• An Introduction to Umeshu

    “Ume” and “shu” are two separate Japanese words that mean fruit and liquor, respectively, and it’s proof that sake isn’t the only Japanese liquor you should know about. Although, sometimes sake and ume are mixed when making umeshu. It takes a long time to make umeshu, but the flavor makes it worth the wait. Read ahead if you’d like an introduction to umeshu.

    There are certain types of alcoholic beverages that are best consumed as a dessert rather than while enjoying a meal, and umeshu falls into this category. Umeshu has a sweet taste to it due to the added sugar, and if you’re not from Japan or familiar with the culture, the taste might seem unusual. Ume’s natural acids make umeshu acidic and sweet, and the umami in ume gives the drink a strikingly unique taste. The amount of alcohol may be anywhere between five and 20 percent, depending on the umeshu you choose.

    The best way to try umeshu for the first time is at the best Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. House of Genji offers hibachi, sushi, and other types of Japanese dining. Call us at (408) 453-8120 or browse our website to see what we can offer.

  • How is Matcha Made?

    Matcha is a strong form of green tea that you can find at Japanese restaurants. It comes in a powder, and it’s known for its vibrant green color. Watch this video and learn how matcha is made.

    Matcha is made from camellia sinensis. When new chutes sprout, growers put tarps over them to block out most of the sunlight they’re exposed to. This is done for about three weeks at a time and helps the flavor and the calming effect. Next, the leaves are steamed and dried, and then the stems and veins are taken out. Tencha, which is what is left, is then ground into a powder and can be mixed with hot water to make the tea.

    House of Genji is a Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. If a cocktail lounge that includes Japanese dining sounds right for you, give us a call at (408) 453-8120.

  • What Every Visitor Should Know About Etiquette in Japan

    It’s important to mind your manners when you’re immersing yourself in a foreign culture. Whether you’re going to Japan or just going to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner, it’s nice to be familiar with proper etiquette. If you want to make a good impression, read on for a look at what every visitor should know about etiquette in Japan.

    Eating on the Go

    In the United States, it’s perfectly normal to see someone with a slice of pizza in one hand and a cell phone in the other walking down the street. In Japan, however, this is not a usual occurrence. Rather than eating on the go, it’s customary to save the food until you get to your destination. You might even see people drinking their whole bottle of water or soda before walking away from the vending machine. Eating and drinking isn’t even allowed on Japanese public transportation.

    Chopstick Use

    It might take some time to get used to using chopsticks—mastering this skill doesn’t come easy to everyone. No matter how skilled or clueless you are when it comes to using chopsticks, the way you set them down actually makes a big difference in terms of etiquette. Instead of leaving them sticking straight up out of your food, lay them flat across the bowl or use a chopstick rest. Passing food from one plate to another using chopsticks is considered disrespectful as well, so if you’re going to share food, use the back ends of your sticks.

    Finish Your Dish

    It’s against Japanese culture to waste, especially when it comes to food. If you visit Japan or dine in a Japanese restaurant, don’t pick parts of your meal out and put them to the side. You can also score some extra etiquette points by trying some of every dish.

    Now that you know how to practice the proper etiquette, try out your manners at a Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. Call House of Genji at (408) 453-8120 or look at our website if you’re interested in enjoying some fine Japanese dining.

  • Signs You Would Enjoy Teppanyaki Dining

    Teppanyaki dining is something everyone should experience at one point in their lives, and there are some signs that you’d like it more than most. If you’re already a fan of Japanese dining, you like to mix up your sides, and you enjoy watching your chef prepare your meal, you’re a perfect candidate. Here’s a look at some of the signs you would enjoy teppanyaki dining.

    You Enjoy Japanese Dining

    If you already have a taste for Japanese food, then you may be a fan of teppanyaki dining. Teppanyaki is made on a flat grill that is powered by propane, and it’s typically located in the dining area, much like hibachi. It combines cut up pieces of ingredients like scallops, rice, vegetables, eggs, and beef, and traditional teppanyaki may include cabbage and noodles, as well. If Japanese food is your go-to choice, chances are you’ll enjoy teppanyaki.

    You Like a Variety of Sides

    One interesting aspect of teppanyaki is that it can be eaten with all different kinds of sides. Vegetables and fried rice are common sides, but garlic chips, zucchini, and mung bean sprouts are also popular options. If you can fry it along with the meat, then it can serve as a side for the dish. The traditional sauce to use would be soy, but Japanese restaurants in America might offer different options for sauces, as well.

    You Want to Watch the Preparation

    People love the entertainment factor of hibachi grills. Watching your chef prepare your food in front of you is exciting, especially when he or she does tricks, which is often the case at these kinds of restaurants. If you want to watch the food being prepared but you’re not quite in the mood for hibachi, then teppanyaki can offer the same kind of experience.

    If you’re looking for teppanyaki in San Jose, look no further than House of Genji. You can check out our website to see what our cocktail lounge and hibachi grill have to offer, or you can call us at (408) 453-8120 if you have questions about our Japanese dining options.