Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Hakata’s tourist hotspots of Hakata-za Theater and Kawabata Shotengai, sandwich shop Ignition Switch is a great option for lunch or dinner in the lively and traditional Kawabata area. The newly opened space may be a little slice of home for foreigners chasing a real sandwich in Fukuoka. Owner Masanobu Shiraki has a long love of motorbikes and American culture, which shows in the well crafted US-themed decor. It’s clear that Masanobu has a good eye for design. As you make your way to a table you’ll pass the open kitchen, where staff busily cook and assemble the delicious fresh sandwiches that await you.
The main eating space is lofty, open and has a great vibe with a mix of wooden floorboards and cement floors, exposed ceiling, and vibrant red walls featuring framed Americana posters & motorbike memorabilia. American 50s and 60s tunes keep the mood laid-back (when you’re treated to the sounds of the Beach Boys it’s easy to forget the stresses of daily life!) and a TV plays Tom & Jerry cartoons – sure to provide some nostalgia for visiting foreigners. Co-owner and Masanobu’s sister Yumi Shiraki explains that they play the cartoon because of Tom (the cat)’s love of a good sandwich. For the nighttime crowd, the TV switches over to sports viewing. All in all, it’s a little bit retro, a little bit contemporary design. A good mix.
So where did the idea for the sandwich shop come from? Masanobu’s love of bikes and the US came together with his experience working in a burger shop in Roppongi, Tokyo. After visiting his favorite sandwich shop in Kitakyushu, the idea came to him. Together with his sister and wife, he decided to take the plunge and open Ignition Switch in Fukuoka.
The menu has a strong emphasis on well-sourced and handmade ingredients. Their main focus is the sandwich, with a solid selection of six including the popular B.L.T. Your Way (¥750), and Special Katsu Sandwich (¥850) – the two items we ordered. There’s also a Weekly Lunch sandwich (¥700) available – this week, for example, they are serving up a special ika (squid) sandwich. All sandwiches come in a set with chunky-cut potato chips, yummy coleslaw and a drink (weekdays lunchtime only). The sandwiches are made with specially ordered breads, hand-cured bacon, handpicked cheese, fresh vegetables and homemade ketchup. The handmade ketchup is sweet and homely – it takes 5~6 hours for staff to make every week, and contains onion, tomato, celery and spices. The sandwich servings are generous, the ingredients fresh, the meals filling. It’s clear that Ignition Switch are dedicated to serving up sandwiches of a high quality.
If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich – not to worry! Ignition Switch has a bunch of other options to choose from. There are wraps, and light dishes that go well with drinks like “Today’s Smoke Roasted” plate (¥700) which includes bacon, ham, cheese and salmon – all smoke roasted. They also have a rather extensive dinner menu featuring a Steak Sandwich (¥1,200), Patty Melt (¥900), and deep fried items including Onion Rings (¥500), and Fish & Chips (¥700). Drink-wise, choose from a big list of Japanese and international brands. Beers include Budweiser, Foster’s, Lemon Beer and Newton Apple Beer. There’s a good selection of international whiskeys and wines too.
Sandwich Menu 11:00~22:00
Special Meat Loaf Sandwich ¥830, Ignition Switch Club Sandwich ¥1,100, Special Katsu Sandwich ¥850, Teriyaki Beef Roast Veggie ¥850, Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad ¥850, B.L.T. Your Way ¥750
“FUKUOKA NOW” BONUS!
(1) Mention “Fukuoka Now” during lunch time and get extra Fried Potatoes OR one free refill of your drink! (with order of sandwich set)
(2) Mention “Fukuoka Now” during dinner time and get a FREE order of Onion Rings! (with order of sandwich set)
Offer valid until Aug. 30, 2014
Ignition Switch Homemade Sandwiches
8-11 Shimokawabatacho, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Open: Mon.~Sat. 11:00~23:00, Closed: Sun.
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