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

 

 

 

 

 





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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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





Pizzeria Il Palio – Numazu

31 05 2011

Pizzeria Il Palio – Numazu

Amendment: It appears that I am the one that should be replacing his big Coke bottle glasses. I am pleased to say that I stand corrected. My friend, let’s just call him ‘Mr Awesome (formally known as Mr Lost) ‘ was indeed correct in his directions. I just couldn’t find it. I owe him a pizza and I owe you a review of the real place he recommended. Read on below and laugh mockingly at my over confidence.

I should have known better, trying to get directions from a friend with the navigation skills of…well let’s just say someone who is geographically challenged was bound to be a disaster waiting to happen. But you just get plain excited when you hear of an exceptional pizzeria in town that you haven’t yet visited.

My wife and another friend of mine were riding through town one afternoon last week trying to decide what we would have for dinner. We conducted our usual procrastination over our choice of eats with gusto as we made our way south towards the station area and the centre of town.

Suddenly I remembered about my pizzeria conversations and begged some time to search it out. My wife, knowing exactly what ‘some time’ means, restricted my search to ten minutes. My friend who had tried to give me directions to this place (let’s just call him Mr. Lost for some clarity) had told me that he thought the place was on the north side of the station in the Snack Bar district. I had asked if it was near Ito Yokado, to which we was not sure until I mentioned that it was a shopping center and then he readily agreed.

I shared this information with my wife and friend as we set of in search for the pizzeria and we all concurred that it should probably been in the snack bar area in the north west relatively close to the station.

We were wrong.

Our ten minutes were up and we had not found the restaurant so we headed to the south side in search of an alternative and resumed procrastinating over where to eat. It was mid afternoon by this time and most of the restaurants were closed so this led us to wandering aimlessly from restaurant to restaurant in search of something open.

By now we were on the south side between the station and the library. As we were walking in search of a restaurant I casually looked up to see a Pizzeria sign. It suddenly dawned on me that this must have been the pizzeria that Mr. Lost had recommended. It was close to the station as he said and it could be very loosely described as being in a Snack Bar district and I guess that the Seibu could be described as a shopping center. I also should have remembered that he had mentioned a bar that foreigners frequent being somewhat nearby. Yep I missed the obvious. Here I am rabbiting on about my friend’s lack of direction all the while I am having conversations as if my big fat ears were painted on.

The Pizzeria we had found was the Il Palio. By the time we had found it the restaurant was not quite open so we went and had a coffee at a nearby café until its dinner opening time at 5:30.

The Meal


The Pizzeria Il Palio was a rare treat. The restaurant has a large covered terraced area that blends into the restaurant and the open kitchen proudly displays a pizza oven you would sell a kidney for.

We wanted to chill out before the main meal so we had a few snacks over an excellent bottle of Ameroe Red that my friend, the ever astute culture buff, recommended. For snacks we ordered a plate of mixed cured meat of suprising quality far beyond the usual bland massed produced rubbish that you find in most Italian restaurants in Japan. The meat dish included Mortadella, Proscuito and Salami. We also ordered a cheese and mushroom creamy baked casserole and some bread and olive oil on the side.

photo 10

It was a quiet night in the restaurant so we did not feel compelled to rush our dining experience. We picked through out snack and chatted over our wine as the sun went down and our hunger returned.
photo 2(1)

Ready for dinner we called over our slightly nervous fresh young waitress. We opted for one of the dinner courses which gave us a starter, a selection of pizza, pasta and meat dish for a main and dessert and coffee or tea to finish. We asked our waitress to leave our dinner to what ever the chef recommends and proceeded to enjoy our wine. A little perplexed our waitress went to ask the chef if this was okay.
photo 3(1)

For our starter we had a mixed plate of delights. A deliciously spiced pork pate on oiled toast was my favorite, but I also enjoyed the baby octypus with real balsamic vinegar, the tomato and bocconcini, sashimi white fish in olive oil and a little more proscuito.

