Tag Archives: 居酒屋

Japanese Izakaya: Odakkui

The first snack comes with a message!

Service: Very friendly
Facilities: Old but clean. Interesting and clean washroom!
Prices: appropriate
Strong points: Local traditional cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

Izakayas are the pillar of Japanese gastronomy as they are the best indication of any local food enjoyed in any particular region.
Naturally there are izakayas and izakayas!
To discover a worthy establishment you need only follow a few rules of the thumb:
A good izakaya serves:
-Local food made with local ingredients whenever possible.
-Variety in cooked and raw dishes
-At least one or two superlative local sake (or local drinks)
-A good choice of drinks to satisfy all tastes and priorities.
The (necessary) extras are:
-Conviviality
-Keen interest in customers’ requests
-Traditional atmosphere

Oddakui, although a celebrated (reserve your seat beforehand!) institution in Shizuoka City it is not easy to find as it is located on the second floor of an unremarkable building. Look for the sign below, and…

and above your head!

The MOTH: Naofumi Ohshiro/大代直史!

Naofumi is not only a great izakaya oyakata, he is also a remarkable business as he opened Yasaitei/やさい亭 with the help of Chef Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 to offer a complementary establishment to his customers with an accent on vegetables while Odakkui/おだっ喰い serves typical izakaya food from sashimi to oden and croquettes (the last two a must!)

Naofumi has his customers’ bien-être at heart: a message greets each of them wrapped around the chopsticks!
One problem with such establishments is trying to take pictures without a flash!
But don’t worry, do refer to Odakkui’s Homepage for a great rendition of their food and atmosphere!

The little details that make a place so welcoming!

A great sake from Shizuoka: Shisizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!
The ladies must try the umeshu made with brown sugar!

This salad is called “Shizuoka Umare Sarada/静岡生まれサラダ/Shizuoka Birthplace Salad!
it is made with mitsuba/三つ葉/Japanese honeywort and shirasu/シラス/hard mouth sardine whitebait!
Shizuoka Prefecture is known all over Japan for its shirasu!

The whitefish has been steamed and cooled down beforehand.
With avocado in between, it certainly makes for a complete and healthy dish!

Although the menu is worth exploring, you ought to sample their suigyoza/dumplings in soup!
Even the Chinese would come for that!

They (or the Vietnamese!) would also come for the Raw Spring Rolls!

Yummy and so healthy again!

The customers are always offered a dessert before leaving: Brûlé Pudding and Strawberry Sorbet! Another detail which spells the difference!
Sorry for the fuzzy picture!

This is only a short start as I must sample their croquettes, oden and sashimi! LOL

ODAKKUI/おだっ喰い
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa Cho, 1-8-1, Aoba Yokocho, 2F
Tel.]Fax: 054-253-6900
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE

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

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Hatada Garden Leaf Ginger at Yasaitei!

Ms. Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋, chef at Yasaitei.

I said in my previous article that there are many Shizuoka products worthwhile introducing not only to the general public but also to restaurants who work hard promoting food originating from our Prefecture.
Another such place is Yasaitei in Shizuoka City!

Like in the other article, after having interviewed Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克 at Hatada Garden/畑田農園 in Kuno/久能 in Shizuoka City, I called Ms. Suzuki to tell her I was bringing fresh leaf ginger and I wished her to create some dishes with it to which se immediately genially agreed! Yasatei thus the second restaurant I visited on that day!

I had my usual (I’m a regular there, too…) glass of Doman Shochu (brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery in Hamamatsu City) with a snack consisting of kogomi/こごみ/ostrich fern in sesame dressing.

Aki keeps things simple with a respect for the natural taste of ingredients.
The first serving was the leaf ginger cut and served with red miso paste. A great snack for the shochu!

Keeping in mind I wanted something light to accompany the drink, she lightly fried in olive oil and a minimum of salt and pepper thin strips of leaf ginger, bacon and strips of yellow sweet pimentoes.

Great balance between the salty taste of bacon, the sweetness of pimentoes and spiciness of the ginger!

She was back in true vegetarian mode for the last dish:

A salad of very lightly fried strips of leaf ginger and cucumber topped with thin strips of raw radishes for an interesting and slightly piquant salad!

Did I say I was enjoying my work at Agrigraph? LOL

YASAITEI/野菜亭
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Hatada Garden Leaf Ginger at Mando!

Mr. Takeshi Hirai/平井武, Manager of Mando Restaurant

There are many Shizuoka products worthwhile introducing not only to the general public but also to restaurants who work hard promoting food originating from our Prefecture.
One such place is Mando in Shizuoka City!

Mando, Neo-Japanesque Bar, is the third restaurant of the BECK Co., Ltd with Cafe & Bar Cherry Beans and World Beer Restaurant GROW STOCK.
Mando is particularly interesting to me as they serve food in tapas style and are always looking for new products.
After having interviewed Toshikatsu Hatada/畑田敏克 at Hatada Garden/畑田農園 in Kuno/久能 in Shizuoka City, I called Mr. Hirai to tell him I was bringing fresh leaf ginger and I wished him to create some dishes with it. He genially agreed and I was no my way to his restaurant!

Mr. Hirai usually does not work inside the kitchen, although he is a fully-qualified chef, but he wouldn’t let anyone taking care of a product he knew, but not that of a producer he was aware of.

He marinated some of the fresh leaf ginger into hot amazu/sweet vinegar for later use, although it could be eaten right away as a snack with a drink, which I did. beautiful combination, like eating a dessert on a stick!

The Japanese love their leaf ginger fresh as they are with some miso paste. Mr. Hirai served some to me with white sweet miso. They didn’t last long! They go well with any drink!

He then came up with sawara/鰆/Spanish Mackerel (it the season in Shizuoka right now), fried with Japanese sake and a little yuzu koshio/柚子胡椒/lime pepper paste and served with a stick of leaf ginger marinated in amazu. Perfect marriage for a great fish!

Leaf Ginger Pork Belly Roll Fritters!

The last dish was a delicacy that Japanese and expats alike would kill for!
Using thin slices of Shizuoka-bred pork belly, he wrapped them around leaf ginger before dipping them in batter. The whole were deep-fried and served with a beautiful salt and pepper mixture.

For a different view!

Decidedly, my work for Agrigraph is becoming sheer fun!

Mando, Neo Japanesque Bar
420-0031, Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-6, Mori Blg, 1F
Tel/Fax: 054-221-5103
Business hours: 17:00~26:00
Parties possible on 2F
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Yamako: A tiny Izakaya Hidden in the Mountains of Mariko!

Hiroyuki and Mie Kondoh/近藤広幸、美枝

If you feel energetic (mind you, you can go there by car, but then no alcohol! LOL), take your bicycle and venture in the mountains of Mariko, one of the most celebrated stages on the Old Tokaido Road.

After all, it is only a 50-minute ride from Shizuoka JR Station. You can also take a bus until very near and walk for 1.5 km through real rural Japan!

There, you will find, almost at the end of the road, a tiny izakaya called !Yamako/山幸”/”Mountain Happiness”!
It was re-opened by the amiable Kondohs 10 years ago after Mie’s father passed away.

It is a microcosm of old Japan with its small wooden side entry to a minuscule park with flowering trees.

Nice place to sit waiting for your turn!

A view of the same from inside the tatami room.

The tatami room where up to 10 people can sit.

The inside is all old wood making for a great atmosphere.
The above picture was taken inside the other room where 5 can be seated at a table on chairs.

At lunch time you have a choice of three sets:
Tororo soba, 900 yen
Zaru Soba: 700 yen
Sansai Soba: 800 yen

I chose the latter.
Very tasty and healthy!

For (early) dinner you can either take the 2,000 yen set which makes for quite a lot of food or you can have a large plate of oden for 1,200 yen.
But it is possible to arrange for a more complete meal according to a pre-arranged budget through reservation on the phone.

They have plenty to drink for thirsty people including beer and local sake (Morimoto and Aoshima Breweries!), in glasses or bottles for the latter.

They also provide a large BBQ site just beside the izakaya I had the luck to use last year!

Know there is a tiny haven waiting for you at the end of a nice journey!

Yamako/山幸
Shizuoka Shi, Suruga Ku, Mariko, 6088
Tel. & Fax: 054-257-3228
Opening hours: 11:00~19:00 (Please call for a reservation if you come after 13:00!)
Closed on Tuesdays
Credit cards OK (within reasonability!)
Reservations expressly recommended!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Agricultural Products: Mrs. Jitsuko Ishihara’s Zucchini!

In Japan, like in any country worth its salt and name, you always need a little help from your friends. And when that applies to agriculture and farmers, it is simply vital!

Luckily enough, I’m blessed with this tireless lady friend, namely Mrs. Natsuko Koyanagi, the recognized leader of all those farmer housewives selling their produce at Agriroad in Shizuoka City!
When you realize that the community accounts for more than a hundred members, interviewing simply becomes a pleasure!

Last year she introduced me to this sweet ladyfarmer, Mrs. Jitsuko Ishihara who has a special fondness for zucchini, especially of the colourful round kind!
Sorry for the small pic, but it was taken last year, as the lady was busy up in the mountain harvesting tea with her husband tis morning!

But in the Shizuoka (and elsewhere in Japan) countryside you don’t need a key to open a fence. Natsuko gave her a call to inform her that that strange foreigner (-“You know, the Frenchman who loved your zucchini last year?”) wanted to have another look at those beautiful vegetables. -“Is it ok for us to visit your field/garden?”
-“No problem, you know the place! Thanks for taking hime around!”
Simple as that!

Since I have started writing these local agriculture articles for the prefectural government I intend to conduct a full interview of Mrs. Ishihara very soon!
Natsuko, having given me a ride to Yuyama, along the Abe River (a good 5 minutes ride. For once, I was happy to leave my bicycle!) we were soon trampling Mrs. Ishihara’s domain and taking pics.

Not a really easy task as you have to delve deep under those large leaves with insects buzzing in your eyes (we are in the middle of the reason!)
There was no way I could leave the place without a hoard of those little treasures…

-“Natsuko, could you please ask Mr. Ishihara if I can have some of these?”
Natsuko was soon talking over her mobile phone (at least one reason to welcome IT in farms, thus cutting distances to zero!”)
-“She says she’ll be glad to let you pick one of your choice back home!” (Sweet lady!)
-“No, I mean to buy 3 or 4 of them! Ask her if I may, and how much she wants for them!”
-“……………

-“She says you can take 3 or 4 of them at 100 yen a piece (just over 1 US$)!”
-“But that’s ridiculously cheap (they would fetch 4 times as much in a supermarket) for a zucchini I need two hands to wrap them completely, and moreover fresh and of such a quality!”

Well, I did go away with my 4 beauties for a grand total of 400 yen! I tried to explain they would be served tonight at a friend’s izakaya who would be ready to the real price, but to no avail!

I will make sure my friends at Yasaitei in Shizuoka City know where these zucchini come from and answer their guests’ queries!
Do visit this great place, an institution here in Shizuoka Prefecture!
They will prepare and serve these zucchini according to your preferences, probably as tempura, steamed or fried with superb olive oil!

Can you see them?

YASAITEI
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 20 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Japanese Bamboo Handcraft for your Dining-Room and Home

Bamboo has been used from times immemorial. It is very sturdy and does not spoil easily, even in the most severe conditions or environments.
People tend to forget it is not a tree, but a grass. It can grow in inclement climates and withstand frost and snow, although severe droughts will kill it.
It flowers only once in its long (60 to 120 years) life before suddenly dying away.

Bamboos (there are many varieties) are also the fastest growing woody plants in the world. They are capable of growing up to 60 cm (24 in.) or more a day due to a unique rhyzome-dependent system. However, this astounding growth rate is highly dependent on local soil and climatic conditions. But the same growth rate can make it an environmental hazard in some regions where it supplants real trees.
Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in Japan (and Asia) where the stems and even the leaves are extensively used in everyday life as building materials and as a highly versatile raw product, and the shoots as a food source.
Bamboo, when used for construction or utensil-making purpose must be harvested when the culms reach their greatest strength and when sugar levels in the sap are at heir lowest, as high sugar content increases the ease and rate of pest infestation.

