Tag Archives: Izakaya

Izakaya: Kodarumatei


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sake, shochu and sushi

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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.
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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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Japanese Restaurant: Izutsuya

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Yui (will be part of Shimizu Ku in 2008) is renown all over Japan for the only place where “sakura ebi” (“Cherry Shrimps”) are caught. In season, it is the only place where you can eat them fresh in the morning literally out of the net in local restaurants!

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Such a restaurant is Izutsuya, located along the main road called “Sakura Ebi Street” about 15 minutes away from the station on foot. It will also become a good opportunity to visit Yui which has quite a lot to offer, especially the the Hiroshige Ukiyoe Museum (which includes an interesting local products shop).
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Sumo officionados will notice an interesting latticed paper window with hand-brushed sumo designs in Chinese ink.
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Itsuzuya offers all kinds of dishes and appetizers with sakura ebi.
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As for people with hearty customers, choose one of the “set menus”. They are very good value, typically Japanese, and scrumptious!
Do make a point to try “Sakura Ebi Kaki Age” (picture above). It is a gastronomic experience!
As for sake lovers, do not worry! Itsuzuya serves a Shosetsu Brewery (Yui) nama honjozo in small 300ml bottles!

Izutsuya
Ihara Gun, Yui Cho, Yui, 314 (go down at Yui JR Station/Tokaido Line)
Business hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays if Mondays happen to be National Holidays)
Caters for large parties.
Tel.: 0543-752039
Fax: 0543-754415

Shizuoka Izakaya: Tonami

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Tonami originally opened in 2002 but was bought by the present couple owners mid 2005, for the better, I must say.
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The name “Tonami” means “Rabbit Wave”, and for rabbit lovers, the place is simply full of them!
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Located in the middle of the Shizuoka “Gourmet Town” Tokiwa-cho district, it is a very welcoming place where individuals or small parties of up to four will comfortably sit. I noticed that customers greatly vary in age, always a good sign.
As in any such establishments, sashimi is a good criterion for judging the quality of the fare: the sanma (saury, mackerel pike) was excellent and very fresh (they serve us the bones and head deep-fried later) and very tasty.
They do have original recipes and unusual morsels. I would like to recommend the following:
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(in above order) Deep-fried avocado and scallops Spring rolls, deep-fried whalemeat (yes, you red it!) and kushiyaki (Japanes brochettes)
They also serve a mean Japanese-style tripes curry!
All at reasonable prices for such an establishment.
As for drinks, the usual, but they also serve an excellent Shizuoka Sake, namely Isojiman Honjozo (Yaizu City): no need for dessert!
A place certainly worth a second visit!

Tonami
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 2-9, K Montania Bldg., 1F
Tel.: 054-2512012
Business hours: 17:00~24:00 (weekdays), 15:00~22:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Tuesdays