Tag Archives: Restaurants

Sushi for Vegetarians & Vegans (1)

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Although I’m not a vegetarian nor a vegan, I do understand the needs of people with different regimen and always try to inform them about gastronomic options available in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now, sushi for strict vegetarians or vegans exist as sown in those two pictures I took yesterday in a very small but famous Sushi Restaurant called Sushi Iroha in Iwata City, south of Toyoda JR Station.

The picture above features vegetables all grown in then neighbourhood Which were first cooked or/and marinated:
From left to right and top to bottom:
Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Yuber Paste (nigiri)
Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and Umeboshi/salted Japanese plum (nigiri)
Shiro Negi/white leek (nigiri)
Na no hana/Rape Blossoms (nigiri)
Gobo/Burdock Roots (nigiri)
Satsuma Imo/Yams (gunkan)
Daikon/Japanese Long Radish (gunkan)


Next I was served a sublime creation concocted with Ebine Imo/Ebine Tuber served mille-feuilles style intersped with sushi rice and presnted with dashes of olive oil, seame oil/goma abura and soy sauce/shoyu.

Look forward to reading Part 2!

French cuisine: Lunch at Sugimoto

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Sugimoto is may favourite French restaurant for the simple reason he tries whenever possible to use only ingredients grown or raised in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Dinner or lunch, you can expect the same quality, inventiveness and service.

So last Sunday, as I had nothing to do and my better (worse?) was away to work, I rode the bike for a look around and stopped there at around 13:00.
I chose the Lunch Set C for 2,500 yen which included bread, butter and coffee.
The first dish, above, consisted of a salad made with fried scabbard fish/”tachiuo” from Suruga Bay and vegetables from Hamamatsu City.

The main featured Suruga Beef from animals raised in Shizuoka City, away from the agglomeration and again vegetables from Hamamatsu City, including an unusual violet carrot/”murasaki ninjin” with skin. Usually I’m not a great fan of cooked carrots, but this was special. Of course the beef was a beauty!

The dessert would make a lot of people jealous: chocolate mousse (just the right sweetness, nothing cloying), mikan sherbet and Campari jelly.

Needless to say, I did ot mention my wife where I had lunch away from her!

420-0072 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ni-ban Cho, 4-1
Tel.: 054-2531160
Closed on Wednesdays

Italian Cuisine: Bar Rusticale

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Ten years ago when for the first time I came through Aino, Fukuroi City off Aino JR Station on my way to university, the word “desert” in any meaning was the only term I could think of.
How much it has changed since then! The Station had been created out of nothing to accomodate football/soccer fans going to the Ecopa Stadium. Since then, companies, houses and shops have sprouted everywhere on the then cheap land. It has moreover become a practical bedtown halfway between Fujieda and Hamamatsu.
The net result is that it has given birth to a few very decent restaurants, bars and even a good supermarket where I was able to acquire some hard-to-find local sakes!

Now, I had for some time wondered what was concealed behind the simple facade of this small restaurant just 3 minutes walk off Aino Station south exit. I had the opporyunity to find Bar Rusticale on the Internet and decided it was worth a visit!

Toshikazu Nakayama and his wife, Yoshie opened this unprepossessing bar-restaurant in August 2006 and have already attracted a faithful clientele including foreign visitors from the nearby Hi-Tec Company.
rusticale2.jpg rusticale3.jpg rusticale5.jpg
Venturing there on my own proved a mistake as it was physically impossible to sample all the offerings. The cuisine, simple and tasty, bears a personal note and goes down so well with the beer, wine, cocktails, shochu and, surprise! surprise!, a sake by the Aoshima-Kikuyoi Brewery in Fujieda City. Actually I drank the sake as it was perfect with the Italian cuisine (luckily I do not know any Italians in Fukuroi City!).
Now, the unconditional pizza lovers will be happy to learn that they offer a scrumptious “kinoko sauce/mushroom sauce pizza, just the right size for a single hungry expat!
But the simply extravagant mushrooms and sea urchin cream risotto would be reason enough to eat at Bar Rusticale!
It is also the perfect place to relax on your own or in company either at the counter or at a table surrounded by a very clean and clear decor. There are enough drinks and tidbits to keep you busy for a while!

Problem is that it will be difficult to avoid it from now on as I have to go past it every Friday!

Bar Rusticale
437-0031 Fukuroi City, Aino, 2042
Tel. & Fax: 0538-446387
Opening hours: 11:00~14:00, 17:30~22:30
Closed on Sundays and 3rd Monday.

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Whale Meat

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One can easily eat whale meat at Sushi Restaurants In Shizuoka Prefecture or even buy it directly at supermarkets.
Most of it come from Sperm Whales/Mako Kujira.
Whale meat should not be confused with Iruka/Dolphins whose meat has appeared on Japanese tables since times immemorial. It concerns an entirely different taste and cooking.

