Tag Archives:  美食

7 US$ Sashimi Plate!

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The Missus welcomed me back home last night with her “triumphant smile”. By this, I knew she had made a good bargain at one of the nearby supermarkets.
Good, I will be able to humor her more easily, I thought (sly macho reaction,…)
Anyway, she had noticed a good sashimi set being sold for 1,000 yen (about 11 US$) at Coop Supermarket but could not decide whether to buy it or not (it was about 5:00 p.m.) and proceeded forward. But her feminine (sorry!) instincts called her back as this was just the time when bargains start at this good (and very reasonable) big supermarket chain. The price had gone down to 600 yen (about 7 US$)!

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(from right to left: “Tai/Seabream”, “Shake or sake/Salmon” and “Kanpachi/Amberjack)

I don’t have to tell you with what relish she grabbed it!
She had the sashimi already seved on a plate on the dining room table for me to admire. I decided to take a pic, but she said that the dsiplay was not good enough for a pic!
I waited for her to go back to the kitchen and took my mobile phone out to take a few pics in a hurry!
The pics are of poor quality, I must admit, but I hope it will give some ideas to my friends!

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(from right to left: “Tonbo maguro/Tuna Variety, “Ika/Squid” and “Mebachi maguro/Big-eyed tuna”)

All seafood, except for the salmon are apparently from Shizuoka Prefecture. No wonder it is so cheap (even in Japan)

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First Sashimi Set of the Year at Tomii!


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tomii-09-06

Yesterday evening, being hungry late at work, I just took a “break” and went for a (slightly extravagant!) quick fix at my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Apart of the usual appetizer, I was served the following “O-Tsukuri/Sashimi set” (See above picture, from left to right, top first):

-“Buri/Japanese Amberjack” on a cushion of fresh sprouts
-“Hon-maguro no Akami/Bluefin tuna lean part” with “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers”
-“Inada/young Japanese Amberjack”. The difference with Buri is that the flesh is still white. On a “Shiso no Happa/Perilla Leaf” and a radish slice
-“Madai/True Snapper-Seabream”
-“Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp)
-“Uni/Sea Urchin)
-Freshly grated “Wasabi/Green Japanese Horseradish”
-“Kou-Ika/wide-bodied cuttlefish variety

Heavens!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Sashimi at Tomii: The Epitome of Excellency!


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Many people have been asking me: “How can you afford that?”
Well, I don’t smoke and I don’t drive, either. I can imagine what some people in the Northern part of the US might tell me… and I don’t care!
All that “saved” money goes into good food, good drink, good travel and improved relations with my (better, ok for this time!) half! And nothing for those “poor” doctors out there!

I’ve been a regular customer at Tomii in Shizuoka City for many, many, many reasons. But the one I value most is that everyone at this great Japanese restaurant are willing to talk about, explain and extoll the virtues of their craft. Craft, I said? It is probably nearer to artistry as Melinda, Etsuko and Tim will vouch for me!

Anyway, to write a story short, I just popped at Tomii this evening (yes, I’m writing this just after I came back to “work”), and asked for a sashimi plate (well, this is not the way to ask it: You should say: “O-tsukuri, kudasai!”). I did not need to tell them what to serve me. I wouldn’t even have dared!
On the other hand, they didn’t mind explaining no less than three times to make sure that the old geezer got his stuff right!

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From right to left:
“Kiiro Ninjin”?Yellow Carrot (sashimi is not all about fish, vegetables are rapidly becoming an essential part of the picture!), “Beni Daikon”/Red (“rouge”) Daikon, “Wasabina/not wasabi, but a leaf vegetable with a similar taste!”, “Hirame/Sole”, “Hime Daikon/Princess Daikon”, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers (edible as Rowena will agree!) on top of “Toro/Tuna Fatty Part) and “Bakudai No Ki no Mi/Impossible to translate”, only that it is an edible part from a tree (sorry, I was not attentive enough!)!

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From right to left:
“Uni/Sea Urchin Roe” (in front) with freshly grated “Wasabi/Japanese Horseradish” (let me tell for the umpteenth time that wasabi was first grown in Shizuoka City in the 17th Century and that Shizuoka Prefecture still produces 80% of the world total!), “Ishidai/Ishidai Snapper” just behind, the green daikon is called “Uguisu Daikon/Nightingale Daikon”, “Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp”, and “kanpachi/Japanese Amberjack” just behind!

