Recommended Restaurants

Sashimi Feast at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi

Now, what makes sushi restaurants of so high level in Shizuoka?
Tokyoites will say that they have Tsukiji and that is enough…
Have you ever wondered how fresh fish, shellfish and others are “fresh” there?
“Fresh fish” at all costs has become a very misleading notion.
The fact it is alive and swimming does not mean it is fresh.

All fish must be caught first and depending on their kind have to be either eaten right away or…
For example seabreams should be kept at least a day alive in an aquarium/tub to get them rid of unwanted parasites inside their innards. But at the same time keeping them alive longer will result in a loss of proteins and fat with the consequence of a fast quality decline.
Tuna has to be blooded very precisely first, then frozen. Once thawed and cut it is usually left at least a week for maturing/ripening before reaching the perfect taste.
On the other hand, squids must be dressed and eaten alive (still moving!).
It is a “case by case” (said in English) as explained by the chef at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in Shizuoka City.
Founded in 1930, the oldest sushi restaurant know what they are talking about!

Bachi Maguro/目鉢鮪/Big-eyed Tuna from Ogasawara/Shizuoka Prefecture, Tairagai/玉珧/Pen shell from Aichi Prefecture, Sayori/細魚/Japanese Halfbeak from Suruga Bay/Shizuoka Prefecture

The key to appreciating top-class sashimi at all times and seasons is to savour it locally. Only then will you be sure of its origin and quality.
Naturally you must also discover a trustworthy sushi restaurant and chef. Not very difficult here where the competition is intense!

Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard fish partly seared/aburi/炙り, Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid rolled with seaweed/nori/海苔, and Madai/真鯛/Japanese red seabream, red seabream snapper. All from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Ekimae matsuno Sushi pride themselves in providing Shizuoka Prefecture fare whenever possible, including Japanese sake (all from Shizuoka Prefecture!), and they make no bones (fish bones!LOL) about that! Shy and reserved, they will quickly warm up to your questions if asked in a gentle enough manner good manners!).

I sudenly felt an urgent longing for more Sayori/細魚/Japanese Halfbeak after having sampled it in the first sashimi set. It is such a great and delicate fish and ripened to perfection as a whole fish inside the refrigerated display window. It canbe manipulated in all kinds of designs.

Sorry for the fuzzy pic. I’m still getting used to the newly discovered possibilities of my old mobile phone camera (up to 2 MB).

Kawahagi no Kimo Ae/カワハギの肝和え/Thread-Sail File Fish sashimi seasoned with its Liver. From Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Now, here is a fish you must eat as fresh as possible!
Take it out alive (caught the day before maximum) out of the aquarium, dress it quickly, clean the liver, and serve the fish cut either in thin strips or slices with its liver chopped into a dip sauce, or season the cut fish directly (once cut) with its live, and serve it with chopped scallions/thin leeks and grated wasabi!
Ah, I forgot to mention that wasabi is from Shizuoka Prefecture (80% of the total national crop!)! Actually I’m repeating that every time! LOL

The chef had the grace (and pride) of showing me this (small, although reaching more than 20 cm!) Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid live and kicking before preparing it for me!

It was still moving (I mean the very strips) under my chopsticks.
The chef gently asked me to taste it first as it is with nothing.
Incredible! Crunchy, not the merest hint of “fishy” taste. An experience!
Then he asked me to try it with a little salt only. Another discovery!

Last, the chef brought an enormous fresh egg yolk in a small crystal bowl and invited me to add a little soy sauce to it before dipping the squid in it. You must try that!

This was lunch and I am not eating much then as a rul these days.
I decided to skip the sushi for another (near) day and asked for tamagoyaki/卵焼き/japanese Omelette as dessert.
It came in two varieties:
the thin slices were eggs mixed with fish paste and the other were plain tamagoyaki fried with shiso.

Now, how much did I pay for all that?
60 US $!
Have I convinced you?

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi/駅前松乃鮨
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koya Machi, 9-3 (in front of Shizuoka City JR Station, North Side)
Tel.: 054-251-0123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays and third Tuesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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First Visit of the Year at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka

Last night we paid our first visit to our favourite sushi restarant in Shizuoka City, namely Sushi Ko!
Sushi Ko might not be the most expensive or sophisticated sushi restaurant in our Prefecture but you get the best food at the best price there.
It certainly makes for 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.
Owning a website of his own and knowing I’m more than amenable with his taking pictures of the food I order, we have this great deal of being offered even better presentation!
When it comes to sashimi, Mr. Oda always makes a point to introduce the seasonal fish of the day on a separate board for all to see, meaning that they will not be always available as contrary to the other possible orders written (with their prices!) on small wooden boards hung on the wall above the counter.

There were too many fish to choose from, but the help of Mr. Oda, we chose the following:

Above: Meji maguro Akami/Lean part.
Bottom: Aori Ika/Bigfin Reef Squid.
Can you see the freshly grated Shizuoka wasabi shaped into a green leaf?

Above: Ooma Honmaguro/Ble Fin Tuna from Ooma in Aomori Prefecture, O-toro
Below: the same, chu-toro.
The chrysanthemum is edible.

Above: Meji maguro o-toro
Below: Kinmeidai/Seabream/Great Alfonsino from Izu Penisula in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Actually this was our second restaurant of the night!
Therefore we ordered more the indivual morsel than the quantity.
The sushi nigiri above is tachiuo aburi/half grilled scabbard fish served with ponzu and momijioroshi.

The fish was so fresh that we were offered its bones deep-fried! Great snack!

The Missus had to order (she does every time!) the Spicy scallops sushi roll!

As I said above, 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!

As for the last dish, we both have our habits.
I had tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette,

And the Missus had her mini ikura/salmon roe and shake/salmon oyako/parent and child mini-donburi!

Looking forward to the next visit!

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)
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Dinner at Sushi Ko (’09/12/10)

When I go for sushi with the Missus, we invariably visit Sushi Ko in Sushi Ko.
I just can’t enumerate all the good reasons for visiting this sushi restaurant.
It is the best deal in town when it comes to quality, freshness, prices and service. Full stop.

We were served ankimo/アンキモ or monkfish liver (I call it Japanese foir gras!) with the first drink.
That helped us consider which sashimi to start with.
Here is what we ordered on that particular day (the fish served is only seasonal at Sushi Ko, so choosing sashimiis a great venture!):

-Bottom left: “honmaguro/本鮪”, blue fin tuna from Oma (Aomori Prefecture), chu-toro/semi-fat part.
-Top left: O-toro/belly fat part of same fish
-Bottom centre: “Aori Ika/あおり烏賊, Great Fin Reef Squid from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture.
-Bottom right: Akami/lean part rom same tuna.

