Thursday, February 23, 2017


Location: Hamaguridou

Rating: Excellent
Meal:  Lunch for 4
Price:  4250 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted (pretty sure...we didn't pay though)
Dishes: Deer curry, Oyster stew
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

We visited some friends in Ishinomaki over the weekend and for our last meal there they took us to a really special restaurant called Hamaguridou.  It's located to the east of Ishinomaki proper in the middle of a forested area that is heavily populated by deer.  As such, their signature dish, deer curry, makes perfect sense.

View of the foundations remaining from the tsunami

The setting is amazing, with a view out of the long, funnel shaped inlet that makes it clear why the 2011 tsunami was so devastating here.  You can see the razed foundations of the houses at sea level still.  The older house that is the restaurant is elevated and was spared, but was chilling looking out from the balcony and imagining the onrush of that wall of water.

Oyster stew

The house itself is very cool, an older style Japanese house that is impeccably decorated and yet also homey feeling.  While we were there there were 2 families with kids running around and playing with toys and such that were available for that sort of thing.  Our seating wasn't the best for us gaijin, on tatami around a small table, but we made do.  They only have one "normal" table and chairs, or there is some counter seating with a lovely view of the inlet.  Smoking can be done outside on the porch.

Deer curry

The menu is pretty simple, and the main dish is of course the deer curry.  But they had a special Oyster stew that my wife couldn't resist.  The rest of us had the curry.  It was very good, the best Japanese style curry I've had so far in Japan.  It did not have the typical flour-thickened texture to it, but was a little soupier.  The flavors were off the charts and the meat extremely tender.  Along with the main dish were some roasted vegetables and a really good side salad.  My wife's dish came with a choice of rice, focaccia or seaweed bread.  She opted for the seaweed bread of course and it was excellent.

Overall an amazing place and highly recommended if you are ever up in that area.

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