Whale meat can be appreciated in various form:
“Kujira Tataki”, that is whale meat cooked in small cuts ready for sashimi.
“Kiujira Salad”, including Whale Tartare and Carpaccio.
“Kuijra Seikyoyaki”, a Japanese way of cooking and serving cut to be eaten with hot rice, or even instead of a beef steak.
“Kujira Karaage”, or deep-fried whale meat, great with sake!
As Sushi, it does come in many guises to accomodate various parts.
Each region has its own traditional ways and presentations.
Incidentally, whale meat is safer than any meat from land animal, as it is purely biological!


Setting the record straight:

I fully understand this article will not be appreciated by some people, but do not expect me to apologize for whatever reasons!
I would like to to remind short memories that whales were practically decimated from (under) the surface of this world in the 19th Century by US and European whalers for their oil used in lamps. When the US in particular realised that they were quickly running out, they pushed for mineral oil exploitation with the economical and political consequences we are still suffering from. In short the ovekilling of whales is the direct cause and link to wars in the Middle East.
Last but not least, who and what was Commodore Perry after all?
A whaler! The US had had promoted a common whaler captain to the grand rank of Commodore for the political and diplomatic needs of the time as he happened to ply his trade in nearby seas!
I mentioned that whale meat is safer than beef. Incidentally, who practically exterminated bisons as a policy for driving Indians (Amerindians) out of the way and now makes a big deal of protecting them?

Sushi Restaurant: Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumi Aji

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I had wanted to visit a certain Sushi Restaurant in Hamamatsu City since I discovered “Sushiya No Neesan” Blog (Japanese).
My wish was finally granted last Friday, December 14th when I managed to get an evening free after University in Fukuroi City.
Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumii Aji (Suehiro-Tastes from Hamana Lake) is conveniently located at short distance from Hamamatsu JR Station South exit (only two tarffic lights away).
It is a very traditional Sushi Restaurant. It was converted into the present establishment from a Japanese Restaurant 28 years ago by the second-generation owner, Mr. Katsuhisa Yokota presently ably helped by his daughter, Chisako, who literally grew in the restaurant, learning her trade by daily observing her father’s skills.
Since this was my first visit I opted to try my favourites and gradually order recommended tidbits.
I started with some succulent “shirako” (male cod sperm sacs. This is the real translation, not whiting as some people prudely call them…) with ponzu vinegar and momiji oroshi/grated fresh daikon with chili pepper.
I then asked for the inevitable akami/lean tuna. Chisako San proposed raw kuruma ebi/prawns just caught in Hamana Lake. Succulent!
This particular Sushi Restaurant for its “fugu”/globefish. I chose to have it deep-fried/karaage. No need for chopsticks. Just eat with your fingers and lick them. I was offered chopped boiled globefish skin with it and I had to use chopsticks, then (LOL). Certainly better than your fish and chips!
Back to raw fish, I asked for hirame sashimi/sole-flounder. That disappeared quickly, I can assure you!
keeping an eye on what was on the counter, I noticed a large dish full of unagi kimo/eel liver simmered Japanese-style by Mr. Yokota. Absolutely perfect with Japanese sake!
I was going to switch onto the traditional kampyo maki/dried gourd shavings and negi toro maki/finely chopped leeks with tuna, when I was offered a dish perticular to Hamana Lake District: Haze tenpura. “Haze”, or goby is a small fish caught in Hamana Lake at low tide. It is best eaten as tenpura (with your fingers) with a little salt and pepper.

All right, I fanlly had to call it a day, what with the local sake from Hana no mai Brewery (Hamamatsu City). I had a train to take back to Shizuoka City. But it will be a short time before I visit the place again to try the other morsels!

Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, suyama Cho, 360-6
Tel.: 053-452-6288
Business Hours: 11:30-13:30&17:00-22:00
Closed on every Wednesday and second Tuesday

Italian Cuisine: Lunch at Ciccio

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Was a bit in a hurry this Sunday, in-between shopping for dinner and writing at the office (no cricket today).
I decided to visit Caffe Ciccio to check what they had on their menu.
They had the perfect snack, not heavy but hearty enough before coming back to work:
Panini Set.
Look at the picture above and you will see a crunchy raw ham (there are others) cut to size with a piece of excellent quiche, a cup of vegetables soup and a side salad and a drink.
For 1,050 yen (about 9.$50), not bad at all, and very tasty!

Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Shichikencho, 13-20
Tel. & Fax: 0542528767
Opening hours: 11:30~22:00
Clsed on Tuesdays