Notice the “shiso/紫蘇”, perilla flowers, grated “wasabi/山葵” from Shizuoka and “wakame/若布” seaweed at the back!

“Kinmeidai/金目鯛”, gold eye seabream from Izu penisula in Shizuoka Prefecture resting on a shiso/perilla leaf.

As we were not ready yet for the sushi (rice) we ordered one more sashimi: “aji tataki/鯵たたき”, or saurel/mackerel pike tartare Caught off Shizuoka shores).
Very fresh and enjoyable as you little bits at a time.

Just to prove how fresh the fish was (it was caught live from the tank), we were served its head and bones dep-fried. This is actually the traditional Japanese way to get their calcium for their bodies!

Sushi is not only superlative at sashimi and sushi, but they also provide a great array of excellent cooked dishes.
The Missus being ravenous, she couldn’t help asking for the “hotate gratin/帆立グラタン, scallops gratin! French cuisine at a sushi restaurant! Why not!

On the other I couldn’t help ogling at the “botan ebi/牡丹蝦, large prawns” from Hokkaido. I opted for them as sushi nigiri. These large prawns are very sweet and are exclusively eaten raw.

Once again, to prove their freshness, we were served the heads deep-fried!

“Maguro Zuke/鮪付け”, marinated tuna is another morsel that we must have. The tuna, akami/lean part usually is marinated for 10~20 minutes in a mixture of soy sauce, sake and mirin (and other “secret” ingredients) before being placed on the shari/rice ball. Almost makes for a dessert.

One particular creation by Sushi Ko is their Sushi Millefeuille (another French concept?)
They offer two kinds, one international style, the other Japanese style.
For once, we chose the Japanese style:
“kanpachi/間八” or greater Amberjack, “Kazu no Ko/数の子”, or herring roe and cucumber on the first tier, “Katsuo Bushi/鰹節” or dry bonito shavings and chopped thin leeks, the whole surrounded with dressing and “Tobikko/飛び子” or flying fish roe!

From then it was ordering morsels, one set of two/”nikan-二冠” at a time:
“hotate/帆立”, raw scallops muscle part.

“HIrame/平目”, or sole, served pre-seasoned with a little salt and lemon juice. Perfect as it is. No need for soy sauce!

“Me-negi/芽葱”, or leek sprouts for the vegans!

The Missus couldn’t stop and ordered Japanese-style deep-fried oysters!

And the ubiquitous “Ikura mini don/いくらミニ丼”, or mini bowl of rice topped with salmon roe and freshly grated wasabi (from Shizuoka, of course!).

As for me, I will not leave the place without the “Tamagoyaki/卵焼き” or Japanese omellette. Home-made (not all sushi restaurants go through the pain of cooking their own tamagoyaki!”) and artfully cut!

And the extravagant dessert: “Anago/穴子”, conger eel first grilled to a soft texture and topped with tare/sauce (always original at Sushi Ko!)!

We did have a lot of drink, I can assure you, but we remembered what we savoured!
Next time? Very soon, I’m sure!

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)
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Sashimi Plate at Tomii (’09/12/04)

I suppose I do not need to introduce Tomii again as it is my favourite Japanese restaurant in the whole of Shizuoka Prefecture!
To make a long story short, I paid them a visit last night on my way back from university before going home.

I was not that hungry, so I just ordered “o-tsukuri/sashimi plate”.

From left to right:
Yellow carrot, Suzuki/black bass, various sprouts, Kyoto ninjin/Kyoto re carrot, Aka Ika/red squid, shiso/perilla flowers and beni shigure daikon/red daikon variety.

For a clsoer view of the fresh vegetables!

From left to right:
Kan buri/Winter yelowtail on shiso/perilla leaf, Uni/seaurchin under a slice beni daikon/red daikon and bachImaguro/tuna variety.

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)

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Sushi Ko (’09/09/25)

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Last night, I took two of my students to Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City to introduce them to the highest quality for the best value sushi in town.
Most sushi restaurants in Japan do not advertize their prices, whereas Sushi Ko does so expcept for the sashimi of the day, which are nonetheless of very good value.

Moreover they serve local seafood whenever possible, and seasonl one only. You do not visit Sushi Ko to fill yourself with cheap fat rolls, but to appreciate healthy top class sushi and sashimi.

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My students, being both ladies. we ordered a Chablis bottle to start.
Halfway, I ordered for myself a glass of succulent Shizuoka Sake, “Shosetesu/正雪 brewed by Kansawagawa Brewery (located in Yui, one of the best spots for fihing in the Prefecture!).
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Sashimi: Katsuo/bonito, Shimaaji/Stripde Jack and Kinmedai/plendid alfonsino

Since the last time I visited the place in June with the Missus, the seasonal fish haven’t changed that much yet and we almost ordered the same.
We started with a plate of sashimi consisting of katsuo/bonito, shimaaji/striped jack (a variety of saurel) and kinmedai/plendid alfonsino (a variety of grouper) all caught off Shizuoka’s shores!

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Next we ordered a “tennen-aji” a saurel caught in the wild as a tataki/Japanese-style tartare served with the rest of the fish.

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The fish being extremely fresh, its bones and head were later served deep-fried/karaage!

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Then, it was for the Sushi Ko classics:
Sushi Millefeuille with maguro/tuna, kyuuri/cucumber, avocado adn topped with tobikko/flying fish roe!

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Piri kara hotate maki/spicy scallops roll. A superlative roll made with with finely cut scallops, tobikko, chili pepper, finely chopped leeks and peanuts with mayonnaise and what else.
A must at Sushi Ko!

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A plate of vegan sushi!

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The last order is unfortunately going to creat consternation among some of my friends in the US: kujira/whalemeat seasoned with a little salt and a good amount of goma a bura/sesame oil without any siy sauce. Succulent!

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)

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Dinner at Sushi Ko (’09/08/31)

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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 restauarnt taht 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!

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As for the drinks I decided to join the Missus (at least for the first and last glasses) in opening a white Chablis from home in Bourgogne, France. Chablis, and Chardonnay as a general rule, goes very well with sushi.

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That did not prevent me from “abandonning” the Missus for a geat sake made in Shizuoka City by a brewery called Masu Ichi! The sake itself is a premium honjozo.

