We can’t come to Hakata without visiting 屋台 Yatai! We still recalled the very enjoyable yatai experience from many years ago, but we were unable to find the same stall during this visit. Nonetheless, we had read about a couple of very popular stalls, and decided to check out 屋台小金ちゃん Yatai Kokinchan. We arrived around 6pm, and there was already a queue!
めんたい玉子焼き Fried Spicy Cod Roe with Egg
焼きラーメン Fried Ramen Noodles
餃子 Fried Dumplings
We managed to try quite a few items, including:
- めんたい玉子焼き Fried Spicy Cod Roe with Egg (¥680): This was slightly spicy, salty and sweet, and we rather enjoyed the mixed flavours.
- 焼きラーメン Fried Ramen Noodles (¥700): This was the speciality of Kokinchan when we read the reviews. Hmm, we didn’t expect the sauce to be so sweet…
- 餃子 Fried Dumplings (¥380): Difficult to go wrong, and pretty standard.
- おでん Oden (¥130 each): We tried the コンニャク Konnyaku (I’m not sure if this is it), しいたけ shiitake mushroom, and はんべん, which was a puffy cake made of fish paste, and we realised it was that piece of oden which my friends would usually fight over for whenever we buy this standard oden pack for steamboat. Of course, it tasted as good as ever 😀
The food felt rather homely, and we really enjoy the experience of just hanging around the yatai 🙂
- Location: 〒810-0041 福岡県福岡市中央区天神2丁目14−13 天神三井ビル角, 2 Chome−14−13 Tenjin, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: In front of Hotel Monterey La Soeur Fukuoka, at the corner of Tenjin Mitsui Building
- Website: yatai.fukuoka.jp/oyafuko/kokinchan
- Hrs: 6:30pm – 1:30am (Mon-Wed), 6:30pm – 2am (Fri-Sat)
After watching the impressive laser light fountain show at Canal City Hakata, we decided to look for food within the huge shopping mall itself.
There were a few options, and 平四郎 キャナルシティ店 廻転寿司 Heishirou conveyor belt sushi restaurant looked rather popular. Price ranged from ¥100 to ¥500 per plate (excluding tax), and we spent ¥3024 in total for 8 plates of sushi.
We gotta say that the fish were fresh, but a pity about the sushi rice…
|Contact (廻転寿司平四郎 キャナルシティ店):
- Location: 〒812-0018 福岡県福岡市博多区住吉1-2-1 キャナルシティ博多4F, 1 Chome-2-1 Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken 812-0018, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: 1 minute walk from 博多駅 Hakata Station
- Website: heishirou.com
- Hrs: 11am – 11pm
After a day of train-riding, and after dropping our luggage at our hotel, we went in search for dinner. Google suggested a popular Kumamoto ramen restaurant near 熊本駅 Kumamoto Station, so off we went looking for 黑亭 Kokutei in the light drizzle.
Though it was dinner time, there wasn’t much of a queue, and we got into the restaurant after about 10 minutes of waiting. While waiting, there was an English menu available for us to browse.
玉子入りラーメン (Tamago Iri Ramen) Ramen with Egg
豚そぼろ丼 (Buta Soboro Don) Rice Bowl with Pork and Vegetables
特製ギョーザ Special Gyoza
We shared a Ramen Set (¥1290) consisting of 玉子入りラーメン (Tamago Iri Ramen) Ramen with Egg, 豚そぼろ丼 (Buta Soboro Don) Rice Bowl with Pork and Vegetables, and 特製ギョーザ Special Gyoza. We thought the food was pretty decent 🙂
Note that there are 2 outlets, and you can check its website for the locations.
|熊本ラーメン黒亭本店 Kokutei Main Store:
- Location: 〒860-0051 熊本県熊本市西区二本木2丁目1-23, 2 Chome−1−23, Nihongi, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: 5 minutes walk from JR 熊本駅 Kumamoto Station
- Website: www.kokutei.co.jp (Facebook)
- Hrs: 10:30am – 8:30pm
We actually attempted to walk in for lunch the previous day, but it was fully booked for lunch and dinner. Lunch today was fully booked too, so we were pretty glad that we managed to secure seats for tonight. We had already pre-ordered the 霧島コース Kirishima Course dinner set (¥14742 for 2 sets) at the point of booking, so we were led to our seats very promptly as we waited for the spread.
While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we were presented with both English and Chinese instructions on how to enjoy the 黒豚しゃぶしゃぶ Kurobuta Shabu Shabu. We gotta say, the Chinese instructions were much more comprehensive 😛
The food, from the appetisers, to the different cuts of meat, to the noodles and dessert, were simply awesome! If you could only splurge on one meal in Kagoshima, this would definitely be a good option 🙂
|あぢもり Adimori (or Ajimori):
- Location: 〒892-0843 鹿児島県鹿児島市千日町13-21, 13-21, Sennichi-cho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: 5 minutes walk from the 鹿児島市電 Kagoshima City Tram 天文館通電停 Tenmonkan Dori Tram Stop (Route 1 / Route 2, both Stop No. 07)
- Website: adimori.com (Facebook)
- Hrs: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Thu to Tue)
We were exploring the area near our hotel after the bus tour, and it was rather late by the time our stomachs called out to us 😮
We had wandered to 天文館公園 Tenmonkan Park, and Google search showed us that there was an 居酒屋 Izakaya just opposite us! Despite being so near, it took us a little while to find the entrance 😛
We had to remove our shoes upon entering, and were pretty lucky to get the last table. Once we settled down, we were presented with a 100% Japanese menu without pictures or food models, haha!
