Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

16 12 2011

Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

 

Yakiniku King Numazu Korean BBQ

 

Right. Pay attention. If you want to test yourself before any competitive eating championship, then I recommend you take yourself to the stables of the Yakiniku King on the Numazunorth side’s Rikodori (dori means road, kiddies). It’s easy to find, just follow your nose to the passenger jet, super-charged, mega, big-like-all-buggery exhausts pumping the smell of delicious charred flesh into a dispersal radius of 500 meters.

Once inside the Yakiniku King, a trainer will take you to a table and present you with a training regime as they light your Korean barbeque. Before deciding, it is important to make yourself familiar with your surroundings so you can maximize your eating time.

Look, put simply, any competitive eater worth their weight in beef needs to be at home in their surroundings. They must be able to reach for sauces with out even looking. They must be able to send out an order while simultaneously flipping strips of fleshy charred goodness on the barbeque. The must not let ANYTHING interrupt their steady, focused mastication.

Your trainer will present you with three training regimes each running for precisely 100minutes:

  • 58 item menu 2,480yen
  • 100 item menu 2980yen
  • 120 item menu 3,480ye

 

Each program increases in difficulty as their quality and scope of choice distracts you from your ingestion.

            There is also a drink list that you can pay per item for or take the soft drink or beer and minor spirits all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai) option to help you wash down your food.

            Ordering is simple, but you need to be on your game because you only have 100 minutes to stick as much as you can in your mouth. You will need to make these steps second nature before you go.

Step 1 – Grab the touch screen console. These bad boys get slippery so watch out. It is a good idea to get some calluses on your hands before you come. I hear that the pro’s callus their hands by turning their meat on the barbeque with their fingertips. This also gives them the advantage of developing a certain heat resistance to the scorching flames emanating from beneath the grill (NOTE: not for the amateur or faint of heart.).

Step 2 – Press the screen with your free hand (remember the other hand should be either stuffing food in your head or flipping the meat).

Step 3 – Choose from a selection of meats or side dishes. Diehards will immediately go to the meat.

Step 4 – A new screen will appear and give you an option for meats (or other items). Choose what category you want. It is pretty easy to figure out thanks to the pictures. Training guides generally tell you to go for the beef first. A couple of thin pieces of skirt steak followed by some beautifully marbled rib eye slivers are a good start for me. After the beef I’m onto the pork and then finally the chicken.

Step 5 – You should now be in the final sub menu. Select your items by pressing on them.

Step 6 – Now two things could happen next. It’s designed to test your will power and dexterity. Either another small plus and minus icon will appear near you selection and you press the (+) to add more items and the (-) to take them away (but that would never happen right? Right? Good.), or a pop-up window will appear with the same plus and minus icons also with a choice of seasoning (sorry by this stage I am in the ‘zone’ as the meat haze descends upon my consciousness so I don’t remember what is what).

 

Step 7 – Once you have made a selection you are free to make more. Warning!!! There is an upper limit to the amount of items you can select at any one time. If the console is not letting you select any more then you have probably maxed out your limit for that order. It’s time to take it to the checkout.

Step 8 – To checkout, simply press the big red shopping basket at the bottom of your screen.

Step 9 – It’s not over yet. Another screen will open to confirm what you have ordered is correct before sending it off.

 

Step 10 – Repeat steps 1 through 9 until you either run out of time (almost never happens), feel like you are going to vomit (need more training), or send the Yakiniku King stables bankrupt (a titan of the competitive speed eating world).

 

courtesy of Lauren Donald

At the end of your 100minutes at the Yakiniku King it is time for quiet reflection. Think about what you did well, where you could do better and mentally prepare yourself for the next time.

 

Good luck and I will see you at the championships.

 

Mmm, meat flavoured meat.

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

 





Numazu – What’s On – December 2011

6 12 2011

Numazu – What’s On – December 2011

Yeah, I know, I know I am totally late for this one and deserve a good beating but Osaka and Kyoto were totally worth it. I’ll go fetch the studded paddle and warm up the dungeon while you check out What’s On in the Zu this month.