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As a general rule, and this is one of those rare moments we (almost) totally agree on, is to start with the sashimi of the day:
Hon Maguro no Akami/lean part of a wild bluefin tuna and Suzuki/seabass.
Notice the edible shiso/perilla flowers!

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The next sashimi (I ordered that) was Aji no Tataki/saurel tartare from a wild saurel (some of them are also bred in semi-captivity).

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The fish is so fresh that we were later served the all the bones and head deep-fried that you eat like crunchy rice crackers!

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It was then we stated serious on the rice.
One of Sushi Ko’s creations you must absolutely ask for are their sushi Millefeuiles! They come with different ingredients according to seasonal avaibility.
This particular one contained Kanpachi/albacore, Kazu no ko/herring roe, o-kaka/seaweed mix, Mitsuba/trefoil leaves and katsu bushi/dried bonito shavings. Succulent!

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Mr. Oda, who is also a ken blogger, then offered us on the house a little creation of his: Ika Tsuru/Cuttlefish Crane. Cute, isn’t it?

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Maguro zuke nigiri is raw tuna (lean part in this case although chu toro and toro can used) marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, and mirin (and other secret ingredients varying with each restaurant). Very sweet, you could have it instead of dessert!

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Sakura is raw horsemeat in this case seved on nigiri (can be served as sashimi, of course) ith a topping made of freshly grated ginger and chopped thin leeks. Very sweet, too! One day I will ask Mr. Oda to prepare me a horsemeat tartare sushi!

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Sushi Ko also has some great sake from other regions to offer such as this Kirinzan from Niigata Prefecture. Although a non-premium sake, it is certainly than a lot of so-called superior sake!

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

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Himenegi/young thin leeks reminscent of French ciboulette.

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

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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 sophisiticated taste!

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

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The Missus who is definitely more carnvorous than me asked for Mr. Oda’s special Niji Maki/Raibow Rolls.
This particular one contained: Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, Akami/lean tuna, Suzuki/seabass, Sake/salmon, Kaiwaredaikon/Japanese radish sprouts, Ebi/boile shrimp, Kyuri/cucmber and Anago/broiled conger eel!

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We were both still feeling for a “betsubara”/another corner of the stomach to fill and we ordered sanma aburi/Pacific saurel grilled on one side and served with a topping of gated daikon and some soy sauce.

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I naturally asked for more tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette.

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And the Missus oredered her favourite negitoro maki/roll containing minced toro tuna and chopped thin leeks.

We also had miso soup with cokles and a complimentary dessert not pictured here.

I usually do not mention prices, but if you want to know, we paid 180 US $ for the lot including the drinks (there was on more servin of magurozuke)!

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)

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Dinner at Sushi Ko (revisited)

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Last night, the Missus and I went out to celebrate Christmas our own way by having dinner at Sushi Ko, our favourite sushi restaurant in Shizuoka City!
Our first order, a “sashimi no moriawase/sashimi plate”.
All seafood came from Shizuoka Prefecture!

Incidentally, the “Oyakata/Main Chef”, Mr. Oda knowin tha all pictures will be published later on my blogs always make a special effort as for presentation, an extra luxury in a great sushi restaurant!

From left to right:
“Mebachi Maguro/Big-eyed Tuna” on a “shiso/perilla” leaf and finely cut daikon, fresh “Sakura Ebi/Cherry Blossom Shrimp” from Yui with grated ginger and cucumber, “Aburi Kinmeidai/slightly grilled Golden Eyes Snapper/Seabream”, lemon, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers, “Ishidai/Parrot bass, Stone Flounder, Striped Knifejaw” and freshly grated wasabi!

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“Maguro zuke/marinated tuna” sushi came in “akami/lean part” and “chutoro/semi-fat part”.

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“Anago/Conger Eel” is usually served as nigiri, but one ought try it as tenpura!

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“Botan ebi/Large sweet prawns” are just in season with their eggs on top! A delicacy that is going to make Rowena and other Foodie friends moan again!

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Their freshness will be cause to celebrate when you savour their heads deep-fried!

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“Tachiuo/Scabbard Fish” is best served slightly grilled (“aburi”) on one side (up) with a few sprigs of “Me-negi/leek sprouts”, “Momijioroshi/freshly grated daikon with chili pepper” and a touch of ponzu instead of soy sauce!

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“Hirame/sole” needs only a little salt and lemon juice. No soy sauce!

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“Sakura/Raw Horse meat” for the carnivores with “tare/sauce”, grated ginger and chpped thin leeks!

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An exquisite “Hotate maki/Scallops roll”!

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Perfectly balanced, I’m it will tempt Allison and Rick

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This “shirashizushi/mixed sushi on top of rice” was for our neighbours, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture with Mr. Oda’s complicity!

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This pair of “Sakura Gunkan/Salmon Roe Motherships” had disappeared under the succulent eggs!

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The hot “Chyawanmushi/Japanese salted pudding” is the perfect dish to keep you warm before going out in the cold!

We did have a couple more and quite a few glasses!

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)
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Sashimi at Tomii: The Epitome of Excellency!

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Many people have been asking me: “How can you afford that?”
Well, I don’t smoke and I don’t drive, either. I can imagine what some people in the Northern part of the US might tell me… and I don’t care!
All that “saved” money goes into good food, good drink, good travel and improved relations with my (better, ok for this time!) half! And nothing for those “poor” doctors out there!

I’ve been a regular customer at Tomii in Shizuoka City for many, many, many reasons. But the one I value most is that everyone at this great Japanese restaurant are willing to talk about, explain and extoll the virtues of their craft. Craft, I said? It is probably nearer to artistry as Melinda, Etsuko and Tim will vouch for me!

Anyway, to write a story short, I just popped at Tomii this evening (yes, I’m writing this just after I came back to “work”), and asked for a sashimi plate (well, this is not the way to ask it: You should say: “O-tsukuri, kudasai!”). I did not need to tell them what to serve me. I wouldn’t even have dared!
On the other hand, they didn’t mind explaining no less than three times to make sure that the old geezer got his stuff right!

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From right to left:
“Kiiro Ninjin”?Yellow Carrot (sashimi is not all about fish, vegetables are rapidly becoming an essential part of the picture!), “Beni Daikon”/Red (“rouge”) Daikon, “Wasabina/not wasabi, but a leaf vegetable with a similar taste!”, “Hirame/Sole”, “Hime Daikon/Princess Daikon”, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers (edible as Rowena will agree!) on top of “Toro/Tuna Fatty Part) and “Bakudai No Ki no Mi/Impossible to translate”, only that it is an edible part from a tree (sorry, I was not attentive enough!)!

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From right to left:
“Uni/Sea Urchin Roe” (in front) with freshly grated “Wasabi/Japanese Horseradish” (let me tell for the umpteenth time that wasabi was first grown in Shizuoka City in the 17th Century and that Shizuoka Prefecture still produces 80% of the world total!), “Ishidai/Ishidai Snapper” just behind, the green daikon is called “Uguisu Daikon/Nightingale Daikon”, “Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp”, and “kanpachi/Japanese Amberjack” just behind!

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From right to left:
“Kuroi Daikon/Black Daikon”, “Aori Ika/Aori Cuttlefish”, “Akami/Lean Tuna” on a “Shiso no happa/perilla leaf”. To back it up a mixture of seasonal sprouts: “Kushinsai + Soba no Mi (Buckwheat) + Cress (from Shizuoka like most of them) + Kawaire Daikon + Cabbage + Broccoli” (about time you call a local farmer for explanations!)!

Small servings they might look, but I challenge anyone to find better quality!
Now, for people who really want to know it, you will have to fork out at least three times as much in Tokyo, and as far the US and Europe are concerned, you might as well start riding a bicycle like I do!

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)
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Ekimae Matsuno Sushi (revisited)

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As the grotty weather last Sunday prevented any cricket to be played, I just went to do some “work” at my classroom. When lunch came, I decided it was about time I paid a visit to an old favourite sushi restaurant of mine, namely Ekimae Matsuno Sushi in front of Shizoka City JR Station.
They do make a point to serve local fish whenever practical and last Sunday was no exception!

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The “snack” served with the sake (See below article) from Yaoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka was “Seguro Iwashi”/”black back sardine”, a succulent fatty fish in season.

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The “sashimi no moriawase”/sashimi plate were all fish (as well as all other fish cited in this article) brought from Yaizu Harbour in Central Shizuoka Prefecture:
From left to right:
-“Akami”/tuna lean part
-“Yari Ika”/cuttle-fish (calamari)
-“Kawahagi to Kimo”/filefish cut in thin strips and mixed with its own liver. Sweet dipped in a mixture of three different miso paste rice vinegar!
-“Bora”/mullet. So fresh there was no need for soy sauce. Just a little “yuzu”?lime juice was perfect!

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The chef recommended a couple of seasonal morsels:
the first one, above, was “Tachiuo Aburi”/scabbard fish lightly grilled on one side. Just a little salt, wasabi and lime juice. The meat melts away between your teeth!

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The second one was “Houbo”/blue fin robin. Tender and sweet!

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As for dessert I asked for “Tamagoyaki”/Japanese omelette (not shown) and “Kanpyou Maki”/dry gourd shavings maki!

Her are my tastig notes for the sake:

Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City): Chuumasa Junmai Ginjo
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Contents: 300ml
Bottled: April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Dry, light and fruity: Pineapple, ricey
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: Pineapple, almonds, nuts, coffee beans.
Nice acid finish with bitter chocolate, coffee beans and banan.
Turns drier with food with a strong comeback by coffee beans and almonds, although it did suprised me with a sweetish finish at times.

Overall: A “Shizuoka Type” Sake.
Very elegant, pleasant and easy to drink.
Great with sushi and sashimi.
Strong character and many facets revealed all way through.

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oyuki Cho, 9-3 (just across from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit after Matsuzakaya Dept)
Tel.: 054-2510123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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Tomii: Sashimi Sets

Last Friday, I finally kicked myself into visiting my favourite Japanese Cuisine Restaurant after a long absence, namely Tomii. As I had a couple of commitments later in the evening I opted for one of their renown sashimi sets.


As I had come early enough, I had all freedom to take a couple of pics of the chef at work!

As shown on above picture, the sashimi set I was served consisted of:
Makogarei/Halibut Variety (on a shiso leaf), Hamo/lightly boiled pike conger eel (decorated with shiso flowers, Rowena!), Akami/lean tuna, Madai/seabream, Uni/Sea Urchin and Aka Ika/red cuttlefish.


I was still a bit hungry and espied the Gyuusashi/Raw beef on the menu!

I just could not resist it!
Served with two small plates of soy sauce, some grated ginger, grated garlic and thinly chopped thin leeks, a pure delice!

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
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Sushi ko (revisited) Sashimi and Sushi

Thursday! If everything goes well (Rowena, don’t start shooting!) t means eating out with the Missus.
Well, no surprise at all, as she requested we visited that (ver) old favourite of ours, namely Sushi Ko Restaurant in Shizuoka City!
No need to explain anything. Let’s keep to the basics and explain some of the morsels we ordered (not all, as it would become a boring repeat!).
Above is “Ika Somen/cutte fish cut very thinly, hence the name “somen/thin noodles”. The cuttle-fish variety is “Yari Ika/Halberd cuttle fish or calamari in Italian”.

“Sanma/mackerel pike”, a seasonal fish, although tis particular one came from Hokkaido. We shall have to wait until September for the Shizuoka specimen!

“Shima Aji/Saurel variety”. Another seasonal fish. Almost sweet!

We could not resist from ordering that very special maki/roll: “Piri kara hotate maki/hot scallops roll coated with “tobiko/flying fish roe”. That one is for you, Allison!

Finally, my favourite (my wife tends to shun it!): Japanese Foie Gras/Ankimo-Frogfish Liver!

Naturally I will spare you such details as French Chardonnay wine for the Missus and Shizuoka sake for me (I know, I know…). If you come to shizuoka,make a point to contact me! 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)
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Sushi Restaurant: Ginta

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure to introduce a “hidden treasure” to my friends Anselmo and Ticiana Zeri with Ticiana’s moter, Helda, who were on their 6th visit of Japan. Anselmo had found my blogs some time ago as he researched on Japan and had contacted me for more information.
Anselmo then decided it was grand time to visit Shizuoka Prefecture.
It was my pleasure to guide them for two days in and around Shizuoka City.
Yesterday I took them to Ginta, a minuscule Sushi restaurant not far from Yui Harbour famed for its sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps.
To cap it all we are in the middle of the season guaranteeing the best seafood available in this small city.

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Now, Mr. Hara’s restaurant is unassuming and can be easily missed. But I can guarantee you you do need to reserve if you venture there at lunch as hordes of tourists and businessmen from all corners of Japan make a point tocome just to savour the region’s specialties.

