Archive for April, 2007

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting 4/1: Kaguyahime-No-Sasayaki by Fujinishiki Brewery

April 27, 2007

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sake, shochu and sushi

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As I said in another posting at Shizuoka Gournet and 静岡クルメ, I was out to prove my friend Tetsuya Tomii of Tomii Restaurant that there were more good shochu in Shizuoka Prefecture than he thought!
So today I came up with two shochu distilled by Fujinishiki Brewery, Shibakawa Cho (formerly Fuji Gun), and the first one was a “mugi” (grain/barley) called Kaguyahime No Sasayaki (“Princess Kaguya’s Murmur”).
At 25 degrees of alcohol, it is of standard strength. Even so the soft fruity aroma tends to surprise a lot of people.
It reveals a discreet taste of fruit and bananas on the palate which makes it a great shochu for women in particular, although men will certainly appreciate it straight on ice!
Interestingly enough, shochu-loving foreigners living in Shizuoka tend to prefer “mugi” to other varieties, and that particular brew gained a lot of popularity among them!

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Hamamatsu shochu Izakaya: Nikomanma

April 19, 2007

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Last Friday (April 13th!), my good friend Bernard Heberle, the patissier at Abondance in Hamamatsu City, took me to one of his favourite “izakaya” called “Nikomanma” or “にこまん馬” in Japanese.
Mr. Michiaki Genma opened his very traditional looking resraurant near Wachiyama Park. The interior is the logical succession to the exterior in design with antiques eveywhere, wooden partitions you can open or close at will, parquet sitting room, dinin room and counter.

Nikomanma specializes in shochu and has “Doman” kome (rice) shochu, a favourite of mine brewed by Tenjigura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
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But it also serves a very fine Junmai sake, “Shusseijyo”, from the same brewery.
It is a very popular place and you definitely have to reserve on Fridays and Saturdays. Luckily we came very early, otherwise even Bernard’s persuasion would have been in vain.
The menu is of the better kind with some real finds such as the squid and its ink as tempura!
Try the Japanese omelette and deep-fried chicken, but start your meal with a sashimi assortment of the day!
The place definitely warrants a few more visits as I could not possibly exhaust the menu, even in the company of my bulky friend!

Nikomanma
432-8003 Hamamatsu City, Wachiyama, 3-4-3
Tel. & Fax: 053-4725558
Working hours: 18:00~24:00
Closed on Sundays
Homepage
Credit cards OK

Shochu Bar: Yumeshin

April 2, 2007

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

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Yumeshin opened in early 2006 and I had always meant to “have a look at it”.
The almost simple outside actually hides quite an interesting place: Absolutely Japanese with a “kotatsu seki” (Seats on the floor with a deep space for the legs) all along a good size counter.
Bottles of shochu absolutely everywhere! I even recognized “Mitake” from Yakushima!
Interestingly enough, Mr. Yamaoka serves only one shochu from Shizuoka Ken:
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Saisuke by Sugii Brewery/Distillery in Fujieda City.
Mr. Yamaoka actually participates to its creaion every year at Sugii Brewery/Distillery!
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The Master of the place is a quiet person at first contact, but will warm up quickly to the conversation. He has acquired quite a clientele in this very short span of time who come not only to taste the interminable list of shochu, but also taste the very Japanese izakaya-style food:
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Ankimo (Frogfish liver) & Tempura (succulent!)
As this was my first visit, I will have to write a few more postings: there are a lot of morsels to explore with the drinks!

Yumeshin
Shizuoka Shi Aoi Ku, Chiyoda, 1-2-1 (along the Kitakaido. A few minutes from Shizuoka Center by car, 5 minutes by bicyle, 20 minutes on foot. Bus stop nearby)
Tel./fax: 0542473651
Open every day from 16:00 till very late at night (morning!)
Very reasonable