Monday, September 12, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Hozumitei ほずみ亭

Visited 20.11.2014 (Thu)

Taste of traditional cuisine. After alighting from Tetsudo Hobby Train, we had slightly over an hour to spend in Uwajima before we hopped onto the next train heading for Matsuyama. Decided to settle our lunch here and began the search for a restaurant that serves traditional cuisine unique to Ehime Prefecture. Followed the travel guide book studiously and came to Hozumitei, a well known local restaurant which utilises the freshest catch from nearby Uwa Sea to whip up numerous traditional dishes that have passed through generations. Apart from the warm hospitality that the staff showered us with upon stepping into the restaurant, what amazed me was one of the lady staff, in her forties, was able to speak very fluent English (way much better than me). This was what I least expected from a quaint little town like Uwajima. Food ordering was a breeze, without the language barrier and because we heeded her advice to order the signature dishes offered by Hozumitei. Ordered Taimeshi (鯛めし) [980 yen], Satsuma meshi (さつまめし) [980 yen] and Tachiuo Chirimen don (太刀魚ちりめん丼) [980 yen] to fully experience the local fishermen's style of cuisine in the early days.

Counter seats.

Taimeshi - Simplicity at its best!
Soul food. After the Taimeshi was delivered to our table, I diligently followed the instructions given by the staff to enjoy it in the best way, the same way as what the locals do. First, mixed a raw egg, sweet soy sauce and kombu flakes together with thinly sliced raw seabream (otherwise known as "tai"). Next, scooped some cooked rice into a separate small bowl. Poured the mixture onto the rice and tucked in! The combination was amazingly appetising and makes one yearns for more. Within minutes, I gobbled up the first bowl of glittering rice and moved on the second and third serving, until my hunger was fully satisfied. Taimeshi is yet another local soul food; truly a true showcase of simplicity at its best. Had to add this to my list of food to recommend to others visiting Ehime Prefecture. 
Hard to resist Tachiuo chirimen don.

Newfound flavours. Our palate were also exposed to new flavours during this meal. Satsuma meshi (さつまめし) is another recipe created by fishermen who used to prepare this dish on board for a quick meal. The shredded meat of grilled fish is mixed with barley miso and broth, cooked using fish bones, to create this white coloured paste. Similar to Taimeshi, Satsuma meshi is eaten by dashing the paste onto a small portion of barley rice. The harvesting season for Tachiuo (or largehead hairtail fish) in Uwa Sea is from summer to late autumn, and it is also during this season, the meat is higher in fat and tastier. Tachiuo chirimen (太刀魚ちりめん) is made by rolling the meat over a bamboo stick. A flavourful dark sauce is swiped evenly over the meat and the meat is grilled carefully over charcoal fire till it becomes crispy and golden brown. 


Hozumitei ほずみ亭
〒798-0035 愛媛県宇和島市新町2-3-8
Opening hrs: 1100 - 1330 hrs, 1700 - 2230 hrs (last order at 2130 hrs), closed on Sundays.
Approx 5 mins walk from Uwajima Station.

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