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

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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.





Numazu – What’s On – May 2011

1 06 2011

Highlighting the best of what’s on for April 2011

BBQ and BeerBaird Beer’s Fishmarket Taproom will be a having a daily BBQ in the afternoons over the Golden Week period starting on 29th April and finishing on the 8th May (May 2nd closed and Friday 6th open 5pm no BBQ). Go on in and enjoy their latest creation the Indian Pale Lager. Noon til Midnight for these days.

BBQSpeakez with be hosting a BBQ at Minatoguchi Park on Tuesday 3rd May.

Live DJ – Spazz If You Want To – will be performing at Speakez on the 7 May.

FestivalKoinobori (Carp Festival) – join the colourful carp flags at Senbon Minatoguchi Park (next to the View-O and near the Fishmarket Taproom. 4 May from 10:00-15:00hrs. Includes opening ceremony, craft workshops, stage shows etc.

ConcertFree concert at the Kano River near the Tokyu Hotel starts 10:00am on May 5.

Culture – 29th Numazu Tea Ceremony will be held at the Numazu Imperial Villa Park on Sunday May 8 from 10:00-15:00hrs.

FestivalSuisan Matsuri (Numazu Marine Festival) – Seafood is a huge part of Japanese life and if you want to understand the locals then this event it for you. Held in the Numazu port area on Satuday 21 May starts around 9am. I have a blog entry on it here.

If you have any more events for Numazu to add chuck em in the comments below.

Scott.