I had been curious for some time about a new restaurant which had been opened three years ago above a convenience store this year when the far corner of Cenova Department Store in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, was reclaimed for development.
The name of the restaurant is “Sumpu No Nikudokoro/駿府の肉処”. Sumpu is the old name of Shizuoka City and Nikudokoro means “the Place for Meat”. Pity they don’t take the pains of at least writing the English pronunciation, especially when you hear that Shizuoka Prefecture and City have recently declared to promote tourism more actively…
I had noticed this advert for a single donburi/bowl dish priced at 800 yen/8 US $/6 Euros for quite a while and I had thought that the place was maybe a very reasonable and simple restaurant subsidized by the Shizuoka Prefecture Government, the Agriculture Department in particular. I was proved slightly wrong!
Frankly speaking the lack of explanations and introductions on the ground floor was a bit frustrating and I was somewhat surprised to find out after climbing nondescript stairs to stand in front of small but elegant entrance.
And the surprises only continued after I had stepped inside. Wow! Special Wagyu certified from Shizuoka Prefecture! Actually no less than 12 breeders have been awarded the distinction in our Prefecture.
They were not shy about exhibiting the meat used in the restaurant, a sure sign of superior quality!
Then I started to understand, Wagyu is horribly expensive in Japan, wherever it is produced, moreover if it has received the label ‘Special Choice” by the Government.
The restaurant is owned and run by the Shizuoka JA (Japan Agriculture), the biggest Agricultural Association in Shizuoka Prefecture (and also heavily subsidized by the country). Now, I knew why the prices were still comparatively reasonable, even for local products.
The establishment is absolutely spotless clean with a direct view into the kitchen. Talk about superior hygiene!
Not only the meat, but most of the sake and shochu are also brewed in Shizuoka Prefecture.
There are three types of seating: A counter by the window, very practical for individual guests or couples, benches and tables for 4 people apiece and finally a dig-in kotatsu Japanese room you can partly or completely reserve for a meal away from other guests’ sight (500 yen extra per person in that case). The Japanese room can be completely reserved for up to 8 guests. Otherwise parties up to 26 guests are accepted. Total reservation can be insured for up to 66 guests.
The sliding doors of the private Japanese-style room.
My first visit was for lunch at which you can a choice of single bowl dishes between 800 and 980 yen (very popular with office workers and doctors working nearby), and three meat lunch sets between 1,200 yen and 3,000 yen. I chose the latter, which at 25 US dollars is still very reasonable.
Next time I will strongly suggest that they write an English translation.
Not only the wasabi (of course) but even the salt is local!
Supreme fat to coat the BBQ plate with before grilling the meat and vegetables, Extravagant!
Absolutely beautiful! Now, what do we have?
Two kinds of Wagyu Beef and Kinton-o Pork form Shizuoka Prefecture. Actually our Prefecture is nationally renown for its supreme pork!
They need to translate that, too. It does make for good reading, actually!
In the background lean Wagyu Beef and in the forefront Kinton-O Pork.
Great attention to detail: served with grilled garlic slices and chopped thin scallions.
Naturally the vegetables are exclusively local!
Local vegetable salad and Shizuoka green tea as a bavarois with jelly.
Shizuoka-grown Koshihikari rice, A real beauty!
Shizuoka Koshikari rice is the earliest to be harvested in the island of Honshu: planted in April, rice grains appear in July and the rice is harvested end of August. It is nicknamed “Pearl Rice”.
A light soup, perfect to wash all that good food down!
100% Shizuoka orange juice. The real article!
You grill everything at your own pace and order.
So tender and juicy Wagyu Beef
What else can you ask for?
Look forward to more reports as I want to investigate some of the ridiculously cheap meat bowl lunches and of course a full dinner with local sake and shochu!