Enjoy Hiroshima sake and cuisine to your heart’s content
Shintenchi Park is a popular area in downtown Hiroshima. Ishimatsu Sandaime, located next to Shintenchi Park, is a long-established Japanese restaurant run by its third-generation owner Daisuke Yoshida. The counter is lined with seasonal vegetables sourced from local producers. The chef incorporates the fresh vegetables into his dishes and offers advice on which sake goes well with each dish.
Yoshida is a sake specialist. He is a qualified sake taster and certified by the Japan Sommelier Association as a sake sommelier. Yoshida cooks while taking into account how the qualities of a specific sake will complement the finished dish. The food and the sake at Ishimatsu Sandaime are both heavily Hiroshima-centric making this restaurant ideal for tourists or people travelling to Hiroshima on business.
Experience Hiroshima’s culture and terroir by sampling its rich variety of local sake and produce.
Ishimatsu Sandaime has a lineup of 23 different local sakes. Yoshida has intimate knowledge of all the breweries in Hiroshima. Not only does he know the sake brands inside out, but he also knows the brewers personally and understands their motivations and the effort that goes into each bottle of sake.
Yoshida wants his guests to savor the nuanced differences between the various sake while also learning about each brewery. Hiroshima is blessed with a topography that stretches from mountainous highlands to the temperate Seto Inland Sea. This helps the region to produce a wide variety of sake types, including highly aromatic sake, mild sake, deep-flavored sake, and smooth sake.
“My dream is for people to discover all the delicious local sakes in Hiroshima, even the lesser-known ones,” says Yoshida, who regularly visits breweries with his staff and other like-minded restauranteurs to learn more about Hiroshima’s sake culture. This regular interaction with the brewers helps to deepen his understanding of Hiroshima’s sake.
Discover the magic of sake by tasting and comparing sake and pairing sake with food.
Yoshida lists examples of recommended food and sake pairings on his menu to help diners choose from the wide gamut of sake available at Ishimatsu Sandaime. Short descriptions detail the characteristics of each sake. The Ugo-no-Tsuki Jyusanya is described as a crisp sake with a hint of sweetness, whereas the Hakuko and Shinrai are described as having a good balance between sweetness and dryness with a gentle aroma making suitable to drink during a meal. Yoshida recommends crisp or refreshing sake for appetizers and vinegared dishes, while well-balanced sake is better for sashimi dishes.
“Because sake is so diverse and such a broad subject, we try not to dictate sake and food pairings to our customers. Instead, I try to give more general suggestions,” explains Yoshida.
For example, although sake brewed near the sea go well with sashimi dishes, a dish made with mushrooms from Jinsekikogen in the mountains of Hiroshima would be better accompanied by a sake local to the area like Shinrai. This will help accentuate the subtle nuances of the region’s terroir.
Guests can also enjoy the three-sake tasting set for 1,100 yen. Yoshida can suggest three distinct sake varieties like a crisp Ugo-no-Tsuki Jyusanya, the delicious and fragrant Misen, and the deep flavored Hakuko Yondan Shikomi to showcase the differences between each sake.
Yoshida’s cooking brings out the flavors of locally sourced vegetables and his dishes go so well with Hiroshima’s local sake.
You can sense Yoshida’s passion for Hiroshima from the way he uses local produce. Almost all his vegetables comes from the region and Yoshida deals directly with the growers, much in the same way that he interacts with sake brewers. Yoshida chooses “strong vegetables” like the samurai leek of Shiwacho in Higashi Hiroshima and the yaga chisha leafy greens from Yaga in Hiroshima City. With a base of carefully prepared stock, Yoshida creates simple but elegant dishes that bring out the natural flavors of each vegetable. The restaurant also offers a great selection of seafood dishes with produce unique to the Seto Inland Sea, including Hiroshima's famous oysters, anago eel, and small iwashi sardines.
Enjoy local sake and ingredients and learn about the producers.
Yoshida works hard to promote Hiroshima sake. He was selected as an evaluator for the Sake Evaluation Committee of the Hiroshima Regional Taxation Bureau and participates with other sake enthusiasts from Hiroshima in Sake Go Around - the biggest sake tasting event in Japan held annually on 1st October.
Yoshida wants his diners to enjoy both the sake and the food, while listening to the stories of the makers. By doing this, he hopes he can convey something of the energy and the motivation of the producers to the customer.
Let Yoshida lead the way and enjoy a delicious combination of Hiroshima's local sake and his carefully handcrafted Japanese cuisine.
〒730-0028 Hiroshima, Naka Ward, Nagarekawachō, 3−14
[Business hours]5:30pm to 11pm.
Food orders finish at 10pm. Drink orders stop at 10:30pm.
[Closed] Sundays and national holidays (open on the first day of consecutive holidays)
[Seats]10 seats at the counter and 4 seats in a tatami room with sunken kotatsu on the first floor, 24 seats in a tatami room with sunken kotatsu on the second floor.
TEXT BY TJ Hiroshima