Highlighting the best of what’s on in Numazu for December 2011. If you like something click on the link for more details. If you have an event you want to add put it in the comments below.

Beer – The Baird Beer team are at it again with a warming winter special, the West Coast Wheat Wine 2011. According to the brew master Bryan’s blog this beauty is derived from the British barley wine style but refined in Sacramento U.S.A. using West Coast hops. Check it out at the Fishmarket Taproom.

Exhibition – Mon Myuze Numazu Art Museum – View the art of Noboru Iwaki – 10:00-17:00, Dec 3-25

Exhibition – Senbon Plaza Gallery - The art of paper cutting by Takenokono – Kai Dec 6-12

Live – Speak EZ acoustic night from 8pm to 11pm, 1000yen entrance, Dec 9

Opening – The Opening of the Numazu Deep Sea Aquarium is an exciting step for tourism in Numazu. This place will feature deep sea marine animals in Suruga Bay. Entry 1600yen for adults. Opens Dec 10

DJ – Speak EZ’s Kousankai will chill you out this Saturday. Entry 1000yen + 1 drink, 8pm start, Dec 10

Exhibition – Senbon Plaza Gallery – An exhibition of flower pictures by – Dec 13-19

DJ live – Speak EZ is gonna get you thrashing to some intense hardcore at “Ogre”. Dec 23

Christmas Dinner -Baird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom will be having another Christmas Dinner extravaganza with a turkey dinner this year. Only 1500 yen for this great feed. Last years was delicious. Book in advance or risk missing out. 24-25 Dec.
New Years – Baird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom will be offering a Mexican Buffect from 5 til 10. There will also be some countdown karaoke. A great way to bring in the new year. 31 Dec
New Years – Speak Ez Countdown Party. These new year parties are epic! Free Entry. 31 Dec




Numazu – What’s On – November 2011

1 11 2011

Numazu – What’s On – November 2011

Highlighting the best of what’s on in Numazu for November 2011. If you like something click on the link for more details. If you have an event you want to add put it in the comments below.

Beer – Country Girl Kabocha Ale – is at Baird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom and ready to blow your mind. This is one of my favourite seasonal beers.

Activity – Ganyudo Ferry Boad – Jump on a traditional ferry boat and discover what it used to be like when Numazu was a fishing village. On the Kano River. 100 yen one way. 0900-1525hrs Oct29-Nov 6

Exhibition – Traditional Fishing Historical Exhibit - National collection of fishing artifacts – Numazu Imperial Villa now-Nov 2

AttractionsChrysanthemum Flowering – The Numazu Imperial Villa comes to life with this attractive floral display. Fee 100yen Nov 3 – Nov 17

Party – Spazz if you want too – Live DJ with some groove at the SpeakEz Bar. Free – starts at 9pm – Nov 5

Festival – Kanaoka Festival – Up on the far north side of Numazu just accross the road from route 1 is an interesting festival in the back streets. Nov 6

Live – Full moon acoustic party – SpeakEz is at it again for this great event. Nov 11

Festival – 15th Yosakoi Tokaido - This massive two day event occupies the streets of downtown Numazu and the Kano River. This is like no other festival. The Yosakoi is a colourful traditional (an not so traditional) dance theater competition. Beautiful costumes, soaring giant flags, and amazing dancing. Don’t miss it. Don’t let the scary kid on the homepage fool you. Free on the south side of Numazu – from 11:00 12-13 Nov

Dance – Salsa Night – Wiggle your hips at Speak EZ for their salsa night. 1000 yen Starts at 8pm.

Performance – Rakugo (traditional Japanese humorous monologue) – Japanese highbrow comedy. Performances at 13:00 and 16:30 Feb 19

Live – Takehara Pistol – A SpeakEz concert – 21 Nov.

