Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Drinking History at Yasatei: Okada Brewery/Okinabenten

September 30, 2008


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Last night I was invited by the owners of Odakkui, Katayurimo and Hana Oto Izakayas to share a very special bottle of sake (above pic).
This sake, a superlative Daiginjo, had been brewed back in 1997 by Okada Brewery which eventually ceased operations in 2006. In spite of its old age (for a sake) it had preserved in perfect condition all the time at very cold temperature by a collector cum liquor shop, Matsunagaya in Shizuoka City.
For the connoiseurs, this Daiginjyo is called Okinabeneten, brewed by Okada Brewery in Fujieda City. Rice: Yamada Nishiki milled down to an extravagant 35%. The yeast was a Shizuoka NEW-5 Yeast. Dryness is only +7~+9 and acidity a very low 1.0~1.3. The drawing process was “Fune shibori/tank press”. Alcohol was standard 15~16 degrees.
A great sake, so pleasant to drink with a dry elegant entry, short tail and a complex and rich aroma and taste. Tended to show different facets with food, alternatively turning drier and sweeter. An incredibly extravagant sake to drink with food. We drank it both chilled and heated.

Now, what did we eat with such a nectar?
First of all, sashimi of course. Not one kind, but two!
First seafood sashimi as shown on pic above:
(From top clockwise) Fresh Shirasu/baby sardines, Akami/lean tuna, Madai/red snapper, Hotategai/scallops, Katsuo/bonito. In the centre is boiled Tako/octopus. The whole was provided with wasabi (real one!), grated ginger, myoga cut into very fine strips and chopped thin leeks.

Yasai sashimi/vegetables sashimi, the specialty of the house. Great juicy and cruchy cucumber, daikon, red radishes, celery (Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of all celery in Japan!), myoga and sweet red pimento. You probably noticed the big shiso leaf concealing chopped sweet onions. A treat for vegetarians (and vegans!)!

Yasatei is also renown for its superlative Kansai-style oden!

And finally another treat for vegetarians: renkon/lotus roots sauteed with soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds!

Great food for a great sake!

Yasaitei
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business haours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended

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Shizuoka Izakaya: Bu-Ichi (Re-visited)

September 29, 2008


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

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(Oumuraya Brewery, Hakuen Bishamon Honjozo)

The Missus has this special liking for Bu-Ichi Izakaya (which I share!), not only because she loves the food, drinks and atmosphere, but also because she always happens to learn something new she will be glad to try reproduce (in her own way) back home! I’m not one to complain, and I certainly enjoy writing about the place over and over again!


One thing is certain: this is one the very best places in the whole Prefecture to enjoy sashimi as once again demonstrated by the succulent katsuo/bonito served with grated ginger and thinly-chopped leeks.


Another reason is the top-class Shizuoka Sake!
I (my wife drinks wine as a matter of course) chose this very limited edition (only 300 bottles) by Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada (Tim, are you reading?):
Hakuen Bishamon, Honjozo, a very soft, almost sweet sake (Dryness: +1, acidity: 1.3).


Sanma/Mackerel Pike is in season. We ordered a yaki sanma sarada/grilled mackerel pike salad. The fish is first grilled, then shred into small bite-sized chunks and served with vegetables and home-made dressing. This is the recipe that the Missus has a special interest for!


Talking of vegetables,Bu-Ichi, in spite of all its great fish and meat, would be the perfect place for a vegetarian too thanks to perfect vegetables tenpura! Wherever they come from, they are always exlusively seasonal!


With such meals, sake tends to disappear too quickly! My next order was a Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai by Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City. Mr. Aoshima makes superlative sake getting recognition all over Japan in spite of its relatively small size. Incidentally he also speaks fluent English for those who would like to visit his brewery!

As we are both omnivores, we felt a little meat was in order to finish our meal (we usually skip dessert in Japanese restaurants as there is always the open possibility to visit another one later!).
Bu-Ichi serves a scrumptious sansho tori karaage/fried chicken with Japanese pepper. A beauty that my American friends in particular would swim across oceans to taste!

Look forward to the next meal there!

Bu-Ichi
420-0032 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-10, Dai 2 Matsunaga Bldg. 2F
Tel.: 054-2521166
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations advisable

Sushi Restaurant: Sushi Iroha

January 20, 2008


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

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酒ブログ(日本語)
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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)