Known for being one of the biggest migration destinations of the mandarin duck, Lake Ono is situated in the mountains of Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. With fantastic panoramic views of the lake, right next to it lies Herb Kitchen Salvus.
Salvus – The Log Cabin By The Lake
Overlooking the lake, the cabin sits on top of a hill. Built by hand with the help of family and friends, it is perfectly situated in a location that offers a beautiful contrast between the forest and the lake.
While large windows allow guests to enjoy fantastic views over the surroundings, the ceiling is high and the interior has a warm feeling.
Firewood Oven Cuisine
The special point of eating at Salvus is that their dishes, including pizzas and sausages, are cooked in a firewood oven. I decided to have a little something while soaking up the view.
Unbroken Views From The Deck
There are nice comfortable chairs outside on the wooden deck, and tables made of single pieces of timber. Everything is handmade, just like the cabin. While the lofty trees let in warming sunlight between their branches, the breeze is calm and gentle.
Delicious Handmade Soba & Pizza
Guests who want to eat the Soba Lunch need to place their order at least a day in advance. The soba is 100% buckwheat flour, and the pizza is topped with homemade smoked tongue. The set comes with salad made with local, organic, seasonal vegetables and soup.
Using soba seeds from the Shinshu area, the owner of the restaurant, Mr. Terumi Umeda, grinds the seeds and makes soba noodles by hand every morning. Soba is only offered on the lunch menu or as part of a course.
As it allows you to taste the real flavor of the soba, Mr. Umeda says that the noodles are best appreciated with a little salt. I sprinkled a bit of Nagato salt on top and it certainly did enhance the sweetness and the flavor of the soba. With it being fresh and light, I could’ve eaten many more servings! This dish is the result of Mr. Umeda’s many years of trekking around Japan tasting and researching soba noodles.
The homemade smoked tongue pizza is large, and the dough is made using beer yeast. I drizzled on some chili pepper flavored olive oil, and as the generous amount of topping almost falls off, I folded the pizza and ate it as a sandwich. You often come across ham pizza, but smoked tongue is quite rare.
Michio, chef and son of Mr. Umeda, said that they wanted to do something completely different to other restaurants. Therefore, Salvus does not serve Italian food, but rather their own original creations. Not adhering to traditional genres, they serve cuisine that they themselves think is delicious.
This is the smoked ham used for the pizza. It is slowly smoked for 4 to 5 hours. Just looking at it makes you hungry…
The Warm & Welcoming Firewood Oven Restaurant
In addition to the great environment and the delicious food, the Umeda family and the staff themselves are another great charm of the restaurant. Apparently, some guests even come specifically to talk with the frank and open Mr. Umeda. In the spring of next year, they are planning to open a second Salvus on Shuo Oshima by the Seto Inland Sea. It will be exciting to follow their path into the future. Believe me when I say, it is well worth coming here even from far away.
Herb Kitchen Salvus
The log cabin restaurant where guests can enjoy 100% buckwheat soba noodles and firewood oven cuisine among handmade wooden furniture. On the wooden deck, guests can relax and appreciate the unbroken views of Lake Ono. (Delivery is possible for some dishes.)
Address: 4680-1, Ono, Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Open: 11:00 – 20:00 (L.O. 19:30). From 19:30 – 21:00 reservation required (Party plans & course menus).
Closed: Tuesdays and the 3rd Monday of the month (if the 3rd Monday falls on a public holiday, the next day is closed instead).
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Nana Takei
> 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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