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Category Archives: Food & Drink

Vin Neuf

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French cafe by day, wine bar by night, Vin Neuf is the place to go if you want to relish wine culture in the unlikely city of Tokushima. It is run by the incomparable Mr. Oe, who also owns a wine shop in Komatsushima. At 500 yen a glass, you can pay another 500 for a cheese to pair with it, or bring your own snacks/cheese/desert, and upon request Mr. Oe will match it with a truly fantastic wine. He may even tell you a bit about the world of wine!

Mr. Oe also teaches wine classes, so if you’re looking to learn a bit about discerning between different types of wine, where it comes from, how it’s made, and how to tell good wine from bad, then ask him about it (in Japanese though) when you stop by.

Vin Neuf is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to midnight, and is located beneath Alliance Francais, at this address:

徳島市徳島町2丁目59
仁田ビル1F

Tokushima city, Tokushima-cho, 2 chome 59

Jinta building, 1st Floor

TEL: 090-4563-5631

web: http://blog.livedoor.jp/vin_neuf/

Happy Wining! hahaha…

Toyotomi Coffee

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Hi all, my name is Sarah and I am the new owner of this blog, since the delightful Aussie who started it has since left Tokushima and returned to the down under. He will be sorely missed. But now it’s up to me to do what I can to provide some English insight into Tokushima’s spots of interest and public facilities.

First off, apologies for the hiatus. I’m still getting my head around the new job I am filling, which has a lot of responsibilities besides this blog. But I have had time to explore Tokushima a bit, and this coffee bar I am about to introduce was one of the first places I fell in love with, and I was actually first taken there by the former owner of this blog. Of course.

Mr. Toyotomi is a barista with nearly twenty years of experience who imports coffee beans from all around the world and roasts them at his own shop. Tokushima born and bred, he studied agriculture in college, and soon thereafter went abroad to work in the U.S. where he nurtured a love for American culture, and above all, coffee. He studied to earn his barista’s license and returned to Tokushima to open his own shop. Together with his business partners and friends in the coffee-lover community, he is striving to spread the market of specialty coffees in Japan, where frequently quantity is valued more over quality.

He has the usual array of delicious blended coffees, cappuccinos, machiatos, etc. that you can expect from a seasoned barista, as well as a few surprises such as a green tea espresso smoothie, an iced orange cafe late, an espresso and azuki (sweet red bean, TO DIE FOR) smoothie, a few fruit smoothies, and an array of sandwiches, cakes, and parfaits to have you making up excuses to come out to Toyotomi.

He also has an art gallery on the 2nd floor where local artists have their work on display, and frequently for sale! This includes not just canvas works, but a great variety of handmade crafts as well. Come out and take a gander!

If you speak enough Japanese to get by, he also has a Coffee Class every month, where you will learn the science and art of roasting and brewing your own coffee. Participation fee is 2000 yen.

Toyotomi’s hours are:

Weekdays: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (closed Wednesdays)

Weekends: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The parking lot fits 12 cars, but I’ve never seen it full so don’t worry about there not being space. There is also some space at Plain Table, a furniture and houseware store next door (also a wonderful place that might get a review in the future).

Address: 〒770-0866  徳島県徳島市末広2丁目1-42

Tokushima City, Matsuhiro 2 chome 1-42

TEL: 088-655-8052

Website: http://www.uma-e.net/tokushima/home/toyotomi/

Don’t be deceived by outward appearances! This place is a must-visit for coffee lovers!

Restaurant Reviews in Japan

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Feeling hungry? Looking for a good place to eat but not sure where to go? If so, then look no further than Wan Wan, a new website for restaurant reviews and your best friend for finding that someplace special.

Wan Wan has reviews for restaurants not only in Tokushima, but also in Ehime and Kyoto. Each review is accompanied by a literal swathe of photos and you can search for reviews based on your budget, the type of cuisine, and much more.

Not only that, but you can even add reviews of your own.

Check it out.

Fukurou Ramen

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Fukurou

The storefront to Fukurou.

徳島県鳴門市大津町矢倉字東の越15-17

Tel.
088-684-2960

Hours
11:00-21:00
* Closed on Wednesdays

If you’re looking for a filling meal and a new flavour of ramen,  thenFukurou is the place to be.

Perhaps the most appropriate way to describe the menu of Fukurou is a surprising sense of volume. The standard serving of ramen is much like that found in other stores, but once you leave the safe and normal territory then you’re in for a ride. Just about every other order on the menu is filled with all kinds of meat and vegetables, and I can guarantee you won’t be left wanting at the end of your meal.

Ramen at Fukurou

A bowl of 'genki soba' ramen at Fukurou

What’s more, the menu has a lot of other options in addition to the standard ramen and gyoza fare. For example, in addition to bowls of rice and plates of shumai, you can also order curry rice (although not the kind you may be used to), kimchi and almost any other combination of noodles, rice and common vegetables that you can imagine.

  • Chuka Soba – 530 yen
  • Genki Soba – 680 yen
  • Curry Rice – 380 yen
  • Gyoza – 320 yen
  • Shumai – 260 yen
  • Kimchi – 180 yen

Th

A look at the inside of the shop.

Store Interior
Located next to one of the main roads running through Matsushige to Naruto City, the shop is easy to find. It has a generous parking space, and like many ramen shops, the interior of the store is very understated, with both table and counter seats available.

Tickets are bought from a machine at the door, and pictures are available for most of the items on the menu so you can work out what to get in advance event if you can’t read Japanese.

California Table

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The front of California Table as you come in from the parking area.

The front of California Table as you come in from the parking area.

