tomato purees but more like sauces.
Each jar contains 270 g, enough to devise a recipe for two.

Chicken Meatballs Spaghettini with Marutake Farm Puree

Meat balls:
Minced chicken
Grated garlic
Grated Ginger
Japanese sake or white wine (just enough for taste)
Salt
Pepper
Mayonnaise (to liaise instead of eggs)

Above proportions are up to your taste, so experiment!
Mix the whole and make small balls.

Fry some thinly sliced onions in olive oil first in a large and fairly deep frypan onver medium high fire until they have become transparent.
Add meat balls and fry until they have change color to a light brown. Lower fire to medium low.

Start preparing the spaghettini.

Add a whole jar of Marutaka Tomato Puree and cook for a while. Add 1 large tablespoon of Port wine, 1 large tablespoon of basil sauce, pepper and a little curry mix powder. Add chili pepper powder if you like your pasta hot.

Add plenty of grape tomatoes and cook on a medium fire for a while or until spaghettini are ready.
Drain the pasta and transfer it into the sauce pan. Mix well. Add edamame and sliced black olives and mix again.

Serve hot!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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

Health Food Cafe: Cafe Belle Equipe Vegetable in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly if a bit shy
Facilities: Very clean. Beautiful toilets
Prices: Reasonable. Very good value
Strong points: Healthy food. Great set lunches. Beautiful array of cakes.

The idea of a beauty salon company opening a cafe/restaurant serving health food is a very sound idea to me. After all, it is only one step going further in taking care of the looks of one’s body!
Two years ago, Belle Equipe Co. decided to open Cafe Belle Equipe Vegetable in Tenmacho, one of the newly fashionable districts of this large city, and it was about time I paid it a visit for lunch after having cycled past it so often!

After I climbed an outside stairs and penetrated through an elaborate entrance both filled with an almost retro bric-a-brac I discovered that the place was far larger than expected.

It is basically divided into two rooms at a different level. One can choose from small tables for privacy, an enormous table seating at least twelve or the second room for even better privacy.

Individual space in Japan is at a premium and I always appreciate some form of comfortable aloofness.
Interestingly enough, customers come from all ages, a good sign of the quality.

No, they won’t propose you to eat in heaven!
The place is a bit of nicely organized jumble and is worth a second and third look as they also sell all kinds of biscuits, cakes and even objets!
As for eating and drinking, they serve lunch, dinner, drinks and cakes in the afternoon and alcohol at all times!

There was just too much to choose from for my first visit, what with more than 4 regular set lunches and two specialties of the day and an array of single dishes.
I hadn’t eaten a true hamburger for a long time, so I opted for the Hamburger Set Lunch which looked so healthy on the menu!

I must confess I was surprised at the size and generosity of the hamburger plate!

Now the hamburger had two great qualities:
-The meat being a combination of chicken and read meat, it was very light in spite of its size and was heads, shoulders and whatever above the fare of some notorious hamburger diners! And certainly far healthier!
-The sauce had been made out of real tomatoes, not something out of a cheap can!

And it was accompanied by a mountain of vegetables! Talk about good balance!

It was not all as it was served with another salad, vegetable miso soup and rice!

Kabocha and almond salad!

Rice can be ordered plain, whole or both. I opted for the latter!

I had black tea to “finish” the meal. Certainly more elegant than usual!

The sugar is individually wrapped!

Now, I must admit my health took a bit of a bashing when I just couldn’t resist choosing one of the more than 12 cakes on display!
I know that one single reason for coming back will be the investigation of those cakes!

Flan aux prunes/hard custard and prunes
Definitely not a Japanese concept!
Bother, I will have to wait until next week for my next visit unless I can manage some free time for another cake!

CAFE BELLE EQUIPE VEGETABLE
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho,, 10-1, Villa Tenmacho, 2F
Tel.: 054-251-0200
Business hours: l0:00~22:00 (11:00~22:00 on Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00~21:00 on National Holidays)
Parties (small to large) welcome! Special party menus.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, 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, My Bento Box, 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 X CANNES 2011-Part 2

The cities of Shizuoka and Cannes in France (you know, the Cannes Film Festival!) have been sister cities for quite a while now.
The citizens of Shizuoka have been holding their own event every year in the middle of May in Shikencho Street in Aoi Ku in Shizuoka City.
This year Agrigraph joined the event as a great opportunity to introduce local farmers and their produce.
This year the event is held on May 14th and 15th as well as on the 21st and 22nd of May from 13:00 to 17:00 in Shichikencho. You still have tomorrow left! Do visit and I can guarantee you will discover quite a few things to your liking!

