Long Live the Greasy Spoon: Miyoshi Shokudō

Shokudō is a difficult word to translate properly, but perhaps is best described as a small, local diner. Over the years, I’ve watched broken-hearted as my favorite shokudō closed down one by one, leaving me a “lunch nanmin“, a lunch refugee, stranded in a city where restaurant chains seem to rule the day and lunch is only offered between the hours of 11:30am and 2:00pm. But in the midst of this, there stands one last bastion of hope, and that bastion is Miyoshi Shokudō.

Perhaps better described as a greasy spoon, Miyoshi Shokudō is located in the backstreets of Tate-machi with a storefront that proudly displays its hand-written menu under a fluttering and time-tested blue noren. The inside is simple, very Showa, and the TV is always playing. Best of all, they’re open all day, so can still get a great meal even if you miss the industry standard appointed lunch time. I walked in at 3pm and was greeted warmly by the only visible staff, an elderly woman who promptly asked if I wanted water or tea. This is part of what I love so much about shokudō, and it being a chilly day, I went with the tea. When she returned with my cup, I had decided on my order: katsudon.

Katsudon is a big piece of breaded and fried pork that they simmer with eggs, sliced onion, and tsuyu>, a tasty combination of soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, and water or dashi broth, all heaped all over rice. It’s a carb lover’s dream come true, not to mention a staple of Japanese home cooking. And for only 550 yen, it’s not just a steal, it’s a full-scale robbery.

My katsudon arrives in record time with a bowl of miso soup behind it. Is there a better sight for someone who skipped breakfast for the hundredth time? The crisp katsu, the almost buttery eggs and not-too-soggy onions mixed with the salty-sweet flavors of the tsuyu that’s seeped into the rice below…I can’t put my chopsticks down, almost ignoring the miso soup until half the katsudon is gone. The miso soup is just the right temperature and full of tofu and wakame; nothing fancy here, just simple and filling comfort food and that’s what makes Miyoshi Shokudō great. Here you’ll find a concise menu of quintessential shokudō fare: teishoku and ramen,
(the Japanese version of fried rice), curry, omurice, even fried oysters when they’re in season.

When I leave, I leave with a full belly that carries me through well past dinner time. If you’re a fan of Showa Era diner aesthetics and down home Japanese fare, show some love to Miyoshi Shokudō, and long live one of the few last bastions of diners in the city.

Miyoshi Shokudō

Opening hours: 10:30 to 20:00

Closed: Open Year Round

Address: 1-12 Tate-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City

Address in Japanese: 〒730-0032 広島県広島市中区立町1−12 イナリビル 1F
Tel: 082-247-9990

Hiroshima Food Snob

Freelance writer, translator, local TV talent, and full-time food snob in Hiroshima