Naruto-shi Seto-cho Ooshimada Aza Nakayama 1-1

Tel.
088-688-0212

Hours
* Lunch – 11:00-14:30
* Cafe Time – 14:30 – 17:00
* Dinner – 17:00- LO 21:00 (Fridays and weekends only)

A classy restaurant and cafe with a stunning view over the Seto Inland Sea.

If you have ever wondered exactly how far you’d have to go to find a restaurant making good use of the beautiful scenery Tokushima has to offer, look no further. California Table in Naruto City is a fantastic place with good food, a good view, good service, and good everything else.

As its name might suggest, the main fare of California Table is western style food. The menu has a wide range of common items such as steak, salads, a cheeseburger, pizza, pasta and other items, but they are served with both flair and volume. The prices might be a little off-putting for those looking for a casual lunch, but once the food arrives you won’t be left wondering where your money went.

One of the main attractions on the menu - the cheeseburger and side of chips.

One of the main attractions on the menu - the cheeseburger and side of chips.

  • Cheeseburger – 1,600 yen
  • Herb Rotisserie Chicken – 1,600 yen
  • Grilled Beef Steak – 2,300 yen
  • Caesar Salad – 950 yen
  • All cakes – 600 yen

A variety of drinks, including coffee, fresh juice, wine and more are also available.

Just a small part of the view from the deck area.

Just a small part of the view from the deck area.

Store Interior
One of the main attractions to California Table is the view. The restaurant stands on top of the mountainous ridges by the Seto Inland Sea, and provides a view out over the surrounding area and the bridge from Naruto to Awaji Island. There is an interior seating area and a deck, both very classy, and the view leaves nothing to be desired.

If you’re looking for a place to take that someone special, this is it.

Ramen Soup Nuts

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Your standard bowl of ramen at Soup Nuts.

Your standard bowl of ramen at Soup Nuts.

Tokushima-shi Minami Tamiya-cho 1-5-25

Tel.
088-677-8380

Hours
* 11:30 – 14:30
* 17:30 – 21:00
* Closed on Wednesdays

For a fresh style of ramen with a fish stock base.

Don’t let the name fool you – soup nuts has little to do with normal soup, or nuts. It is in fact a ramen shop just north of Tokushima Station that, unlike many ramen stores in Tokushima, uses a fish stock base to its soup rather than pork or chicken.

While the stock for the soup has a unique taste that might not be for everyone,  the entire menu tastes a new take on the standard ramen fare. The gyouza are served with a special miso sauce instead of standard gyouza sauce, and the menu has a few new additions such as egg with chashuu on rice and other, similar combinations.

A plate of gyouza with miso sauce. More filling than they appear.

A plate of gyouza with miso sauce. More filling than they appear.

And for those who feel that your standard ramen with a side of gyouza is just about right, but be deceived! At first glance the ramen doesn’t seem very big, but once you set out to eating you start to realise how filling it is. The gyouza are also very large, and if anyone ever manages to leave feeling unsatisfied, please send us an email so we can mark the occasion.

Another speciality of the store is “tsuke-men”. Rather than standard ramen where everything is put together in the one bowl of soup, here you are served the soup by itself with a plate of noodles and other ingredients to individually dip in and eat separately.

  • Ramen – 630 yen
  • Tokusei Ramen (large) – 830 yen
  • Tsuke-men – 680 yen
  • Tokusei Tsuke-men – 880 yen
  • Gyouza – 400 yen
  • Onsen Tamago Nose Chashuu-don – 400 yen
The beacon to Soup Nuts - an orange sign poking its head out onto the street.

The beacon to Soup Nuts - an orange sign poking its head out onto the street.

Store Interior
The store itself is very minimalist, and is a lot less like normal ramen shops and more like a trendy cafe. The seats are hollow stools with room inside them to put bags and other items you might bring with you, and the counter and walls are very bare. It all comes together to give the place a very open atmosphere, but those looking for a homely ramen shop with fifty years of random paraphernalia tacked to the walls might feel a little disappointed.

Café Chagall

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the cafe

The store front next to the shrine.

Author: Miree

Tokushima-shi Toori-machi 2-15

Tel.
088-622-1378

What happens if you wander around the city with your parents and it is four in the afternoon? Well, your father may ask you where he can get a coffee and cake like he is used to in his home country. And as you walk through small streets heading for the station, because you know three coffee shops near them, your father suddenly stops and points his finger to a small Cafe, which you have passed a million times but never seen.

The store is filled with wooden chairs and furnishings, giving it a very homely atmosphere.

The store is filled with wooden chairs and furnishings, giving it a very homely atmosphere.

The outside is really simple and almost invisible, but when you step inside it is a lovely, warm but small place. Wood everywhere, nice paintings on the wall and a mini garden in the middle. As you sit down, a friendly lady approaches you with the menu and the bait is the cake set.

For 700 yen you get one coffee, and what else? Right, a piece of cake! Chocolate or cheese cake or others. They are not handmade but delicious enough. The coffee is quite good. I had Wiener coffee, which makes the cake set a 750 yen price. We sat next to the garden. Or should I say window to an outside world. A few cats were in this small place and it was an open place but no connection to the inside. Hard to describe. I want to go again and see it at rainy times.

The interior is as described, woody and looks old but comforting. Its clean and has a nice atmosphere, like your grand parents garden house. The pictures on the wall are changed by the owner by season and are inspired by the works of Chagall. The lady said, she likes Chagall so much that she named her Cafe after him.

Standard Coffee is 400 Yen, special selection going up 450 Yen.

They serve breakfast as well.

Just a 7 minute walk from the station and next to the Kotoshironushi Shrine.