November 9, 2019

27 hours in Fukuoka: ancient river

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It was tough waking up this morning after my late night run, but I needed to have one last lunch with The Dining Austrian before flying home.  Oryori Furukawa (御料理  古川) has gotten themselves two little macarons in the latest guide from the Rubberman just a year after opening, so naturally this was on my friend's hit list.  I was only too happy to go along with my friend.

Furukawa-san is apparently a friend of Tabara-san from last night, and had received a picture of us from Tabara-san... So it's a very small world, indeed...

Fried chicken mushrooms with spinach, soft tofu - on top of the very soft yuba (組み上げ湯葉) with the texture of cream cheese was a pile of spinach and fried chicken mushrooms (丹波しめじ).  We've also got a gelée made with chrysanthemum petals and flavored with a little wasabi.  This was very clean and refreshing, and a great way to kick off the meal.

November 8, 2019

27 hours in Fukuoka: bar crawl

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Since Amano-san does not serve any alcohol at Tenzushi Kyomachiten (天寿し 京町店) so that diners could focus on the sushi, we felt we needed a few drinks after dinner. The natural choice would seem to be Stag, which is Amano-san’s hangout.

This place was dark and intimate, with a few seats at the counter while the table behind us seemed to be stacked full of bottles. In fact, the amount of alcohol here was pretty amazing. Among the large collection of whiskies and grappa, I spotted a bottle each of Fine de Bourgogne and Marc de Bourgogne from DRC.

I wanted something different, so I asked Wasai-san to pick something to surprise me. And surprise me, he did…

1957 Blandy’s Bual – nice and savory on the palate, kinda like Shaoxing (紹興酒) that has had salted plum (話梅) soaked in it. Only medium sweet since it’s Bual.

27 hours in Fukuoka: a magical star

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A few days after seeing The Dining Austrian in Tokyo, I'm flying up to Fukuoka to have another couple of meals with him.  The focus of my 27-hour stay in Fukuoka is dinner at Tenzushi Kyomachiten (天寿し  京町店) - the 6-seater restaurant that seems to be adored by a number of my friends.

I landed in Fukuoka about 2 hours before dinner, and I was so determined to make my way to Kogura (小倉) as quickly as possible in order not to be late for dinner.  Thankfully the International Terminal at Fukuoka Airport is not too busy, and pretty efficient.  I quickly collected my luggage, got on the bus to the Domestic Terminal, rode the subway to Hakata Station (博多駅) to take the next available Shinkansen (新幹線).  Less than a 20-minute ride later, I found myself at Kogura Station with an hour to spare...

It's a short walk from the station to Tenzushi, and The Dining Austrian and I walked through the door a few minutes before the appointed time. We were soon joined by our two other companions, taking up 4 out of the 6 seats at the restaurant’s counter. So the majority tonight would be non-Japanese…

The cucumber was lightly pickled and still crunchy.

Medium fatty tuna (中トロ) – surprised that our meal started with this, because this is not generally the order for edomae sushi (江戸前寿司). There was a strong hit of wasabi at the start, but this was quickly tempered by the flavors of the tuna itself. Wonderful soy sauce flavors on the tuna, and the shari (シャリ) had nice flavors, too.

November 2, 2019

Tokyo sushi day: drunken onion, episode 7

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After my filling sushi dinner, it was time for sake! I had called Master a few days ago and made a reservation, and dutifully made my way to Tamanegiya (酒たまねぎや). The Dining Austrian also joined me after his “all-you-can-eat” sushi dinner at one of the top sushiyas in town.

We've got the usual accompaniment of tomatoes and stewed fish head with ginger. The tomatoes are always so good here.

Since I don’t have Hello Kitty to help share my glass, I would be limited in what I could taste tonight. Oh well…

Tokyo sushi day: no pictures and no magic

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My original plan for dinner tonight was pretty simple. I was either going to check out a place recommended by a friend, which still serves the “real, traditional” edomae sushi (江戸前寿司) before things got refined, or I was simply gonna have a bowl of my favorite ramen at Hakata Tenjin (博多天神).

Then a week ago someone I know offered up two seats at Sushi Hashiguchi (鮨はしぐち), which is apparently ranked No. 5 for all Tokyo sushi restaurants on Tabelog. I remember reading other people posting about this place, and it is supposedly pretty difficult to book. So I figured that since I happened to be in town tonight, and had no fixed plans I couldn’t cancel, I might as well give this a try.

It turned out that my dining companion also lives in Hong Kong, and had flown up for the occasion. The two of us would be among the 6 foreigners at the 9-seat counter tonight.

Hashiguchi-san had not been told about his regular customer not showing up, so we kinda had to offer an explanation about the situation, and how we happen to know the customer. He was also curious about our backgrounds, and was a lot more chatty towards non-regular customers.

However, he is very strict about the no-photo policy at his restaurant… so the only picture one ever sees on Tabelog is that of the discreet signage out front.

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