- 2 min read

Restaurant Hokuto

Reasonably priced food with a wide menu

If you find yourself in the vicinity of JR Matsuyama station at lunchtime, and you need something pleasant and reasonably priced to eat, Restaurant Hokuto is a good option.

Hokuto is a hulking building that imitates a small rustic dwelling on a massive scale in modern materials—if you can picture that. It’s actually quite attractive, especially the entranceway with its little waterfall and bridge. Next to it is a branch of the Ichiroku cake shop and café, and the two buildings are connected inside.

I went there for lunch one Friday on a beautiful spring day. The place is busy at lunchtime to the point of bustling, and the main seating area was full. A slightly harried-looking waitress with a radio and earpiece enquired if I smoked and then ushered me to the non-smoking Ichiroku café, which it transpired shares a menu with Hokuto. I found myself in a pleasant conservatory overlooking a little garden that shut out the view of the road. Some of the large glass doors were open to let in the breeze. There were comfortable wicker and cane chairs.

The menu has a wide selection including regular favorites, as well as local specialties featuring the fish of Ehime. I was very tempted to try a set meal including rice steamed with octopus for 1,100 yen, but I was told that it would take 20 minutes. Instead I chose the set lunch of mince cutlets and deep fried shrimp for 780 yen. It took a while to arrive. The thick, juicy mince cutlet was very satisfying, the two shrimp with tartar sauce, not so much. The fried items were accompanied by a good rich miso soup with wakame seaweed, sliced cabbage with dressing, some ketchup spaghetti, rice, and pickles which were first class. There was also a cup of hot tencha, a tea with a slightly roasted flavor.

To finish the meal there was a choice of coffee, hot or iced, or freshly squeezed orange juice. I had the juice, which tasted like a blend of some of Ehime’s many types of citrus. For the price, it felt like a good meal in a pleasant setting. The range of offerings at Hokuto is enough to please nearly everyone, making it a good choice for families. Some of the pricier options such as yakiniku and shabu-shabu would make an agreeable evening meal. 

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