Miyazaki is known for its various local specialties or “Meibutsu” in Japanese. From its delicious Mangos to hearty Chicken Nanban to world renown Miyazaki Beef, there is a plethora of tasty local foods to sink your teeth into. Among these is the Sushi roll known as “Lettuce Maki.” Simple and concept, yet elegant in flavor, the Lettuce Maki can be found at Ippei Zushi, near the heart of downtown Miyazaki.
The roll itself was created by shop owner Shoji Muraoka and his friend Masaaki Hirao. After experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, the simple fusion of hearty prawns, crisp lettuce, sushi rice, thick seaweed and a homemade mayonnaise sauce led to the Lettuce Maki. At its conception around 40 years ago, customers had mixed opinions on the roll, as it was a stray from traditional “Nigiri” Sushi that consists of only fish, rice, and a touchof wasabi. Over time however its popularity rose, eventually influencing Sushi restaurants across Japan to take up teir own takes on lettuce rolls.
While the Lettuce Maki is reason enough to make a visit to Ippei Zushi, there is plenty of other delicious options available on the menu. I highly recommend trying one of the various Sushi sets to get a full appreciation of all the delicious fish the restaurant has to offer. Nigiri can be ordered seperately if you’re in the mood for a certain something. Sushi Aside, Ippei Zushi has some mouthwatering take on traditional miso soups. The star of the show is the “Kani-Miso” or crab miso soup. For the low price of 500 yen you get a large bowl of soup filled to the brim with fresh whole crab. The “AkaMiso” or red miso soup has a rich and exquisite flavor as well and is included with many Sushi or lunch sets.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is casual with a layout that is very traditionally Japanese. You have the option of sitting in chairs at normal height tables as well as the option to experience the Japanese dining style of sitting on floor pillows at very low tables. The staff in incredibly welcoming and the service is quite fast. Prices can range a bit on the expensive side, but considering the quality of the ingredients and food I felt I was getting great value for what I payed. Expect to spend between 1000-2000 yen per person.