There are indeed many possibilities, and a very good, amost ridiculous prices.
We decided to sample the 3,000 yen sakura ebi full course:

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Raw Sakura Ebi, caught in the very morning in Suruga Bay.
Mr. Hara demostrated us how to recognize fresh Sakura Ebi. Take a few between two fingers. They should slip easily away!

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Boiled sakura Ebi salad. Great with Eikun, the local sake available in Ginta!

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Sakura Ebi lightly pickled in rice vinegar.

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Sakura Ebi in “Suimono/clear hot soup” style with tofu.

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Sakura Ebi Kakiage/Sakura Ebi Tempura. Extremely generous portions.

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The Kakiage is served with salt and matcha tea mixture. Perfect with tempura! We hust ate them with our fingers!

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Sushi set (part of the full-course!):
Tai/Seabream sushi served with its deep-fried scales between the fish slice and rhe rice.
Aji/Horesemackerel-Saurel with a dash of fresh grated ginger.
Kawahagi/Filefish with its flesh chopped in tartare style with its fresh liver in gunkan manner topped with a dash of fresh grated wasabi. A rare morsel indeed!
Sakura Ebi in gunkan manner topped with a dash of fresh grated wasabi.
Mr. Hara advised us not to dip the sushi directly into the soy sauce, but to “brush” it with a piece of pickled ginger (provided on the same dish) after having dippe it into soy sauce. “That will be just quite enough soy sauce!”, he added.

Actually, once mr. Hara has warmed up to a particular customer, he can become an incredible source of information that even fishmongers at Tsukiji would not be able to equal! I can guarantee you an interesting report next I go there to sample his local fish sushi sets!

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Now, what are these Sakura Ebi-shaped things?
This is another specialty of Yui: People there take the long antenna (three times as long as the body) and dry them in the sun after having “shaped them”. These will be used all year long crushed into powder over a bowl of freshly cooked rice!

Since the Missus gotextremely jealous of our little venture, you can expect a report soon!

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka Shi, Shimizu Ku, Yui cho, Imajuku, 165. (get off at Yui Station and walk to your right. Only a few minutes away)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Tuesdays
Reservations on the telephone recommended!
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Sashimi at Tomii: The Epitome of Excellency!

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Many people have been asking me: “How can you afford that?”
Well, I don’t smoke and I don’t drive, either. I can imagine what some people in the Northern part of the US might tell me… and I don’t care!
All that “saved” money goes into good food, good drink, good travel and improved relations with my (better, ok for this time!) half! And nothing for those “poor” doctors out there!

I’ve been a regular customer at Tomii in Shizuoka City for many, many, many reasons. But the one I value most is that everyone at this great Japanese restaurant are willing to talk about, explain and extoll the virtues of their craft. Craft, I said? It is probably nearer to artistry as Melinda, Etsuko and Tim will vouch for me!

Anyway, to write a story short, I just popped at Tomii this evening (yes, I’m writing this just after I came back to “work”), and asked for a sashimi plate (well, this is not the way to ask it: You should say: “O-tsukuri, kudasai!”). I did not need to tell them what to serve me. I wouldn’t even have dared!
On the other hand, they didn’t mind explaining no less than three times to make sure that the old geezer got his stuff right!

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From right to left:
“Kiiro Ninjin”?Yellow Carrot (sashimi is not all about fish, vegetables are rapidly becoming an essential part of the picture!), “Beni Daikon”/Red (“rouge”) Daikon, “Wasabina/not wasabi, but a leaf vegetable with a similar taste!”, “Hirame/Sole”, “Hime Daikon/Princess Daikon”, “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers (edible as Rowena will agree!) on top of “Toro/Tuna Fatty Part) and “Bakudai No Ki no Mi/Impossible to translate”, only that it is an edible part from a tree (sorry, I was not attentive enough!)!

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From right to left:
“Uni/Sea Urchin Roe” (in front) with freshly grated “Wasabi/Japanese Horseradish” (let me tell for the umpteenth time that wasabi was first grown in Shizuoka City in the 17th Century and that Shizuoka Prefecture still produces 80% of the world total!), “Ishidai/Ishidai Snapper” just behind, the green daikon is called “Uguisu Daikon/Nightingale Daikon”, “Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp”, and “kanpachi/Japanese Amberjack” just behind!

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From right to left:
“Kuroi Daikon/Black Daikon”, “Aori Ika/Aori Cuttlefish”, “Akami/Lean Tuna” on a “Shiso no happa/perilla leaf”. To back it up a mixture of seasonal sprouts: “Kushinsai + Soba no Mi (Buckwheat) + Cress (from Shizuoka like most of them) + Kawaire Daikon + Cabbage + Broccoli” (about time you call a local farmer for explanations!)!

Small servings they might look, but I challenge anyone to find better quality!
Now, for people who really want to know it, you will have to fork out at least three times as much in Tokyo, and as far the US and Europe are concerned, you might as well start riding a bicycle like I do!

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)
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DOUMAN CRAB AT SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI

“Douman” is the name of a very rare crab of fairly large proportions exclusively caught in Summer in Lake Hamana, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Fishermen will be lucky if they manage to find 2 or 3 specimen caught in their nets in a single day for the whole lake!

It has become one of the symbols of the area as demonstrated by the rice/kome shochu of the same name brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
Consequently only a few privileged establishments may serve it from time to time.
One such place is Suehiro-Hamanako No Megumi Sushi Restaurant, a little secret place of mine.
As introduced in other articles, it is tucked away from the city bustle south of Hamamatsu JR Station.

I make a point to reserve a seat or two before I visit them as hey will make sure to keep a bottle of Shizuoka Sake just for me.
Last Friday, they just happened to have an excellent bottle from a favourite Brewery of mine, namely Hatsukame in Okabe Cho.
That particular brand, called “Fujisan”, is a honjozo made with rice from Toyama Prefecture and yeast from Shizuoka Prefecture, perfect in summer with sushi and seafood!
Light food was on order as it had been an excessively hot day now that the rainy season is finally off our heads.

Pickled myoga, and ham and avocado salad were perfect with the first couple of glasses of chilled sake.

With a kitchen conveniently closed away, Suehiro has the knack to serve the right mixture of sashimi, sushi and cooked fare which ensures you will not leave the place worrying about a still empty stomach.
Mind you, this is an expat notion which does not count for the Japanese habit to visit at least two or three different places in the same night.
We opted for some akami/lean tuna and suzuki/seabass sashimi and a plate of Hamana Lake prawns deep-fried inside Spring rolls.

Finally we were ready for the Douman Crab!
My friend took the opportunity to order a glass of shochu of the same name while I gamely took care of the sake.
In Hamamatsu City they just serve it steamed as it is without any dressing or seasoning.
And our half (can you imagine the price of a whole one?) did not need any whatsoever. It came very full of so soft, tasty, even sweet meat that you naturally take your time savouring a little at a time with chopsticks. Forbid a fork or spoon!
I’m afraid this will be my first and last time I experience such a delicacy. That is unless Suehiriro calls me (and other customers?) next time they chance upon one (two would be impossible, so do not plan a party!)

We still hjad one more morsel before we left for the Liquid Kitchen, a bar held by a cricket friend of mine: Hamana Lake anago/conger eel and ikura/salmon roe sushi.
As this restaurant always comes up with local delicacies on a purely seasonal basis, I wonder what will compel me to visit it again!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
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
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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SUSHIYA NO ICHI

Ken Ichikawa is a bit of character. As a youngster, he actually enjoyed prowling the roads of Shizuoka with other hot rodder friends! He even went as far as Australia for a work stint before coming back to Shizuoka City and open his restaurant.

In spite of this somewhat macho maverick reputation, his sushi are designed for everyone, but with a special thought for calories-conscious ladies who wish to cut on the rice. His offerings are definitely edomae-style sushi.

His sashimi are simply of first and foremost quality. In spite of the consequent prices, you cannot resist the maguro toro and akami (fat and lean parts)!

Shizuoka Katsuo/Bonito has to be perfect as this is THE specialty of Shizuoka Prefecture!

Do not hesitate to ask him about the fish and shellfish (and vegetables!) of the day. He will serve them raw as sashime or sushi, or cook them to perfect simplicity. Try the lightly cooked oysters and ikura/salmon roe mini-donburi!

As for myself, I never fail to ask for his ankimo/Japanese foie gras in season!

When you ask for sushi, Mr. Ichikawa will always propose diverse variations. For example, would you like your hirame/sole with lime and Okinawa snow salt instead of dipping it in the soy sauce?
Would you like the wasabi under or on top of your anago/conger eel? and so on…
Hint: just ask him to prepare two different “kan/piece” of the same fish!
There are so many morsels to try that a single article will not do him justice!
You can expect a few more postings in the near future!

Now, last but not least, Mr. Ichikawa has a great selection of Shizuoka sake, too!
Isojiman (Yaizu City), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Masu-Ichi (Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kasawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho) and Kokkou (Fukuroi City)!

What’s better that jizake for sushi, I’m asking you! LOL

Sushiya no Ichi
420-0034 Shizuoka Shi, Tokiwa-cho, 2-7-1
tel.: 054-2558262
fax: 054-2522604
Mobile: 09040874578
Closed on Mondays
Parties possible upstairs
Credit Cards OK
Japanese homepage
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EKIMAE MATSUNO SUSHI (Revisited)

It had been some time since I last visited this little favourite sushi restaurant of mine in Shizuoka City: Ekimae Matsuno Sushi.
Sunday 22nd was a bit of a horror weatherwise with downpours pelting the city the whole day, which meant all sport activities were out of question.
Sushi is is one rare cuisine you can really appreciate during the rainy season, and since this particular establishment opens for Sunday lunch, I just could not resist the opportunity.
I have many reasons to love this restaurant:

They serve Shizuoka sake. On this day I ordered Chumasa Junmai Ginjo by Yoshiya Brewery (Shizuoka City). Absolutely perfect with sushi!
Moreover, because they serve real sushi, not conveyor-belt or what else, only real sushi lovers patronize the place.

Their sashimi sets make use of seasonal fish only and most from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture:
Left top, a triangle of 3 varieties: Madai Seabream (top angle), Suzuki/Seabass (left angle) and Onikasa/Scorpion Fish variety.
Right top: Aji/Saurel-Pike mackerel
Bottom left: Torigai/Surf Clam
Bottom right: Katsuo/Bonito

If you happen to be a regular, all kinds of tidbits come either free or at ridiculous prices:
-Konbujime Kisu/Sand borer marinated in seaeed
-Negima. Negima by definition is a piece of tuna (“maguro”) on a skewer with a piece of leek (“negi”), hence the combination of the two as negima (lee + tuna), and not the pork and leeks brochettes served at izakaya in spite of their borrowed name!
-Ni Iwashi. Sardines are season now and are very fat, making them pefect for a bit of simmering!
-Shoga Gari: Fresh ginger root pickled in umesu/plum vinegar.

Their “Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette is absolutely superb and I never miss an opportunity to savour it, however full I may be!

Allison and Rowena would cross the Ocean for it!

Vegetarians and even vegans would not be at a loss with gobo/burdock root and Kampyo/Gourd shavings Maki!

Can’t wait for the next visit!

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oyuki Cho, 9-3 (just across from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit after Matsuzakaya Dept)
Tel.: 054-2510123
Business hours: 11:00~21:00
Closed on Wednesdays
Credit Cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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SUSHI SET: FUTABA ZUSHI

Yesterday, on our way to The Taproom in Numazu City, Lojol and I decided to try some of the sushi this city is celebrated for. After some soul-searching we opted for a traditional Sushi Restaurant with a long history, namely Futaba Zushi.
As we had no intention to interview the owners and staff of the place we settled at a table instead of the counter and asked for one of the sushi sets as pictured above:

We were served:
– Akami/Lean part of Toro, Hirame/Sole, Toro/Fatty part of Tuna, and Ika/Cuttlefish
-Anago/Conger Eel, Ebi/Boiled Prawn, Tamago/Japanese Omelette
-Tekka Maki/Tuna, Kappa maki/Cucumber Roll
Very fresh, tasty and reasonable!

We decided to order a few more individual sushi from the menu as we were still hungry and did not wish to drink on an empty stomach.
We chose:
-Aji/Pike Mackerel-Saurel, Torigai/Surf Clam
-Kohada/Small Sardine and Uni/Urchin
Succulent!
And very kind service!

I definitely have to visit the place and write a full posting!

