Top 5 Recommended Shops for Savoring Shikoku’s Local Specialty Dishes
Shikoku, comprising of Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi Prefectures, is a region where all the prefectures face the ocean, so it is a great place for enjoying fresh seafood and delicious local dishes. Below are five spots in the region that are recommended for their local specialties.
1. Tsukasa Kochi Main Shop (Kochi)
Established 100 years ago, Tsukasa is a well-established restaurant that serves Tosa ryori (traditional Kochi cuisine). All the fresh fish and seafood used in their sashimi are wild, with the katsuo (skipjack tuna) caught through the single-hook fishing method (wherein the fish is caught using a hook and line, and not a net). Your eyes will also be drawn to the demonstration corner for Katsuo no Tataki (seared skipjack tuna) – a local Tosa dish – that’s right next to the entrance. The Katsuo no Tataki seared by seasoned chefs is an exquisite dish with a crisp and aromatic skin and rare inside. Try the Katsuo Shio-tataki (1,600 JPY (excl. tax)) that is eaten with salt while it is still warm. During lunchtime, you can also order the Tosa Teishoku (1,700 JPY (incl. tax)) that consists of Katsuo no Tataki with rice and a side dish.
2. Piccadilly-ya (Kagawa)
Piccadilly-ya is a restaurant that serves more than 100 handmade dishes. They are particular about the use of local ingredients, such as fresh seafood directly delivered from the coastal waters of Shikoku, organic seasonal vegetables brought in every morning by contract farmers, olive beef (specific breed of cattle from Kagawa) and Sanuki Kome pork. You’d be surprised to know that they even have around 30 dishes that change every day! Their menu is filled with the specialty dishes from the four prefectures of Shikoku, including Uwajima no Jakoten (a local dish of minced fish meat patties that are fried) Tokudai (490 JPY (excl. tax)), Sanuki Meibutsu Honetsuki-tori (chicken with bone) (890 JPY (excl. tax)), and Tosa no Katsuo Tataki (890 JPY (excl. tax)). Enjoy them with the recommended local sake and shochu (white distilled liquor).
3. Amimoto (Ehime)
Amimoto is an izakaya (Japanese pub) with an aquarium inside, where 1,000 fish swim all the time. The food served here uses those fish, so all their dishes are guaranteed to be fresh. The Saba no Sashimi (mackerel sashimi) (750 JPY for 1 person (excl. tax)) is its specialty dish that many customers order. The mackerel from the famous Bungo Channel between Shikoku and Kyushu is bred in an aquarium dedicated to mackerel, so you can eat this dish all year long. Furthermore, the dishes at this izakaya are rather cheap since the shop is directly operated by the Fisheries Association, so expect a full house of customers every day. Aside from their seasonal seafood, there is also a bunch of dishes that contain rare fish. Enjoy fresh seafood in this restaurant with a boisterous atmosphere that will make you feel as if you are in a fisherman’s hut.
4. Oidenka Dogo Shop (Ehime)
Oidenka Dogo Shop is located right in front of Dogo Onsen Honkan (main building), so it is a place where you can easily drop in to enjoy local dishes after soaking in the bath. It is a dining spot created by a local fish dealer, so the dishes are cooked with seasonal fish and seafood from Seto Inland Sea. The special tai-meshi (rice with minced sea bream) from Ehime’s southern area and Uwajima is particularly popular. The Uwajima Tai-meshi (1,100 JPY (excl. tax)) is made by putting bits of raw tai caught from local waters on top of hot rice, together with egg yolk and special sauce. The mildness of the sauce and egg yolk brings out the flavor of the chewy sea bream. If you eat it with Ehime’s local sake, it will be extra delicious!
5. Yutakaya (Tokushima)
A well-established restaurant with a 140-year history, Yutakaya is a place where you can eat dishes that use seasonal local ingredients. During the summer season (from June 1st), you can taste ayu (sweetfish) dishes that incorporate natural sweetfish delivered by dedicated fishermen, while in the winter (from November), you can relish inoshishi nabe (wild boar hot pot) that contains inoshishi (wild boar) bred in the mountains of Tokushima that can be sourced from private hunters. If you visit during winter, the Inoshishi Nabe (3,700 JPY (excl. tax)), which is cooked with the rich and sweet meat of wild boar that is fed with lots of donguri (acorn) and mushrooms, will warm you from the inside. Be sure to check their official website for the recommended dish of the day.
Please enjoy exploring the seas, mountains, and rivers, as well as the hot springs and distinctive grand nature and history of Shikoku. Enjoy the special dishes that the region has to offer.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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