Tag Archives: 野菜

Organic Vegetables Salad at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City!

Service: Excellent and very friendly.
Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Superb washroom (mouthwash and toothpicks provided!)!
Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive, very good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products, especially organic vegetables and Shizuoka-bred meat.

Spring is very near and vegetables have become sweet for all the cold weather we had to put up with, which just shows that nature is still making us favors!
It is always a pleasure to savor a whole salad of them for a “quick lunch” at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City, a restaurant which plays a major role in making them known to all!

I took a “sneak review” of the vegetables on offer in the kitchen as I came late enough not to disturb any guests!

All organic vegetables!

Vegetables mainly come from Shizen no Chikara Farm in Shizuoka City, Kitayama Farm in Fujinomiya City and Hirokawa Farm in Mishima City!

But while Chef Touru Arima/有馬亨さん was busy preparing my order I was served a succulent and hot organic kabocha potage!

The salad!

Sometimes I experience almost more pleasure taking photographs than actually eating these little treasures!

Vegetable flan/pudding, the only non-vegetarian/vegan elemnt in the salad. If you are vegetarian, this should be no problem, just tell the chef!

And the dressings are always such superb finisihing touches!

To be continued…

PISSENLIT

420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
E-Mail: pissenlit2008@ybb.ne.jp
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

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Must-see tasting websites:

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-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Fuji No Kuni Gastronomic Fair in Fuji City (September 2011)

On September 22nd another “Fuji no Kuni” Gastronomic Fair was held under the auspices of the Shizuoka Prefecture Economy & Industry Bureau at Maison De Anniversaire in Fuji City to support the local food and producers.

As the event started at 7 p.m. I arrived a bit early at Shin Fuji Station where I was greeted by a beautiful sunset!
As the site of the event took place high at the foot of Mount Fuji I did well to reach the Station at 6 p.m.!

Arriving early gave me ample time to greet some friends and acquaintances like Mr. Sano, owner of Sanoman Co. in Fujinomiya City!

It also allowed me to survey the dining room and have a look at the menu and appetizers on my plate before exchanging business cards with many another guest. Actually most guests, representing companies or coming as individuals, had some kind of direct relation with the economy and agriculture of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Incidentally, the appetizers were Mangenton ball in escabeche from Sanoman Co. and the chicken roulade was made with Koshamo chicken from Aoki Farm in Fuji City!

The beer that day was brewed by Stephan Rager at Bayern Meister Beer Co. in Fujinomiya City!

And the Japanese sake was provided by Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomya City!

A honjyozo called “Raku/楽/Enjoy Yourself!”

Guests including some celebrities taking their seats in all informality.

The MC of the day: Mrs. Kyouko Ishigami, a Shizuoka sake expert!

The dinner started with a vegetable and salmon trout jelly terrine and organic salad!

The salmon trout was bred by Kunugi Fish Farm and all the organic vegetables were grown by Mtsuki Bio Farm, both in Fujinomiya City!

Each producer involved in the preparation of the repast introduced their venture on the mike: Mr. Sano of Sanoman Co.

Beautiful mushroom soup with imo/taro. The mushrooms were cultivated by Mr. Hasegawa in Fuji City!

Madai/Seabream (brought from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City) poelee with a galette of sakura shrimps from the same harbour. The vegetables are of course from Matsuki Bio Farm and the bacon from Sanoman Co.

For a closer view!

Charcoal-grilled Izu Venison Roast from deer meat processed by the Izu City Food Processing Center!

Very French in concept! And delicious!

The representative of Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

The dessert!

Shizuoka Fig Millefeuille with blueberry sauce!

Financier!

A very interesting dinner indeed introducing all the good ingredients from Shizuoka Prefecture!

I wonder where they are going to hold this monthly event next time!

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Italian gastronomy: Early Autumn Dinner at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great appetizers. Home-made pasta!.
Entirely non-smoking!

I make a point to visit the best restaurants in town at least once every season and it was time for my Autumnal visit at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City!

Il Castagno has an excellent list of wines at reasonable prices: we opted for this solid Veneto red!

Amarone della Valpolicella 2007

For the specialists!

One good way to taste their appetizers is to ask for their 6-dish Appricoze Set!

Naturally, all their bread and biscuits are home-baked!

The fish dish of the day was Cartoccio Di Patate, a baked seabream in a wrap made of thin potato chips with a cockles and sweet shrimps cream sauce!

A beautiful potato wrap!

Yummy seafood!

It was such a pleasure to break through the potato wrap!

The red wine having quickly disappeared we opted for a French White Alsace Riesling 2009 by Laurent Barth!

As for the main dish we ordered pasta!
Tagliorini with scallops and fresh vegetables and semi-dried Aiko tomatoes in cockles sauce!

All the vegetables and the cockles are from Shizuoka Prefecture!

From another angle!
Can you see the edamame?

We just had enough space left for the dessert plate!

Peach and plum sorbets!

Fig tart!

“Pone” expresso coffee and chocolate pudding!

Of course an expresso and hard biscuits for the finishing touch!

To be followed…

Il Castagno
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48
Tel/Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed every Monday and 3rd Tuesday
Credit cards OK (dinner only)
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Sushi & Sashimi: Eat Local Fish, Seafood, Meat and Vegetables!

009

Saurel pike/Aji from Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

Very few people will disagree with the notion that Japan is the ideal place to discover and savour sushi and sashimi in the whole world. Nevertheless, there are a few rules of the thumb to respect even in this gastronomic paradise.
The overriding rule is that you should try and eat only local fish or seafood.
Tsukiji might be considered a sushi paradise by Tokyoites, but the cheap prices enjoyed by tourists cannot conceal the reality: the fish and seafood are “imported” from all over Japan and beyond!
More than often, Edomae (Tokyo) sushi is nothing but a clever way to “dress up” ingredients to lure officionados (and customers) into believing they are eating top quality sushi (with the consequent prices).
Now, if you have the chance and time to explore Japan beyond Tokyo, you will discover an unfathomable treasure trove of gastronomic pleasure and knowledge!
After all, this country is a vast archipelago stretched across greatly different seas and climates, making for a diversity difficult to equal.
So, even if you cannot possibly explore all the shores of this nation, make a point to learn about the food available wherever you choose to stay.
The same goes for residents, not only for their own sake, but for that of their visitors and friends!

018

Sushi set with fish all caught in Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

You also ought to do some homework. Sushi chefs worthy of their salt will be only too happy to answer questions to genuinely interested customers and come up with revelations of their own.
As an example to illustrate the need for some basic knowledge, in Hokkaido “oyakodon” is not cooked chicken and omelette on a bowl of rice, but raw salmon and its roe spread on top the same bowl of rice!
Likewise, the same fish will more than often be sold under a myriad of names.
Many morsels will not be found anywhere else as “sakura ebi/cherry shrimps” and fresh”shirasu/sardine whiting” in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Sashimi in most cases has to be perfectly fresh as typified by “kubiore saba” in Yakushima Island where fishermen break the neck (“kubiore”) of mackerels (“saba”) to preserve their quality upon catching. The same fish will be served within a few hours, or less, on the local tables.
On the other hand, tuna sashimi is best consumed after ripening for a few days in a refrigerator.
In Hokkaido, large shrimps, especially “botan ebi” will be served only raw, whereas “kuruma ebi” will be first boiled in other regions.

If you ask for “tataki”, make sure it means the whole fish, especially “aji/mackerel pike” that will be served finely cut as tartare atop the dressed fish.

002

Flying Fish/Tobiuo sashimi from Yakushima Island

On the other hand, sushi follows different rules.
Fish and seafood placed on “donburi” (bowl) are usually of the freshly brought variety but fish served as nigiri is prepared in a different way.
The greatest sushi (and this cannot be done in Tsukiji!) are made with fish which has been gutted and cleaned live within seconds, then dressed into strips/fillets left to mature in a refrigerator on clean cloth/kitchen paper. This can be done only with fish caught locally!
The same obviously goes with shellfish and other marine ceatures: One cannot sample better “uni/sea urchin” away from Hokkaido or sakura ebi from Shizuoka.

Vegan and vegetarians, upon finding a restaurant willing to satisfy their priorities should also ask for food grown locally, a search easier than one might think at first as there are many non-meat eaters in this mainly Budhist country.
The same vegetables will make for the perfect combination when associated with local fish!

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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

Healthy Vegetarian Lunches: Locomani in Shizuoka City (Late summer 2011)

Service: Very friendly although a bit shy!
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Vegetarian menus. Healthy rice flour cakes.
Completely non-smoking!

If I had a friend asking me where he/she could eat vegetarian food without a hassle all year round in Japan, I would be proud to say: Shizuoka (Prefecture and City!)!
These days, because of the heat and the necessity to keep healthy (read: lose weight) I tend to fall back on restaurants which serve such food especially in Shizuoka City although I might have to look in the whole Prefecture seriously. Actually, this article initiates a series of articles on healthy Vegetarian Lunches!

All conditions were set today for a visit to Locomani where I hadn’t eaten for almost 3 months.
I checked their wholly vegetarian meal on their menu and this is what they served me:
Look at the top picture for the whole set!

Vegetable and tofu miso soup and 3-year old organic tea.

Bowl of rice. Half of the rice was plain white while the other half was genmai/whole rice. The whole was sprinkled with kuromai/black rice.

The plate consisted of:
1) Boiled kabocha pumpkin and konyaku/elephant’s foot tuber jelly.

2) Fresh chopped vegetables salad and its vinegar-based dressing.

3) Two typical Japanese side dishes consisting of one, a lukewarm mixture of kiriboshi daikon (daikon strips first dried then cooked again in dashi), thinly cut carrots, shiitake and tofu karaage/deep-fried tofu sheets, and the other of lightly boiled spinach in soy sauce-based dressing.

4) Tempura.
The tempura was made without eggs and comprised koyadofu/pressed tofu with a batter containing small bits of herbs and vegetables, broccoli, okra and string beans.

For once I managed to keep away from their cakes!

To be followed…

LOCOMANI
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajyo, 1-10-6
Tel.: 054-260-6622
Closed every Wednesday and one Monday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Must-see tasting websites:

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Organic Vegetables from Matsuki Bio Farm at Uzu and Hana Oto!

Summer Vegetables “Gorogoro” Salad at Uzu!

Matsuki Bio Farm in Fujinomiya City at the foot of Mount Fuji is a leader when it comes to organic vegetables agriculture.
True to say, as Shizuoka Prefecture is also a leader in the whole of Japan, there are many other organic farms in our Prefecture, but Matsuki Bio Farm is one of the larger and more reliable producers as well.

You do find their products on many restaurant tables across Shizuoka Prefecture and Uzu and Hana Oto make an extra large usage of them!
Both establishments serve them in many ways, two of which I’d like to introduce here today!

The picture above is another view of the top photograph.
Kenya Yoshimura at Uzu serves a big mixture of these seasonal organic vegetables as a Summer (also in other seasons!) Vegetables “Gorogoro” Salad/夏野菜ゴロゴラダ.
Varied vegetables are either kept raw, steamed or fried and then cooled down before mixing them with a dressing of Kenya’s invention.
A very simple and most appropriate way to serve vegetables at their best!
Such salads include some very unusual vegetables such as Hasu Imo, which is not actually the tuber itself but the stems, eaten as green vegetables. Can you see those three strange whitish slices in the front?

Misonaise Vegetable Gratin at Hana Oto!

Whereas Uzu is a Japanese-style Izakaya which serves these vegetables as vegetarian food, Hana Oto is a Chinese Cuisine Izakaya, a very happy hybrid of Japanese and Chinese gastronomies, which serve their food without any particular concern for vegetarianism.
Yuusuke Tozaki’s concept will appeal to all nationalities, especially in colder weather as it is hot and nourishing!

Now, what is “misonaise”?
A mixture of miso paste and mayonnaise!
Some of the vegetables are first fried while others are steamed, boiled or raw.
The sauce, including enough condiments to season the whole, covers a generous portion of those vegetables before being cooked as a gratin in an oven!
Try it at home! It’s worth it!

To be contimued…

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Service: Excellent and very friendly. Very Japanese atmosphere.
Facilities: Excellent washroom facilities. Great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable.
Strong Points: Great sake from Shizuoka and Japan Great Shochu. Home-made umeshu. Mainly local products, especially organic vegetables.
Non-smoking on Sundays and National Holidays

HANA OTO/華音
420-0032 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Ryougae Cho, 5-8, Shin Kamogawa Bldg., 2F-D
Business hours: 17:30~24:00
Closed on Mondays

Service: Very friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great general cleanliness. Beautiful toilets
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great use of local ingredients in beautiful Chinese Cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

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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

Tomato Tempura at Uzu!

Service: Excellent and very friendly. Very Japanese atmosphere.
Facilities: Excellent washroom facilities. Great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable.
Strong Points: Great sake from Shizuoka and Japan Great Shochu. Home-made umeshu. Mainly local products, especially organic vegetables.
Non-smoking on Sundays and National Holidays

Tempura must be one of the most known facets of Japanese cuisine!
It looks simple enough but good tempura does need a lot of experience and great skills!
And when it comes to serve water-filled vegetables as tempura it becomes a true challenge!

As mentioned before, instead of venturing into long-winded reports about full meals I take at my “regular spots”, I will concentrate on their seasonal dishes!
Now, Mr. Kenya Yoshimura/吉村健也さん is a master of vegetables.
I just can’t imagine the timing and the temperature but when the tomatoes came on my table last night I was once again nonplussed by the sheer simplicity of the dish in its presentation!

This is actually a regular dish at Uzu although the tomatoes will change with the seasons!
In winter I remember having had the same with green tomatoes! The heat had enhanced their hidden “umami” to the point one forgets they were actually unripe!
But the present red tomatoes (organic by the way!) were ripe. I just don’t know how they didn’t explode in the hot oil!
They come with home-made yuzukoshio seasoning. The perfect “marriage” of flavors!

That was how I “presented” it to myself!
All these flavors breaking inside the palate…

To be continued…

UZU
Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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