This time our stand concentrated on vegetables from Iwata City and sandwiches by Subway Company made with them!

Among the vegetables from that city featured organic lettuce, enormous luccola and small red daikon/radishes.
We also had some beautiful corn (that can be eaten raw. They are so sweet!) and various kinds of tomatoes!

Great sets for ridiculously low prices: 1 large lettuce + 1 enormous bunch of luccola, 1 bunch of small red daikon and 2 big corn ears for 980 yen. All top-class restaurants ingredients!

Three types of sandwiches by Subway Co.!

I chose the fresh vegetables and balsamico one!

Quite appetizing, isn’t it?

Nice bread!

Nice contents!

The event is being held again tomorrow on Aoba Koen/Aoba Park Street in Shizuoka City Aoi Ku from 12:00 to 17:00.
The Agrigraph stand is near the fountain bowl!
From what I saw today, tomorrow promises to be busy!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass, Foodhoe’s Foraging
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!

“Real Food Restaurant” Italytei

Service: Very friendly and attentive. slow food!
Equipment: Great general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Mainly local vegetables. Vegetarian meal ok!. Local sake, too!
Completely Non smoking!

Many Japanese and expats have special priorities when coming to a restaurant.
It could be a non-smoking establishement, the possibility of eating vegetarian cuisine, or simply healthy food in a healthy environement.
Real Food Restaurant Italytei could very well be the one you are looking for in Shizuoka City!

It is not easy to find in the basement street of Gofuku-cho street but it is worth the search!

Great traceabilty as half of their vegetables come from Matsuki Bio Farm or Nagomi Organic Farm in Fujinomiya City or from their own garden tended by Mrs. Akutsu.
As for meat, pork is first class LYV pork also from Fujinomiya City. Even the whole rice/genmai/玄米 is Shizuoka-grown!

If you are in a hurry hust buy one of their take-away meals or bento boxes!

Food is for omnivores but they can make it completely vegetarian with some advance notice. Might be a good idea to strike a special relation with the Owner/Chef mr. Aritsune Akutsu, a very affable gentleman worth knowing. Ask him about his vegetable jams!

You can also devise your own meal by choosing from the display window!

A very rural atmosphere inside!

I chose the tray on my last visit!
Certainly very healthy looking!

Organic Carrot Soup!

Roasted organic vegetables and home-made ham salad!

Organic vegetables open quiche and whole rice!

Will have to further investigate it for my health-conscious friends!

Real Food Restaurant Italytei/リアルフードレストラン伊太リ亭
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 3-4, Basement of Gofuku Cho
Tel.: 054-251-0456
Opening hours: 11:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Private parties possible
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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!

Shizuoka Ekiben/Railway Station Bento: Oyako Meshi

I suppose many have heard of the Japanese delicacy called oyakodon/親子丼, meaning a pot/plate filled with rice with a topping made a chicken omelette (in Hokkaido it is salmon and salmon’s roe!).
“Oyako” means “parent and child”. In this case it means chicken and eggs. As don/丼/pot or plate does not qualify this ekiben is called “meshi/めし/rice or meal.
I bought it today at Shizuoka JR Railway Station at the Tokaiken Co. booth.

This particular ekiben being a very long best seller the original design is a bit retro!

For a better look after having taken the thread and chopsticks away!

It is not so big but quite deep and there is plenty inside it!

Now, what do we have here?

As seen from above the meshi/rice is topped with simmered chicken (no fat or skin), Japanese scrambled egg in “soboro” style (It is sweet) and green peas.

Once you dig in you realize this is “mazegohan/混ぜご飯 or mixed rice” (They also call it sakurahan/桜飯/cherry rice), a typical Japanese way of preparing rice. The rice has been mixed with the chicken pieces and fine strips of bamboo shoot, kamaboko/fish paste cake and burdock/gobou/牛蒡 root! Very tasty rice, indeed!

As for the side dish: nimono/simmered items/煮物, carrot, lotus root, fuki/giant butterbur stems, burdock root, tofu cake, konnyaku/elephant tuber.

The Japanese would never have their ekiben or bento without some pickles!
In this case daikon in umeboshi juice and cucumber!

To be continued…

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
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!