2015.3.23
Gourmet Hyogo

The Fruit of the Sea at Uzu no Kuni, a Restaurant with a Fabulous View!

 

Awaji Island is a place where superb quality seafood is caught all year round, and where, therefore, you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes.

 

The place to eat fresh delicious fish in season is "Zekkyo Restaurant Uzu no Kuni" ('Scenery Restaurant Whirlpool's Hill').

Happiness is enjoying Awaji Island's seasonal delicacies while gazing at Naruto Ohashi Bridge from your special seat.

To start off, we will introduce some of the creative cuisine that uses such seasonal ingredients.  

 
 
Mackerel that almost swims out of its dish is served in such large portions: "Shima no ryoshimeshi Awajima nama sawara-don" ('The island's fisherman's meal – Awajima island fresh mackerel rice bowl' ) JPY1600+tax.

Mackerel is said to be most delicious from winter to spring and is admired for being the white-fleshed equivalent of fatty tuna, but with a certain sweetness.

 

 

Here is another dish with mackerel: "Awajijima zeppin nama-uni no kaisen hitsumabushi" (Awaji Island's superb fresh sea urchin and seafood served on rice) JPY3000+tax. A slab of sea urchin dominates 1/3 of the center of the dish!

 
 

Sea urchins are one of Awaji Island’s high-class ingredients.

 
Sea urchins harvested in the southern part of the Awaji Sea where the currents are filled with minerals are said to be especially exquisite. In addition, the number of red sea urchins caught from June to October is small, so they can be eaten only at a small number of places.

As well as preparing red sea urchins during season, Uzu no Kuni also offers the precious black sea urchin!

 

 

For your first bowl you can have a seafood rice bowl as it is and enjoy the succulent flavors of each ingredient. For your second, you can mix the precious sea urchin with soy sauce to create a special fresh sea urchin soy sauce, and pour it on the whole dish.

 

For yours truly, my hand holding the soy sauce was shaking out of the sheer luxury of the dish. The deep flavor from the sea brings out the taste of the fresh fish and adds up to the depth of its delicious flavor.

 
 
For the third bowl, you can add some condiments and turn the dish into a chazuke (cooked rice and toppings with, for example, green tea poured over), by using dashi. This was the first time for me to eat chazuke made with vinegared rice, but it tasted delicious – You can't go wrong with sea urchin!

 

 

Moving on to another sea urchin dish: "Uzu no kuni kaisen uni – shabu" ('Uzu no Kuni seafood & sea urchin shabu-shabu') JPY3800+tax. Using sea urchin for shabu-shabu…? It's just too extravagant; I don't know what to think!

 
 
You dip the seafood into the rich sea urchin soup to cook it lightly. To imagine that there is such a feat as dipping fresh sea urchin into a soup of sea urchin; a double sea urchin shabu-shabu!

 

 

To finish off the menu, how about sea urchin rice gruel with sea urchin soup, fresh sea urchin and rice?

 
 

And finally, when visiting Awaji Island, you want to try Awaji Island onions. The most delicious dish that allows you to enjoy onions is "Awajima tamanegi shima no umatama ~ Awaji gyu miso soe~" ('Awaji onions ~ the island's delicious onions served with Awaji's beef miso') JPY700+tax.

The dish is extremely simple to make. A whole onion is seasoned with an olive oil and salt blend before being thoroughly baked in a "secret" preparation process. The special Awaji beef miso used as a garnish is a great support act that brings out the delicious flavor of the onions.

 

 

The person responsible for the deliciously creative cuisine that uses the treasure-like ingredients of Awaji Island is Yasuyuki Fujimi, the head chef. "I use ingredients freely, so at times I'm scolded by the owner," he laughs, "but there are plenty of delicious ingredients on Awaji Island, so I want people to enjoy them!", he says, and entertains the customers with a charming smile.

To finish off, a notice: As Uzu no kuni uses fresh fish caught that day, there are some dishes that cannot at times be served due to weather conditions and so forth. However, the restaurant provides customers with the best fish caught on any particular day, so you can't go wrong no matter what you order! Yours truly can guarantee the flavor.

If there is a dish that you absolutely want to eat, we recommend contacting the restaurant in advance of your visit.

Zekkyo Restaurant Uzu no Kuni

Location: 2F Uzu no Kuni, Onaruto Memorial Hall 2nd floor, 936-3 Fukura, Minamiawaji city, Hyogo prefecture
Telephone: 0799-52-2888
Open: 11.00~15.30 (Last order 15.00)
Homepage: http://rest.uzunokuni.com/ (Japanese)
 

Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Asami Asai / Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)

 

 

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Kokohorejapan Inc.

Kokohorejapan Inc.

Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/

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