Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sushi Restaurant: Atsu in Shizuoka City!

Service: Friendly and attentive
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness. Beautiful washroom
Prices: Expensive
Strong points: Top-class seafood. Rare Shizuoka sake!

Eating sushi in Shizuoka City is even an experience in Japan!
Chefs can choose to use only local seafood, only seafood from other shores, or a personal mixture of the two with equal success.
Atsu in Shizuoka City is of the third kind, which means that the chef, Atsu Mochizuki, does come up with some rarities!

Atsu serves no less than 16 local Shizuoka Sake, from rare to extremely rare with the consequent prices!

The four of us last night opted for a “makase/chef’s course.
The pictures will surely tell you enough about the quality!

Shako/蝦蛄/Mantis Shrimp! Served as they are!

Tamagoyaki/玉子焼き/Japanese omelet!

Shiroebi/白海老/White Shrimps!

Ishidai/石鯛/Striped beakfish, Barred Knifejaw!

A rarity, Kawamatsu Karei/川松鰈/a variety of righteye flounder/turbot!

Kohada/小肌/Marinated flesh and skin of a Konishiro/鰶・鮗・鯯・鱅/Dotted gizzard shad

Another rarity: Keiji/鮭児/A rare variety of small salmon!

The bones and meat of the dame grilled!

Hamaguri/蛤/Large cockle/Clam!

Amadai/甘鯛/Tilefish!

Anago Aburi/穴子炙/Grilled Conger Eel!

Shime saba/〆鯖/Lightly pickled mackerel!

Maguro Zuke/鮪漬/Marinated lean part of Tuna!

Uni Gunkan/海栗軍艦/Sea urchin mounted on a rice ball wrapped in dry seaweed!

And for the finale, kuruma Ebi/車海老/Large boiled prawn!

To be continued…

ATSU/篤
Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Oshika, 1-4-19
Tel.: 054-2854010
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30, 17:00~
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK

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

Shizuoka Fish & Seafood at Shizuoka JR Station Parche Supermarket! (October 2011)

Middle bottom: Kanpachi/環八/Great Amberjack. Left, large and red: Kinmedai/金目鯛/Splendid Alfonsino. Right, long and grey: Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard Fish

One way to know your local food is naturally to visit regularly the local supermarkets.
In Shizuoka City we are blessed with a fantastic, maybe not in size but certainly in variety and quality, supermarket inside the JR Station Parche Building.
Now, this is the place to study all about the local (and from other shores!) marine life that will find its way onto your plates!
I do make regular visits just for the joy of it, so let me share with you the photographs of exclusively local seafood caught in the Suruga Bay or around the Izu Peninsula!

Click on pictures to enlarge and copy them!

Front: Ma-aji/真鯵/True Horse Mackerel. Left, top, Aka Shita Birame/赤舌平目/Red Sole. Right, top, Kinmedai/金目鯛/Splendid Alfonsino.

Enormous (and expensive) Isei Ebi/伊勢海老/Spiny Lobster!

Left bottom: Ishigakidai/石がき鯛/Spotted Knifejaw. Left top: Matoudai/まとう鯛/John dory, St. Peter’s fish. Right top: Itoyoridai/いとより鯛/Golden Threadfin-bream,Besugo

A closer view of the Itoyoridai/いとより鯛/Golden Threadfin-bream,Besugo!

A closer view of the Ishigakidai/石がき鯛/Spotted Knifejaw!

A closer view of the Matoudai/まとう鯛/John dory!

Watarigani/わたりがに/Gazami Crab, Blue Swimming Crab!

Amadai/あまだい/Tilefish!

From bottom top: Itoyoridai/いとより鯛/Golden Threadfin-bream,Besugo. Kuro Shita Birame/黒舌平目/Black Sole. Kuro Mutsu/黒むつ/Japanese bluefish, Bigeye.

Kisu/きす/Sillago.

Very cute Kasumi Sakura Dai/かすみさくらだい/A variety of (Kasumi Sakura) Seabream found almost only in Suruga Bay!

Meidakarei/めいだかれい/Frog-flounder, Finespotted flounder.

Honkasago/本かさご/True Rockfish, Marbled rockfish, Scorpionfish.

Finally, the pride and joy of Shizuoka Prefecture! Sakura Ebi/桜海老/Cherry Shrimps, just back in season!

To be followed…

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

Sashimi Appetizer Plate at Tomii (October 2011)

Service: Professional and attentive
Equipment: Great overall cleanliness, superb washroom
Prices: Slightly expensive
Strong Points: Refined Japanese gastronomy. Great list of Shizuoka Sake.

Tomii is the typical Japanese high-class Japanese restaurant with all the trappings you ought to expect. The quality certainly warrants the prices, but it is always an experience, be it for a quick visit or a more elaborate repast.
The other day, taking a break away from the computer, I restored myself there before going back to work. I would like to introduce the individual sashimi appetizer plate I ordered then:

An indeed very sophisticated serving of five different sashimi!

Maguro akami/鮪赤身, lean part of tuna.

Kampachi/勘八, great Amberjack from Sagara, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Kochi/鯒, Sand Borer-Papilloculiceps longiceps, from Mochimune in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Hata/羽太, Grouper

Aka Ika/赤烏賊, red squid.

Naturally, the freshly grated wasabi and the shiso, sprouts and other vegetables are from Shizuoka Prefecture!

To be continued…
TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
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

Today’s Bento/Lunch Box (11/51): Beef Chirashi Sushi Bento!

“Chirashi Sushi” means “Decoration Sushi”. Contrary to what you might think it does not have to include fish or seafood.
The Missus can make a beautiful one with beef!

It certainly looked colorful and appetizing!
I couldn’t wait to break it in! LOL

The Missus first concocted the Chirashi Sushi rice as a normal sushi rice before mixing it with small pieces of beef and vegetables as well as chopped shiso and others.
She then covered it first one half with shredded beef stir-fried with sauce of her own (blending) making including soy sauce and black sesame seeds.
She covered the other half with soboro tamago/Japanese-style scrambled (sweet) eggs.
She drew a boundary with a mixture of shredded carrot and shishito/thin peppercorns seasoned with wasabi vinaigrette!

The side dish for all its colors required the Missus’ hand for all the ingredients!

The aubergines/eggplants and goya/bitter melon, both from her mother’s garden, were prepared as o-hitashi, that is, first steamed/cooked and then lightly marinated.

The renkon/lotus roots, also coming from her mother’s garden were prepared in two manners. They were both sliced and boiled first. Half were pickled in umboshi and umezu/sweet vinegar into a pink color, the other half was marinated in soft wasabi paste of her own making!

As for dessert, the Missus cooked apples in wine and grenadine!

Beautiful colors reminiscent of the Fall season! Beautiful in many senses!

VRECOMMENDED 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

Japanese Gastronomy: Katsuo Tataki at Waga!

Service: Very friendly and easy-going! Slow food!
Facilities: Very clean overall. Large and clean washroom.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Great list of sake and shochu. Typical izakaya gastronomy with a personal touch!

Shizuoka Prefecture, thanks to its long shores along the Suruga Bay, the richest Bay in Japan, and around the Izu Peninsula is replete with fish and seafood all year round. Comparatively little fish is imported from other shores and people here keep to seasonal fish.
Katsuo/鰹/Bonito, also called skipjack tuna, is a very popular fish in Japan and probably the only sustainable tuna species these days. It is also extensively eaten in the Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, France and Spain.
At the beginning of the Fall large schools swim across the Suruga Bay and the quality of the fish in Shizuoka supermarkets, sushi restaurants and Izakaya is simply extraordinary!

Naturally, it is delicious consumed raw as sashimi or cooked as “nimono”, “teriyaki” or in curries, but my preferred cuisine is tataki!
Although the method is simple enough, timing is crucial!

Freshness is also crucial.
Instead of preparing it beforehand, the chef at Waga, upon receiving the order, will cut out a large chunk from a fresh skipjack filet and grill it directly over the flame just long enough to sear the fish a few mm deep. He will then plunge it into icy water to stop the cooking and wipe it dry. Simple? Yes, but try it, and you will find out a lot of little details have to be taken into account!
The chef will then cut the katsuo in large slices and serve them artfully arranged on a plate with a light cold sauce/dressing.

For a perfectly balanced and beautiful dish he will prop the fish atop plenty of lettuce and decorate it with finely cut white leek and a quartered large plum tomato, all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Of course, the dressing is a secret but it is based on soy sauce, ponzu and lime juice with soft spices!

WAGA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, takajyo, 2-1-20, Kuroyanagi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-271-7121
Business hours: 17:30~23:30, 17:30~26:00 (on Fridays, Saturdays and National Holidays)
Closed on Mondays
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

Sushi Dilemma: Real Sushi vs. Conveyor-belt Sushi (Kaiten Zushi)

Ikura Gunkan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

True to say conveyor-belt sushi restaurants (kaiten Zushi) seem to be very popular these days in Japan wherever you are, be it in a large metropolis, a harbor city or a place up in the country.
Judging from the attendance and the plorifiration of such establishments, even in cities like Shizuoka renown for its sushi and sashimi in general, one starts to wonder about the wisdom of apparently spending more money on a good sushi place when you have cheap sushi available almost everywhere.

Ikura Gunkan sushi at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture (man-made ikura!).

I’m not really refering to Tokyo or major metropolises in Japan (neither to New York, London or Paris for that matter) where you either have to spend fortunes on cleverly manipulated “gastronomic sushi” or spend hours waiting overfilled diners machine-gunning leftovers from the local fish markets.

To illustrate this article I chose two places I have visited in two major fishing areas of Japan:
!) Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City where all prices are clearly stated or where the staff will gladly explain the amount of the “day’s value” for some items, especially sashimi. Shizuoka Prefecture is a major fishing area in Japan thanks to the Suruga Bay and Izu Peninsula. Apart of ikura/salmon’s roe there is no much need to “import” seafood from other shores.
2) Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Shimonoseki is a major fsihing city and Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant inside the enormous fish market by the sea. You do have to wait at least 30 minutes at off-peak times and the double on holidays.
The same applies for the fish supply and ikura!

Hirame/sole-grouper nigiri at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi.

Now, except maybe if you are a big family and on a limited budget (even so it would be far cheaper and more interesting to organize a “do-it-yorself” sushi party at home!), would you be ready as an individual or couple to wait untold amounts of time to be finally ushered inside a crowded place sitting elbow against elbow, putting up with the cries of unruly children (or noisy old ladies and gentlemen) and looking at the best bits being repeatedly being grabbed before they rach you?
Can you expect attentive service from an overworked staff worrying if the next batch of rice will be ready on time?

