Service: Excellent and very friendly. Very Japanese atmosphere.
Facilities: good washroom facilities. Great cleanliness overall
Strong points: Splendid use of local vegetables, meat and seafood! Great sake from Shizuoka and Japan Great Shochu. Home-made umeshu.
Kenya Yoshimura/吉村健也, the owner-chef of Uzu in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, although it is celebrated as one of true exponents of Shizuoka Gastronomy, has always averred that his establishment will be first and always an izakaya!
In Shizuoka City this is a fine line which is easily crossed over and over by many establishments, whatever the genre, in a rare region of Japan where almost all ingredients are available all year round!
It is Paul Bocuse who said, “There are no great chefs, only great ingredients!”. A bit simplistic, although it could be very well the best way to describe gastronomy in this Prefecture!
Kan Sawara Aburi/寒鰆炙り/Seared “Cold Weather” Spanish mackerel
To put it briefly, it had become grand time to pay a visit to Uzu in Shizuoka City and check what seasonal fares were on offer!
Spanish mackerels come back in reduced numbers through the Suruga Bay in Autumn and they are best appreciated seared on the skin and served in fairly thick and tender sashimi!
Kenya exclusively uses wasabi roots from a single producer up the Abe River/安倍川 in Umegashima/梅ヶ島. He added that he uses only medium-sized roots for best taste!
Take your time before choosing your drink and do not hesitate to ask for advice!
I chose a beautifully strong Ginjyou Genshu by Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe/Fujieda City!
Always served in glassware or earthenware created by local artists!
I always order the seasonal “goro goro” salad mainly consisting of local organic vegetables lightly sauteed beforehand before being seasoned into a magnificent salad. Enough to feed a vegetarian!
Can you see the chestnuts in front cooked whole with their crispy “skins”. A discovery!
For another view!
Bear in mind that this is a very limited offering you had better order in advance on a busy night!
Uzu is one one of the few establishments in Shizuoka to offer Mokomodake/もこもだけ/Manchurian Wild Rice whose swollen crisp white stems are edible in many manners!
In season Kenya simply serves them grilled with mayonnaise!
Another great treat for vegetarians!
Last for the night we ordered a truly extravagant and rare delicacy only found in Shizuoka!
Grilled thigh of Amagi Shamo Chicken/天城軍鶏 exclusively bred by Mr. Horie/堀江さん in Izu Peninsula and served with a fresh wasabi dressing!
This is arguably the best chicken in Japan and it certainly tastes more like game than anything else!
To be followed…
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Credit cards OK
Entirely non-smoking on Sundays!
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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