Japan 2024. 4th stop. Okayama

A most enjoyable and memorable meal last night. DW had planned for an Omakase at a popular local restaurant. We popped in at 5:30pm and surprise!, fully booked and reservations only.

We were then faced with a most difficult decision. Surrounded by myriad restaurants with great food choices, which one?? Neither of us speak or read Japanese, but my wife can somewhat decipher Kanji and there’s Google Translate, of course. We wisely chose this restaurant.

The staff and menu was Japanese only.

We were served 2 Highballs and Otoshi of tasty braised fresh Oysters while we perused the menu. A brilliant start.

Platter of Aji (Horse Mackerel) Sashimi. Uber fresh and simple presentation.

We both wanted the Chirako, Cod Fish Milt. We’ve had chirako raw and tempura a few times. This is first time baked. Very nice, warm creamy texture.

Tempura, a nice variety of items well fried.

Wagyu Carpaccio. Nice with the real Wasabi, even better with the fresh grated Ginger.

Very comforting bowl of Chirashi. No high end fish components, just good quality seafood on warm Sushi rice. The Octopus was swoon worthy.

Grilled Hamachi Kama, to sate the wife’s grilled fish jones.

My dessert was Ochazuke with Mentaiko. Salted Pollack Roe with Green Tea over Rice.

Despite (or because of) our language differences, we enjoyed fun entertaining interactions with the staff. Especially after a few highballs, beers and sake.

I know it’s somewhat of an old tradition for staff to show customers appreciation at the door. Still a good feeling when one is thanks at the door with bows and smiles.

  • we pinned this restaurant on Google map to facilitate a return visit. Couldn’t find any name or footprint anywhere.

Looks nice!
I found their Facebook page for you:

They seem to have an Instagram page, too.

However, I don’t use any of those SNS sites and can’t vouch for either of them.


my kind of dessert


Tag-teaming in on the info TokushimaCook has provided, the name of the place is Itō. (いとう)
Here’s the Gurunavi page in case you want to use Google Translate: https://r.gnavi.co.jp/9kuhbha80000/
And here they are on Google Maps:
It seems their specialty is oysters from the nearby town of Ushimado (“Cow Window”). (Don’t bother going to Ushimado, it’s really dull unless you like olive trees.)

Sorry if this is duplicate information, I also don’t use those social media sites.

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A seafood-centric Omakase style dinner. We chose the set, and the chef delivered his choicest selections.

The libations first. We started with Highballs and selected five different sakes to complement the meal.

The Sake presentation added to the enjoyment of the wine. Each sake was poured at the table into ~30CL earthen vessel and sipped from matching cups.

Not familiar with any of the selections, they were all good and drank nicely with the food.

Next: the food.


A braised Abalone teaser to start, raising expectations for the delights to come.

A supreme selection of Sashimi highlighted by Nodoguro, Bluefin, Hokkaido Uni and more.

Ebi was sublime. The goodness from the head the very essence of the sea.

The Shirako (codfish milt) always a favorite bite.

Seared Tuna was the weakest of the set. Just very good B+. The fresh Wasabi that accompanied the tuna and other dishes elevated.

Only two clams on the soup, but they were large, briny and tender. The different seaweed in the soup were absolutely delicious.

Anagi (freshwater eel) dressed just as we like, touch of salt and a light hand with the sauce.

Could never get enough of the Japan Eggs. Ordered a supplement of Egg Rice. The rice with the Anagi out of this world.

A thoroughly enjoyable meal.


Nice! I’ve had an over-large (for me) meal tonight, but now I’m hungry again. Thanks for posting!

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BTW, the earthenware is the famous bizenyaki. (Bizen is about an hour journey by train. There’s a museum there and a few cafes.) If you’re looking for mementos (like a sake decanter and cups set) you can find it for sale all over Okayama prefecture should you like.



I love Katsudon and Oyakadon. When the wife suggested Katsudon Nomura, I graciously agreed.

Nomura is known for their topping on their Pork Cutlet Rice (katsudon). Traditionally, a semi-raw egg tops the bowl to make a creamy savory sauce of sorts. Here, a semi- heavy demiglaze used.

English/Chinese menus are available, but ordering is only by vending machine. Some pictures, but only Japanese.

We both ordered the set of Katsudon and Oyakadon. Mine swayed more fatty and hers more lean. Mine was a couple hundred ¥ more.

I’m glad to have tried this variation, but rather prefer the classic simple egg. The Parent and Child (oyakadon) stays classic with egg.

Delicious lunch at an affordable price in a comfortable setting. All good.


I rather like that earthen sake and cup set. Would probably drink more sake if I had some.

On the bus now, an hour from Osaka. Will have to pick some up next time. :slight_smile:

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Delicious! Thanks for posting my favorite food Katsudon and Oyakadon. Thank you for making me hungry again now! LOL

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I rather like that earthen sake and cup set.

I have a few pieces but I’m not a huge fan of Bizenyaki (I appear to be in the minority as it’s kind of like not supporting the home sports team). I prefer ceramics from Nagano, but like food, everyone has different tastes.

BTW, the demi-glace on tonkatsu is another Okayama thing. It’s okay, but I prefer the typical sauce.

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Lunch at Fukuzushi. Unique to Okayama (as I understand), Barazushi is arranged with a variety of colorful seafoods and vegetables. Traditionally a festival specialty food, we’re fortunate to enjoy during our brief visit.

Most of our fellow diners appeared to be local workers and a few ladies who lunch. A very comfortable venue for an enjoyable meal. My large draft beer was indeed LARGE, chilled sake served on a cradle of ice.

Otoshi was a bit of marinated Fish Skin.

Touch panel ordering appreciated. I ordered Chirashi Teisyoku and Chawanmushi, love the eggs here. Love the presentation.

Beautifully prepared bites of seafood and seasonal vegetables.

My wife ordered Mushi Zushi, steamed Sushi.

Also beautifully presented and lovely with a variety of seafood and vegetables.

We also had a Nigiri of a special seasonal local fish, didn’t figure out the name. Tasty.

Looking forward to returning to Okayama, some very special food here.


We need amuse bouches like that here in the States.

Preach brother. Preach.

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I hope you don’t mind if I ply you with a little history. As the story was told to me, In the Edo Period the lord of Chikuzen Okayama, Mitsumasa Ikeda, issued the Thrift Ordinance which decreed only “one soup and one side dish” for peasant meals. Barazushi was invented as a way to get past the order by putting a lot of fish and vegetables under the sushi rice so it looked very plain in case it was inspected while on the way to a festival or celebration, but then giving it a stir or toss when arriving at their destination to make it pretty and tasty. It’s also called Okayama zushi or Matsuri (festival) sushi or Chirashi (tossed) zushi.

I’m very lucky in that my wife makes it sometimes when we need to bring a dish to parties.

(It seems you’ve eaten several times in the Hokancho neighborhood. I hope you develop my fondness for the area. It’s kind of run down and quiet most of the time but there are a lot of little gems there.)


I’d enjoyed the background on that style of sushi, makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza across the street from the station, so right in the Hokancho neighborhood. We marveled at the good food that was available in the vicinity.

On our first night, just wandering around. We lucked into this family restaurant, I’d best liken to a Denny’s back home. A Denny’s with Wagyu and Sushi on the menu.

Horumon Udon. The beef small intestine was all so tasty with the funk that may not appeal to some, but I love.

My wife is still raving about their Chicken Wings. Crisp, juicy and tender.

Broad range menu at ultra affordable prices. Ok, much more than a Denny’s!!!


Staying in Hokancho we hit up one of your suggestions the next morning, Okonomiyaki Mori. Cozy neighborhood joint with a warm friendly staff.

We had Oyster Okonomiyaki, of course.

And Horumon Udon, stir fried this time. Wife claims she could taste the Wok Hei!!

Our sweet server walked us out and we chatted for a few moments. We mutually did not understand each other much beyond our smiles and gestures. Heart warming!! :slight_smile:


Mori is classic. It’s been there forever. Glod you were able to get in without a struggle.

The first place appears to be Ajjinomingei, a chain out of Kyushu. I’ve never eaten there but their menu looks good. The Black Birch Beef that’s imported from Kyushu seems to be a point of distinction.

You are certainly eating well.


Thanks for sharing – these photos are great! I’m going to Japan in a couple months, so I’ll be referencing some of these posts as well. Do you have a separate social media account where you post your food content?

Thanks!! The posts to the locations are super helpful.