First of our mains out was our pasta. A concoction of prawns, scallops, a Japanese style spinach in a tomato sauce with shavings of dry cured smoked salmon on top. This was a exceptional mix of texture and taste with identifiable flavors in each bite. I would have loved to have seen it with some home made pasta but this just does not seem to be done in most Italian restaurants in Japan.
photo 4

As we made our way through the pasta a large pizza appeared on the table with a small bowl of honey. I could see that the pizza crust was light and crunchy and stippled with spots of brown that is the signature of a good pizza oven. One half of the pizza was smeared with tomato sauce with big globs of mozzarella cheese and topped with a basil leaf. While a slice of this was incredible the other half of the pizza stole the show. On this side were large melted slices of rich gorgonzola. I would have been overbearing on its own but with a spoon full of honey to balance it we were met with an exotic delight. Upon the first few bites you are struck by the two intense flavours of the cheese and the honey until they blend into a remarkable flavor in your mouth.
photo 5

Next was our meat course. My wife and I ordered the fish and my friend, the meat. For our fish dish I was met with a beautiful plate of what appeared to be perch lying on a bed of mussles in a buttery liquid sauce. The succulent flakey fish was done perfectly and eaten with a guilty dip into the sauce. Begging a bite of my friends I was pleased with the tenderness of the meat.
photo 2
photo 1

Dessert was a not too rich tiramisu with a side of super creamy mascarpone cheese. The tiramisu was exceptional and not too overbearing. We finished the night discussing the exceptional food over a treat of Amarula.
photo 3

Numazu’s Pizzeria Il Palio is one restaurant that I will not have trouble finding again.

Style: Italian Pizzaria

English Menu: No sorry Italian and Japanese. Well, at least you can kinda work out what it means.

Picture Menu: No sorry.

Phone: 055-963-5677

Website: http://www.hotel-miwa.co.jp/miwa.nsf/doc/shop_palio

Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:00 Dinner 17:30 – 22:00

Price: lunch starts at 900yen for pasta and 1000 yen for pizza. Dinner starts at 850yen for pasta and 1100yen for pizza. Courses start at 1800yen.

Directions: Numazu South Side close to Speakezy






Magic India: Roots of Spice – Numazu

10 07 2009

It is truly amazing what a friendly smile and a little bit of incense can do to alter your palette. I know that my taste buds were positively biased by the time I sat down at Magic India. No sooner had we walked into the second story Indian restaurant, in the middle of Numazu’s Nakamise, we were greeted by one of the cheery Indian cooks. The two other Indian cooks poked their heads out from the kitchen with another set of sincere smiles while the sweet perfume of Chandan incense and pungent spices from the kitchen curled their way into my nostrils. I was sold before I even sat down.

Our little group was seated by a window that afforded an excellent people watching spot of the Nakamise. The youngest of the cooks greeted us shyly in some words of English and waited patiently for our orders. I ordered the Chicken Masala with Naan bread dinner set for 980 yen (you can choose rice if you want too) and my wife ordered the smaller two curry dinner set, of mushroom and saag curry and butter chicken curry with Naan that set her back a mere 850yen.

As the rest of our group ordered it became evident that the cook’s level of Japanese was limited to restaurant lingo pleasantly interspersed with a few English words. For an expat like me with an equally limited grasp of Japanese, I felt quite at home and I wanted to make him feel as welcome serving us as he was making us feel. He was one of us.

Our meals arrived, trailing steamy vapors enriched with cinnamon and cardamom. Great wedge shaped Naan billowed over our plates as our table became obscured by food. Our conversations ceased, or were muffled, as we dove in.
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I tore of a chunk of freshly baked naan and spooned curry onto it. The light, slightly chewy texture of the bread and the creamy curry made for a great combination. The curry was mild but full of flavour that was accentuated by fennel seed, its sourness subdued by the coconut milk.  The first bite of curry laden naan is the best. As you take your first chew through the bread you can feel and then taste the curry pour onto your tongue. The bread sustains the curry’s richness in your mouth longer for your pallet to interpret each nuance of spice. The tastes lingered in the mouth as kudos was dished out to our friend who suggested this eat.
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Somewhere along the line one of our party suggested that the naan was so good that they had to order another. I was up for the challenge too and ordered a second naan. Although the cheese naan or the cheese and bacon option looked tempting I was thoroughly enjoy the simplicity of the original bread. This time round I asked one of the cooks if I could catch a glimpse of them baking it. They were more than happy to oblige.