Bamboo is extensively used as a food, medicine and construction material.
It also contributes to the manufacture of everyday utensils from chopsticks to baskets, from textiles to musical instruments, and even in water processing and transportation (bamboo bicycles!).
Now, because of its comparatively mild and wet climate, Shizuoka Prefecture has been the home of bamboo handcraft for a long time.
Its major guild, called Suruga Takesen Sujizaiku/駿河竹千筋細工 (literally, Suruga Bay Bamboo Thousand Lines Thin Works) or “Suruga Zaiku” for short, has been in existence since 1620 and quickly achieved fame thanks to the Shogunate and the Old Tokaido Route.
At first craftsmen concentrated on the manufacture of utilitarian objects from baskets to small boxes and trays actively sought by the travelers for their own use or as valuable souvenirs and tradable artifacts.
Their products achieved international first in Austria in 1873 where they were exhibited at the Wien International Exposition. Since then the craft has witnessed lows and highs, but in this present world of cheap plastic and metal utilities, bamboo has increasingly achieved a deserved status of artistic value and even that of a politically correct environment-friendly material.

At present the Guild accounts for 14 craftsmen and craftswomen of all ages specializing in some form of the handicraft. The next generation is well provided for and collectors and buyers can be assured of a continuous, if limited because of the sheer hard work and artistry, supply.
There is an almost unending line of products available depending on your needs:
Vase baskets to hold or carry pottery or glass vases, protecting and adding to the aesthetic value of their contents. There are some 80 models of them that can be laid on tables or tokonomas or hung on walls and pillars.
Many exquisite “kaze suzu/風鈴”, or “wind bells” resonating inside very fine bamboo lined balls.
More than 20 cake boxes and trays to serve or preserve Japanese cakes/wagashi.
Beautiful “handbags” lined with hand-dyed cloth.

Insect collectors, especially “suzu mushi/鈴虫/ring-bell cricket” beloved by the Japanese during the hot season, can choose among more than 20 delicately built cages where they can keep and feed their little pets.
Lamp shades (more than 25 of them) can not only make for very utilitarian devices, but also for lovable souvenirs to bring back home as the oriental note in your western abodes.
But my favorite, if I may be allowed a personal comment, are the trays, either made of bent bamboo lines or interwoven bamboo fibers!

Consult their homepage (Japanese) for the entire array and direct purchase at:
http://www/takesensuji.jp/
Visit their guild in Shizuoka City if you wish to be directly introduced to the artists at work:
Shizuoka Takesen Kougei Kyodokumiai, 420-0078, Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Hachi Bancho, 7-1
Tel.: 054-252-4924
Fax: 054-273-2679

Or if you happen to stop at Shizuoka Station, spare a minute to admire all the art works at Sumpu Raku Ichi Shop!

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

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

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日本語のブログ
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Almost “Tricolor” Fried Potatoes

The Japanese are starting to take a real interest in many varieties of potatoes as opposed to sweet potatoes.
The Missus having received a batch of them from her family’s garden, I prepared a quick appetizer last night.
I had 3 differentcolors available: red, yellow and black, that is as far their outside colors were concerned!

Once boiled, they turned to slghtly differentcolors: dark blue, light yellow and pink!
Almost tricolor (I’m in for another of BG’s comments!)!

As a general rule, I boil the potatoes before deep-frying them.
Actually, I don’t deep-fry them but use only a little olive oil. Far healthier!
As for vegans and vegetarians, just frying and seasoning them is enough, but for the sake of taste I first fry chopped bacon (with no oil). Once it has reached a crispy state, I put it a aside. I use the same fry pan without wiping it at all. I pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (EV) for the 3 medium potatoes I had.
The potatoes wer cut into large dices with their skin.
I fried them until they had completely absorbed the oil and became brownish. I then throw in a finely chopped clove of garlic, the bacon ,black pepper and some nutmeg.

Once the garlic has started browning I pour the lot into a serving dish.
(Sorry for the last 2 pics! The Missus took them!)

Before serving them I sprinkle them with a good amount of freshly grated parmegiano. This way, I don’t need to add any salt!

Great with dark beer!

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi