Archive for June, 2008

Sushi Restaurant: Sushiya No Ichi

June 29, 2008


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

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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 ot 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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 13/7: Hana no Mai Brewery

June 29, 2008


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

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Karakkaze/”Dry Wind” has been one of Hana no Mai Brewery’s flag brews for quite some time.
The brewery has even created a sake lovers’ association of the same name in Hamamatsu City.

Hana No Mai Brewery: Karakkaze “Karakuchi” Ginjo

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled on January, 10th, 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Dry. Fruity: Almonds, pineapple
Body: Velvety
Taste: Dry. Lingering tingle. Alcohol. Fruity: vanilla, almonds, pineapple.
Shortish tail. Warmth lingering in the back of the mouth.
Turns drier with food with more pineapple, almonds and coffee beans making their entrance. Hints of melon/cantaloupe.

Overall: a very dry sake with good character.
Probably best enjoyed with food.
Interesting on its own, especially when lightly chilled

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yoshiya Brewery 2/5

June 26, 2008


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

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This is the third sample of this series dealing with Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City:

Yoshiya Brewery: Chumasa “Utage” Ginjo

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Hyogo Prefecture) 70%
Iwate Toyonishiki 30%
Rice milled down to: 45%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +5
Acidity: 1.1
Bottled in May 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Discreet and fruity. Cherries, Custard
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail, but warms back of the mouth. Pleasant with strong alcohol impression.
Complex and fruity: Cherries, custard.
Almonds appearing later. Becomes more complex after second sip.

Overall: Pleasant and easy to drink.
Fit well with food in spite of its ginjo complexity.
Light. Calls for the next sip.
A sake for all seasons.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 2/4: Yoshiya Brewery

June 24, 2008


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I tasted that particular brew by Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City whan I ordered with my lunch at Ekimae Matsuno Sushi last Sunday!

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

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Transparent
Aroma: Dry, light and fruity: Pineapple
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Junmai tingle. Complex. Fruity: Pineapple, almonds, coffee beans.
Turns drier with food with a strong comeback by coffee beans and almonds.

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

Shizuoka Vintage Sake (1): Masu-Ichi

June 22, 2008


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I have the particular luck to know a liquor shop, Matsunaga Saketen (Japanese), whose owner, Mr. Matsunaga, has collected and safely stored sake from the Showa Era, that is, since 1988 and before! He even has introduced his stock on the internet, a document that any Japanese-reading sake-lover ought to consult!
But I certainly will not limit myself to reading!
Melinda, Etsuko and even Tim are going to scream unfair! selfish! &%$#”#$ or whatever else, when they find out I have decided to explore the whole Shizuoka stock. Mr matsunaga also has other brews from different regions as demonstrated by the two Niigata sake dating back to 1977 I was gracefully offered to taste when I paid him a visit last Thursday to get my first two vintage bottles! Absolute nectars!

Masu Ichi Brewery (Shizuoka City): Junmai Nama Tsume, August 7th, 1987

Note: labels then did not follow the present classification system and do read a bit quaint:
This brew is declared as 二級/Second Grade. It also bears the mentions 米だけの酒/sake made from rice only, and 高級清酒/high grade sake!

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Contents: 300ml


Unusual shape for a 300ml bottle, too!

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Oaky but discreet, hints of nuts and almonds
Body: Velvety to fluid
Taste: Short tail. Dry at first, then mellowing inside mouth. Junmai tingle.
Bitter chocolate, nuts, almonds.
Turns dry with food.

Overall: Very well preserved and easy to drink considering its old age. Just a faint hint of “oldishness”. Very different impression from present day sake, but very pleasurable. Reminded me of sake I used to drink a long time ago: more earthy and macho (Tim, don’t ask me!).
Lots of character, complex.
Could be enhanced by warming it first (300ml was ot enough to explore that particular route, unfortunately!).
A sake devised for food.

Shizuoka Tasting 2/3: Yoshiya Brewery

June 20, 2008


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

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It has been a while since I have tasted a brew by Yoshiya Brewery in Shizuoka City which a holds a special place in my heart as its toji/Master Brewer was the first gentleman to invite me to very private tasting sessions!
Since I know Melinda and Etsuko have a special liking for futsushu Icouldn’t help take one back home!

Yoshiya Brewery: Tokusen Chumasa Futsushu

Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled: April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Sharpish and dry. Almonds. Alcohol.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Sharp. Dry. Leaving a comforting warmth in the back of the palate.
Almonds, Coffee beans.
Drinks well with food.

Overall: A sake fit for food.
Dry but surprisingly pleasant. Simple impression but very likeable.
Even as a futshu, shows a distinguishable Shizuoka sake character.

Cricketers are Gastronomes!

June 17, 2008


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

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It is true that that cricketers, and sportsmen in general, have earned this widespread freputation for being just plain uneducated boozers who spend their time watering down mountains of junk food and with gallons of cheap beer. Fortunately enough, some friends and I who all play cricket beg to differ!
Last Saturday, I joined some members of the Predators Cricket Club, all from Tokyo, on their night out in Shizuoka City.
As our merry band were pretty thirsty and hungry after a hot day, we all first repaired to Caffetteria Il Cuore where we confirmed that reputation of ours with plenty of lager with pizzas, pasta and what else.
It was that a few of us opted for an early bed (incidentally, two of our original company had been missing from the very beginning as their chihuahua pet had forced them to spend the night in a local hotsprings. Lucky ones?), the seven of us thought it was about high time we enjoyed the real local food and drinks!

The seven of us included no less than five nationalities: Andrew and Jeff, red-blooded Australians, ever-joking South African Francois and his Japanese Missus, Katsura, smiling Sri Lankan Asanka and Chanaka and myself from Bourgogne (sorry, France!).
We first tried a favourite of mine, Odakkui, but it was already overflowing. We were in a bit of a fix until Odakkui’s Master persuaded Yasatei to stay open for our lot!
In the end it proved the prefect choice as our Sri Lankan friends were not too keen on red meat.
While the rest faithfully kept to the draft beer except for Francois who opted for a superlative local rice shochu called Doman by Hamamatsu Brewery, Andrew and Jeff asked me to introduce them to the local sake. They certainly showed a lot of pleasure tasting Shosetsu (Kansagawa Brewery, Yui Cho), Isojiman (Isojiman Brewery, Yaizu City) and Hana no Mai (Hana no Mai Brewery, hamamatsu City)!
They also proved they also knew their food when they ordered “age-dofu”, “kara-age” (twice!), “edamame” and appreciated the first snack consisting of tofu, yuba and jellyfish!

Some pictures had to be taken for posterity (and the Predators’ Homepage!). I suspect that Andrew in particular did this to convince the Missus to join him the next time they come to play cricket in Shizuoka City (great place for shopping, by the way!). V-signs everywhere and a slightly happy old geezer! It was past midnight by then! Sorry, ladies!

Andrew and Jeff, in true Ozzie spirit, did not seem to have enough yet and the three of us moved to local expat bar to justify once again our reputation with Abbot beer on the tap!

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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 8/8: Sogatsuru-Hagi no Kura Brewery

June 12, 2008


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

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Got hold of another limited brew from Sogatsuru-Hagi No Kura Brewery in Kakegawa City. For a once moribund brewery, it cetainly shows a lot of vitality!

Sogatsuru-Hagi no Kura Brewery: Fudo Sogatsuru Ginjo

Alcohol: 18.2%
Rice milled down to 55%
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast HD-1
Dryness: + 4.5
Acidity: 1.3
Water: Oigawa Water bed
Bottled: March 2008
Limited to 180 bottles sold in 30 selected liquor shops

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Discreet, almost sweet. Bitter chocolate, bananas, almonds.
Body: Velvety
Taste: Dry. Coffee beans. Short tail. Alcohol lingering on palate.
Complex and fleeting. Soft on the tongue. Varies little with food.
Almonds appearing later with drier impression.

Overal: Elegant in spite of high alcohol.
Marries well with food, even salty one.
Best appreciated on its own or at the end of a meal.
Almost liquorish.
Very much “Shizuoka Type” sake

Biwashu Season!

June 10, 2008


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

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Last year, on June the 12th to be precise, I concocted “Umeshu” (Japanese plums preserved in sake and shochu) which happened to be so popular that the four litres I had lovingly matured for a whole year disappeared in a couple of weeks!

A Japanese friend of mine, having been impressed with the results of my slightly unusual recipe asked me to put my talents to work with “biwa/loquats”!

He brought me small loquats unfit for normal consumption but perfect for preserves.

I used premium sake and shochu from the same brewery, Hana no Mai in Hamamatsu City, to ensure some regularity:
From left to right: Yaramaika kome/rice shochu (25%), Acha no Tsubone rice/kome shochu, Hana No Mai Junmai Ginjo (15.5%) and Hana No Mai Junmai (15.5%)

I added 1 kg of “koorizato/peserve sugar” to almost 2 kg of loquats (for umeshu, I used only 1 kg, as they had more “flesh”).

Now, we shall have to wait until June next year!

If you try your own hand, make sure your concoction stays in a dark place at a reasonable and constant temperature!

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 29/3: Fujimasa Brewery

June 5, 2008


Les meilleurs actualités issues des blogs

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

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I’m starting enjoying Fujimasa Brewery from Fujinomiya City! Pity it is a bit difficult to get hold of their brews in Shizuoka City!

Fujimasa Brewery: Junmai Shu

Rice: Nishihomare
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.4
Alcohol: 15.5 degrees
Bottled: May 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Dry, pleasant, complex. Bitter chocolate, almonds, hint of bananas
Body: Velvety~fluid
Taste: Short tail. Dry. Only slight junmai tingle.
Complex. Bitter Chocolate, almonds, coffee beans.
Very pleasant, elegant.
Varies little with food.

Overall: “Shizuoka-type sake”. Pleasant, elegant sake fit for any food.
Thoroughly enjoyable by itself, too. Leaves strong but very short Impression. Calls for the next sip.

Shizuoka Sake Tasting 29/2: Fujimasa Brewery

June 2, 2008


Les meilleurs actualités issues des blogs

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

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This is my second bottle from Fujimasa Brewery in Fujinomiya City. The first one was futushu/normal sake. This one is one rank higher.

Fujimasa Brewery: Fuji no Uta Honjozo

Rice: Nishi Homare
Rice milled down to 65% (although they say 60% on their Homepage)
Dryness: +3
Acidity: 1.3
Alcohol: 15.5 degrees
Bottled: April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Amost transparent
Aroma: Dry, fruity: Vanilla. Alcohol
Body: Velvety
Taste: Short tail. Complex. Alcohol wrming up back of the palate. Almonds, bitter chocolate.
Coffee beans appearing with food.
Turns sweetish with food.
Strikes a good balance with alcohol.

Overall: A sake designed for food.
Very pleasant and easy to drink. Ought to be tried lukewarm, too.


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