Futaba Zushi
Numazu City, Senbonminato Machi, 121-8
Tel.: 0555-9620885
Business hours: 11:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
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SUSHI TETSU OHSHIO

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Every sushi restaurant worthy of its name will come up with a specialty or two making it worth visiting and introducuing to friends.
Well, in the case of Sushi Tetsu Ohshio Restaurant in Shizuoka City, almost next to the large Sengen Shrine (you could combine the two, actually), I was lucky as it was not one but two morsels out of the ordinary which will entice me to come again.
I have in my mind that Chuck and Foodhoe would be definitely interested!
As the third generation, Kazuhiro Ohshio, is also a blog and fishing devotee, I went as far as ordering the following dish by e-mail!
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“Shirako Yuzu Kamayaki”/shirako/Cod Sperm Sacs cooked with Clams and mushrooms in a white miso-based bechamel inside a large yuzu/lime!
While I was waiying for it to be ready, I first oredered a plate of sashimi:
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Hirame/Sole, Maguro/Tuna, Kuro Ika, Kuro Squid, and Aji/Saurel. Fine little morsels, I can assure you!
I could not resist ordering the Ankimo/Frogfish Liver when I saw it under the show window glass!
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Simply served with ponzu, chopped leeks and momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper. Pefect!
I ordered the private brand sake, a junmai nama by Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City, and exchanged a few words with Mr. Kazuhiko Ohshio, the second generation whose father first opened their restaurant about 56 years ago.
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I actually noticed later they were also serving a kome/rice shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture from the same Brewery. I have rarely seen any Sushi Restaurant both serving a sake and shochu made in our Prefecture!
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My “treat” finally came, and I slowly savoured it with the utmost concentration! What could I call it? A Japanese-style “vol-au-vent”? I simply will have to try and make it at home! Luckily the chef was kind enough to give me the recipe.
I did not have much time for that first visit, so I asked for my bill.
But I was asked to stay a few minutes to enjoy the “dessert” offered on the house to all customers at the end of their meal.
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Now, I’m sure that even Chuck will feel he has to sample it!
You will not find this “nothing to get excited about” morsel in the chef’s words outside Shizuoka Prefecture: a mousse (according to the chef, although I would call it a blanc-mange) made with sake-kasu/sake, white lees collected after the sake is pressed, topped with Shizuoka wasabi pickled in sake-kasu and a sweet sauce again made with sake-kasu!
Problem is, as it is a seasonal recipe, it will not be served very long and I might have to wait until next year to savour it again!

Sushui Tetsu Ohshio
420-0862 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Sengen Cho, 1-36
Tel.: 054-245-1381
Credit Cards OK
Business hours: 11:00~22:00
Closed on Wednesdays

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI

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No this is not the day’s laundry, but the skins of the fugu/globefish that had just been dressed yesterday by Mr. Yokota at Suehiro-Hamanako no Megumi Sushi Restaurant in Hamamatsu City!
The fish were caught in Hamano Lake in the morning, so one could not expect anything fresher!
Mrs. Yokota has the government license to cut and dress fugu, and since I’m still alive this morning, I suppose it is the proof she is very proficient at her art!
Contrary to what many people think, she explained that it is not only the female fish ovaries that contain mortal poison but also the mal fish liver. There are over 100 varieties of fugu/globefish in Japan and almost all of them are poisonous, so beware!
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Incidentally the skin of the fish is edible and is usually served in thin stripes either raw with grated daikon or grilled on a stick.
But I had come mainly for the nigiri I had ordered over internet, served with thin leeks strips between the shari (rice) and neta (topping) with a little momiji oroshi/grated daikon with chili pepper. Bliss!
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People tend to forget that fugu makes for a great treat deep-fried or as tempura. Just eat them with your fingers and suck on the bones!
Simply extarvagant morsels with sake!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO MEGUMII AJI
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
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SUSHI IROHA

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Why is it that the best places deserve the name of “kakureya/Hidden spots” in this country?
After all, you need some courage to try and entice customers away from their usual haunts.
Or is it because you simply have a lot of confidence?
Mr. Mamoru Miyaji and his sweet mother, Fusae, certainly deserve all the praise and fame for having offered first-class local products and creations in their tiny establishment for the last 34 years.
Sushi Iroha was originally opened by Mrs. Miyaji as a traditional sushi restaurant very close to the sea. Ten years ago her son, having spent a few years learning his chef skills at various establishments, took over under the guidance of his dame and added sushi made exclusively with vegetables grown in the area. Obtaining such produce after all is not so difficult as the Hamamatsu-Iwata vegetables growers are famous in the whole country. But he certainly needed all his savoir-faire to accomodate them.
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On Friday, January 18th, I took the opportunity to visit Sushi Iroha as it stands only two stations away from my university. Having gone off at Toyoda JR Station I had to take a taxi (1,000 yen) as I had no clue as to which bus to ride.
I arrived just as it was opening. A good strategy as the place sits only 7 guests and is quickly full unless you had previously reserved your seat, a must on weekends.
Mr. Miyaji is a very friendly and immensely knowledgeable gentleman who will be happy to answer any questions, however tricky.
Not only his ingredients are local, whenever posiible as demonstrated by the succulent kinmeidai/golden-eyed seabream I savoured with the tuna “akami”, but he also has the whole range of sake made by Senju Brewery in Iwata City:
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Tamaran is actually a private brand used for “atsukan”
Shochu fans are not forgotten as they can enjoy an extravagant kome/rice shochu called Inaizumi from the same brewer:
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Ladies also can please themselves with a great umeshu, too!
This said, I chose a junmai sake before ordering the vegetable sushi set I had come for!
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Incidentally all vegetables are cooked or marinated, some as far as two days in advance. Moreover, Mr. Miyaji uses only salt of his own making by slowly heating sea water from Yaizu for 48 hours!
The above vegetables are 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
All absolutely perfect! I’m not a vegetarian, less a vegan, but I certainly would not mind becoming one if served that kind of food!

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

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To top it all, I was served another of Mr. Miyaji’s creations, which would please anyone with a sweet tooth!
Hot pudding. The top half being a traditional cream pudding, the bottom half sweat meat/anko, the whole decorated with local strawberry!

Who said sushi does not make full? I certainly was, and I was doubly thankful when Mr. Miyaji told me not to bother another taxi as he offered me a lift! (the bill was more than reaonable!)

Sushi Iroha
Iwata City, Kusazaki, 116-4
Tel.: 0538-35-7159
Opening hours: 11:30~13:30; 17:00~21:30
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable especially for lunch and weekends
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
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EKIMAE MATSUNO SUSHI (2)

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(Houbou/Blue Fin Robin, Seguroiwashi/Seguro Sardine, amaebi/Sweet Prawns)

Yesterday saw my third visit to Ekimae Matsuno Sushi near Shizuoka JR Station, a certain proof that it is rapidly becoming a favourite!
There are many reasons to that: great fresh sashimi cut in front of you, the great Shizuoka sake and especially the little surprises:

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This particular dish is Aji no Tataki/Finely chopped raw saurel/pike mackerel in “namerou” style/white miso+ginger. It is topped with “Kakisu”/Persimmon vinegar made in Shizuoka to give it a great sweet and sour touch! Perfect with sake!

