To Revive a Specialty of Arahama, Watari—Clam Rice
Greetings, this is Suzuki from ariTV.
This time we bring you a story about hokki-meshi clam rice using famous winter clams from Arahama, Watari on the south shore of Miyagi.
We stopped by the coffee shop-cum-lunchbox shop Flamingo in town.
This long-established shop which had previously sold lunches by the fishing harbor has now, since the tsunami, moved to the nearby Tori no Umi Fureai Marketplace temporary setup to operate.
As demand dictates, currently they operate primarily on Saturdays and Sundays.
As we visited they were making preparations for the weekend, but they also prepare just a few lunches for sale on the weekdays as well it turns out, so as not to turn away those taking the trouble to come by.
Besides the hokki-meshi loaded with clams, they sell Watari’s renowned harako-meshi and shako-meshi (mantis shrimp rice) lunchboxes and grilled fish.
Situated right next to the sea, they deliver the taste of fresh local Watari seafood.
Flamingo has a special way of preparing their hokki-meshi, boiling the clams together with the vegetables for a bountiful mix of sea and mountain flavors.
Flavored with a soy sauce broth, the taste is simple but rich.
The clams are carefully cooked to make them tender and supple as those who know Flamingo come to expect.
With free perch stew included, it’s a lunch sure to satisfy.
The staff were friendly, bright, and courteous.
Flamingo currently operates out of a temporary storefront, but they are looking to rebuilding near the harbor next year.
I asked owner Mr. Tamada why he would want to rebuild there despite his experience with the tsunami.
“I want our customers to be able to see the sea while they enjoy the bounty of Watari’s waters. And I want them to be able simply to enjoy the beautiful sea.”
With this kind of resolve, the recovery of Watari’s towns and shops to a day when the harbor bustles as before, someday, seems a sure thing.