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

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, 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

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“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
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

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

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

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!

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