Sake & Sushi
Ekimae Natuno Sushi (revisited)
As the grotty weather last Sunday prevented any cricket to be played, I just went to do some « work » at my classroom. When lunch came, I decided it was about time I paid a visit to an old favourite sushi restaurant of mine, namely Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in fornt of Shizoka City JR Station.
They do make a point to serve local fish whenever practical and last Sunday was no exception!
And they serve Shizuoka Sake only!
The « sashimi no moriawase »/sashimi plate were all fish (as well as all other fish cited in this article) brought from Yaizu Harbour in Central Shizuoka Prefecture:
From left to right:
-« Akami »/tuna lean part
-« Yari Ika »/cuttle-fish (calamari)
-« Kawahagi to Kimo »/filefish cut in thin strips and mixed with its own liver. Sweet dipped in a mixture of three different miso paste rice vinegar!
-« Bora »/mullet. So fresh there was no need for soy sauce. Just a little « yuzu »?lime juice was perfect!
The chef recommended a couple of seasonal morsels:
the first one, above, was « Tachiuo Aburi »/scabbard fish lightly grilled on one side. Just a little salt, wasabi and lime juice. The meat melts away between your teeth!
As for dessert I asked for « Tamagoyaki »/Japanese omelette (not shown) and « Kanpyou Maki »/dry gourd shavings maki!
Her are my tastig notes for the sake:
Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City): Chuumasa Junmai Ginjo
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled: April 2008
Clarity: Very clear
Aroma: Dry, light and fruity: Pineapple, ricey
Taste: Short tail. Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: Pineapple, almonds, nuts, coffee beans.
Nice acid finish with bitter chocolate, coffee beans and banan.
Turns drier with food with a strong comeback by coffee beans and almonds, although it did suprised me with a sweetish finish at times.
Overall: A « Shizuoka Type » Sake.
Very elegant, pleasant and easy to drink.
Great with sushi and sashimi.
Strong character and many facets revealed all way through.
Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oyuki Cho, 9-3 (just across from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit after Matsuzakaya Dept)
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK
Douman Crab at Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumii Aji Sushi Restaurant
« Douman » is the name of a very rare crab of fairly large proportions exclusively caught in Summer in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Fishermen will be lucky if they manage to find 2 or 3 specimen caught in their nets in a single day for the whole lake!
It has become one of the symbols of the area as demonstrated by the rice/kome shochu of the same name brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
Consequently only a few privileged establishments may serve it from time to time.
One such place is Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumii Aji Sushi Restaurant, a little secret place of mine.
As introduced in other articles, it is tucked away from the city bustle south of Hamamatsu JR Station.
I make a point to reserve a seat or two before I visit them as hey will make sure to keep a bottle of Shizuoka Sake just for me.
Last Friday, they just happened to have an excellent bottle from a favourite Brewery of mine, namely Hatsukame in Okabe Cho.
That particular brand, called « Fujisan », is a honjozo made with rice from Toyama Prefecture and yeast from Shizuoka Prefecture, perfect in summer with sushi and seafood!
Light food was on order as it had been an excessively hot day now that the rainy season is finally off our heads.
Pickled myoga, and ham and avocado salad were perfect with the first couple of glasses of chilled sake.
With a kitchen conveniently closed away, Suehiro has the knack to serve the right mixture of sashimi, sushi and cooked fare which ensures you will not leave the place worrying about a still empty stomach.
Mind you, this is an expat notion which does not count for the Japanese habit to visit at least two or three different places in the same night.
We opted for some akami/lean tuna and suzuki/seabass sashimi and a plate of Hamana Lake prawns deep-fried inside Spring rolls.
Finally we were ready for the Douman Crab!
My friend took the opportunity to order a glass of shochu of the same name while I gamely took care of the sake.
In Hamamatsu City they just serve it steamed as it is without any dressing or seasoning.
And our half (can you imagine the price of a whole one?) did not need any whatsoever. It came very full of so soft, tasty, even sweet meat that you naturally take your time savouring a little at a time with chopsticks. Forbid a fork or spoon!
I’m afraid this will be my first and last time I experience such a delicacy. That is unless Suehiriro calls me (and other customers?) next time they chance upon one (two would be impossible, so do not plan a party!)
We still hjad one more morsel before we left for the Liquid Kitchen, a bar held by a cricket friend of mine: Hamana Lake anago/conger eel and ikura/salmon roe sushi.
As this restaurant always comes up with local delicacies on a purely seasonal basis, I wonder what will compel me to visit it again!
SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30＆17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday
SUSHIYA NO ICHI
Ken Ichikawa is a bit of character. As a youngster, he actually enjoyed prowling the roads of Shizuoka with other hot rodder friends! He even went as far as Australia for a work stint before coming back to Shizuoka City and open his restaurant.
