Tag Archives: 居酒屋

Shizuoka Izakaya: Bu-Ichi (re-visited)


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(Oumuraya Brewery, Hakuen Bishamon Honjozo)

The Missus has this special liking for Bu-Ichi Izakaya (which I share!), not only because she loves the food, drinks and atmosphere, but also because she always happens to learn something new she will be glad to try reproduce (in her own way) back home! I’m not one to complain, and I certainly enjoy writing about the place over and over again!


One thing is certain: this is one the very best places in the whole Prefecture to enjoy sashimi as once again demonstrated by the succulent katsuo/bonito served with grated ginger and thinly-chopped leeks.


Another reason is the top-class Shizuoka Sake!
I (my wife drinks wine as a matter of course) chose this very limited edition (only 300 bottles) by Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada (Tim, are you reading?):
Hakuen Bishamon, Honjozo, a very soft, almost sweet sake (Dryness: +1, acidity: 1.3).


Sanma/Mackerel Pike is in season. We ordered a yaki sanma sarada/grilled mackerel pike salad. The fish is first grilled, then shred into small bite-sized chunks and served with vegetables and home-made dressing. This is the recipe that the Missus has a special interest for!


Talking of vegetables,Bu-Ichi, in spite of all its great fish and meat, would be the perfect place for a vegetarian too thanks to perfect vegetables tenpura! Wherever they come from, they are always exlusively seasonal!


With such meals, sake tends to disappear too quickly! My next order was a Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai by Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City. Mr. Aoshima makes superlative sake getting recognition all over Japan in spite of its relatively small size. Incidentally he also speaks fluent English for those who would like to visit his brewery!

As we are both omnivores, we felt a little meat was in order to finish our meal (we usually skip dessert in Japanese restaurants as there is always the open possibility to visit another one later!).
Bu-Ichi serves a scrumptious sansho tori karaage/fried chicken with Japanese pepper. A beauty that my American friends in particular would swim across oceans to taste!

Look forward to the next meal there!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable

Shizuoka Izakaya: Waga


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Waga is your typical new wave izakaya. Opened a little more than two years ago by the very young at heart (a fan of the Beatles,Queen and Led Zeppelin among others) Shuhei Ichikawa it seems very popular as I managed to enter it only at the third try and this somewhat late at night. In any case if you plan to patronize the place before 9:00 p.m., you had better reserve in advance!

The staff in their late 20’s (30’s?) are a smiling hard-working bunch, but nonetheless extremely welcoming and attentive.
Now as any good izakaya, Waga always has at least a couple of remarkable jizake on offer, although they do change regularly.

The first I ordered was a Hakuin Masamune Junmai by Takashima Brewery in Namazu, a real beauty!
It just drank like wine! Pity I could not stay too long this time, or I might have contributed to the bottle death!

Actually you had better keep your eyes wide open! Not many izakaya offer French Pernod and Ricard, and Portuguese Porto wines!

Now the first indication of a good izakaya, and especially in Shizuoka Prefeture, is its sashimi offering. If you ask for “moriawase/plate”, you will get a good idea of the establishment.
Now, the “Katsuo Tataki/Bonito slightly cooked”, “Kanpachi/Yellowtail” and “Maguro/Tuna” were simply of the higher level that would put a few vaunted Tokyo places at shame, but at very kind prices!

As I said, my friend and I were in a bit of a hurry, but we opted for dishes representative of the establishment. The seasonal dish was “Jukusei Tsurushi Buta Saute to Kisetsu no Kinoko Ankake/Sauteed matured Pork (with tofu) and seasonal mushrooms in sweet and sour sauce”. A hearty dish which should satisfy a big appetite!

Talking of solid appetites the “Karaage/Deep-fried Chicken)” was not only succulent but absolutely enormous. You would problems closing your hand around any of them!

When it comes to sake I’m a big drinker. I asked for the other Shizuoka Sake available, Takasago karakuchi Junmai by Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City. Very dry indeed, but so easy and pleasant to drink!

“Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette” is also another preriquisite at any good izakaya, and the one concocted by Waga is also a beauty. We certainly did not need any dessert!

Blimey! There is no way we could sample all the offerings. Which means I will have to come back in a hurry!

Waga
420-0839 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 2-1-20, Kuroyanagi Bldg., 1F
Tel. & Fax: 054-271-7121
Opening hours: 17:30~23:30 (Monday to Thursday), 17:30~26:00 (Friday, Saturday and day before any National Holiday).
Closed on Sundays and National Holidays.
Set menus and parties possible.
Reservations recommended.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Izakaya: Bu-Ichi (revisited)


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Bu-Ichi Izakaya in Shizuoka City has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately I do not go there that often as it is reserved for my nights out with the Missus (well, too many people know me there, too!)!
Incidentally, the picture above was taken quite some time ago. The Oyakata tends to be dressed in white these days, but last night I told him I preferred him in his blue garb!
Apart of the great Shizuoka Sake list, a customer will find all the drinks he might want, including wine and Okinawa Awamori.
But the main attraction is of course the food:

Tempura and Anago/Conger Eel are two Japanese delicacies known all over the world, but when the two are combined in such delicate, crunchy, succulent manner one just shoud not bother about seasoning or even decoration!

Bu-Ichi acquired its fame because of the superlative seasonal sashimi such as “ainame/greenling or rock trout, a rarity brought all the way from Fukushima Prefecture.

Local fish is represented by “sanma/mackerel pike”. Bu-Ichi serves it in what I think the best way to savour it: thin slices with grated ginger, chopped thin leeks and myoga. The Japanese say “abura ga noote iru”, meaning they are fat. I would translate by “juicy”. The fish just melts in your mouth!

Whenever possible, Bu-Ichi serves local produce such as this beautiful round orange zucchini grown by a farmer in Miwa Cho, Shizuoka City. Which reminds me I have to interview this gentleman who has made Zucchini growing his specialty. Rowena, you would not believe it! Incidentally, have you ever thought of selling shiso in Italy? LOL

They were included in the next Tenpura order. To the Missus’ utter dismay I just ate them with my fingers without bothering about the salt and dip sauce provided!

Despite the heat of the day, we could not resist from ordering a bowl of “Gyu-suji-ni”/Beef joints simmered with miso and vegetables and served with a chopped leeks topping. Foodhoe would scream for it!

Although we did have dessert in the form of “matcha tea ice cream”, we usually have “tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette” at the end of a dinner in a good izakaya. Big Bill should see the sheer artistry involved in making such a seemingly easy dish! And the taste! I can guarantee you you would be hard put if you had to choose between a second helping and a dessert!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable

Shizuoka Izakaya: Ukidono


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Ukidono is difficult to classify: in all honesty, it does not qualify as an Izakaya or Kaiseki (Japanese traditional) Restaurant. This is the kind of establishment that would deserve a visit from such Gastronomes as Chuckeats, Very Good Food, Luxeat and Dominique Corby.

The entrance to the actual restaurant bears nothing special about it, although it is part of the whole Fugetsuro Complex including the abode of the last Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

One of the annexes was transformed seven years ago to accomodate a better-class izakaya, but still cheaper than the unaffordable Fugetsuro Restaurant, a renown, if somewhat old-fashioned, kaiseki restaurant across from Shizuoka JR Station.

One may opt for a cozy, almost private room

or even better (in my own view), the outside “corridor” along the inside of the building where you sit on high stools against a high wooden counter admiring

the inner view on the famed Japnese Garden! If you are lucky, you will be offered the intimate view of guests and kimono-clad ladies walking on the narrow bridge on their way to one of the private guest houses.

Although the food is of very high quality, the main attraction is the Shizuoka Sake List.
Apparently, they store more than a full thousand kinds of sake in their basement, featuring most of the Shizuoka Breweries.
Last week they ahd the following on offer:
Aoitenka (Yamanaka Brewery, Kakegawa City), Eikun (Yui Cho), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City), Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Chuumasa (Yoshiya Brewery, Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Oomuraya (Shimada City), Hakuin Masamune (Takashima Brewery, Numazu City) and Haginishiki (Shizuoka City)!
You can order the sake by the “ichi go” flagon (180ml. from 924 yen), as a tasting set of three diferent brews (from 1,386 yen) or by the bottle.

One can choose the easy way by ordering one of the four courses (3,465~9,471 yen), although the card would be far more fun and would probably come out cheaper if you are two or more.

For raw fish amateurs one may fancy it in salads, such as the hirame konbujime/sole marinated in seaweed as above,

or even better as a full sashimi set as above:
From top left clockwise:
Thin slices of Isaki/a variety of grouper typical of Suruga Bay intersped with thin slices of lemon, Akami/Lean tuna, Suzuki/Seabass, Hirame/Sole, Chutoro/semi-fat tuna and Hirame Konbu Jime/Sole marinated in seaweed (different method from above).

Frankly speaking, I will need to visit the place a few more times before I can do it justice!
Incidentally, Ukido includes a very reasonable hotel with full amenities I will try to report on later!

Ukido
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi, 11-1, Fugetsuro
Tel.: 054-2520131
Business hours: 11:30~15:00; 17:00~22:00 (until 21:00 on Sundays)
Closed on Mondays
Credit Cards OK

Asparaguses Season


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Although the asparaguses season is almost finished in Shizuoka, we still get plenty from other parts of the country as people here show an insatiable taste for them.
The Japanese and Sizuokaites will practically eat only the green variety although the latter does comprise a host of sub varieties. Here the trend is for large specimens like the ones grown in Shimizu Ku as demonstrated in the picture above sauteed with Chinese XO Sauce by Hana Oto Izakaya in Shizuoka City. A way that surely please the likes of Foodhoe and Bill!

Shizuoka ladies do have their own way to cook them. Everyone down here seem to sautee them and Yasatei, for all their very Japanese character, have opted for the Italian way: Akita Prefecture Asparaguses sauteed in olive oil and parmesan cheese!

Villa D’Est Quisine, on the other hand, seems to have opted for a median method of lightly frying Hokkaido asparaguses with olive oil and lean bacon.

In all cases those large green asparaguses combine a outside crunchy texture breaking easily under the teeth to reveal a tender juicy inside! Something difficult to obtain with overcooked lean samples!

HANA OTO
420-0033 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 3-9, Hoshi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-273-8591
Business hours: 18:00~03:00 (until 05:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed on Mondays

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business haours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended

Villa d’Est Quisine
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 3-10-1
Tel.: 054-2514763
Business Hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays

Shizuoka Izakaya: Villa d’Est Quisine (2)


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Last Monday, due to insistent requests from my “Monday Night Out Friends”, I finally could not postpone my next visit to this old favourite of mine, Villa d’Est Quisine in Shizuoka City ( 2 minutes walk from my work, actually!)

Toshiharu Matsuura’s establishement has always been a gastronomic experience to look forward to since September 1997 as his cuisine almost exclusively makes use of seasonal produce.


What makes the experience even more pleasurable is that you suddenly find yourself inside such a traditional Japanese setting with wood everywhere, be it at the counter, at a large table (very practical for long-legged expats!) or on the tatami (usually I don’t mention it, but the toilets are a little beauty!) and where all the food is served in Japanese pottery (The owner has many friends among artists!) with wooden utensils.

The menu changes practically every day, depending on produce avaibility in the local markets (I know where Mr. Matsuura buys his vegetables, fish and meat, and I can tell you you will not find anything fresher!).

It can be very simple such a green salad with parmesan cheese,

to fairly complicated such as ” Cold Shunsai Chyawanmushi”.
Although the oyakata works by himself and is very busy, he will always oblige and explain his cuisine.
This is a very rare place where both omnivores and vegetarians can enjoy food together!

As for the drinks he will please anyone with his excellent assortment of sake, shochu and wines.
Moreover he makes a point of serving Shizuoka Jizake such as the brews from Morimoto/Sayogoromo Brewery (Kikugawa City) and Takshima/Hakuinmasamune Brewery (Numazu City)! And do not forget he also has some organic drinks in store!

Especially recommended for ladies, couples and loners alike.

Villa d’Est Quisine
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 3-10-1
Tel.: 054-2514763
Business Hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Thursdays

Shizuoka Izakaya: Shibata


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For once, I did not foot the bill (although I tried hard) as I was invited by Mr. Sakurai, an old friend of mine and the sire of a favourite student of mine. Therefore I must admit I do not have a clue to how much the bill amounted to, although the place is fairly reasonable.
Shibata was opened 20 years ago and has already gone through a total renewal in 2003.
It is extremely popular and busy. Reservations are a must on week-ends!
Mr. Sakurai had ordered a set menu (probably the most expensive one, judging from the quality and quantity!). We had only the drinks to worry about!

Like any worthy Izakaya in Shizuoka, Shibata features a good number of Shizuoka Jizake on its menu: Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery,Yui Cho), Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City)!
Before I go through all the morsels I’d better hoot for Rowena, Gaijin Tonic, Foodhoe and Simaldeff to prepare themselves (and call their friends, LOL)!

The “snack” coming with first drinks was a proof of the quality of the establishment: boiled bamboo shoot, grilled clam, shellfish in its shell and broad beans.

But the enormous sashimi plate (for three persons) could have been enough with adequate drinks:
Sazae/Turbo shells in its shell and insides in a small plate. Maguro Chutoro/Tuna Fatty part (right). Awabi/Abalone (small on left). Bottom right, raw Sakuraebi/Sakura Shrimps from Yui Cho and Shirasu/Sardine Whiting from Mochimune. Centre, Uni/Sea Urchin in a cup. Centre left, Shime saba/pickled Mackerel. Bottom left, Aori Ika/Aori Squid and Suzuki/Seabass.

But then, dishes came down at speed (if I had a single criticism to vent, it would be that dishes come too fast!):
Ise Ebi to Kani Gusoku Ni/Spiny Lobster and crab legs in Japanese-style sweetand sour sauce. The lobster is Australian and the crab Russian, but very tasty!

Ooba no Tsutsumi mushi/Clam steamed inside a bamboo leaf. reminiscent of Vietnamese food. Both delicate and fulfilling!

Yuba Chakin

Fish and shellfish in white sauce baked inside yuba/”toofu skin”. A dish that would be appreciated anywhere as you could easily make a vegetarian version! A shame you have to open it!

The last dish before the dessert (sorry I got carried away and forgot to take a pic of the latter!) was a typical Japanese fare: Sawara no kidomeyaki/Large Mackerel variety grilled topped with garnish made with Japanese herbs and spices. and Nasu no Denraku/Egg-plant or Aubergine grilled topped with a sweet miso sauce.

Holy Macaroni! Getting up proved an almost exhausting excersise!

Shibata
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 2-5-8
Tel.: 054-251-2405
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays
Credit Cards OK

Shizuoka Izakaya: Katayurimo


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Katayurimo is the third member of a triumvirate I have a special liking for in Shizuoka City. I have already introduced the other two, Odakkui and Hana Oto whose “masters” shared dinner with me in the company Mr. Mori at Kodarumatei.
Yukata Mori opened his izakaya (can you guess the connection between names?) in May 2005 and already seems to have acquired quite a following as the place will be full by 21:00.
As he is working on his own with a waiter or waitress to serve a maximum of 9 at the counter and 12 at the tatami tables, do not expect shogun service in spite of his ever-smiling welcome.
It’s all slow food there!

There is plenty to drink, including a fine kome/rice shochu (Acha no Tsubone) by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City who printed a private label for Takayurimo. You will find more shochu, sake and so on to please veryone.

As for local Shizuoka Jizake, it tends to vary almost everyday. I was lucky enough to drink from a bottle of junmai called “Susono Katsurayama Shiro” by Fujinishiki Brewery (Fujinomiya City). I felt the more pleased for it as it was a first!

As Mori-San takes his time carefully preparing your orders, you can usually expect two different kinds of ‘”otooshi/snacks” to come with the first drink order.
I certainly relished the home-made “kuro hanpen/black sardine fish paste” served slightly boiled and cold with a dah of wasabizuke (wasabi pickled in sake white lees), all from Shizuoka Prefecture!

The next snack was “noresore/conger eel whitebait”, usually a specialty from the West of Shizuoka Prefecture, which had to be imported from Fukuoka this time as it is already out of season down here.

Just enough to help me wait for the sashimi of the day!
From top to bottom, left to right:
“Katsuo/bonito” from Shizuoka Prefecture. Soft, tender and juicy!
“Saba/mackerel”. Great freshness, no “fishy” taste whatsoever and plenty of “fat”!
“Houbo/Blue Fin Robin” from Shizuoka Prefecture. A comparatively rare variety in Japan, served in top notch French and Italian restaurants. But sashimi is still best!
“Seguro Iwashi/Seguro sardine”. So fresh and almost sweet. Th e latter morsel was served with orange vinegar from Hamamatsu City instead of the usual shoyu/soy sauce.

I was about to “call it a day” as the night was still very young (I had another “appointment”) when I could not help notice the day’s menu board boasting bamboo shoots cooked in four different ways! I can hear Foodhoe salivating!
I was not the only one to be intrigued as three of my neighbours joined me in querying Mr. Mori about it. The poor (still smiling) gentleman found himself ordered to prepare the bamboo shoots (from Asabata in Shizuoka City) in the four different ways advertised! No way he could escape as we all had de facto agreed to share our orders! Talk about natural unconcerted ganging up!
Incidentally the one I asked for (see above) was the “steak style”: it had been boiled to the right softness beforehand and kept in a cool place. It was first cut to size then cooked and served hot.
You can’t beat a good izakaya when it comes to instant friendship (and hard work for the master!)!

KATAYURIMO
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwacho, 1-4-2, Harada Bldg. 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-221-4175
Business hours: 17:~24:00
Closed on Mondays and every second Sunday

Shizuoka Izakaya: Oikawa


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Shizuoka is certainly witnessing a remarkable revival of its traditional izakaya thanks to many young(ish) enterprising restaurateurs, but some “old hands” are still leaving their mark on the local gastronomic scene for the benefit of all.

Mr. and Mrs. Yamamoto, who are well into their seventies, opened Oikawa no more than 11 years ago, proving there is no set age to start new ventures!

The popularity of their izakaya has never abated since it opening, and I can tell from personal experience that you had better make reservations on weekends!
One reason for their popularity lies in their proximity to Shin Shizuoka Center, but conveniently located in a fairly quiet side street and less than 15 minutes walk away from Shizuoa JR Station.
The owners and their staff are very warm, if busy, individuals who will take the time to introduce the food and drinks they serve and answer any questions. And if you happen to come from outside our Prefecture you will definitely feel the need to ask a few!

Sashimi are seasonal only, and if I were you I would not bother much with the menu and just ask for the chef’s recommendation of the day. You just cannot make a mistake!
Look at the set we were served last week:
“maguro/tuna”, “Hirame/sole”, “Shime saba/pickled mackerel”, “Shirasu/Sardine whiting” (freshly caught in Suruga Bay) and “Yude tako/boiled octopus”, with plenty of locally grown vegetables.
Now, hungry people will have a field day although they might need a Japanese-speaking friend to help them read all the morsels described above your head, but I would recommend:

“Kara-age kuro hanpen/deep-fried sardine fish paste, a Shizuoka specialty.

Tenpura: the one featured above is “Ashitaba plant”.
Any tenpura of the day should please you as vegetables are supremely fresh and plentiful in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Talking of tenpura, Oikawa is famous for its “Kimchee Tenpura”, a very crispy and tasty invention of theirs!

The “Musubi/rice ball” being enormous, I would suggest you to order them one at a time!

Great traditional atmosphere and food, but the one reason I would take anyone there is their incredible range of Shizuoka Jizake!
Just go through the list below (written down last week, and more to come apparently!):
Shosetsu (1-Yui Cho), Masu Ichi (1-Shizuoka City), Hatsukame (4-Shida Gun), Isojiman (2-Yaizu City), Suginishiki (1-Fujieda City), Shidaizumi (1-Fujieda City), Kikuyoi (3-Fujieda City), Wakatake (1-Shimada City), Morimoto (2-Kikugawa City), Kaiun (1-Kakegawa City), Kokkou (2-Fukuroi City), Eikun (1-Yui Cho), Fujinishiki (1-Fujinomiya City), Takasago (1-Fujinomiya City), and Sanwa (1-Shimizu Ku)!

OIKAWA
Shizuoka City, Aoki-Ku, Takajo, 1-11, Sano Bldg
Tel.: 054-272-6551
Business hours: 17:00~23:00
Closed on Sundays and Mondays

Shizuoka Izakaya: Hana Oto


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In recent years Shizuoka has witnessed the welcome resurgence of traditional izakaya thanks to a merry band of young(ish) restaurateurs such as the owners of Oddakui, Yasatei and Hana Oto (and others that I will visit soon!). They all prove time and again to be true exponents of traditional Japanese gastronomy by going back to the basics and caring about their patrons’ pleasure. These gentlemen and ladies (yes, you heard me right!) are not afraid to serve and promote local products, be they fish, meat, vegetables, sake or other delicacies.

Unearthing Han Oto can become a small adventure in itself as it is tucked in one of those “dark corners” on the ground floor of one the most ancient buildings in the Ryogae-Cho district, the oldest haunt of Shizuoka night owls.
It used to be a “yakitori” until Yuusuke Tozaki and his younger brother, Keisuke, took it over in February 2004.

Great fans of the famous sake manga artist Akira Ose (“Kurabito Claude”), they changed nothing, preserving the ancient and warm atmosphere, only adding their own little touches.

Not only great sake including some jewels from Shizuoka Prefecture (Sugii, Takashima, Oomuraya and Kaiun Breweries for the moment) but also great shochu, including an extravagant real tea and rice shochu by Fujinishiki Brewery (Fujinomiya City) called “Chyakkiri Shi”!
Of course all kinds of spirits, awamori, soft drinks and even wine are available.

Now, Yusuke Tozaki has a special predilection for vegetables, especially from Shizuoka, and the enormous Shimizu Ku green asparaguses I was served sauteed with Chinese XO sauce were absolutely scrumptious! Foodhoe will want to fly there, I can tell you!
Even a vegetarian would have enough reasons to patronize the establishement!
But I am not, I ordered a plate of sashimi:

But before that, I had to taste a great Yamahai by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City with a little home-made pickled wasabi plant.
I could have checked the menu, which is renewed everyday but I let the owner choose for me.

Sashimi were absolutely fresh and delicious.Mind you, when you know the level of fish in this Prefecture it almost becomes a matter of course!
I was served “Mejimaguro tuna”, “Katsuo/Bonito”, raw “Tako/Octopus” and “Kurodai Seabream”.
I’ll let you judge!

The first sake having disappeared without notice I savoured another great Yamahai by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City.

As I had another commitment I unfortunately had to depart, but the owner would let me go before I tried another beauty called “Tatsuhisa” by Eiku Brewery in Yui that was not on the menu for the simple reason that the owner’s private sake!
Blimey, Gaijin Tonic would never leave such a place! I will have to convince Lojol to accompany me for a lengthier visit next time!

HANA OTO
420-0033 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 3-9, Hoshi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-273-8591
Business hours: 18:00~03:00 (until 05:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed on Mondays

Izakaya: Kodarumatei


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(Mr. Takateru Kodama)

Shizuoka City can be a dangerous place at times.
That is, if you accept an invitation to dining and drinking by a notorious band of Shizuoka Izakaya owners and their staff!
I’ve had the great luck to get to know this particular of jolly men (a lady was supposed to join us but I will have to wait until next time!) through Mr. Ohshiro, the enregetic owner of Odakkui:
Mr. Tozaki and his assistant Mr. Sugiyama of Hanaoto Izakaya and Mr. Mori Katayurimo Izakaya.
kodarumatei10.jpg

Kodarumatei moved to its new location last Autumn and is a very busy place. Needing to reserve a table on a Monday night is certainly a proof of the establishment’s popularity!

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I decided to take a back seat as far as ordering was concerned. After all those guys know their stuff!
Sashimi was quickly agreed upon and we were brought this grand plate that would attract Chuckeats‘ attention! simple, tasty and sublime! Shizuoka Prefecture is blessed with one of the richest sea in Japan, and all of the fish were caught the day before off our coast!
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Kodarumatei is renown for its selection of sake, including some great brews from Shizuoka Prefecture: Kikuyoi, Suginishiki, Kaiun, and others depending on arrivals. one more reason to patronize this establishment!
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Now here is food that would have Foodhoe and Gaijin Tonic coming running! Apparently deep-fried minced chicken balls and pork brochettes are a must in this establishment and I totally agree!
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Vegetables are certainly not forgotten as demonstrated by some great tempura and salads that would please any vegetarians!
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But my pick of the day was the grilled whalemeat steak presented cut on a simple dish. Simply crumptious!
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We could not resist our carnivorous instincts and oredered an extra dish of sauteed beef.

As I was limited timewise on that first encounter, we agreed to call it a day (actually my new friends went “next door” after sending me off! I told you Shizuoka City could be a dangerous place, didn’t I?), But I can assure this newfound friendhip will lead to some memorable outings in the future!

