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A taste of Shikoku, delivered to JB by “Shinkansen” via Kokomo Sushi!

A taste of Shikoku, delivered to JB by “Shinkansen” via Kokomo Sushi!

[编辑 Editor 吕大人   英译/日译 Translator 刘大人/土屋芳子   摄影 Photographer 刘大人]

 

It came as a pleasant surprise that Malaysia has topped the list of countries favoured by Japanese for extended stays. Apart from our lower living costs, warm year-round climate and the MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home) privileges bestowed on those with the proper visas, the cultural, racial and linguistic diversity also appeals to many Japanese looking for ideal options for their “second life”. With the burgeoning Iskandar Malaysia’s development and close proximity to Singapore said to be a big draw, Johor Bahru is now home to thousands of Japanese families living, working and even retiring comfortably.

マレーシアが「日本人にとって移住したい国ナンバーワン」としてリストの上位に載ったときにはうれしい驚きがありました。生活費の安さ、年中温暖な気候、MM2Hビザの他にも、文化的、言語的、人種的多様性は、セカンドライフを追い求める多くの日本人にとって、魅力的です。急成長しているイスカンダルマレーシアの発展とシンガポールに近い立地は、大変魅力があり、ジョホールバルは現在、多くの日本人が快適に過ごす街となっています。

Located south of Honshu and east of Kyushu, Shikoku (literally “four provinces”) is the smallest of the four main islands of Japan and the least populated. Famous for its temple pilgrimage route and steeped in history, rich in culture and filled with natural sights creating a pleasant atmosphere of tradition and country charm, there are some local delights here that we shouldn’t miss if we ever have the chance to visit this region.

本州の南、九州の東に位置する四国は、日本の4つの主要な島の中で最も小さく、人口が最も少ない島です。 その寺院巡礼ルートで有名で、歴史に溢れ、文化に富み、伝統と心地よい雰囲気を作り出す自然の光景が魅力です。

 

There are many ways to indulge in the delicacies from the Shikoku region, but the easiest one is to head down to Kokomo located in Permas Jaya (opposite Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel). Founded in Kagawa prefecture of Shikoku in 1983, the brand now operates nine direct-operated revolving sushi shops in Japan, before opening its first Southeast Asian outlet in JB under Thirty Five F & B Malaysia Sdn Bhd last July. Out of curiosity, we were told that the name is in tribute of its founder who founded the brand, though no prize for guessing, at the tender age of 35!

Fresh ingredients are obviously essential in Japanese cuisine, and the Shikoku region is home to abundant and varied seafood from the two seas, wild game meat from the mountains, high-quality rice and vegetables from the plains and delicious nuts and citrus fruit grown in valleys and coastal orchards. Being a real foodie haven, Shikoku is also home to over 900 udon shops, with the highest udon noodle consumption per capita than anywhere in Japan. WOW!

四国地方の郷土料理を満喫する方法はたくさんありますが、最も簡単な方法は、パルマスジャヤ(ルネッサンスホテルの向かい)にある「ここも寿司」へ向かうことです。 1983年に四国の香川県で設立されたこのブランドは、昨年7月にThirty Five F & B Malaysia Sdn Bhdの下でJBに東南アジア初の店舗をオープンしました。日本では8つの直営回転寿司店を運営しています。
好奇心からその会社名について尋ねると、もともと「ここも寿司」の創業者は1983年に35歳の時に香川県で事業をはじめたので、35という名前をつけたそうです。
新鮮な食材は明らかに日本料理に欠かせないもので、四国地方には2つの海からの豊富な種類の海産物、山からの野生の狩猟肉、平野からの上質の米と野菜、そして傾地で育つおいしいナッツと柑橘類があります。本格的な食の天国である四国には900以上のうどん屋があり、一人当たりのうどんの消費量は日本一です!

 

Conventionally, we tend to associate quality Japanese food with excessive spending, but that’s not always the case. Managed by Takeshi Nishikawa, Kokomo gives a very authentic Japanese atmosphere. Their menu changes seasonally, with their signature dishes written in Japanese and prominently displayed throughout the restaurant. Fortunately, the list is also available in English, with each seat outfitted with a touch panel tablet that allows us to place our order.

従来、私たちは高品質の日本食を過剰な支出と結びつける傾向がありましたが、そうではありません。 西川剛史さんが運営する「ここも寿司」は、本格的な日本の雰囲気を演出しています。 彼らのメニューは季節によって変わります。彼らの代表的な料理は日本語で書かれて、そしてレストランの至る所に目立つように表示されています。 幸いなことに、このメニューは英語でもご覧になれます。各席には、注文するためのタッチパネルタブレットが装備されています。

 

The real draw at Kokomo is, of course, the “high-speed” rails that send sushi hurtling towards us at a breakneck pace. Unlike the typical sushi restaurants with slowly rotating conveyor belts, Kokomo uses a proprietary single rail system that sends trays able to hold three plates of sushi. After we got our food, the empty “train” will automatically depart and rocket back to the kitchen!

If you can’t wait for the real HSR to commence beyond 2026, you can jolly well experience having your favourite sushi delivered right at your home (Johor Bahru) station from Kuala Lumpur (kitchen), or anywhere along the proposed route at Negeri Sembilan (our seat), Melaka and even Singapore 🤣!

「ここも寿司」の魅力のひとつは、もちろん、寿司を猛スピードで送り出す「高速」レールです。 コンベアベルトがゆっくり回転する典型的な寿司レストランとは異なり、独自のシングルレールシステムを使用しています。 私たちが食べ物のお皿を手にとった後、空の「新幹線」は自動的に出発し、高速でキッチンに戻ります。本物のHSR(高速鉄道)が2026年以降に開始されるのを待つことができない場合は、お気に入りの寿司を、クアラルンプール駅からシンガポール駅へのルートに沿った各駅(座席)まで運ばれる経験を楽しむことができますよ!

 

Matsu Nigiri Set
松にぎりセット

For those of you who frequented long establishes shops, restaurants and inns of Japan, you’ll come across a type of ranking system known as “Shō-Chiku-Bai” (松竹梅), a three-part word that translates to mean “pine (松), bamboo (竹), plum (梅)”. Originated from the Chinese phrase “saikansanyū” which means the three fellows of winter that are strong enough to withstand the cold against cold, but in Japan, the phrase developed in its own unique way and in time came to describe symbols of good fortune. Generally speaking, their symbolism soon becomes a three-tier ordering system similar to gold/silver/bronze in sports or distinction/merit/pass in university. “Shō” is at the top or refers to deluxe, “Chiku” will be special, and “Bai” will be standard which also can be differentiated by their price, quality, and quantity of each serving as well.

中国の歳寒三友((さいかんのさんゆう)は、宋代より始まった、中国の文人画で好まれる画題のひとつであり、具体的には松・竹・梅の三つをさす。)の「松竹梅」は、日本ではめでたいものの象徴であるだけでなく、レストランや旅館での価格表示に使用されている場合、そのものの価格のランクを分ける指標として使われます。「日本の「松竹梅」という言葉は、松が特級、竹が上級、梅が普通級を表し、価格、品質、分量などについての表現方法です。

Personally, we prefer Nigiri over Sashimi because rice is a staple food to us while adding texture to the soft fish meat. The raw fish was fresh the moment we took a bite of it, with a pleasant hint of fishiness, and the thick slices had a firm bite. Our biggest gripe with sushi restaurants outside of Japan is that often the shari (sushi rice) is an afterthought. To us, sushi rice is what makes sushi sushi, while the toppings and things mixed in are almost secondary. So, for good sushi, we must have good sushi rice.

Although shari is the cheapest ingredient in sushi, it is arguably one of the most challenging aspects to get right. Cooking rice from scratch and seasoning it, all while trying to maintain a consistent temperature is a tall order. Producing a consistent product thus requires an incredibly high level of skill and attention. At Kokomo, the chefs focused on traditional technique and chose to season on how it best pairs with certain neta (toppings). Equally important, the shari at Kokomo is served at the “right” temperature at its best so that we can fully appreciate its flavours and the effort that went into preparing each and every nigiri.

ネタを噛んだ瞬間、新鮮な香りが鼻を抜け、そして噛み応えのあるしっかりとした厚みがありました.
通常、私たちが行く、寿司屋(本物の日本の寿司屋以外)では、シャリにはあまり焦点があてられないことが多いです。ですが、よい寿司にはよいシャリが必須です。
「酢めし(しゃり)はきつく握りすぎるのではなく、人肌の温度、そしてふんわり握った米粒がほどけるとき、口に入れたときにおいしさを感じます。上質なお寿司は、香り高い酢めしと新鮮なネタが口の中で一体になるのです。そして食べた後に同時に消えていくのがおいしいお寿司の醍醐味です。」
「ここも寿司」では、このように高いレベルの技術で、最高の寿司を追及し続けています。

At Kokomo, the sushi chefs use “rare sugar” in place of the refined sugar used in the seasoning of shari. Because rare sugar contains zero calories but maintains close to 70% the sweetness of regular sugar, this helps to prevent blood sugar rise after meals and fat build-up.

For best enjoyment, we highly recommend eating your nigiri by hand. If you opt to dip your sushi into soy sauce, please do it fish side first as the rice has been carefully seasoned and flavoured by the sushi chef, who has spent many years developing the recipe. In order not to disrespect the rice nor your chef, please dip your sushi fish side first and try to eat it in one bite.

ここも寿司の酢めしには普通の砂糖のかわりに「希少糖」が使われていて、健康を追及する日本の食事において、希少糖はさらに健康なだけでなく、酢と合わせて寿司にしたときに、深みのある甘さが出ます。
最もおいしくいただくためには、にぎり寿司を手で食べることをおすすめします。
寿司を醤油につけるときは、どうかネタの側だけに醤油をつけ、一口で召し上がってください。

 

A dab of wasabi in between the rice and fish adds that extra zing and accentuates the delicate taste of fish. Actually, real and fresh wasabi is not spicy, and it’s more like the aroma of spiciness but without the pungent punch of the mustard used in the inferior substitutes. As wasabi is also considered difficult to grow and that makes it expensive, over 95% of wasabi served in sushi restaurants does not contain any real wasabi. Good news, as Kokomo do serve the real thing upon request. Promptly delivered by shinkansen when ordering our favourite sushi dishes, make sure only the fish side of the nigiri is dipped into the soy sauce.

ネタと酢飯の間にあるわさびは、魚の繊細なおいしさを引き立てます。
本物の新鮮なわさびは辛いのではなく、香りがたつものです。わさびは栽培が難しく高価なので、寿司屋で提供される95%以上のわさびは、純粋なものではありません。
容器にいれて置いておくと、わさび本来の辛さが飛んで風味が損なわれるので、わさびの香りを保つために、「ここも寿司」のわさびは、1人分ずつ厨房から新幹線に乗って登場します。 そしてうれしいお知らせが!「ここも寿司」では生わさびに近い上質なわさびも要望に応じて提供しています。

 

Udon To Sushi Lunch Set
うどんと寿司ランチセット

Sanuki Udon is a speciality and part of the food culture in the Kagawa region. Named after the previous name of the Kagawa prefecture and made from the “Sanukino Yume” wheat which is characterised by a chewy but al dente texture, Sanuki Udon is known for its long and thick white noodles with a silky consistency and toothsome bite. With a flavourful clear broth made from a type of dashi, the dish is best enjoyed with a dash of shichimi chilli powder. We just can’t go wrong with the Udon To Sushi Lunch Set to enjoy the best of both worlds.

