These Traditional Restaurants in Fukuoka Are the Best Places to Get Your Tempura Fix
They've been crowd favorites for years.
In Japan, traditional restaurants that have been around for decades normally have “postures” and “policies” that customers must always follow. Each one of them upholds a certain philosophy and maintains an atmosphere within their walls to preserve the culture that they have created.
In this article, we introduce four traditional tempura restaurants in Fukuoka which have become very popular among the locals throughout the years.
3-1-1, Maizuru, Chuo District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily except on Saturday nights, Sundays, and national holidays.
The second generation restaurant owner has been operating at the Taisho Dori Crossing since 1957.
Tenan is a restaurant that opened 61 years ago at the Taisho Dori Crossing. The second generation owner, Mr. Higuchi, has since been committed to creating only the best tempura dishes when he took over the restaurant.
He makes use of rapeseed oil, which the restaurant has been using since its opening, when frying the tempura. Mr. Higuchi also pays particular attention to the density of the tempura batter, making sure that it is neither too light nor too heavy.
The Tempura Set Matsu (¥1,300; + ¥200 at dinner time) consists of three shrimps, sillaginoid, conger eel, squid, and pork tempura. The set also comes with rice, red miso soup, and Japanese pickles.
The basic tempura sets offered at the restaurant are the Take (¥1,000; + ¥200 for dinner time), Matsu (¥1,300; + ¥200 for dinner time), and Toku (¥1,800), which is only available during dinner time.
The restaurant’s appearance hasn’t changed since it first opened. It has counter seats and table seats which require you to take off your shoes.
The exterior of the restaurant.
2-3-17, Imaizumi, Chuo District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Open from 11:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to around 9:30 p.m. daily.
Mr. Sano is the second generation owner of Sakau.
Sakau is a restaurant that opened in 1930 that maintains a quiet atmosphere with no background music in its dining space. This is so that the chefs can concentrate on the sound of the oil and the feeling of the tempura from the tip of the chopsticks when frying them. The chefs also make it a point to sift the powder used for the tempura batter well and evenly.
Before frying the tempura, the shrimp is lightly rolled around the batter. It is then fried with the heat of the oil, all while the chef listens to the sound in order to gauge how cooked the shrimps already are.
You can order one piece of tempura for only ¥100. You can also choose from different types of tempura such as Tiger Prawn (¥400), Minced Shrimp Sandwiched in Bread (¥150), Pork Wrapped in Onion (¥200), and Vegetables (all ¥100).
The restaurant makes use of an original blend of rapeseed oil and soy oil when cooking the tempura. Aside from the regular menu, seasonal tempura, such as the mushroom tempura in autumn and the oyster or kawasagi fish tempura during winter, are also available at the shop. Take note that the kinds of tempura they serve during the day are different from the ones that they serve at night.
The restaurant has an open kitchen with a frying space behind the counter. At the back, there are available table seats where you’re required to take off your shoes.
The exterior of the restaurant
2-4-6, Nakasu, Hakata District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily except on Sundays.
Jyunichi Koyanagi, the current owner of the restaurant, is the son of the founder who opened this restaurant at Nishiki Koji.
Kusushan is a 50-year-old restaurant that’s well-loved by the people of Nakasu and which serves different kinds of set meals even at midnight. The counter seats that can be found inside contribute to the restaurant’s bar-like atmosphere.
In addition to this, the restaurant’s dishes are affordable and served in large quantities to satisfy big appetites.
Assorted Tempura (¥1,300)
The Assorted Tempura consists of 11 kinds of tempura including squid, fish, pork, and vegetables. It’s best paired with the tempura soup, which has bonito, salt, and homemade yuzu pepper aroma.
You can also try out the Evening Drink Set (¥1,500), which is served in the restaurant until 9 p.m. This set includes five kinds of tempura, sashimi, a small side dish, and a drink of your choice.
The interiors of Kusushan
The restaurant’s exterior features a lit paper lantern.
Agemono Ryori Irodori
Tenjin Vivre B1F, 1-11-1, Tenjin, Chuo District, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
Open from 11 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. daily.
Agemono Ryori Irodori, which originally only served udon and soba, changed its menu since moving to Tenjin Vivre 37 years ago.
Despite the restaurant’s discreet location on the B1 floor of Tenjin Vivre, Agemono Ryori Irodori is always packed with visitors from lunchtime until late afternoon. The prices of the dishes are very affordable and you can also choose from two kinds of lunch menus for only ¥620.
The Shrimp Tempura Set (¥900) includes five shrimps and two or three vegetable tempuras.
The restaurant also serves tempura soup, which is prepared and made in the same way since the restaurant’s opening.
The restaurant has a chic and modern ambience.
The exterior of the restaurant.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kyushu Walker™ (20 August 2018)