Kodamarutei
Owner: Mr. Takateru Kodama
420-0835 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Yokota Cho, 2-1, YY bldg., 2F
Tel.: 054-2728833
Reservations advised

Shizuoka Izakaya: Odakkui


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When I entered Odakui on February 8th, I must confess it was already the second establishment I visited that particular night. I had only intended to stay there long enough to give myself a good idea of this establishment introduced to me by its “sister” izakaya, Yasatei.
Well, well,…
Lucky I was on my own. I can’t imagine what would have happened if a certain Gaijiin Tonic and Foodhoe had been with me! I very much doubt I would have been able to teach from 09:00 the next morning!
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The owner, Naofumi Ohshiro, who opened Odakui 8 years ago before helping open Yassaitei 5 years later, did not know who I was (he could not believe I’m a lecturer!). The gentleman seems to decide on the spur of the moment who he likes or not, unless it was because he is an unconditional fan of the famed Japanese manga artist Ose Akira who wrote the series “Kurabito Claude”, the story of a third-generation Japanese-American who visits Japan to explore his roots and to subsequently become a sake brewer.
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Nevertheless, when I ordered sake, he told me to bear with him and accept a cup of an absolutely extravagant Junmai Daiginjo (one of the most expensive sake I ever saw in Shizuoka Prefecture!) brewed by Oomurya Brewery in Shimada City as a welcome greeting! Look at the “Oni’s” face on the label and compare it with Mr. Ohshiro’s on the picture at the top of this posting, holding the famous “Dobu” nigori sake from Nara Prefecture. Can you see a resemblance?
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I ordered a Shosetsu brew by Kanasawagawa Brewery in Yui ( Isojiman and Chumasa are also on his list) which came with a great-looking snack. The very friendly staff jhelped me choose an assortment of sashimi:
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Top: Kanpachi/Amberjack
Middle: Saba/Mackerel & Akami/lean tuna
Bottom: Hirame/sole
All great quality, tasty and cut in the traditional way that Lojol would expect!
As Mr. Ohshiro had realized he had found a soulbrother, he came back whenever he could get a minute or two in his busy izakaya, which sits half a dozen at the counter and a good dozen more at two tables set as “horikotatsu”, to engage in this unending conversation on sake and Shizuoka Brewers.
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As the conversation was just too great to go back home early, I ordered the grilled “kuro hampen”/dark sardine paste, a specialty only made in our Prefecture, served with grated ginger and chopped leeks. Mr. Ohshiro then insisted I sampled the “Dobu” nigori sake introduced in Akira Ose’s first book. Great sake which completely caught me off guard.
But I wanted to drink a full glass of that “Oni” above-mentioned, or I knew it would stayed on my mind fordays ahead. My host kindly pointed out it was pretty expensive (it was), but I waved his reservations away. I’m sure that Melinda, Etsuko and Tim would have approved! The brew was simply extraordinary, and for all its delicay went down so well with food! I know I’m going to do something really silly soon!

Blimey, I had to leave knowing we had not talked about half of what we ought have to, but I knew we had parted at the right time as I had some difficulty riding back home in a straight line on my bicycle!

Why do I have the impression that Odakui will become my “next door” (Japanese expression for the second place of the night)? Who am I to complain anyway?
Kanpai & Banzai!

ODAKKUI
420-0034, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-8-1, Aoba Yokocho, 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-2536900
Business hours: !7:00~24:00

Shizuoka Izakaya: Hayase

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Izakayas have been “sprouting” all over Takajo Machi in Shizuoka City, an area recently referred to as the “Shizuoka Daikanyama”.
My better (worse?) half and I found this little place called Hayase along a fairly large street and decided to give a try.
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An unprepossing, almost discreet, izakaya, it was open in February this year. Apparently it is already quite popular and were lucky to enter it around 19:00 as it got full within half an hour.
The inside is extremely clean for an izakaya specialized in “yakitori”. It sits about 8 people at the counter, 6 more at tables and chairs and a dozen on tatami floor.
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We found ourselves in a little dilemna as Hayase also proposed some sashimi we just could not resist. The bonito was absolutely excellent.
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After that we started ordering yakitori in earnest, and I just did not have enough time to take all the pictures I wished to. Which will give me a good excuse to come back, especially considering the reasonable prices for such a place which could become quickly expensive at other establishments.
The service is attentive and generous and the sake (and other drinks) are great:
4 jizake from Shizuoka Prefecture:
Karakkaze (Hana no Mai Brewery/Hamamatsu City)
Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Honjozo (Fujieda City)
Takasago Homare Fuji Junmai (Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Fujinomiya City)
Garyuubai Junmai Muroka (Sanwa Brewery/Shimizu Ku)

Look forward to my next visit report!