Hirame/sole-grouper nigiri Sushi Ko

On the other hand, in a real and decent sushi restaurant with prices clearly advertized you will have the chance to eat at your leisure and if you sit at the counter (where the prices are the same, contrary to the general belief) also benefit from great discusions with the chefs and even your neighbors (good sushi restaurants are great places for socializing with strangers!). Mind you, the same cannot be said from “upper-class” sushi restaurants in great cities where you more than often are obliged to order sushi on a set-menu basis only, and expected to vacate the premises once finished as soon as possible! That is, if you are not a celebritty or an extraordinarily rich individual!
So obviously, there is a big difference in atmosphere and service, but would it be enough to help you decide between the two?

Maguro o-toro (cheapest tuna variety, though) nigiri at at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi.

Shall we talk about quality then?
First the “shari” or sushi rice: in a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant the nigiri will be made machanically at high speed for obvious economical reasons. It does take a few seconds at a time to form the balls by hands whereas the “chefs” (I’m sorry to say that a chef who cannot make a good sushi ball by hand does not deserve the title of sushi chef!) at conveyor-belt establishments have to learn how to quickly grab the balls spitted out by the machine!
Sometimes you may be lucky to eat more or less oval balls, but you will usually end up with hard-pressed squarish contraptions which tend to dry faster. i do not need to point that there is a vast gap in rice quality (and accordingly real value)!
You can and are even encouraged to ask for individual orders at kaiten zushi restaurants but the prices will not be the same, so be careful!

Maguro zuke 8made with bluefin tuna akami)

Now, let’s talk about the “neta”/topping:
First don’t expect freshly grated wasabi root in a kaiten zushi (except maybe in Shizuoka which produces 80% of all wasabi in Japan!), although the paste used contains 100% pure wasabi!
Whereas most of the fish will be cut in front of you, chefs at Kaiten zushi will pick up the toppings from stacks prepared beforehand. The latter more than often (especially maguro) will be cut from frozen blocks to attain greater thinness (and better profit). Consequently the fish will appear glossy and fresh but is in fact only in the late stages of thawing.
Generally speaking the offerings at conveyor-belt sushi restaurants will be far thinner than those ordered in real sushi restaurants nothwithstanding the difference in grade and freshness, although the latter can be guaranteed in Shimonoseki!

Sashimi Plate at sushi Ko: Shirasu (sardine whiting), Katsuo (bonito), maguro (tuna) and kinmedai (Spledid Alfonsino), all from Shizuoka Prefecture!

Now thare are a few things you will usually not obtain in a kaiten zushi:
1) a plate of sashimi.

Super California Roll at Sushi Ko!

2) a good quality sushi roll.

Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelet at Sushi Ko

3) a fresh tamagoyaki made onsite.
Tamagayaki in conveyor-belt sushi is either prepared and sent in bulk by the company factory in case of a chain, or made on order by a separate company in the case of an independent establishment.

Although this is in no way an attempt to coersce people into my view, I prefer to spend a little more money on an occasional visit at a decent sushi restaurant or to prepare my own sushi at home! Preparing sushi rice is no big deal (although the Japanese Missus will not let me to…) and finding decent fish (and vgetables) at a local decent supermarket will guarantee a better quality!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
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

Sushi in Shizuoka City: Sushi Ko (September 2011)

“Super California Roll”!

Service: Very friendly and attentive. Always ready to please
Facilities: great overall cleanliness
Prices: Appropriate. Good value
Strong points: Great blending of local and all-Japan seafood. Great list of Shizuoka sakes! Both modern and traditional sushi.

We are entering the Autumn season, albeit a very hot one, and new fish are being caught.
It was time to visit Sushi Ko, my favorite sushi bar/resturant in Shizuoka City to check on the new arrivals!

The present Master of the Place, Mr. Kenta Birukawa/尾留川健太 has just been rewarded with the Gold Medal at the Japan National Sushi Design Contest, an event held every 4 years!
Mr. Oda, the former Master, who is presently in charge of the mother company, was also rewarded the same prize 4 years ago!

So, what did we enjoy?

Kinmeidai/金目鯛/Splendid Alfonsino sashimi (Izu Peninsula).

Beautiful colors!
Notice the edible shiso/perilla/紫蘇 flowers!

This is the season of the katsuo/鰹/bonito which swim across the Suruga Bay!

Usually served with freshly grated ginger, chopped scallions and thinly sliced red onions.
Thinly sliced fresh garlic is another option!

A wink to America: Super California Roll! Can you guess what’s in it?

Sake from Masu Ichi Brewery in Shizuoka City!

Chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸/ Japanese steamed salted pudding!

Hirame/平目/Sole-Grouper (Shizuoka) just seasoned with a little salt and lime juice. No need for soy sauce!

Sazae/サザエ/Turbo Shell!

the whole flesh is first taken out, sliced and cooked inside the shell!

The liver of the turbo shell!

Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard Fish (Shizuoka) served as aburi/炙り/grilled on the skin surface seasoned with ponzu and served with momijioroshi/grated daikon and chili pepper, and chopped scallions.

A sneak view of the sashimi plate prepared for a group of five at a table!

Magurozuke/鮪漬け/marinated tuna (lean part), a real dessert!

Ikura/イクラ/salmon’s roe served as “gunkan nigiri/軍艦握り/Mothership Nigiri. Notice the small empty “boats” following the mothership?

A cute fleet, isn’t it?

How about that for tamagoyaki/玉子焼き/Japanese omelette design?

Anago/穴子/conger eel (Shizuoka), a universal favorite!

A vegan sushi nigiri with lightly boiled Chinese cabbage and Japanese hot mustard!

A real dessert: Home-made fig Wine Stew!

To be followed…

SUSHI KO
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Park Street)
Tel.: 054-251-9701
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (in Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
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

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!

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

Tuna Species (amended & expanded)

I noticed that many friends all over the World are anglers and fish lovers.
Here is some useful information on the most popular fish in Japan (and in Spain, too), namely Tuna!

Kuromaguro/Blue Fin Tuna

kuromaguro.jpg

Tuna or “Maguro” is the most popular fish for sushi and sashimi lovers in Japan (and abroad). It is said that more than 60% of total catch is consumed in Japan alone (and probably a lot higher depending on species). Incidentally, Japan is not the single bigger consumer of fish. Spain is!

Now, there is tuna and tuna. Briefly said, there are many species with many names and very different price tags as well!

The first species I would like to introduce is “Kuromaguro”, or Blue Fin Tuna (or Tunny).
It has many other names in Japanese: Honmaguro, Maguto, Meji,Yokowa, Shibi, Imoshii, Shibimaguro, Kuroshibi, and Hatsu!

The best are caught in Winter mainly in the seas off Kochi (Shikoku Island), Miyagi (Honshu Island) and Hokkaido Prefectures.
This variety is the most expensive and can reach astronomical prices, especially caught in Winter off Hokkaido.
Imported Kuromaguro usually reaches Japan frozen, but in recent years the fish has been successfully raised in semi-wild environments in Spain, Australia and Croatia and arrives in Japan fresh by plane.
Import and sale of Kuromaguro are monopolised by the Japanese trade associations, unless you are lucky enough to catch one (careful here, as poaching is a major offense in Japan!).
Between you and me, if you want to eat Kuromaguro sashimi, it might come cheaper if you do it while travelling in Spain!
Did you know that Japanese importers will fly to Spain and other countries just to check that the fish are bled properly?

Now the good news for people who think that Bluefin Tuna might disappear from the oceans is that Japan has successfully raised the fish from the egg till fish reaching more than 30 kg in no less than three locations in Japan!
I predict that Japan will export tuna within 10 years!

kuromaguro-otoro
Kuromaguro Otoro (fat part)

kuromaguro-chutoro
Kuromaguro Chutoro (semi-fat part)

kuromaguro-akami
Kuromaguro Akami (lean part)

———————

Mebachi/Big-eyed Tuna

mebachi.jpg

Mebachi or Big-eyed Tuna, a fairly reasonable kind of tuna, is especially popular for its “akami” (lean part)

mebachi-akami

It has different names according to the areas: “Darumashibi” (Mie Prefecture), “Mebuto” (Kyushu). In Tokyo, Shizuoka and Wakayama, it is called “Daruma” when caught at a young age.
The best seasons for catching are during the rainy season or the Fall.
This kind of tuna is mainly caught off the shores of Miyagi, Kagoshima, Kochi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa and Hokkaido Prefectures.

As said before, it is mainly appreciated for its lean beautiful red flesh, but also cooked and grilled as “kama”:
mebachi-kama
In the fall it is also a source of toro (fatty part) when kuromaguro is not available.
In recent years it has been extensively caught in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea. It also comes frozen from Chile, Peru and North America. It is also flown fresh from Australia, Indonesia and New York. A lot equally comes frozen from South Korea and Taiwan.

——————–

Kihada: Yellowfin Tuna

kihada1.jpg

“Kihada maguro” or Yellowfin Tuna” will appear on our tables from early summer.
It is mainly caught off Shizuoka, Miyagi and Kochi Prefectures coasts.
Like all other fish it is called other names in different regions:
Kiwada, Itoshibi (Wakayama, Kochi, Kyushu), Shibi (Kyusyu, Osaka), Ban (Osaka) and Tuna Kajibi (Okinawa)
Kihada roams over many seas between 30 degrees north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude and even wider depending on the season.
Most of the fish caught in Japan is served locally as sashimi:
efbd8befbd89efbd88efbd81efbd84efbd81efbc92
Very recognizable for its pinkish colour.
It is also widely appreciated as Zuke (first lightly grilled, then dipped into ice water before being cut into thin slices) on nigiri:
kihada3
A lot is imported frozen.
In Shizuoka try to go for the freshly caught samples coming from Yaizu or Numazu Fishing harbors.

—————–

Minamimaguro/Southern Blue Fin Tuna

minamimaguro.jpg

Minamimaguro or Southern Blue Fin Tuna could be called a true Shizuoka Prefecture tuna as our Prefecture accounts for 30% of the total in Japan!
shizuokaminamimaguro
Like all fish it has different names: Indomaguro, Goushyumaguro, Bachimaguro.
In Autumn it is mainly caught off Australia, New Zealand, Capetown (South Africa) in the Southern Hemisphere and off the coasts of Shizuoka, Kochi, Kagoshima and Miyagi Prefectures in Japan.
Mianmimaguro is comparatively cheaper than its fellows as it contains little fat, which on the other hand makes it very easy to freeze and preserve.
shizuokaminamimagurochu
Regardless of the lack of fat, it makes for excellent sashimi, sushi and various parts are succulent grilled or cooked.
The parts discarded by humans make for a lot of cat food!

