A shop interior where cozy sunlight seeps in through large windows… We heard that diners can relish unique French cuisine made exclusively from Seto Inland Sea ingredients, so we paid a visit to Restaurant Shimamura L’esprit de MIKUNI.
Located at the 12th floor of the tallest building within the Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions (in 2015), the restaurant’s setting is perfect, too.
Well then, let’s move onto the dishes.
Firstly, for starters we have homemade anchovy croissants made with small sardines and freshly pickled Shodoshima Island olives (Shodoshima Island’s extra virgin olive oil is in the background). Praised by the chef, the olives are fresh, mild and whet the appetite beautifully.
And here is the next dish!
Oh, but, um… it’s burned…?!
“They’re Setouchi shrimp frits. The batter has some Hiroshima-made bamboo charcoal in it, so you can eat it without any worries.”
Whaat! The burned appearance is only to surprise customers! The crispy deep-fried shrimps, although small, are packed with flavor, despite my initial reaction!
Next off are three different dishes made with Japanese blue crab, which was in season at the time. Starting at the front is a Western style Japanese blue crab chawanmushi with a cappuccino finish, Japanese blue crab and lentil tart, and crab miso rice crackers. It’s my first time to see crab dressed up so elegantly…
Here’s a close-up of the tart. It’s a luxurious dish where the red mayonnaise made with red beet and crab meat is topped with caviar and sorrel (herb)!
The final dish is this bouillabaisse style Setouchi inshore fish with Hiroshima vegetables. Seto Inland Sea fish such as sting fish, scorpion fish, Matsubara’s red rock fish, multicolorfin rainbowfish, and black rock fish are transformed in Mediterranean style! The soup has some Hiroshima salt-pickled lemon in it; the refreshing flavor brings out the fishes’ true flavor fully.
“Eating ingredients from the area in which you were born is the best for your body.”
He traveled to France at age 19, and after over 10 years of training as a chef, Mr. Mitsunori Shimamura returned to Hiroshima, his home region.
Cuisine by chef Shimamura is not only delicious, but its appearance is also entertaining. Do come and try it out, at least once!
Mitsunori Shimamura’s Profile
Born in 1972 in Hiroshima. After training at famous Japanese hotels and at Lyon and Cannes he returned to Hiroshima. Mr. Shimamura took part in the opening of Mikuni Hiroshima, a restaurant by Japan’s foremost French chef Kiyoshi Mikuni. He then succeeded the spirit of chef Mikuni and opened Restaurant Shimamura L’esprit de Mikuni. Mr. Shimamura also actively invites the producers (of ingredients) for dinner parties and puts effort into dietary education among others. His hobby is music.
If you mention that you saw the restaurant on Setouchi Finder when making your reservation, you will receive a “grade up in ingredients” as a present from the chef (valid indefinitely).
Restaurant Shimamura L’esprit de Mikuni
Location: Urban View Tower 12th floor, 4-1 Kamihatchobori, Naka ward, Hiroshima city, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (last orders at 14:00), Dinner 17:30-22:00 (last orders at 21:00)
Both lunch and dinner are with reservation only.
If you mention that you saw the restaurant on Setouchi Finder, you will receive an upgrade of the ingredients used as a present from the chef
Closed: Mondays (open if Monday is a public holiday)
Budget: Lunch starts at JPY3,900 (+ tax), Dinner starts at JPY10,000 (+ tax)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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