Ekimae Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi ku, Omiyuki-cho, 9-3 (across Route 1 from Shizuoka Station North Exit)
Tel.: 0542510123
Business hours:11:00~21:00
Holidays: Wednesdays and third Tuesday
Credit cards OK
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————————–
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.
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Suehiro-Hamanako no Omoi 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.
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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.
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I then asked for the inevitable akami/lean tuna. Chisako San proposed raw kuruma ebi/prawns just caught in Hamana Lake. Succulent!
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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!
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Back to raw fish, I asked for hirame sashimi/sole-flounder. That disappeared quickly, I can assure you!
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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!
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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!

SUEHIRO-HAMANAKO NO OMOI AJI
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
————————

Numazu Uogashi (Shizuoka City)

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(Kihada Maguro, Kohada, Aori Cuttle Fish, Kanpachi/Amberjack)

It certainly took me a long time to visit this unprepossessing, almost discreet sushi restaurants: 31 years! And I certainly missed a lot! Oh, well, better (very) late than never!
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Ekimae Matsunao Sushi, as its name indicates is conveniently located just across the (large) street from Shizuoka JR station North exit.
It has stood there stolidly since 1930, witnessing two major fires in the vicinity and a lot of history as told by his still alive an kicking 2nd generation owner. The gentleman is simply an unfathおmable well of information on the local history and gastronomy.
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The fish and sushi are mainly local and simply first class. This coupled with reasonable prices make Ekimae Matsuno Sushi a compulsive visit.
I actually was told that many foreigners on trips to Shizuoka regularly visited the place (although the owner still does not understand why the same foreigners us so much soy sauce…).
And a great bonus comes with no less than 5 Shizuoka sake from Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Kikuyoi (Fujieda City), Masuichi and Chumasa-Yoshiya (Shizuoka City), and Hatsukame (Okabe Cho) Breweries!

Matsuno Sushi
Shizuoka City, Aoi ku, Omiyuki-cho, 9-3 (across Route 1 from Shizuoka Station North Exit)
Tel.: 0542510123
Business hours:11:00~21:00
Holidays: Wednesdays and third Tuesday
Credit cards OK
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Shizuoka JR Station Uogashi Sushi

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The Shizuoka JR Station is slowly turning into a better quality gastronomic spot, a boon for travellers in a hurry. I have already mentioned in other postings that Asty has shops catering for all ages and genders.
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Now, if it is sushi and Shizuoka Prefecture sake you are aiming for, pay a visit to Uogashi Sushi Restaurant at all times of the day.
Uogashi Company originally hails from Numazu City, a major fishing port in Japan. Which means that they can provide their many restaurants with higher quality at a lower price. They also offer another bonus as they also include fried/cooked seafood and oden in their menus.
On our way back from Shuzenji on Thursday, November 29th, my better (worse?) half and I decided to take advantage of the place as it saved time and money.
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We particularly appreciated their deep-fried oysters and mambo fish (above picture).
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Their “all-maguro sushi set” was a real bargain regarding size, quality and price.
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Foreigners will be glad to learn about their special “maguro roll”. I’m sure Allison will appreciate the thin slices of tuna, hame and lettuce rolled together, cut and served with wasabi and seasoned mayonnaise!

Finally youwill be able to sample the sake from seven Shizuoka Breweries, including the private brands for Uogashi only by Hana no Mai and Oomuraya Breweries

Numazu Uogashi
Shizuoka City, JR Station, Asty
Tel.: 054-2862276
Business hours: 07:30~23:00
Credit cards accepted
—————–
Fuji Sushi

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Fuji Sushi is another one of those “kakureya” (hidden spots) you need to guided or introduced to. Actually I must have passed it hundred of times as it is very near my work place, but it took until last week to venture inside it thanks to my friend, Mr. Koyama.

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Although my first experience was a thouroughly enjoyable one, I still don’t know the chef’s name! A very quiet person, not only is he a great sushi chef, but he is also a great Japanese chef!

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Homemade Ankimo (Frogfish liver paste), broiled oysters and konbujime hirame (sole marinated in seaweed)

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Grilled torigai and kampachi head simmered for ten hours! You could eat the lot, bones and all.

Of course the sashimi (see above) was simply gorgeous.
The chef, for all his shyness, became a great source of information when asked the right questions. With 36 years of experience to profit, I certainly kept my ears wide open!
As I was a bit short of time, I had to leave Mr. Koyama alone early but still managed to enjoy a few cups of Garyubai Junmai ginjo by sanwa Brewery (Shimizu Ku).
I don’t have to tell you I will have to visit the place again soon to enjoy the sushi, too!

Fuji Sushi
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo Machi, 2-4-24
Tel.: 054-2530335
Fax: 054-2530344
Counter on first floor
Private rooms for parties upstairs

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Tomii

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Tomii has been my favourite for sashimi in Shizuoka for many years!
The present “oyakata” is Kazuya Tomii who came back to his parents establishment in April 2006 after spending 6 years honing his craft in Kyoto and work under the tutelage of experienced chefs for a couple more years in Shizuoka.
The cuisine served there is intensely Kyoto-style making a great use of the fish and vegetables available in the Prefecture land and sea. Whenever possible, Mr. Tomii uses only Shizuoka products, but will be more than agreeable to prepare cuisine from other Japanese regions.

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Last night (February 23rd) being “my” weekly night out, I visited the establishment and ordered sashimi first as usual. I never specify what I want as Mr. Tomii knows me well enough to know what I fancy.
The plate above contains toro (fat tuna), akami (lean tuna) hirame & hirame engawa (sole and sole filet fringe), fresh uni (urchin) on yuba (“tofu skin”) at the front and shime saba (pickled Mackerel at the back decorated with slices of kinkan (kumquat), live torigai (large cockle) in its shell, and freshly grated wasabi!
Tomii has plenty of other attractions, but that is for a different blog! Just know they offer some great Shizuoka sake!

TOMII
Address: Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tokiwacho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg 1F
Tel.: 054-2740666
Fax: 054-2730033
Busines hours: 11:00~13:30 (Reservations only); 17:00~22:00 (reservations advisable)
Lunch set: 1,500 yen
Dinner: 3,000 yen~
Private tatami room available
Credit cards OK

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Why may Shizuoka people be justified in assuming they eat some of the best in Japan?

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