————————

Binnaga/Albacore Tuna

binnaga.jpg

Binnaga or Albacore is very often called Tonbo Maguro in Japan. It is also known under the name of Binchyou.
It is caught in the Summer off the coasts of Miyagi, Kochi, Mie and Miyazaki Prefectures.
This is probably the cheapest kind of tuna available in Japan apart of Marlin.
binnagatonbo
It makes for most of the cheaper tuna sashimi in supermarkets.
I personally like it fried in large slices before eating them as tuna hamburgers. Absolutely delicious and far healthier than a McDonald’s (let them sue me!)!
efbd82efbd89efbd8eefbd8eagatataki
For people who want to try their hand at making “tataki”, it would be the perfect first step into Japanese gastronomy.
It is also vastly used by canneries under the name of “Sea Chicken”.
It is probably the most popular tuna species outside Japan.

———————–

Mekajiki/Big-eye Marlin

mekajiki.jpg

Strictly speaking, marlins are a different branch from tuna, but as it is so often offered as a substitute for true tuna, I decided to introduce it as such.
There are many types of marlins all over the world, but the most commonly caught and eaten is “Mekajiki”/Big-eye Marlin.
kajiki1.jpg
It is found in various supermarkets and cheap izakaya. Still it is a very popular as sashimi as well as grilled fish. Even in my home country, France, it is served as “Carpaccio”.
It is caught all around Japan from Atumn to Winter.
It is also called “Meka” in Tokyo or “Mesara” in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Sashimi varieties came in two main kinds: “kuro” and “shiro”.
“Makajiki” (“true marlin”) is peach pink while “Mekajiki” (“big-eye marlin”) is of a whitish orange.
More than 1,000 tonnes are caught off Japan, whereas imports amount to more than 1,100 tonnes.
In Europe and America it is popular as canned food or grilled.
mekajiki-sushi
One can enjoy it as cheap “nigiri” in sushi restaurants.
Fresh marlin should be shiny and show veins bright red.
It is mainly caught at night as it swims near the surface then.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
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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

Sashimi: Shizuoka Fish at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi Restaurant!

Red-tail Horse Mackerel/oakaaji/尾赤鯵!

Service: Very friendly, attentive and informative
Facilities: Overall clean if a bit old-fashioned
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Mainly local fish. Local sake. Always ready to improvise!

It is not friends like Sissi or LouAnnn I’m trying to convince, but more gastronomes like Chuck and Melinda whom I would like to pull screaming out New york and Tokyo to convince them to give up on what I call “decoration/trompe l’oeil sashimi amd sushi”!

One does not need to patronize an Edomae-style Sushi Restaurant and spend untold amounts of yen or dollars to truly experience this side of Japanese gastronomy so popular all over the World.
Just go to a good local sushi restaurant in Japan (and even abroad if like-minded!) which is willing (and should be!) to serve local fish as much as possible!
If you come to Shizuoka it is only an embarrassment of choices, but I definitely would recommend Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in Shizuoka City as they are one of the rare sushi restaurants that open all day and serve whatever you fancy!

Fine, you would say, but show us!
No worries there, mate (gal)!
Here is what I savored for lunch there today. I even asked them to exclusively serve me sashimi from Shizuoka (Suruga Bay, Izu Peninsula, etc.)!

Seguro iwashi/背黒鰯/Black Back Sardines

These seguro iwashi are very much in season right now with a lot of (fish) fat. They were actually served as a “snack” with my first drink (sake). Plain sashimi to be enjoyed with a little soy sauce.

Hirame/平目/Sole-Flatfish-Bastard halibut-Olive flounder

Hirame is abundant in the Suruga Bay.
Note that the little piece at the bottom is “engawa/えんがわ/the piece along the fish by the narrow fins” that we throw away in Europe!

Marusaba/丸鯖/Round mackerel

Served as “han-nama/半生/half-raw, that is lightly seared or boiled, it is so fresh in taste and absolutely without any “fishy” smell or aftertaste!

Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard Fish.

One of my favorite fish. It is best appreciated (as above) in “aburi/炙り/ seared fashion after being sprinkled with salt. No need of soy sauce to appreciate the different textures and tastes as you bite through it!

Aji no Tataki/鯵の叩き/Horse Mackerel

The Suruga bay, especially around Yui and Kambara is one of the famous spots in Japan for Aji/Horse mackerel.
Simply served as Tataki/cut thin with grated ginger and chopped scallions and a little soy sauce!

No need for fancy seasoning!

Ekimae Matsuno serve the same fish lightly marinated in rice vinegar!

Katsuo hara/鰹腹/Bonito belly

Shizuoka is famous all over the country for its katsuo/bonito, but few people have had the occasion to try its belly part!

Kisu konbujime/鱚,鼠頭魚/Sillago

Sillago are a celebrated morsel all over Japan, but Shizuoka is particularly blessed with shirogizu/白鱚/white sillago!

Served as konbujime/昆布締め/marinated in seaweed, it does not need any soy sauce!