In spite of this somewhat macho maverick reputation, his sushi are designed for everyone, but with a special thought for calories-conscious ladies who wish to cut on the rice. His offerings are definitely edomae-style sushi.
His sashimi are simply of first and foremost quality. In spite of the consequent prices, you cannot resist the maguro toro and akami (fat and lean parts)!
Shizuoka Katsuo/Bonito has to be perfect as this is THE specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture!
Do ot hesitate to ask him about the fish and shellfish (and vegetables!) of the day. He will serve them raw as sashime or sushi, or cook them to perfect simplicity. Try the lightly cooked oysters and ikura/salmon roe mini-donburi!
As for myself, I never fail to ask for his ankimo/Japanese foie gras in season!
When you ask for sushi, Mr. Ichikawa will always propose diverse variations. For example, would you like your hirame/sole with lime and Okinawa snow salt instead of dipping it in the soy sauce?
Would you like the wasabi under or on top of your anago/conger eel? and so on…
Hint: just ask him to prepare two different « kan/piece » of the same fish!
There are so many morsels to try that a single article will not do him justice!
You can expect a few more postings in the near future!
Now, last but not least, Mr. Ichikawa has a great selection of Shizuoka sake, too!
Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Masu-Ichi (Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kasawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho) and Kokkou (Fukuroi City)!
What’s better that jizake for sushi, I’m asking you! LOL
Sushiya no Ichi
420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 2-7-1
Closed on Mondays
Parties possible upstairs
Credit Cards OK
SUSHI TETSU OHSHIO
Every sushi restaurant worthy of its name will come up with a specialty or two making it worth visiting and introducuing to friends.
Well, in the case of Sushi Tetsu Ohshio Restaurant in Shizuoka City, almost next to the large Sengen Shrine (you could combine the two, actually), I was lucky as it was not one but two morsels out of the ordinary which will entice me to come again.
I have in my mind that Chuck and Foodhoe would be definitely interested!
As the third generation, Kazuhiro Ohshio, is also a blog and fishing devotee, I went as far as ordering the following dish by e-mail!
« Shirako Yuzu Kamayaki »/shirako/Cod Sperm Sacs cooked with Clams and mushrooms in a white miso-based bechamel inside a large yuzu/lime!
While I was waiying for it to be ready, I first oredered a plate of sashimi:
Hirame/Sole, Maguro/Tuna, Kuro Ika, Kuro Squid, and Aji/Saurel. Fine little morsels, I can assure you!
I could not resist ordering the Ankimo/Frogfish Liver when I saw it under the show window glass!
Simply served with ponzu, chopped leeks and momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper. Pefect!
I ordered the private brand sake, a junmai nama by Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, and exchanged a few words with Mr. Kazuhiko Ohshio, the second generation whose father first opened their restaurant about 56 years ago.
I actually noticed later they were also serving a kome/rice shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture from the same Brewery. I have rarely seen any Sushi Restaurant both serving a sake and shochu made in our Prefecture!
My « treat » finally came, and I slowly savoured it with the utmost concentration! What could I call it? A Japanese-style « vol-au-vent »? I simply will have to try and make it at home! Luckily the chef was kind enough to give me the recipe.
I did not have much time for that first visit, so I asked for my bill.
But I was asked to stay a few minutes to enjoy the « dessert » offered on the house to all customers at the end of their meal.
Now, I’m sure that even Chuck will feel he has to sample it!
You will not find this « nothing to get excited about » morsel in the chef’s words outside Shizuoka Prefecture: a mousse (according to the chef, although I would call it a blanc-mange) made with sake-kasu/sake, white lees collected after the sake is pressed, topped with Shizuoka wasabi pickled in sake-kasu and a sweet sauce again made with sake-kasu!
Problem is, as it is a seasonal recipe, it will not be served very long and I might have to wait until next year to savour it again!
Sushui Tetsu Ohshio
420-0862 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Sengen Cho, 1-36
Credit Cards OK
Business hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Last Thursday (May 17th), my better (worse?) half and I thought it was about hight time to pay a visit to our favourite Sushi Restauarant In Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko (not to be confused with its parent establishment in Tamachi).
The main reasons why it is our favourite is because:
1) the fish and all food are of superior quality
2) the prices are clearly posted up
3) it has sake and shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now for sake lovers, Sushi Ko has the following Shizuoka Jizake among its list:
Kan (hot): Fujinishiki Honjoozo (extravagant for a hot sake!)
By the glass: Isojiman Honjozo, Shosetsu Tokubetsu Honjozo, Kikuyoi Junmai, & Kokkou Ginjo
300 ml bottles: Fujinishiki Junmai Ginjo, Masuichi Ginjo
And one superlative kome/rice shochu, Fuji no Shizuku by Fujinisiki!
As for the sushi just judge from what we sampled:
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae Cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Business hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 on Sundays
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK