Service: Extremely friendly and attentive
Equipment: Supreme cleanliness and beautiful amenities
Prices: Reasonable. Very good value
Strong points: French gastronomy conceived mainly with local seasonal products. Beautiful bread baked on site! Parking available.
Hamamatsu City contrary to Shizuoka City is spread all over the country and if you don’t have a car you will need either a taxi or a train to reach your destination!
Fortunately, my good friend, Bernard Herberle, Patissier/owner of Abondance, was on hand not only to drive me around but also to make me discover a gastronomic pearl with an unusual concept: Ema L’Estaminet!
Ema for short is both a French Bakery and a French Restaurant!
As a bakery (and a cafe) it is open from 10:00 to 16:00 although the bread will have practically disappeared by 14:00!
As a restaurant it is open from 11:30 to 13:00 (last orders), but it can sit only a maximum of 24 guests and if you want to have access to the whole menu, you had better reserve well in advance for a lunch at 12:00!
When the two of us arrived at 12:00 sharp the owner/chef/baker Yuusuke Ema/江間裕輔 greeted us with a great smile.
In fact, he and his gentle wife are models of absolute natural civility whatever you are, buy or order!
There was already not much left of the beautiful bread,…
and even less of the succulent-looking viennoiseries and cakes!
Yuusuke wakes up every morning to start baking his bread and will be busy at his establishment until 6 in the evening. No wonder the place is absolutely spotless!
The Master Of The House!
You can either sit at tables with chairs or sofa or sit at the minuscule counter!
There is a single menu everyday for 2,000 yen (~23 US$) with a large appetizer plate, a main dish, a dessert of the day and a drink (with a little extra fee for some)
You may have as much as bread as you wish!
As for the main dish you have at least a choice of 9 dishes! Bear in mind that some will disappear faster than others, so come early!
Check the extra card for more drinks (very reasonable including wine!).
The appetizer plate!
Look at the rillettes which took me back to France!
The bread basket will be kept refilled as long as you want!
After some soul-searching, Bernard opted for the Fricassee de poulet, local chicken fried and cooked in cream sauce with mushrooms, a typical French country dish!
For a closer look!
Don’t worry Bernard was very kind to offer me a piece!
Tender, succulent and beautifully balanced!
It was a touch and go with the Tourte de Poisson et Salade, but I finally ordered the Roti de Porc/ Pork Roast!
Shizuoka Prefecture has some extravagant pork. This particular one is Ohara Pork bred in Hamamatsu City!
As simple as it might look it is not an easy dish to prepare as the balance needs a perfect mastery of one’s skills!
Moreover, the vegetables are cooked in refreshingly traditional French manner in their sauce and juices!
Although the dish is wholly French in concept and ingredients, I would dare quite a few chefs back home to attain this mastery in presentation!
The dessert always comes a surprise as it is not announced on the menu!
Pineapple and verveine (verbena) jelly!
A beautiful dessert for a hot summer!
Well, this is only the first visit and I’m afraid (I’m not, actually! LOL) I will have to travel once and again all the way to Hamamatsu City for these beautiful seasonal lunches (and get surprised every time!)!
To be continued…
431-3115, Hamamatsu City, Higashi Ku, Nishigasaki, 1088-1 (within walking distance from Nishigasaki Station, Entetsu Railway Line)
Business hours: !0:00~16:00 (Bakery)
11:30~ 13:00, last orders (Restaurant)
Closed on Sundays and last week of August
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