Hokkaido Food Fair at Tobu in Ikebukuro

Hokkaido Ramen

Hokkaido Ramen

Hokkaido Sushi

Hokkaido Sushi

Hokkaido Sushi

Hokkaido Sushi

Hokkaido Fair Sake

Hokkaido Fair Sake

If you are in Tokyo do try to make it to Tobu department store in Ikebukuro for the Hokkaido Food Fair. Located on the 10th floor you’ll find local specials like seafood, ramen, nihonshu, and wine. My favorite is always the chirashizushi rice lunch boxes topped with Hokkaido seafood like uni, crab, awabi, scallops, and ikura.

These events are always crowded so do try to go early if you can.

Tobu Department Store

Toshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-1-25

Phone: 03-3981-2211

until May 5th. The event closes at 5 p.m. on May 5th.

Yamagata San-Dan-Delo ヤマガタ サンダンデロ

San-Dan-Delo Interior

San-Dan-Delo Interior

Chef Masayuki Okuda

Chef Masayuki Okuda

San-Dan-Delo

San-Dan-Delo

San-Dan-Delo Lunch

San-Dan-Delo Lunch

Yamagata San-Dan-Delo was featured in Food & Wine’s Tokyo City Guide 2011.

Yamagata’s abundant natural resources produce seafood from both the Japan Sea and rivers, wagyu and pork, rice, and produce. Chef Masayuki Okuda’s Italian restaurant in Yamagata, Al-che-cciano  became a destination restaurant with diners traveling from around the country to dine there. Al-che-cciano is in Tsuruoka city of the Shonai region of Yamagata. Yamagata San-Dan-Delo in Ginza showcases products like oysters, Yonezawa wagyu simply prepared with an Italian influence. Chef Okuda recently collaborated with Slow Food in Italy showing his work with local ingredients.

Year-round look for Shonai rice, Shonai pork, and Yonezawa wagyu. In the spring Yamagata is known for its strawberries, bamboo shoots and other sansai (spring mountain vegetables). Summer is the time for cherries, iwagaki (oysters) katakuchi garei (a type of flounder), dadacha mame (soybeans), and peaches. The fall brings kabu (turnips), La Furansu pears, and Hirata akanegi (red leeks). While winter produce include nagaimo (Japanese sticky yam), kandara (winter cod), and asatsuki (chives).

Yamagata San-Dan-Delo 

Chuo-ku, Ginza 1-5-10, Oishii Yamagata Plaza 2F

Phone: 03-5250-1755

http://oishii-yamagata.jp/02sandandelo/ (Japanese)

www.alchecciano.com/profile.html (Al-che-cciano website – Japanese)

* photos are all from the Yamagata San-Dan-Delo website

Setouchi Ryori Suminoe 瀬戸内料理すみのえ

Grilled Tachiuo

Grilled Tachiuo

Grilled Sazae

Grilled Sazae

Simmered Kijihata

Simmered Kijihata

Taimeshi

Taimeshi

Setouchi Ryori Suminoe was featured in Food & Wine’s Tokyo City Guide in the May 2011 issue.

The fourth generation chef, Yasufumi Ootani, from a Hiroshima ryokan (traditional guest house), Suminoe Ryokan, has opened a restaurant in Tokyo. Seafood is flown in daily from the Setonaikai area (inland Sea of Japan). Sazae (turban shell) grilled in its shell, oysters steamed in sake served with ponzu, and tairagai (pen shell) in a savory custard (chawanmushi). Jizake (local sake), like Taketsuru, from Hiroshima is the perfect partner for the local seafood. Closed for lunch, dinner kaiseki from 8,000 yen.

Seafood to look for from this region include kaki (oysters), iwashi (sardines), madai (sea bream), tako (octopus), tachiuo (cutlass fish), anago (conger eel), and mebaru (rockfish).

Chuo-ku, Ginza 8-7-18, Getsukousou B1

中央区銀座8-7-18月光荘ビルB1

Phone: 03-3572-2155

http://www.ginza-suminoe.com/index.html (Japanese)

Ginza Ibuki 銀座一二岐

Seared Katsuo

Seared Katsuo

Grilled Nodoguro

Grilled Nodoguro

Saikyo Miso Grilled Fish 1000 Yen Lunch

Saikyo Miso Grilled Fish 1000 Yen Lunch

Ginza Ibuki is one of the restaurants in the current issue of Food & Wine’s Tokyo City Guide 2011.