Oakaaji/尾赤鯵/Red tail horse Mackerel

This is a variety of horse mackerel with a deeper red flesh you will not see often away from these shores!

Perfect in tataki/thinly cut style with chopped scallions, grated fresh ginger and chopped nori/dry seaweed!

To be followed… I mean with more local fish from Shizuoka Prefecture!

EKIMAE MATSUNO SUSHI/駅前松乃寿
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 3-3 (Just in front of Shizuoka JR Railway Station
Tel.: 054-252-0123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays and 3rd Tuesday
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

Lunch at Kogawa Fishing Harbor Canteen!

A great way to eat top-class fresh fish for a ridiculously low price is to visit good fishing harbors in Japan!
Yesterday, in between two interviews held in rice fields in Yaizu City, two friends of mine took me to Kogawa Fishing Harbor/小川港, the real fishing harbor of Yaizu City!

Kogawa Fishing Harbor Canteen/小川港魚河岸食堂 doesn’t look much from outside. It actually very much looks like a big company cafeteria!

You have to look around to convince yourself you are inside a fishing harbor especially at 12:00 a.m. when all the trade of the day has been concluded.

You will feel a bit more convinced when looking at the posters describing the fish being brought to the harbor.
It is also difficult to imagine that you are actually inside one of the major fishing harbors in Japan!
Incidentally, foreign tourists ought to learn that to know this is not Tsukiji in Tokyo with dead fish all around, but a harbor where you can eat fish that was brought in by the boats the very morning!

It’s only when you get inside that serious things are really taking shape!

Menus are everywhere to be consulted, so have a good look, choose your order and buy a ticket at the entrance. You might need someone who can read Japanese then!

Inside does look like a canteen, doesn’t it? Old but clean!

If you still harbored (pun?) any doubts, just look at the big flag to convince yourself!
Can you see Mount Fuji!

Remember that customers early in the morning are local fishermen whereas at lunch time they are normal consumers!

Hand over your ticket and wait for your number to be called!

Meanwhile choose your table where you will find all you need!

Now, what did the three of us had?

I chose the “Negitoro donburi set/ネギトロ丼 for only 800 yen (9 US$!)!

Enormous portion of absolutely fresh tuna!

One of my friends chose the Maguro Zuke Donburi Set/鮪漬丼/Marinated Tuna for only 800 yen again and plate of katsuo/鰹/bonito sashimi for the 3 of us to share!

Yaizu City (Kogawa) harbour is the major source of Bonito in Japan!. This plate cost a mere 500 yen!

The marinated (tombo maguro) tuna!

My second friend had the Katsuo Steak Lunch Set/カツオステーキ定食/Bonito Steak Lunch for only 700 yen!

Look at those bonito steaks!

Don’t worry, they also sell drinks!

As one of my friends will help me interview the fishermen early in the morning in this particular harbor soon, expect more of the same. In fact this is only the start of a series of reports on Shizuoka fishing harbors!

Kogawa Fishing Harbor Canteen/小川港魚河岸食堂
425-0033 Yaizu Shi, Kogawa, 3392-9
Tel.: 054-624-6868
Business hours: 07:00~14:00
Open all year round except for the New Year and mid-summer O-Bon

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

“Great Fisherman’s Catch Plate” at Hana Oto

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!

What is absolutely extravagant in Shizuoka, and I’m talking about the whole of Japan, is that you can (and should!) expect top-class sashimi even in a Chinese-style izakaya (and else!)!
Actually, Hana Oto in Shizuoka announced their sashimi of the day at the very top of their menu!

What is even more tempting is that they not only offer a range of individual sashimi, but also a whole plate of them over a bed of extra fresh Shizuoka-grown leafy vegetable, the whole called 大漁サラダ/dairyou sarada/Great Fisherman Catch Plate”, mostly featuring fish and seafood from Shizuoka!

This time it included nama shirasu/生シラス/raw sardine whiting, maguro/鮪/tuna, saba/鯖/mackerel, madai/真鯛/seabream and tako/蛸/octopus!

Not only it was absolutely delicious, but it was great fun to pick it all from the dish and arrange it on my plate for a photograph!

I’ll take the opportunity to show some other tidbits we had that day: mizunasu/水茄子/ “Water eggplant/aubergine eaten raw with thin sticks of daikon and seasoned with katsuo bushi/鰹節/dry bonito shavings!

Fried Amagi Shamo Chicken liver in Dijon seed mustard and marinated cucumbers!

To be continued…

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

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

Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City (June 2011)

Umazura tsukuri/ウマズラ造り/Filefish sashimi plate!

Sushi Ko in Aoba Park Street in Shizuoka City is the sushi bar owned by Sushi Ko Main Sushi Restaurant in Ta-machi in the same city.
Mr. Oda has just been asked to take charge of the main restaurant while his very capable second, Mr. Kenta Birukawa/尾留川健太さん has been promoted Head of the Sushi Bar in Aoba.
The Bar is as good as ever, but now I will also have to check the main restaurant!

While the Missus drank her Chardonnay, I was sipping my sake brewed by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City. The above shows the snack coming with the first drink: octopus/tako/蛸 served with seaweed, momijioroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper, chopped thin leeks and ponzu!

We managed to get our favorite seats at the counter, but one half of the tatami room was busy with a group of 11 hungry salarymen!
Loads of consecutive work!