Walking over to the open kitchen I noticed that the cooks were actually using a traditional Indian wood fired clay oven. No wonder the bread tasted so good.  One of the cooks was slapping away at a ball of dough until it made its traditional wedge shape before he palmed it onto the inside walls of the oven. Even before they put the lid back on the oven you could see air pockets starting to rise on the bread through the rippling heat emanating from the coals at the pit of the oven.
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Was my opinion of my meal influenced and manipulated by warm smiles of the cooks, the burning incense and the clay oven? Of course it was. Though I imagine I would have had a great meal without these little sensory bonuses, I know that a meal is much more that what you consume. It is your attitude, the company, the aromas and the atmosphere that plays an equally important role in dinning. When the two come together, as they did for me at Magic India, you know you will be in for a treat.

Location: From the south exit of the Numazu Station follow the path right until you get to the entrance of the Nakamise. Head south down the Nakamise. Magic India is two blocks on your left.MyMaps at MapBuilder.net

Style: Indian

English menu: Some English on the menu.The rest is mostly in Katakana.

Picture menu: Yes some pictures for you to make your selection.

Gaijin Friendly: Sure is. Run and operated by real live Gaijin like you and me.

Phone: 055 962 8202

Hours: 11:00am-11pm

Cost: A dinner set will cost your between 850yen to 1000yen. Lunch comes in cheaper at between 700yen to 850yen. Most side orders start at 250yen.





Numazu Fish Markets and the opening of the Numazu Minato Shinsenkan

18 05 2009

I have to say that I was driven by the potential of freebies. I had never been to a shopping centre opening before so what better way but to cut my teeth and start small on an opening of a little shopping complex at the Numazu Fish markets called the Numazu Minato Shinsenkan.

Numazu Minato ShinsenkanNumazu Minato Shinsenkan

It was the weather that set the mood for the day; pushy gusts of cold ambushing my wife and me on our bikes as we made our way to the fish market port. The static in the air charged the mind and triggered every kid in the vicinity to foam at the mouth and send their parents to an early grave.

Our arrival at the port was greeted by a group of Lucha Libre’s, Mexican wrestlers, plugging in guitars and keyboards and setting up drums. Of course, I didn’t immediately get their connection to the opening of the shopping centre until my wife pointed out that one of the masked men was wearing a mask that could be a loose depiction of Himono, a type of dried fish. Mind you, he could have also been wearing a giant squid on his head with two holes cut into it so he could see out.

Numazu Minato Shinsenkan

It was around ten-thirty in the morning and the centre was starting to fill. We made our way into the shopping centre. The centre extended out in a straight line for about 100 meters. On either side of the main walk way ran café’s, restaurants, grocers, fish mongers (of course) and food stores featuring Numazu’s regional specialties. I could see all this easily from the entryway because of my six foot four height and the four foot nothing swarm of hunched over grannies filling up the walkway with wisps of grey and black.

My wife charged on into the foray as I hesitated. I have experienced the sheer power of Japanese grannies in the past. Most of these interactions have been during grocery shopping. They are surprisingly nimble and their short stature puts them under my radar as they squeeze their way in front in the check out. If I do however, manage to catch them before they push in, they resort to using their sharp deadly elbows that dig holes into my ribs startling me enough for them to get in front. All the while they tactfully act like sweet little grannies in complete ignorance to the cracked ribs they have just given me. These are the modern day ninja and their name is obaasan. Fear them.

Now I stood before a plague of obaasan’s, jostling each other for potential freebies and the best deals of the day. Was I stupid enough enter this frightening mass of predators? For you, dear reader, yes. No more than a few paces into the crowd I took and elbow to the ribs as I was jostled about from stall to stall making sure that every obaasan had a shot at me, all the while my wife danced and dodged the crowd. An ice cold chill ran down my spine as realization dawned, some day my wife will be an obaasan with frightening abilities.

