Shizuoka Izakaya: Kobayashi

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If you are hungry and thirsty, on your way to the station after a long day’s work, but not in a hurry, Kobayashi is certainly one of the most natural places to visit.
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It stands at a corner just before the back entrance of parco Dept. Store, only a few minutes walk from your train (or your next destination?). The present (young) generation looking after the establishment is the third one following the steps of its founder in the 1950’s.
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Both officionados of “oden” (fish paste balls and others slowly cooked in Japanese broth) and “kushiyaki” (japanese brochettes) will findtheir favourite morsels there. Note that the “oden” are very much “Shizuoka-style”, that cooked a long time and comparatively of daek colour, although the broth was lighter than in some other typical “odenya”
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As for drinks, local patrons enjoy the usual fare, but I had the pleasure to discover a local sake on sale, Sugunishiki Honjozo (Sugii Brewery, Fujieda City). If you on your way back to another Prefecture, make sure to taste it!

Kobayashi
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya Machi, 5-1
Tel.: 054-2524932
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays

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Umeshu by Shidaizumi Brewery

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I already the occasion to taste this new umeshu (“Japanese plum liqueur”) when I visited Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City last August before it was put on sale. But due to a hectic schedule before leaving fro France, I did not have the time to make any report.
To amend for the hiatus, I bought and tasted a bottlelast night!

This umeshu is made with sake and ume/Japanese local plum extract, making it quite extravagant in comparison to what is usually marketed as “umeshu”)
The alcohol contenet is not so high at only 11 degrees.

Clarity: very clear

Colour: light orang-pink

Aroma: dry plums, drier than expected.

Body: light and smooth.

Taste: Complex and elegant. Drier than expected. Easy to drink and calling for a second and a third sip. Welcome acidity lingering over the palate

Overall: a great aperitif or refreshing drink on a hot summer day/night. Elegant. Adult. Deserves to stand beside European first-class fruit alcohols. Best drunk chilled or on the rocks.

Shizuoka Beer 3-1: Wind Valley Beer/Kaze No Tani no Biru-Weizen

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Wind Valley Beer/Kaze no Tani no Biru (風の谷のビール)Weizen is brewed by a Company located at the foot of Mount Fuji. It sells various kinds of products from organic fruit juices to dairies.
Its beers are sold under the label Oratche.

This particular beer is an organic beer using 50% of wheat malt.
It is unfiltered and should be kept in a cold environment because of its live yeast.

Clarity: smoky (unfiltered)
Colour: golden
Foam: light, tends to disappear quickly
Aroma: light, oranges, yeast, banana, cloves
Taste:: very yeasty taste, dry withe a strong accent on cloves.

Overall: A beer very remiscent of German Weizen. Refreshing and light with a sharp character, but does not linger too long. Would go very with cheese and cold meats.

Homepage (Japanese)

Simple Recipes: Dragonfruit Shoots Tempura

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The Missus came back home last night with an unsual “vegetable”: Dragon Fruit Shoots.
The Japanese have come with the best idea to sample any new vegetable: tempura!
Technically speaking it originated in Portugal whose sailors introduced it to Japan a few centuries ago. The word itself is Portuguese.
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My better (worse?) cut them into halves and prepared batter. She favours her own style, heavier than the Japanese, but lighter than the European/American “fritters”
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She took the opportunity to add some other tempura made with shrimps and goya.
Served with ma-cha tea powder and salt mixed with sakura/cherry blossoms powder, it just turned out perfect with beer and sake!

Shizuoka Beer 2-1: Bayern Meister Beer-Prinz

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Bayern Maeister Beer Co. Ltd. is based in Fujinomiya City and has employed for some while a Master Brewer from Southern Germany called Stefan Rage who is deservedly making his own name in the Shizuoka microbrewery world.

“Prinz” is the first brew I had the pleasure to taste.

Product name: Prinz Draught beer
Contents volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5.5%
Ingredients: malt, hops and live yeast all imported from Southern Germany.

Clarity: clear and clean
Colour: Golden
Foam: solid and regular
Aroma: both light and sharpish/grapefruit-Oranges
Taste: Light, easy to drink. Welcome acidity/light oranges and grapefruit. Lingers on the palate.

Comments: Refreshing and reassuringly solid.Goes very well with food. A good summer drink.

Bayern Meister Beer Co. Ltd.
Shizuoka Prefecture, Fujinomiya City, Kami-Ideji, Kawaharatan, 1254-1
Tel.: 0544-443311

Shizuoka Beer 1-1: Tenjingura Weizen

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Since we are in the middle of an extraordinarily hot summer, it is about time we delve in the local beers! And there are more than you might think! Considering the abundance of great water in Shizuoka Prefecture, we should wonder why we are not afloat lakes of beers put out by local breweries!

The first of a (hopefuly) long series shall start with a brew by Tenjingura Brewery in Hamamtsu City:

Name: Tenjingura Beer-Weizen
Yeast: German Weizen yeast
Ingredients: More than 50% Wheat malt
Volume: 330 ml
Alcohol: 5%

Colour: Nice darkish amber
Clarity: Clear
Foam: fine and disappearing quickly
Aroma: Bread, yeast
Body: Velvety on the palate
Taste: Fruity, Yeasty, bread

Comments: Both refreshing and nourishing. Almsot sweet with very little acidity. A beer for all seasons.

Tenjingura/Hamamatsu Brewery-Distillery
420-0808 Shizuoka Ken, Hamamatsu City, Tenjin Machi, 3-57
Tel.: 053-4616145
Fax: 053-4633851
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Izakaya: Nanase

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It was the turn of Mr. Kawashima, a member of our “Monthly Monday Eatout Group” to choose our meting place in August, and he elected for our ever-growing group (we accounted for 7 participants this time!) an original izakaya called Nanasei.
The restaurant was created 6 years ago by Mrs. Junko Sunada on the first floor of the large house she lives in with her family.
Actually the first floor consists of a counter (see picture above, sitting 6) and a Japanese tatami room (sitting 6~7).
The place is very comfortable and easy-going but sophisticated at the same time, all that for comparatively reasonable price. You have more the impression to eat at home than in izakaya/restaurant. It makes the place all the more attractive for small groups searching relative peace and quiet in an intimate environment.
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Mrs. Sunada makes a great use of local products, especially vegetables, with an accent on lightness and familiar (as of family) tastes, all the while creating original cuisine for all to enjoy, whatever the age or gender. A vegetarian (that I am not) could very well order or reserve a full meal there!
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The more you eat, the more you feel like drinking, and I have a suspicion that Mrs. Sunada has mastered the art to induce a customer into sampling her drinking menu!
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Now, the last is the real reason behind our friend’s choice!
As he is a fervent lover of sake, the menu gives him ample cause for rejoicing apart of the beer and wine:
I will cite only the truly local sake among the long list:
Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City)
Shosetsu (Kanzawagawa Brewery, Yui City)
Hatsukame (Okabe-cho, Sida Gun)
Karakkaze (Hana No Mai Brewery, Hamamatsu City)

I would recommend Nanasei both to couples and groups who wish to share a gastronomic adventure away from the tussle of the town.
Set menus and a la carte are available. I would suggest both for value and interest to choose the set menu of the day and eventually add one or two more dishes if you are still hungry!

Nanase
Address: 420-0833 Shizuoka City, Higashi Takajo 2-40 (Go up Kitakaido from Shin Shizuoka Center, turn right at Casino Pachinko, second corner)
Tel.: 054-2495551
Fax: 054-2486644
Business hours: 17:30~22:30
Closed on Sundays and 2nd and 3rd Mondays
Reservations advised