Uwajima Basho is a sumo-themed izakaya restaurant in central Matsuyama. Its logo, a red handprint, recalls the prints that sumo wrestlers make of their hands to give to favoured fans. The owner is a former professional baseball player and besides sumo memorabilia on the walls, there are also mementoes of his baseball career.
Uwajima is one of Shikoku’s premier fishing ports, and a centre for advanced fish-farming. The rapid tidal currents create an excellent environment for rearing yellowtail, which are noted for their richness in oil. In the Uwakai Sea off Uwajima, the restaurant owns a fish farm where they raise yellowtail using choice feed. Since freshness is everything in Japanese cuisine, the fish is harvested daily and delivered to Matsuyama in time for evening service. At no time is it ever frozen. This careful treatment ensures that the fish is in absolutely peak condition when it’s brought to your table. It’s sweet, rich and with a creamy texture, and it almost seems a shame to put wasabi on it.
Yellowtail, or buri as it’s called in Japanese, comes in several beautiful hues of pink and maroon. Rich in healthy oils, it glistens slightly. At Uwajima Basho you can enjoy it as sashimi, or as shabu-shabu. This Japanese favourite typically uses meat, so this novel version is a rare treat. A dish of savoury broth is heated at your table with vegetables, and you dip thinly sliced buri in it until it’s cooked to your taste. A few seconds in the broth transforms it into delicately cooked fish with a melt in the mouth texture. It goes perfectly with any selection of choice sake from the drink menu.
Another unique offering is the tomato nabe, a hotpot dish that replaces the traditional broth with select tomatoes. The care in choosing quality ingredients extends to the meat and vegetables too. Many restaurants serve pork cutlet, but none is as juicy and tasty as at Uwajima Basho, thanks to the care devoted to raising the pork. Although it comes with sauce, mustard and salt dipping options, the rich meat in its crispy coating really needs no addition.
Uwajima Basho exemplifies the healthy, tasty eating available in Shikoku. Combined with the friendly service and easy-to-understand menus, it’s a great choice for a memorable evening out.
Monday to Saturday, day before holiday and holiday 17:30 to 24:00 (last order 23:00)
Sunday 17:00 - 24:00 (last order 23:00)
Name in Japanese: うわじま場所
Romaji: uwajima basho
Address: 3-8-4 Nibancho, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-0002
You can visit Uwajima Basho izakaya in the following tours: