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Ukidono is difficult to classify: in all honesty, it does not qualify as an Izakaya or Kaiseki (Japanese traditional) Restaurant. This is the kind of establishment that would deserve a visit from such Gastronomes as Chuckeats, Very Good Food, Luxeat and Dominique Corby.
The entrance to the actual restaurant bears nothing special about it, although it is part of the whole Fugetsuro Complex including the abode of the last Tokugawa Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
One of the annexes was transformed seven years ago to accomodate a better-class izakaya, but still cheaper than the unaffordable Fugetsuro Restaurant, a renown, if somewhat old-fashioned, kaiseki restaurant across from Shizuoka JR Station.
One may opt for a cozy, almost private room
or even better (in my own view), the outside “corridor” along the inside of the building where you sit on high stools against a high wooden counter admiring
the inner view on the famed Japnese Garden! If you are lucky, you will be offered the intimate view of guests and kimono-clad ladies walking on the narrow bridge on their way to one of the private guest houses.
Although the food is of very high quality, the main attraction is the Shizuoka Sake List.
Apparently, they store more than a full thousand kinds of sake in their basement, featuring most of the Shizuoka Breweries.
Last week they ahd the following on offer:
Aoitenka (Yamanaka Brewery, Kakegawa City), Eikun (Yui Cho), Kikuyoi (Aoshima Brewery, Fujieda City), Kaiun (Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City), Fuji-Takasago (Fujinomiya City), Shidaizumi (Fujieda City), Isojiman (Yaizu City), Chuumasa (Yoshiya Brewery, Shizuoka City), Shosetsu (Kansawagawa Brewery, Yui Cho), Kokkou (Fukuroi City), Oomuraya (Shimada City), Hakuin Masamune (Takashima Brewery, Numazu City) and Haginishiki (Shizuoka City)!
You can order the sake by the “ichi go” flagon (180ml. from 924 yen), as a tasting set of three diferent brews (from 1,386 yen) or by the bottle.
One can choose the easy way by ordering one of the four courses (3,465~9,471 yen), although the card would be far more fun and would probably come out cheaper if you are two or more.
For raw fish amateurs one may fancy it in salads, such as the hirame konbujime/sole marinated in seaweed as above,
or even better as a full sashimi set as above:
From top left clockwise:
Thin slices of Isaki/a variety of grouper typical of Suruga Bay intersped with thin slices of lemon, Akami/Lean tuna, Suzuki/Seabass, Hirame/Sole, Chutoro/semi-fat tuna and Hirame Konbu Jime/Sole marinated in seaweed (different method from above).
Frankly speaking, I will need to visit the place a few more times before I can do it justice!
Incidentally, Ukido includes a very reasonable hotel with full amenities I will try to report on later!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi, 11-1, Fugetsuro
Business hours: 11:30~15:00; 17:00~22:00 (until 21:00 on Sundays)
Closed on Mondays
Credit Cards OK