Numazu Minato Shinsenkan

As my ribs numbed to the jabs, I started to appreciate what was on offer in this shopping mall. The mall was a display of all the delicacies and local produce of Numazu. Each stall specialized in something. One store I was propelled towards sold a selection of dried seafood goods all packaged and ready to be sent on their way as gifts. Next to each type of packaging was little sample taster jars. I tried a number of dried seaweed and was surprised with their delicate nuances of flavour.  In another jar was tiny little fragments of dried fish which exploded with sardine and soy flavours under each crunch.

Further around the store I was greeted by a grinning obaasan, a sales woman this time, with an open jar shoved under my nose. It seems to be an universal phenomenon I have noticed during my travels. If you are in a foreign country and the locals can see you are a tourist, then expect their most foul tasting delicacy to be thrust into your face as a challenge. There is no way for you to really win in this predicament. The local has all the cards. If you decline the offering, then you have insulted their culture and they have won. If you taste the offering and spit it out, vomit or even show a hint of displeasure then you have insulted their culture, but at least you tried. The last option is the best for your ego but this time your stomach looses. This is what I have chosen to employ in these situations. It is simple; take the ‘food’ offering eat it while showing absolute delight and then help yourself to more. You have just earned cultural brownie points (of which you may need to eat said brownie as soon as you are out of site to take away the horrid taste) and possibly a new friend.

So without looking at the contents, and putting on a big smile, I took the food from the jar and chomped away, and away…and away, at the very crunchy, dried baby crabs covered in sesame seeds and tasting exactly the same way that aquarium fish food smelt when scattered over vomit. It took everything I had to reach in the jar for another, but I did, and that wiped the grin of the obaasan’s face. It seemed like she told the rest of her kind because I noticed far less jabs in the ribs for the remainder of my time in the shopping centre.

Traveling up the main aisle I came across a stall that specialized in wasabi, the sinus blasting florescent green mustard most commonly found as an accompaniment to sushi or sashimi. The Izu Peninsula is famous for growing top quality wasabiThis little shop was displaying more that its common paste form you see chugging on you local sushi train. Wasabi rice and prawn crackers were a spicy treat. Though, my favorite wasabi product was the oil. The oil was light on the palate and ended refreshingly well, in a similar way that a good quality extra virgin olive oil leaves your mouth clean and ready for more tastes.

Yet further along the shopping centre there was an interesting fish monger with squirming octopus, crab and crayfish. Each fish eye was brilliantly clear with freshness. Even the giant tuna head sitting on totem display for customers to appreciate looked a little curious as to where the remainder of its body went.

Numazu Minato ShinsenkanNumazu Minato Shinsenkan

On the port facing side of the market ran half a dozen restaurants, taking advantage of the view of the port with its dramatic View-O tsunami gate in the distance.. A seafood broth was the purvey of one restaurant, while another offered sashimi. One café that caught my eye had cozy little spaces for couples to look out over port or even sit outside on a calmer day (it looks like my old gripe about the lack of balcony dining is going by the wayside). The restaurant’s accessibility to such fresh produce will tempt me back there for a tasting very soon

Finally to top off my tour of the Numazu Minato Shinsenkan, I was greeted by cheeky little characters wearing masks with the funniest expressions I have ever seen. Exaggerated smirks and grins beamed from their masks. Accompanying pelvic trusts and playful trickery heightened their display. Were these the dirty old men sent to frighten the obaasan’s out of the centre before they tore it apart? I never quite figured out the story behind the masked frivolity. But I certainly enjoyed it.

Numazu Minato Shinsenkan

All in all, the opening at the Numazu Minato Shinsenkan was a great way to waste a couple of hours until lunch. While the shopping centre is unashamedly focused on the Japanese tourist market, it was really a great way to see what seasonal food offerings there are in the Numazu local area. Not to mention, the really great dining on the boardwalk running along the centre.

The Numazu Kaijinsai and Numazu Port Festival is going to be a big event for the Numazu Port area and is happening on the 23 May 2009. So take a trip down to explore, get festive, get cultured and wear your stretchy pants, the food is great. 

For more information check out the Numazu City Hall, April Newsletter, here.