Our seats gave us the perfect view of the chefs at work!
They know us well, so they actually welcome the photography (without flash!), but make a point to ask for permission if you are a new customer (the latter applies for any restaurant!)!

On the menu of the day they had umazura tsukuri/ウマズラ造り/Filefish Sashimi Plate.
This fish whose name literally means “Horse face” is a kind of filefish found in Suruga Bay.
It was taken alive out of the fish pond!

Filefish in general is not that popular in other countries, but it definitely deserves attention.
Although it has not much meat, it makes for beautiful sashimi!

For a closer view!

Here it is, served with a dip made with its fresh liver and ponzu!
A real morsel!

Its cheeks were served deep-fried!

Chef Birukawa has kept a little to serve the perfect filefish nigiri topped with its liver and momijioroshi and some thin leeks and wasabi between the neta/topping and the shari/rice!

The Missus always asks for the maguro ponkara/鮪ぽんから/deep-fried tuna served with momiji oroshi, ponzu and sliced red onions!

Whatever the sushi restaurant we always ask for magurozuke/鮪漬/marinated tuna as each establishment has a different recipe!

Sushi Ko always have great botan ebi/牡丹海老/large sweet prawn from Hokkaido in season!

Their freshness means we are guaranteed their deep-fried heads. They make for beautiful crackers!

When we asked for anago/穴子/conger eel, they came in the perfect combination of one piece shio-aji/塩味/salted and the other one, tare-aji/たれ味/brushed with sweet sauce!

Another favorite: tachiuo aburi nigiri/太刀魚炙り握り/Seared scabbard fish nigiri seasoned with ponzu!

Chef Mirukawa’s specialty: Sushi Millefeuille!

The Millefeuille was made with maguro akami/lean tuna, cucumber, avocado and topped with flying fish roe!

A vegetarian/vegan sushi roll with natto, shiso and umboshi!

Another vegetarian/vegan sushi roll with kanpyou/干瓢/dry gourd shavings and plenty of wasabi!

Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette!

We usually finish such meals with hot food.
The Missus had nameko mushroom miso soup with plenty of seaweed.

As for me I had chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸し/Japanese-style hot salted pudding!

And we were graciously offered Shizuoka-grown musk melon as we paid our (very reasonable) bill!

To continue…

SUSHI KO
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 2-3-1 (Aoba Park Street)
Tel.: 054-251-9701
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (in Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
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

Sushi Restaurant: Narukawa in Shizuoka City

“Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear Roll” made with fresh wasabi root from Shizuoka!

Service: Professional and very friendly. Keen to please customers
Facilities: Very clean overall. Great washroom
Prices: Appropriate
Strong points: Extensive usage of local fish. Shizuoka sake.

Hiroki Narukawa/生川広樹さん

I’ve known Chef Hiroki Narukawa for ages since his apprentice days.
Since then he has flown on his own wings and has recently opened his restaurant Narukawa/なるかわ at a new and more spacious address.

In spite of the higher class atmosphere and the increased staff, the prices have not changed and can be considered as reasonable for the quality he serves even in this very difficult to please Prefecture!

Although the seating is modern and almost western in concept it is still very much a traditional atmosphere!

There are naturally menus and sets, but I would encourage you to have a look at the offerings of the day under the glass display and talk with Narukawa San before you start ordering!
Personally I do not bother looking at menus and prefer a more social introduction. The fact that I know the chef also helps! LOL

The Missus and I usually starts with sashimi!
The above is hirame konbujime/平目昆布〆/sole lightly preserved in konbu seaweed. From Shizuoka!

Aka mutsu/赤むつ/Rosy Seabass from Shizuoka.

Kaisui uni/海水海栗/Sea Urchin in his original seawater eaten as it is! Extravagant! From Hokkaido!

Hotate nigiri/帆立握り/Scallops Nigiri. Large! From Northern Japan!

The filaments, roe and liver of the same scallops. A dish that would please a lot of people all over the world!

Madai nigiri/真鯛/True seabream/grouper-Red Seabream/grouper nigiri. From Shizuoka!

Magurozuke nigiri/鮪漬/marinated tuna (akami/lean part). Probably from Shizuoka or North of Japan (I forgot to ask as I always ask for this morsel in Shizuoka!).

Asupara mentaiko maki/アスパラ明太子巻/asparagus and hot cod roe (with mayonnaise) roll. For the Missus! The asparagus is from Shizuoka, the mentaiko from Kyushu island!

While the Missus had her mentaiko I had a kanpyou maki/干瓢巻/gourd shavings first dried, then marinated. With real wasabi from Shizuoka, almost a dessert!

Suwagani nigiri/諏訪蟹/snow crab nigiri from Hokkaido!

Shiroebi kakiage/白海老あき揚げ/white shrimps tempura from Toyama Prefecture!

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Namida Maki/涙巻/Tear roll made with freshly sliced wasabi root from Shizuoka. Extravagant!

For a closer view!

Menegi nigiri to daikon zuke/芽葱と大根漬/leek sprouts and pickled (lime) daikon. All from Shizuoka!


Ikura Mini Donburi/イクラミニ丼/mini bowl of salmon’s roe!

