This month's J-Festa Blogging theme is "Dining in Japan," so I thought I would share a little bit about the "hottest spot" in all of Kochi Prefecture: Hirome Ichiba. Lonely Planet even ranked the restaurant as the 5th most interesting thing you should waste time doing if you ever drunkenly stumble into this prefecture (since we are #1 in that department). But in all seriousness, Hirome Ichiba is the hangout of Kochi City. You will only find the place empty during the afternoon, and even then you can find people scattered about drinking beer and eating katsuo tataki. The establishment takes up the first floor of a two story warehouse-esque building made of solid grey concrete and filled to the brim with gift shops, bars, and small food "stalls" (parking on the 2nd floor). The rest of the space is filled with picnic tables and benches that you need to circle like a hawk in order to nab on a busy Friday/Saturday night.
|People pack like sardines onto those benches on most Friday/Saturday nights.|
|The back of the building where the best bar tender ever resides as well as some amazing ice cream.|
This shop sits front and center in the Hirome Ichiba complex and serves only Katsuo Tataki (along with the standard white rice, miso soup and tempura-fried kimpira) in about three main flavors. They even have the kitchen area set up with a huge pane of glass so you can watch as they freshly sear the Katsuo you'll be eating over a roaring straw fire. Flavoring options include salt, tare, and yuzu, and each order of Katsuo Tataki is garnished with slices of garlic and a sprinkling of green onion and grated daikon.
|Raw in the middle and perfectly seared on the outside. Yum.|
- bacon wrapped onigiri (#4)
- Hirome korokke (#3)
- cheese nan (#2)
- macha soft-serve in a waffle cone (#1)
|Best bar-tender in the world, A-chan.|
That about wraps it up for my post on Hirome Ichiba. If you ever find yourself lost and in Kochi Prefecture (because unless you're doing the 88 temple pilgrimage... why would you ever visit Shikoku?), come on over to Hirome Ichiba, located at the end of Kochi's shopping arcade "Obiyamachi," and find a tired salary man or drunken college student to share a beer with. :)