Tag Archives: Vegetables

“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

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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
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-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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Shizuoka Marine Products at Sushi Ko: Seabream and Cuttlefish

Left: Tennen Madai/天然真鯛/Wild Red Seabream
Right: Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid

Last night I had another occasion to visit my favorite Sushi Restaurant Sushi Ko in Aoba Koen/青葉公園/”Green Leaves Park” in Shizuoka City.
I go through many of my own traditional enquiries before choosing my morsels, and one of them is to find out what is on the “sashimi menu of the day”!

This was when I noticed two items labeled “Tennen/天然, meaning “natural/wild” from Shizuoka Prefecture, more precisly from the Suruga Bay:

Madai/真鯛/Red Seabream (English information, Japanese information)

The fish is not only served as sashimi, but being very fresh (actually alive in a tank at Sushi Ko!), it is also served with its skin in aburi/炙り/grilled style!
The flesh is extremely tender and almost sweet. No wonder it is so prized in Japan!

Aori Ika/障泥烏賊/Bigfin Reef Squid (English information, Japanese information)

Sushi Ko serves it in strips that have been indented at regular spaces for an easier bite and for a better exposure to taste.
The cuttlefish is in fact easy to chew and very tasty!

Notice the edible perilla/shiso/紫蘇 flowers and garted wasabi from Shizuoka, too!

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)

First Sashimi Set of the Year at Tomii!


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Yesterday evening, being hungry late at work, I just took a “break” and went for a (slightly extravagant!) quick fix at my favourite Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka City.

Apat of the usual appetizer, I was served th following “O-Tsukuri/Sashimi set” (See above picture, from left to right, top first):

-“Buri/Japanese Amberjack” on a cushion of fresh sprouts
-“Hon-maguro no Akami/Bluefin tuna lean part” with “Shiso no Hana/Perilla Flowers”
-“Inada/young Japanese Amberjack”. The difference with Buri is that the flesh is still white. On a “Shiso no Happa/Perilla Leaf” and a radish slice
-“Madai/True Snapper-Seabream”
-“Amaebi/Sweet Shrimp)
-“Uni/Sea Urchin)
-Freshly grated “Wasabi/Green Japanese Horseradish”
-“Kou-Ika/wide-bodied cuttlefish variety

Heavens!

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)

Sashimi at Tomii: The Epitome of Excellency!


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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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!

tomii-08-12-16b
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!)!

tomii-08-12-16c
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!

tomii-08-12-16d
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)

Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Iroha


The Japan Blog List

Please check Shizuoka Gourmet Blog for all the gastronomy in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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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.
iroha-1.jpg
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:
senju-junmai.jpg senju-tamaran.jpg
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:
inaizumi.jpg
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)