Chef Sadahisa Yoshizawa trained for eight years in Kyoto before breaking out on his own. The seafood of Kochi prefecture is featured in this intimate restaurant. The signature dish is seared katsuo (bonito) garnished with thinly sliced garlic, freshly grated wasabi, and salt. Nodoguro himono, black throat that is butterflied, dried overnight, then grilled. Nodoguro is rich with fat and the meat has an inherent sweetness to it. Rice cooked with aromatic matsutake mushrooms and hamo (conger eel). Lunch sets start at 1,000 JPY, dinner kaiseki courses start at 10,000 yen.

Seafood from Kochi prefecture to look out for include katsuo (skipjack tuna), saba (mackerel), noresore (baby eels), kibinago (silver-stripe round herring), kinmedai (splendid alfonsino), madai (snapper), and hamo (pike eel).

Chuo-ku, Ginza 2-14-6, Dai Ni Matsuoka B1

東京都中央区銀座2-14-6 第2松岡ビルB1

Phone: 03-6278-8110

No website

* photos on this post have all come from other blogs

Food & Wine’s Tokyo City Guide 2011

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

My favorite writing assignment each year is the Tokyo Go List for Food & Wine magazine (the current May issue). This year focuses on three restaurants in the notable Ginza shopping district that features cuisine from three different prefectures in Japan. The chefs at each of these places are all getting a lot of press not only for their abilities in the kitchen, but also for their expression of the local ingredients featured in their shops.

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-tokyo-city-guide

GINZA IBUKI

At Ginza Ibuki, chef Sadahisa Yoshizawa focuses on seafood from Japan’s Kochi prefecture, like blackthroat fish that he butterflies, dries overnight and then grills.

Ginza 2-14-6, Dai Ni Matsuoka B1

Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 011-81-3-6278-8110

No website

SETOUCHI RYORI SUMINOE

Fourth-generation chef Yasufumi Otani flies in seafood from the Seto-naikai area for his kaiseki menu at Setouchi Ryori Suminoe.

Ginza 8-7-18, Getsukousou B1

Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 011-81-3-3572-2155

YAMAGATA SAN-DAN-DELO

Foodies make pilgrimages to Masayuki Okuda’s Italian-influenced restaurant in the northern prefecture of Yamagata; now he shows off the area’s ingredients, like Yonezawa wagyu at Yamagata San-Dan-Delo.

Oishii Yamagata Plaza 2F

Ginza 1-5-10, Chuo-ku

Phone: 011-81-3-5250-1755

http://oishii-yamagata.jp/02sandandelo/ (Japanese)

www.alchecciano.com/profile.html (Al-che-cciano website – Japanese)

The Japan Times – Fish buyers biting again at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market

Tsukiji

Tsukiji

Fish buyers biting again at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market

Kyodo
April 20, 2011

Fish transaction volume on the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, better known as Tsukiji, has returned to its levels before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on a recovery in consumer demand, market officials said Tuesday, adding catches from areas not directly affected by the disaster and nuclear crisis are offsetting the absence of a Tohoku region haul.

The recouped demand also caused tuna wholesale prices, excluding imported tuna, to recover to an average ¥4,122 per kilogram in the latest reporting week after plunging to ¥3,328 in late March from the prequake level of ¥4,193.The volume in the week through last Thursday came to 746 tons, outpacing the 741 tons in the week of March 4-10, after plunging to 448 tons in the March 18-24 period after the disaster devastated the fisheries industry in one of Japan’s major fishery bases while also disrupting the country’s logistics network, the officials said.

The market officials traced the upturn to the gradual dissipation of the quake-induced mood of “self-restraint” among consumers and the termination of power rationing devised by Tokyo Electric Power Co. after the magnitude 9.0 quake crippled some of its power supply.

“Individual customers began to return to (sushi) shops from around last week,” said an official at the Tokyo-based industry association grouping 3,800 managers of sushi shops.