We poured over the menu and had a fun time trying to decipher some of the items with our limited vocabulary. The friendly staff also tried his best to explain what some of the items were, and gave us some recommendations.
After visiting 桜島 Sakurajima, we returned to 鹿児島 Kagoshima in search of the famous and popular 黒かつ亭 中央駅本店 Kurokatsutei Kagoshima-Chuo Eki Honten for some delicious とんかつ Tonkatsu Deep Fried Pork Cutlet for dinner (they have another branch 黒かつ亭天文館店 Kurokatsutei Tenmonkan Branch in Kagoshima and one branch 黒かつ亭東京駅店 Kurokatsutei Tokyo Eki Branch in Tokyo Station).
黒豚 (Kurobuta) “Black Pork” refers to the skin colour of the animal, and are Berkshire pork that were originally imported to Kagoshima about 400 years ago.
We opted for the 上ロースかつ定食 Premium Loin Set (¥1,560) and 黒かつ亭定食 Loin & Fillet Set (¥1,380).
While the meat was juicy and had a good bite, we found the breaded crust to be a tad too oily. However, the generous amount of cabbage certainly helped to give it a refreshing lift. Surprisingly, we both felt that the simple カツカレー Curry Rice with Pork Cutlet that we found at 霧島神宮 Kirishima Jingu to be far more delicious. Perhaps the curry rice far exceeded our low expectations because it was relatively away from Kagoshima; while we had much higher expectations of the pork cuisine by restaurants located right in Kagoshima.
|黒かつ亭 中央駅本店 Kurokatsutei Kagoshima-Chuo Eki Honten (Main Store):
- Location: 〒890-0053 鹿児島県鹿児島市中央町16-9 中原ビル1F, Nakahara Building 1F, 16-9, Chuocho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima-ken, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: 5 min walk from East Exit of JR 鹿児島中央駅 Kagoshima-Chuo Station
- Website: www.kurokatutei.net (Facebook)
- Hrs: 11am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 10:00pm daily
We have always enjoyed the soup at 塚田農場 Tsukada Nojo in Singapore, and now we had the chance to try out at the 宮崎 Miyazaki outlet where it all started 🙂
Apparently, in 宮崎 Miyazaki, they use only free-range, home-bred domestic chicken. Only selected farms that have passed Miyazaki Prefecture’s stringent production conditions are allowed to breed this specific type of chicken, which produces leaner meat with well-marbled fat. Reading the description, we were more than ready to try all kinds of chicken cuisine 😀
Other than beef (still drooling from the unforgettable 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef), Miyazaki is also famous for chicken; in particular, チキン南蛮 Chicken Nanban and 焼き鳥 Yakitori Chicken are the 2 must-try dishes here.
丸万 Maruman was one of the highly-recommended restaurants to try the 焼き鳥 Yakitori Chicken, and we went to the 本店 original store to check it out.
We were led to the rooms upstairs because it was full downstairs (which also meant we were not able to see the chef in action 😦 ), which involved removal of shoes, and while there was only Japanese menu available, an English-speaking staff pointed to us which was the most popular dish, and also tried to explain what certain dishes were when we enquired.
Other than chicken, Miyazaki is also famous for its high quality 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef, and we really really wanted to try it!
We had read about the dinner buffet at 焼肉レストランAPAS Yakiniku Restaurant APAS (a very popular chain of restaurants specializing in 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef), which required reservations to be made in advance. Hence, we had popped over here the night before to make enquiries and to make reservations.
The 120-min 食べ飲み放題 Eat-And-Drink-All-You-Can dinner buffet was ¥6,000 (~S$70) for men and ¥5,500 (~S$65) for ladies, and would be even more value-for-money if you could drink a lot; shochu, wine, whiskey, beer, etc, were all part of the free-flow drinks menu.
It is said that チキン南蛮 Chicken Nanban, originated from 延岡市 Nobeoka City in 宮崎県 Miyazaki Prefecture. More precisely, it all started from 直ちゃん Naochan, a small restaurant which serves its fried chicken breast marinated with Nanban vinegar, without tartar sauce. Nowadays, there are also restaurants that use chicken thigh meat instead, as it is more juicy and tender.
The first restaurant that started serving this dish with tartar sauce was said to be おぐら Ogura, within 宮崎市 Miyazaki City. So it seemed fitting that our first dinner in Miyazaki would be here 🙂
We headed for おぐら本店 Ogura Honten, which was located in a little alley. The restaurant looked like a little cottage, and it was fairly quiet at 6.30pm on a Sunday (and soon we realised that Miyazaki was basically rather quiet all the time throughout our stay :P)