Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo in Kanazawa



Beautiful from the Inside Out: Kanazawa's Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo


Located inside Yamato Shoyu Miso's factory at Kanazawa Port is Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo (lit. fermented foods beautiful woman cafeteria). Here, you can enjoy meals made with a variety of fermented food products including the factory's special Hishiho Shoyu soy sauce which is used by some three-star restaurants in Paris. One of the most popular meals here is the Hakkoshoku Bijin Lunch. 

A soy sauce-fermentation room transformed into a fermented food restaurant. 

Interior of Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo in Kanazawa
The interior of the restaurant, post-renovation.

Yamato Shoyu Miso was founded over 100 years ago. The fourth generation company president, Mr. Seiichi Yamamoto, borrowed from sake brewing techniques and created Japan's first "raw" (i.e. unpasteurized) soy sauce, Hishiho Shoyu. This soy sauce is now being used by some three-star restaurants in Paris. 

Opened in September 2012, the restaurant Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo is located in a renovated soy sauce fermentation facility left over from the company's founding.

Before the restaurant opened, many people were coming to the factory interested in the fermented food products they were selling, but weren't sure how best to use them. To provide examples, the factory started offering meals made utilizing fermented foods that were both healthy and delicious. 
Outside of Yamato Shoyu Miso
You can see Yamato Shoyu Miso once you cross Ono Shinbashi Bridge.


The Hakkoshoku Bijin Lunch filled with live enzymes 

Hakkoushoku Bijin Lunch
This lunch consists of a rotation of 7 to 9 different fermented foods. 

Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo prepares a total of 30 of their Hakkoshoku Bijin lunches (1,500 yen) daily, made with Nekase Genmai brand fermented brown rice and a foods fermented with rice mold-- called koji in Japanese-- such as miso or shoyu koji, shio koji, amazake, and so on. All together, guests can enjoy a selection of seven to nine seasonal foods, a glass of amazake (non-alcoholic sweet sake), fermented brown rice, miso soup, dessert, and a drink. 

Pictured above is lunch plate featuring "chicken ham" (chicken prepared so that it has the texture of ham) marinated with shio koji, cucumbers from the Kaga region simmered with shoyu koji, deep fried lotus root "sandwiches" with miso-soy bean filling, and so on. Because these recipes use shio koji and shoyu koji instead of regular salt and soy sauce, they have a surprisingly low sodium content, all the health benefits of fermented food, and are packed with umami flavor. 
The lunch uses seasonal ingredients and live enzymes
These meals use seasonal ingredients and the enzymes from shio koji.

As mentioned above, the rice served with the meal is Nekase Genmai. This is 100% brown rice mixed with adzuki beans and salt that is cooked in a pressure cooker. Once cooked, the rice is kept warm for three to four days to allow for fermentation. The result of this process is rice that has a very dense, chewy mouthfeel similar to that of mochi, and its unique balance of sweetness and umami are habit forming. That's why you'll be happy to learn that there are unlimited refills. 
Non-alcoholic, no-sugar-added brown rice amazake
The brown rice amazake served before the meal is both alcohol and sugar free. Fun fact: it's said that amazake was a sweet treat used to stave off fatigue from the summer heat in the Edo period. 
Sugar-free amazake cocoa and seasonal dessert
For another delicious treat, try their sugar-free amazake cocoa (left). Its sweetness comes naturally from the amazake. 

On the day we visited, they had a deliciously summery treat of mizu yokan (a firm, jelly-like dessert made from adzuki, sugar, and agar) topped with amazake mousse, accompanied by locally-grown watermelon. 
For drinks, the day's options were amazake cocoa, coffee, and Kaga bocha (tea). From the aperitif to the last drink, the lunch is filled with good-for-you enzymes.

Please note that lunch is by reservation only. 

Sweet, salty, and totally delicious: soy sauce soft serve ice cream  

Soy sauce soft serve ice cream
Soy sauce soft serve ice cream (350 yen). 

Right across from the cafeteria is a take out corner where we recommend treating yourself to their soy sauce soft serve ice cream (350 yen). For anyone who enjoys the taste combination of sweet and salty, then this is a certain to be your new favorite ice cream flavor. They also have refreshing brown rice ice cream (350 yen), which you can top with some special soy sauce. 

Pick up some of the store's original goods as souvenirs 

Various fermented goods on sale as souvenirs
Top left photo: Ichinichi Ichikoji brown rice amazake (302 yen); Purple Ichinichi Ichikoji (378 yen); brown rice amazake (648 yen); koji hand cream (950 yen). Bottom left photo: shoyu koji (486 yen); shio koji (486 yen); karakuchi koji (594 yen); carrot dressing, shikokumai dressing, and daikon radish dressing (864 yen ea.) 

Diners can get well acquainted with versatile, delicious koji through the fermented foods at Hishiho Gura. While doing your shopping, you can sample many of Yamato Shoyu Miso's products such as their amazake and miso. Once you find something you love, you're bound to use it every day! 


Yamato Shoyu Miso Hakkoshoku Bijin Shokudo | ヤマト醤油味噌 発酵食美人食堂
Address: 4-E-170 Ono-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken 
Hours: 10:00am~5:00pm
Lunch hours: 11:30am~2:30pm (L.O. 1:30pm)
Closed Wednesdays and during the New Year holiday. 
Please note that there is no lunch served on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. 

This article is based on information that was obtained August 22, 2016. Please be advised that changes to the store’s menu, hours, and et cetera may have occurred.

The original Japanese version of this article was published on co-Trip.


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