「さぬきうどん」は、コシと弾力のあるなめらかな麺とダシの透き通ったスープで有名で、香川県の名産品です。この「うどんと寿司ランチセット」は、寿司とうどんの両方がいただける、間違いなく素晴らしいセットです。

 

See Also

Tonkatsu To Sabashioyaki Lunch Plate
とんかつとサバ塩焼きランチプレート

With space to spare, we decided to indulge in the Tonkatsu To Sabashioyaki Lunch Plate. Being a regular dish we often cook and eat at home, we know a good grilled mackerel when we see and taste one. The fish was really meaty, and each bite was soft and moist with a strong fishy taste. Also generous in portion, the tonkatsu was crispy and incredibly juicy, topped with a runny egg that makes it all the more delicious. We bet you’ll be glad to know that the rice and miso soup are FREE-FLOW, as one bowl of rice isn’t enough to finish this pork loin 😋!

お腹にまだ余裕があるので、「とんかつとサバ塩焼きランチプレート」をオーダーしました。私は普段からサバを自分で料理しているから、サバのおいしい焼き方はよく知っています。この魚は肉厚で、噛むほどに柔らかくてジューシーです。とんかつはクリスピーながら半熟卵をまとっていて、さらにおいしくなっています。そしてうれしいことに、ごはんとお味噌汁がおかわり自由です!

 

Kodomo Nigiri, Unagi Nigiri & Nama Salmon Nigiri
こどもにぎり、うなぎにぎり、生サーモンにぎり

Delicious kid-sized versions of Kokomo‘s signature sushi are also available for the little tots. Popular among kids, the Kodomo Nigiri (for kids below 10 years) consists of mayonnaise, corn, egg and beancurd skin served with Yakult, promptly delivered via the shinkansen much to the kiddos’ delight.

If you’re still feeling peckish, you could always order more nigiri by the ala carte. From salmon, unagi, buri, maguro, hotate to tako, almost everything is freshly imported and flown in bi-weekly from Japan, with storage below -60°C to ensure absolute freshness. Before we knew it, the Shinkansen has already pulled into the station with our Unagi Nigiri and Nama Salmon Nigiri within minutes of placing our order, talk about speed and efficiency huh!

5貫のこどもにぎり(RM9.10、10歳以下限定)は、子供が大好きなカニカマ、ツナ、コーン、卵、いなり寿司、乳酸菌飲料の組み合わせ。新幹線が運んでくるのをとても喜びます。
もしまだお腹に余裕があったら、いつでもアラカルトでにぎり寿司を注文できます。
サーモン、うなぎ、ブリ、マグロ、ホタテ、タコ、タコ など海外から新鮮な海産物が輸入され、中でもまぐろはマイナス60℃の低温に保たれています。

 

Whether you visit Shikoku for the relaxed lifestyle, picturesque fishing villages or idyllic farms, be sure to sample its famous Sanuki Udon, citrus fruits and other delicious Shikoku food.

By the way, don’t be surprised if you spot a certain “Ken Watanabe” in town the next time you head to Kokomo. We are sure Takeshi-san probably wouldn’t mind, will he 🤣?

リラックスした暮らし、絵のように美しい漁村、牧歌的な農場のある四国を訪れるかどうかにかかわらず、その有名な讃岐うどん、柑橘系の果物、その他のおいしい四国料理をぜひお試しください。
ちなみに、次回「ここも寿司」に行ったときに「渡辺謙」を見つけても驚かないでください。 西川さんはおそらく気づいていないと思いますが。

 

Kokomo Sushi Restaurant

📍 52 & 56 Jalan Permas 10/7, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor
📞 +607-386 3783
🕛 11.50am to 3.00pm & 6.00pm to 10.30pm (Mon – Fri); 11:30am to 10:30pm (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays).
📱 Kokomo Sushi Restaurant

🍽️ NON HALAL

 

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大人秉持在地美食分享,定得实地品尝、实地采访拍摄,美食形态各异,点评纯属大人浅见。
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