To be continued…

NARUKAWA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-5-2
Tel.: 054-221-1689
Business hours: 11::30~13:30, 17:00~02:00
Closed on Mondays
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE

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-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Vegan & Vegetarian Sushi In Shizuoka Sushi Restaurants

Vegan Sushi plate at Sushi Ko

The Missus and I visited our favourite Sushi Restaurant last night, Sushi Ko. it might not be the most expensive or sophisticated sushi restaurant in our Prefecture but you get the best food at the best price.
It certainly far better value than some vaunted establishments in Tokyo or New York where you pay ridiculous prices for tiny pieces of art in outrageously expensive surroundings!
Moreover, Mr. Oda is one of those very few true chefs who take pleasure in tackling any challenge thrown at him by customers.
He knows that I will always ask him to come with a vegan sushi plate not only to demonstrate that such gastronomy exists, but also to lure more customers to his business, which is quite flourishing.

Here what he concocted for us. Sorry for the slightly fuzzy pictures, but I had to contend with an impatient Missus!

These rolls were made with thin wide strips of daikon that mr. Oda quickly marinated in lemon water instead of using dry nori/seaweed.
Inside he rolled sushi rice (shari) with trefoil stems, umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum meat and shiso/perilla leaves!

Buckwheat sprouts/Hime Soba Me/姫蕎麦芽 Nigiri!

Thin leek sprouts/Me Negi/芽葱 Nigiri!

Trefoil/Mitsuba/三つ葉 Nigiri!

What is Mr. Oda going to come up with next time? LOL

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
————————-
Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko

SUSHIK-09-08-31-12

On Monday August 31st, my birthday, the Missus invited me to our favourite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko!
There are many reasons for Sushi Ko to be our favourite sushi restaurant that I have mentioned many a time before: supreme fish and vegetables (and even meat), great side dishes, including cooked dishes, originality, great service and willingness to tackle customers’ challenges! On top that add a great list of sake, shochu and even wines! As for the icing the prices are more than reasonable and clearly indicated!
Omnivores should check HERE for the full article!

Although neither of us is vegan, mr. Oda and I have this little game every time of a challenge consisting of a plate featuring at least four vegan sushi.
Here is what the chef came with this time:

SUSHIK-09-08-31-13

Himenegi/young thin leeks reminiscent of French ciboulette.

SUSHIK-09-08-31-14

Kaiwaredaikon/Japanese radish sprout, lightly boiled and topped with some umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.

SUSHIK-09-08-31-15

Betarazuke/daikon lightly pickled in sweet vinegar. In this cases served with a piece of shiso/perilla leaf between the shari/sushi rice and the neta/topping. Some lime skin was grated ontop making for a sweet sophisticated taste!

SUSHIK-09-08-31-16

Mitsuba/Trefoil: the stems and leaves were slightly boiled and sparated, making for a bicolour combination accentuated by finely cut kyuri/cucumber!

Sushi Ko
shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
—————————
VEGAN & VEGETARIAN SUSHI IN SHIZUOKA

iroha-2.jpg
(from top to bottom and left to right: Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Tuber, Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and pickled Japanese plums, Shiro negi/White leek, Na no Hana/Rape Blossoms, Gobo/Burdock roots, Satsuma Imo/Sweet yams, Daikon/Long Japanese radish)

Whenever I can convince there is Japanese food fit for Vegans and Vegetarians (I’m neither!), I make a point of posting articles that might help friends with different culinary priorities!
I have recently received more requests about recipes and examples.
Therefore I decided to re-post a former article with the addition of more discoveries!

There is vegan and vegetarian sushi in Japan and elsewhere!
As a proof have a good look at the picture and explanations above. The pic was taken at Iroha Sushi, a small but extremely renown sushi restaurant in Iwata City, an area celebrated for its vegetables!

vegan-sushi1
Kyoto is a renown place for Vegan & Vegetarian Sushi!
From right to left, top to bottom:, Yuuba (tofu sheets), Takenoko (Bamboo shoots), Myoga (myoga ginger), Zenmai (Spring vegetable variety), Ki no mi (Spring vegetables), Awafu (grilled tofu sheets), Kamo Nasu (kamo egg-plant), Hakusai Maki (Chinese cabbage).
Print a copy of this pic, show it to your local Sushi Restaurant and challenge him/her into preparing your favorite tidbits!

vegan-sushi2
From bottom to top: Takenoko (boiled bamboo shoots topped with a sprig of sansho/Japanese pepper plant)), Kabu Tsukemono (pickled turnip), Sugiku no Ha Maki (sugiku Chrysanthemum leaves)
And what about these? Not only tasty but fulfilling!

efbd8befbd81efbd8defbd90efbd99efbd8fefbd95efbd8daki
“Kanpyou maki”/dry gourd shavings: here is one that any sushi restaurant will serve you!

vegan-sushi3
That small one is my personal favourite: “menegi”/thin leeks sprouts!

24-24-24-311
Vegan/vegetarian Te-maki: natto, shiso, ume/Japanese pickled plum.
(Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!)

24-24-24-33
Another Vegan/vegetarian Kanpyo-maki/dry gourd shavings roll for second dessert!

24-24-24-8

Menegi/leek sprouts, Soba no Shinme/buckwheat sprouts, Mitsuba, avocado, Takuan/pickled daiko and shiso nd cucumber gunkan, mizuna gunkan.
(Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!)

sobasushimaki

And how about Soba Sushi maki?

I’ll still keep looking!

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