Hayase
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Takajyo, 3-22-7
Tel.: 054-221-9480
Business hours: 17:00~23:00 (Off on Sundays & National Holidays)

Shizuoka Izakaya: Wagocoro

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Wagocoro is your typical Japanese “Kakureya”/”Hidden Place”: You have heard of it, but never been able to discover or notice it until you find it one day almost next door!
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The Japanese, especially in Shizuoka, have an affinity for such places, but tend to jealously protect them away from other potential customers, which in my humble opinion is not very fair. I almost feel a malign pleasure in discovering and uncovering them!
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The present owners acquired the place some time ago from the original tenant who had made it a shochu bar. The place is simply replete with Japanese antiques and interestingly enough Mr. Oguriyama and his son have faithfully preserved it in its entirety. Notwithsatanding the great food and drinks, the ancient Japanese atmosphere is a worthy enough reason for a visit.
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Now this izakaya have three “rooms”, the main one where you can sit around a tradiionla Japanese “irori/fireplace” where you can grill your own food over charcoal. Another room with tatami seating amide a crowd of antique furniture and objects and a third room with a kind of counter and high seats. No need to say but the irori is my favourite. Make sure to reserve it!
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You have a hint of the quality of the food as soon as you order your drinks and subsequently are offered the “otoshi,snack”!
Now, Wagocoro has already acquired a solid reputation for quality of food coupled with comparatively reasonable prices. Therefore when I visited it on Monday, December 3rd in the company of my monthly “Monday Gastronomy” companions,we already had a good idea of what we would order!
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The sashimi and grilled fish (see pictures above) are simply first class.
Their “kakuni/pork simmered for four hours” has already become the talk of the town and expats in particular will be happy to learn they concoct savoury deep-fried oysters and even vegetarians will be glad to sample the deep-fried lotus roots/”renkon”!

We simply did not have any strength left to explore the rest of the seasonal menu which will have to wait until our next visit!
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Like any good izakaya, Wagocoro has a great range of local sake: Kaiun (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City), Wakatake (Oomuraya Brewery/Shimada City), Suginishiki (Sugii Brewery/Fujieda City), Isojiman Brewery (Yaizu City), Hakuin masamune (Takashima Brewery/Numazu City) and Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery/Fujieda).
The four of us emptied a great bottle of Suginishiki Shiboritate Yamahai Honjozo in no time!

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Now the big plus is that they also serve two Shizuoka shochu, namely wasabi Shochu by Bandai Brewery in Shuzenji and rice shochu by Hanan no mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City which went as far as designing an original label!
What else could you ask?

Wagocoro
420-0882 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ando, 1-6-15
Tel.: 054-2470059/09091805779
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:30~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays and second Wednesdays
Reservations advised

Shizuoka Izakaya: Takasagotei

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If you happen to be staying, let’s say for a single night in Hamamatsu City, near the JR Station, I would suggest you visit Takasagotei Restaurant on the second floor of Hamamatsu Sago Terminal Hotel just right of the JR station south exit.

As a hotel izakaya since the 1970’s they are definitely above the run of the mill level of the fare usually delivered in business hotels.

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Their sashimi offerings are within the good level prevalent throughout the Prefecture.

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I found their mushroom tenpura (vegetarians, please note!) excellent.

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They also had an unusual “shirasu gyoza” (deep-fried whitebait dumpling), which would go well with a beer.

They also have the great merit to offer a large range of Shizuoka sake out of their long drink menu, which warrant a visit by other Prefectures’ guests:
Hana no Mai (Hamamatsu City: 2)
Hamamatsu-Tenjingura (Hamamatsu City: 1)
Senju (Iwata City: 1)
Doi-Kaiun (Kakegawa City: 1)
Oomuraya-Wakatake (Shimada City: 1)
Isojiman (Yaizu City: 1)
Hatsukamei (Shida Gun-Okabe Cho: 2)
Shosetsu (Yui: 1)
Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City: 1)

Takasagotei
430-0926
Hamamatsu City, Sunayama-cho, 322-7, Hamamatsu Sago Terminal Hotel, 2F
Tel.: 053-4538686
Business hours: 11:30~14:30, 17:00~22:00

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