At a fishing village in the southern part of Tokushima prefecture there’s a slightly usual establishment called Mikumo Café.
Local ladies run the weekend-only café on the premises of Mikumo-ya, the satellite office of a cloud system development company based in Osaka.
Home cooked and based on fresh seafood, the meal menu consists of the “Fisherman’s village lunch” (JPY1500 tax included). The seafood changes according to the season and weather conditions, but your table will be filled with 8-10 dishes made from local ingredients, with sashimi as the main dish.
When we visited, the menu included Japanese Spanish mackerel, oval squid, marinated oval squid, hijiki (seaweed) salad, deep-fried octopus, teriyaki amber fish, boiled daikon with abalone miso, dumpling soup made with white meat fish… and more.
Even the rice is grown locally – it’s prepared in a pressure cooker making the texture nice and sticky!
For dessert there is tokoroten (jelly strips) made using locally harvested seaweed.
Each portion is handmade and matched with seasonal fruits such as Japanese pear, persimmon or mandarin.
As seating is limited, reservations are generally required. A “we’re on our way” on the day you plan to visit is enough, so remember to call in advance.
When the whole café is reserved for banquets and private parties, they offer a special conger eel sukiyaki course at JPY3000 (tax included) per person.
Though its meat is a known delicacy, in southern Tokushima prefecture conger eel is a somewhat ordinary ingredient seen everyday at dinner tables. The meat has a light-flavor, so it goes well with a rich dashi (Japanese soup stock) and there is plenty of collagen in the eel’s jellylike skin!
Depending on the fisherman’s haul, there are times when it may not be available, but the meal will be served with the available ingredients of the season such as spiny lobster or sea urchin, among others.
The café is located in a 160-year-old traditional Japanese house that served as a wholesales store at the port during the Edo period. It has been renovated and the stylish interior combines traditional elegance with a modern feel based on the image of the IT Company! It is strangely calming, and we ended up staying longer than planned!
Even the tableware has been used through the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods!
When you take a good look at the lacquered trays, you can see they’re tri-colored with red, green and black – a must-see for antique-lovers.
Despite the café being around a 90-minute drive from Tokushima city, customers come from all over the country to eat here!
Please do pay a visit when you’re in the area!
Address: 210 Ebisuhama, Minami-cho, Kaifu district, Tokushima prefecture
Telephone: 0884-77-0575 (reservations can be made on weekdays, too)
Closed: Monday thru Friday (Open only on Saturdays & Sundays)
Homepage: http://www.suzukishouten.co.jp/mikumo_cafe/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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