Don’t be alarmed by the flames—it’s just warayaki, a method of searing food in burning straw that originated in Kochi Prefecture. At Takibiya, fresh bonito are scaled then lightly seared in straw, skin and all, and served with thinly sliced onions and kabosu citrus. The owner, Munetoshi Yukitomo, came to Fukuoka from Tokyo three years ago to open his first shop in Hirao. He placed his bets on warayaki, then a rarity in Fukuoka, and soon, his 30-seat bistro became so popular you couldn’t get in without a reservation; so last March, he opened his second shop in Imaizumi. We suggest you start with a platter of fresh sashimi, which includes warayaki, followed by some sake (served hot or cold; the staff will recommend one of eight sake based on your tastes). If you order a decanter of sake, you can request your favorite ceramic or glass cup from among the many on display. The menu changes daily, but all dishes are prepared to pair well with sake. The shop is cozy, so if you go, be sure to book a table first.
No smoking; Cards: Not accepted
Sashimi trio ¥1,280, chargrilled Wagyu aitchbone, ¥1,380, chargrilled fresh-dressed chicken ¥680, homemade satsuma-age fish cakes ¥580, miso-glazed Black Beauty eggplant ¥480, miso-marinated cheese ¥300, sake ¥480~ (cup), ¥750~ (180 ml decanter), soft drinks ¥300, wine ¥600 (glass)
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn207, Mar. 2016)