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From right to left:
“Kuroi Daikon/Black Daikon”, “Aori Ika/Aori Cuttlefish”, “Akami/Lean Tuna” on a “Shiso no happa/perilla leaf”. To back it up a mixture of seasonal sprouts: “Kushinsai + Soba no Mi (Buckwheat) + Cress (from Shizuoka like most of them) + Kawaire Daikon + Cabbage + Broccoli” (about time you call a local farmer for explanations!)!

Small servings they might look, but I challenge anyone to find better quality!
Now, for people who really want to know it, you will have to fork out at least three times as much in Tokyo, and as far the US and Europe are concerned, you might as well start riding a bicycle like I do!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

What is wrong with fast food?

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lojol1
By Patrick Harrington

_What is wrong with fast food?_

by Patrick Harrington

A lot.
The two big advantages are speed and price, but there are a number of
common grievances:
1. Food quality ranges from poor to crap.
2. Food is cooked from frozen, further diminishing the quality.
3. Premises are awful plastic-furnitured, fat-smelling cubes.
4. Staff wear false smiles and couldn’t care if we have a nice day or not.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

On a street corner in Thailand I once had a flash-fried vegetable dish cooked in a heartbeat. The vegetables were all local and fresh, and the chef simply spun them around a hot wok and emptied them straight onto a plate. This was the fastest food I have ever eaten. Delicious and wholesome.
And I’m sure the readers here can quote lots more examples that they have encountered on their travels.

If it can be done in Thailand, then why not in Japan, the US, Europe etc?

What is wrong with fast food? Nothing, in the right hands.

Wasabi: Japanese Horseradish


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As winter is approaching again I felt compelled to write again in this Shizuoka Gourmet Blog an article I had written some time ago in Shizuoka Sushi Blog.
Wasabi harvest will soon start in earnest in Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Utougi (along the Abe River), the birthplace of wasabi (c. 1600) as shown in picture above.
They will soon appear on the markets and Internet all over the country. A sizeable amount is also directly exported to South Korea and theU.S.
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Wasabi: Japanese green horseradish

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Did you know that wasabi originated from Shizuoka City?
Around 1600, farmers in Utougi District, some 33 km from Shizuoka JR STation along the Abe River, first started experimenting with the culture of that particular plant, which they already knew as a wild vegetable used for pickling. At the time they were only processing the stems, leaves and flowers.

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This is still a very popular kind of pickles in Shizuoka where they are sold in season.
In 1604, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had just moved to Sumpu (presently Shizuoka City), grew extremely fond of the grated root and helped spread its use all over the country. Its present culture has expanded outside our Prefecture, especially in Nagano, but Shizuoka still produces the best In Utougi and in the Amagi Range in Izu Peninsula (80% of the total Japanese production!).
The above-ground part of the plant is also used for making delicious “wasabi zuke” with “sake kasu” (Sake white lees). You can imagine why Shizuoka products are of so high quality when you realize what “sake kasu” is being used!
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In my own biased opinion, the best “wasabi zuke” is made by Tamaruya Company in Shizuoka City.
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Above picture was taken in Haneda Airport where the Company has its own stand!

Now, if you want to buy and serve your own “wasabi”, which I would recommend to any real Japanese cuisine amateur, you will need a wasabi grater.
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If you want to visit Utougi, where you will find a soba restaurant and other shops as well as the possibility of trekking and festivals watching in April and October, either go by car (55 minutes) or take a bus (bus platform 7 at Shizuoka JR Station/75 minutes). The trip along along the Abe River is worth it with all the changing landscapes!
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Now, you might not know it, but thinly sliced wasabi root is not as strong as grated wasabi. In Shizuoka, as it is not that expensive, try and ask your favourite sushi chef to cut it in very thin strips and roll as it is in a “maki”. It’s called “bakudan maki” (the real one, not the buster made with grated wasabi!). A favourite of mine!

Note: Wasabi is proper food for vegans!