In a shopping district in Ehime, the storefront of "Sushi no Ma" stands with a dignified air. A Michelin 2-star sushi restaurant is just ten minutes' tram ride from one of the oldest hot springs in Japan, Dogo Onsen. The owner-chef, Shogo Noma studied as an apprentice at "Ken Sushi" under Kenji Tanokubo for 16 years from the age of 18 before finding the right time to open his own restaurant in 2010. His style of sushi, dubbed Setouchimae sushi, is adapted from Ehime sushi, incorporating some of the best aspects of Edomae sushi. In 2018, it was awarded Michelin 2-star by an international gourmet guide.
Paired with the locally caught Ehime fish is Koshihikari sushi rice seasoned with sushi vinegar, salt, and sugar. The hint of sweetness is reminiscent of the traditional sushi originating from Iyo in Western Japan. 3-year aged wasabi and soy sauce dashed with local sake Yamatan Masamune are added to the season. "Sushi no Ma" also offers original Setouchi-mae sushi made with famous Ehime Sudachi (a small, green citrus fruit) and sun-dried sargassum salt from Noma's hometown. Noma selects only all natural seafood and is very particular about the process of blood draining and nerve severing used to prepare the fish. "Sushi no Ma" offers sea fig, long-armed octopus, sea urchin from the coasts of Matsuyama and Nakajima, Kawarazu conger eel, and other local seafood that is hard to find elsewhere. Its specialty is Ehime's famous Kuruma prawns, which are boiled alive right before serving. There are two seasonings available: soy sauce and Sudachi juice. Sushi no Mon's sushi is specially engineered so that if you turn it upside-down before you eat it, the rice and toppings melt in your mouth. Side dishes are mostly limited to sashimi and lightly grilled fish, however, as the types of seafood are used for sushi toppings and those offered as side dishes differ, there is plenty of variety.
The minimal seasoning doesn't smother the taste of the ingredients, and the resulting mild flavors pair excellently with wine. Diners may also bring their own wine or champagne. "Sushi no Ma" offers a selection of ten mostly local sakes including Chiyo no Kame, Kawakame, Ishizuchi, and Kyohina. The counter is built out of a single slab of white timber, and the dishes are Bizen ware specially ordered from living national treasure Isezaki. The interior is decorated with calligraphy by Ransai Oda and Imari ware. Private rooms are also available, making this the perfect place to relax and enjoy Ehime sushi in luxury.
*The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 5-minute walk from Katsuyamacho(Iyotetsudo 6 lInes)