Sales also plummeted due to the nuclear crisis triggered by the quake, which raised fears that fish could be contaminated with radioactive materials released from the troubled Fukushima No. 1 power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, said Kenji Ando, a senior executive of one wholesaler.

At one point, our sales plunged 60 percent due to fears about radioactive materials, but they have rallied to about 70 percent of what they used to be before the quake and the number of traders at the market has increased,” Ando said.

Iwate Antenna Shop in Higashi-Ginza 岩手銀プラアンテナショップ

Tantai Sobacchi

Tantai Sobacchi

Sanriku Seafood

Sanriku Seafood

Morioka Reimen

Morioka Reimen

Wagyu Bento

Wagyu Bento

Iwate prefecture’s antenna shop is located across the street from the Kabukiza theater. This was a great place to get your bento lunch if attending a kabuki show. The theater is closed at the moment as a new theater is being built, scheduled to reopen in the pring of 2013. However, the bentos have not disappeared and are a popular item as the bentos are brought in daily from Iwate. The wagyu bento is very popular. Also be sure to check out the seafood based bentos.

Seafood products are a highlight of the shop. In particular, packaged goods from Nakamuraya 中村家, from Kamaishi city in Iwate. The most popular item currently at the shop is above, awabi and ikura. This with a hot bowl of rice is a meal fit for a king.

A variety of noodles are also available. My personal favorite is the Morioka reimen, cold noodles in a refreshing broth. The noodles are made from potato starch and flour and as a result are very chewy. If you are craving a bowl of reimen there is a branch of the Iwate restaurant chain, Pyon Pyon Sha, in Ginza:

http://foodsaketokyo.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/cheap-eats-in-ginza/     (scroll down to the bottom)

The other noodles from Morioka that are famous are soba and jya jya men (udon noodles with a miso meat sauce and vegetables). You’ll also find these at the Iwate antenna shop.

Iwate Gin Pura Antenna Shop

Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-15-1

03-3254-8282

Chef Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori Ryugin 日本料理龍吟の山本征治

Chef Seiji Yamamoto photo by Jun Takagi

Chef Seiji Yamamoto photo by Jun Takagi

Avant-gardist Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori Ryugin once silk-screened bar codes onto plates with squid ink. His latest shocker: He’s embracing Japanese classics, as in his rice steamed with shamo (chicken).

Ryugin

Minato-ku, Roppongi 7-17-24, Side Roppongi Bldg, 1st Floor

03-3423-8006

http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com/ (English)

Food & Wine 2010 Tokyo Go List

Here’s a piece I wrote on chef Yamamoto for The Japan Times.

Miyagi Antenna Shop in Ikebukuro 宮城アンテナショップ

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

One way to show your support for Tohoku is to visit the antenna shops that showcase local products. Antenna shops are an excellent way to find food products and other goods from a specific region, mostly from a specific prefecture. Miyagi prefecture, one of the hardest hits from the earthquake and tsunami is known for its rich coastline that provides for seafood and other products from the sea. A popular omiyage (gift) to bring back from a visit to Miyagi is sasakamaboko. Sasakamaboko are light fish cakes in the shape of bamboo leaves (sasa). These make for a great snack with the local nihonshu.

Miyagi is famous for the following seafood: katsuo, sanma, hotate (scallops), hokkigai, kaki, and awabi (abalone).

One of my favorite sake breweries in Japan is Urakasumi from Miyagi. While working at Takashimaya in Nihonbashi Urakasumi’s Zen was my most recommended nihonshu to customers. You should be able to find some of Urakasumi’s nihonshu at the Miyagi antenna shop.

Other products to look out for include Sanriku wakame. The shop is currently selling wakame that was harvested before the triple disaster. A variety of sweets including many types of daifuku (stuffed rice mochi balls) are also available.

The eat-in counter features the local gyutan, or beef tongue. I prefer it grilled and served with white rice, or you can have it with curry.

Do stop by if you are in the area. It’s a large shop, over two floors. Also, you’ll find travel information

Miyagi Furusato Plaza

Toshima-ku, Higashi  Ikebukuro 1-2-2

03-5956-3511

http://cocomiyagi.jp/data/01English.pdf (website in English)