Getting there: From the south side of the station continue to head south directly down the maim road for about a kilometer or so.  Check out the MyMaps at MapBuilder.net here for more details.





A spot of Calm – Numazu

6 11 2007

Nobody knows what’s going on. One minute I’m riding and the next I’m being picked up. Timings from two different sources are conflicting. And I’m hungry. But somehow everything always works out perfectly. There is a lot to be said of the ways seemingly chaotic fractals form complex well maintained structures. Perhaps our little groups organizational skills have adapted in the same fashion. In any result, the stresses of the preparation were immediately soothed by Calm (pats himself on the back for excellent corny segue).

Situated about 15 minutes drive south east from the heart of Numazu city, Calm proved to be a side of Numazu’s dining experience I hadn’t seen before. Calm rests right by the waters of Enoura Bay, a child of the greater Suruga Bay. While Calm’s frontage features little more than a car park and a modest sign, the interior of the restaurant and the open air seating by the rocky shore depicted a sleek combination of Japanese and Mediterranean seaside style.

My friends and I move around the back to the out door dining area to enjoy the fresh sea air and, it seems, to allow the ladies of our little group a good view of the diving class next door as their healthy members peeled their wet suits on and off.

Calm from the back -Numazu

Tearing my gaze away from the postcard bay, I perused the menu. Although in Japanese, the majority of the Menu was is Katakana and Hiragana making it easy enough to read and the little extra help from my Japanese friend who introduced us to this place, took the dreariness out of the translating.

Calm on the water - Numazu Calm again - Numazu

The wine menu featured a reasonable array of whites and reds with a standard of beers and spirits. The food menu began with a range of Italian style starters followed by a choice of cream, tomato or cream tomato pastas with various choices of meats. Next were the mouth watering gratin’s and finally the curries with rice. While the menu didn’t feature anything that seemed cutting edge, it seemed the smell coming from the kitchen and our neighboring diners plates were a testament of simple food done well. Something I later found to be true in the taste.

Calm deck - Numazu Shizuoka

Drifting off into conversation with my friends and gazing at the sea I was surprised to find the hull of a pearly white ocean liner approaching me from the hands of a struggling waiter. The ships hull was filled with steaming rice and chocolate brown curry. If this was an indication of what was to come, I was in for a very filling treat.

Curry and Rice, Numazu

Although I didn’t get to have a taste of the curry, even after claiming it was my job as an amateur food and leisure blogger, the groans of delight coming from the two who ordered it were enough to give it a thumbs up. My wife would not get away so easily. Quickly calling “halvesies” I dug into my plate of baby clams in tomato and cream sauce with spaghetti.

One of the problems I have found in my own cooking is getting just the right amount of flavor from the sauce without hiding the taste of the meat. This is particularly important with most seafood. In the case of my meal this was done perfectly. Though, I would have like the sauce to be a little thicker.

creamy tomato pasta Calm Numazu

After finishing my half of the clam pasta, I waited impatiently for my wife’s creamy salmon pasta with parmesan. It is no wonder I was getting some reluctant glances from my wife as she was handing this one over. The salmons flaky rich saltiness melted into the delicate cream sauce with each bite. The added texture of the pasta and richness of the parmesan was the final cap to an excellent dish. When I think of Calm, the memories of the taste of this meal are the first thing that comes to mind. Simple, delicious pasta, done well.

Creamy Pasta Calm - Numazu

The combination of the beautiful bay, tasty meals and wonderful company made the day well worth the disorganization.

Location: Follow the south eastern coastal road towards Heda. Its about a 15 minute drive from Numazu Station and 25 minutes easy riding. Check out the map for further details.MyMaps at MapBuilder.net

Style: Pasta, Gratin and Curry in big portion by the bay. Perfect for a weekend lunch.

English menu: No, but if most of it is in Katakana and some Hiragana.

Picture menu: No sorry.

Gaijin Friendly: Sure is.

Phone:055 933 4481

Hours: Weekdays; 11:30 am-3:00pm and 5:30pm – 10:00pm. Weekends 11:30am-4:00pm and 5:00pm-10:00pm

Cost: From about 800yen to 1000yen for mains.