Events –  International Exchange Fare – Local expats sharing their countries dance, traditional clothing and food. A NICE production – San-Well Multi-purpose hall 4fl – 10:30-15:00 Nov 27

 





Numazu Supermarkets and Department Store Guide

24 10 2011

This is an incomplete list of supermarkets and department stores in Numazu. I have also referenced a few stores a little further afield purely because I think they are worth a look.

Basically, supermarkets are broken down into:

  • Small to mid sized locals like Marutomo, Potato and Mamy that may not be large but are convenient.
  • Large stores like Seiyu, Max Value and Coop who are generally well priced.
  • Boutique stores like Seibu, Shizutetzu, Komatsuya and Donkihote that have an eclectic range of goods worth a browse.
  • Large supermarket and home-ware department stores like  E-spot, Ito Yokado, Cainz, and Sun to Moon than, in some cases are a little out of the way but are very much work a look.
  • Home ware stores like D2
If you have any other supermarkets, home-ware stores or departments stores that you think I should add, let me know in the comments below with a general description of the location.
Scott




Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu

3 07 2011

Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu  North Side

Just as the tendrils ofNumazu’s back alleys release themselves into built up suburbia, there are small oases of restaurants designed to feed the locals houses and apartments. In one little area on the North side ofNumazu, a little beyond two major supermarkets, Coop and Maxvalue, lies a small string of such restaurants.

Lately, my wife and I have been taking this route home from our regular Tuesday afternoon grocery shop. Each time we pass this area we declare, in the perfect cliché of a long serving married couple, that we “really should try one of these places out one of these days.”

Investigating these types of places can sometimes fill you with trepidation. You just don’t know if you are going to enter some territorial hotspot. Will you be met with the cold hate filled stares of regulars, as you are about to park your derriere on the recently deceased Granny Suzuki’s chair, while the waiter triggers the panic button under the counter calling for a horde of samuri obaasans to decent upon you and tear you to threads with their devilishly sharp elbows?* Alternatively you could be welcomed in with a warm smile and greeted with an excellent meal. You just never know.
photo 5(1)

Fortunately this time it was the latter. As my wife and I entered one of the restaurants in this little food oasis called Tsukuru 巣くる or, as a waitress explained, Create. This little classic style izakaya with a quirky striped white pebble and black timber walkway was an excellent choice. There are only four seating areas two tables on the side wall and a traditional style raised sublevel with recesses under the tables to plonk your feet.
photo 1

We had arrived early so we took our orders from the chef and settled down to a couple of beers. While we were waiting for our meals two waitresses arrived and prepared themselves for their evening.

First to come out was a prawn and cheese spring roll halved and placed on a bed of lettuce. This was delivered by an impressive young woman who had eyelashes that were no doubt designed to provide shade from the summer heat for her and a small tribe of pygmies clinging to her lower boughs. The spring rolls were light and crispy with a delicate minced prawn aftertaste mixed with the mild cheese.
photo 3
Another round of spring rolls ensued. This time they were a cold salad spring roll filled with salad herbs and thin slices of ham and drizzled with some sweet chili sauce. This was a refreshing cleanse from the deep fried treat we devoured earlier.
photo 4

Next came an exceptional dish of splayed avocado topped with slivers of smoked salmon and finished will small dollops of cream cheese. This unctuous treat lay in a bed of mild vinegar and soy. The unusually soft texture of the salmon and avocado was surprising to my palate but nevertheless enjoyable.

photo 1(1)
Just like any red blooded man, I have an uncontrollable urge to order fried chicken when ever I see it on the menu (I also make myself a mountain of fried chicken to gorge upon when ever my wife is out on the town with her friends, so I can release the true animal within; sitting on my haunches and rendering flesh from bone with my gnashing teeth as globules of grease drip upon the massacred remnants of chicken bone strewn below…but that story is for another time). Tsukuru’s fried chicken was very good. It was extremely well spiced to the point of competing with the ‘Colonel’ but a little over cooked in the centre leaving the meat a little stringy.
photo 2(1)

photo 3(1)

To finish off our little feast my wife and I shared a bacon and mushroom spaghetti carbonara that proved to be a deliciously good filler.
photo 5

IzakayaTsukuru was the perfect end to a busy day. Its staff were eager and attentive and, it seemed, very happy to see foreigners so far out into the suburbs ofNumazu.

* This is an increasingly all too common occurrence in Japan  and heralds the coming of the New World Order run by supprisingly sprightly obaasans. For more Conspiracies on this check out this post. 

Style: Independent Izakaya.

English Menu: No sorry Japanese.

Picture Menu: Some pictures

Phone: (055) 925-9330

 Hours: 17:30~3:00hrs

Price: Dishes average around 650yen Izakaya Stlye.

Directions: Numazu North Side north of Coop just before Route 1





Sakanya – Numazu さかんや

17 06 2011

Sakanya – Numazu

Sometimes it is an absolute pleasure to be shamefully wrong. In a recent article,  I accused a friend of having a terrible sense of direction and as such I shrugged off his directions and took my wife and another friend on a wild goose chase around town trying to find a pizza place.

I did find a pizza place; Pizzeria El Palio.

It was exceptional.

It was also the wrong pizza place.

Once my friend had informed me that I was wrong and there is indeed a pizza place precisely where he had given me directions, there was nothing for it but to make amends and meet him there for a meal and shout him a pizza. The pizza joint he took us to was Sakanya and the pizza was out of this world.

Sakanya is a nondescript little family owned restaurant with a great whopping Italian flag out the front that you cannot miss, on theNumazunorth side. It’s across the road from Ito Yokado shopping center close to the new Shizouka Bank building. You can’t miss it. Well, you can miss it if you are me.
Sakanya 2
The restaurant is a slice of tiramisu: long, thin, rich with laughter and comfortable like home. We arrived at 7:15pm on a Friday and the place was packed with regulars unwinding from a busy week. Around the walls were large oil paintings with beautiful calming scenes. The hum of the patrons proffered a sense of family. To my left was a traditional set up of tatami and squat tables and to my right was the bar counter and my friend.

My wife and I sidled up to the counter and greeted our friend. He was already getting stuck into some seriously good looking pizza. Between bites he gave us a little introduction to Sakanya. He told us that the one making the pizza was in fact an Italian man who had moved to Japan this year to work in his wife’s family owned restaurant. He informed us that the menu was split into a traditional Japanese short order izakaya with items such as okonomiyaki and gyoza on the menu, while the remainder of the menu was dedicated to pizza.
Sakanya
Our waitress brought us the menu and asked us what we would like to drink in English. We were pleasantly surprised and after ordering a few beers our friend informed us that this waitress was the Italian chef’s Japanese wife who not only spoke good Italian but good English too.

Our waitress shortly came back to ask us what we would like to eat. My wife and I in unison said pizza and asked her what she recommended was best. She proudly puffed out her chest and said all her husbands’ pizzas were good. Quickly perusing the menu I settled for a Napolitan and my wife, a seafood and garlic pizza.

Not long after, the Italian chef poked his head out the window to greet us. He was tall in his late thirties with dark hair and a classically Roman face that was open and friendly and hinted at a touch of cheeky humor. I asked the chef if I could see his pizza oven and the chef excited gestured for me to pop his head around the back into the kitchen. After a brief inspection of the oven I returned to my seat and my wife and friend.

Two sizzling disks of red, rimmed in crusty brown, greeted us about ten minutes after talking to our friend. The combination of melted cheese, tomato sauce and baked bread seduced my gustatory senses. A simple black olive formed the axle of my pizza around which a vibrant red sauce sat atop a light crunchy pizza base. Mozzarella cheese was lightly dispersed over the pizza and a delightfully pungent anchovy rested luxuriously on each slice. The pizza was simple with a sauce tasting of roasted tomato and herb. It was entirely satisfying.
Sakanya
My wife’s pizza was equally remarkable. White wafers of garlic pocked her pizza amidst prawns and scallops. The sauce was delicate enough to allow the seafood to shine but not so light to be boorish.
Sakanya
After we finished our meals the Italian chef stuck his head out through the kitchen and asked us, with a knowing smile, how we liked our pizzas. My wife and I chorused a litany of compliments in English and Japanese before abashedly attempting a “bellissimo.

The pizza was so good that my wife and I decided to order another small pizza; this time one with translucent slices of pancetta. By this time my friend had ordered from a secret stash of tiramisu that the chef had prepared earlier.

When our small pizza arrived I immediately knew that the pancetta atop the pizza was not of the usual Japanese type. The flesh was a lot darker like the pancetta that I had tasted inEuropeand like the pancetta that I make at home. This was an ingredient that was sourced with care and subsequently perfected the dish.

Again I accosted the chef and congratulated him on his excellent pancetta and asked him where he had sourced it from. He told me, in his broken Japanese, Italian and splattering of English, that he got it from his home town inItaly. I told him about my hobby making cured meats and sausage and he showed me his salami (no pun intended) and pancetta while my wife found some photos of my smoker and cured meat on her phone. This all led to the chef and I having an animated discussion about cured meats that was mediated by his wife’s translation.

Sakanya was a joy; delightful atmosphere, gracious staff and, above all, exceptional pizza. It was so good that I almost did not want to write about it and greedily keep it for myself.

I have learnt an important lesson from this experience. When it is comes to food, sometimes it is important to be wrong. Because the experience of correction often involves good food.

Style: Italian Pizzaria and Family owned Izakaya

English Menu: No sorry Japanese. But if you are really kind you could ask one of the waitresses who speaks great English.

Picture Menu: No sorry.

Phone: 81 55-925-8898

 Hours: Evenings except Mondays.

Price: Small pizza 600yen and Large Pizza 1000yen.

Directions: Numazu North Side near Ito Yokado





Numazu- What’s On – June 2011

1 06 2011

Numazu- What’s On – June 2011

 

Highlighting the best of what’s on inNumazufor June 2011

 

Beer – Baird Beer – Rainy Season Black Ale is out just in time. June

 

Soccer – Speak EZ –Peru vsJapan live 7pm start June 1

 

Party –Speak EZ – Spazz If You Want To’ is up to its usual mischief with a live DJ with free entry. June 4

 

Outdoors –Tree Planting Day. Get your nature on and plant some native trees to support the wildlife. 9:30 – 11:30am atImazawaJunior High School. I’ll see you there. June 5

 

Soccer – Speak EZ –CzechRepublic vsJapan live 7pm start June 7

 

DJ – Speak EZ – Open DJ night open to 20 DJ’s  free entry Jun 11

 

Outdoors – Firefly Festival – This event at the Youth House in Nature, between Seseragi and Ahirugaike pond is basically a Firefly viewing but it still doesn’t mean that we can’t use “festival” in our words right? 1900-2100 – June 11 and 12

 

Live – Speak EZ – Full Moon party live band admission 1000 yen Jun 16

 

Dance – Speak Ez – Salsa night from beginners to advanced starts at 9pm admission 1000yen – June 17

 

Live – Speak EZ –Bluegrass live music. Free admission. 9pm start – June 18

 

Food Festival –Fuji No Kuni gourmet festival in Mishima in three sites: Nipon Universtiy,RakujyuenPark and Mishima Taisha – June 18 and 19

 

Outdoors – Festa Costa Del Gomi –Someone has been working on their publicity spin. The Coastal Festival of the Rubbish is a day to pick up rubbish on the Senbon beach. Prizes for most unusual rubbish found and boulder sculpture. Do you bit. 9am-12pm – June 19 (June 26 if rain)

 

 

 

If you have any more events forNumazuto add chuck em in the comments below.

 

Scott.








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