With its first floor wrapped in a see-through vinyl curtain, Congrats Hakata feels like a yatai. When we went, we saw all kinds seated around the triangular island counter: chatting couples, co-workers enjoying a bottle a wine, and foreign tourists feasting on Congrats’ trademark meat dishes. The most popular menu item is the 300g sirloin steak. It is slow-cooked over charcoal and served with chimichurri, a tangy South American sauce made from chopped parsley and minced garlic. Congrats’ generous portions make sharing with friends easy. There is also a lengthy wine list, so why not have a bottle of natural French or Italian wine (¥3,000~) with your meal? The wonderfully aromatic Moroccan lamb brochette is a simple yet elegant kebab that will keep you coming back for more. Congrats uses different spices and seasonings for each type of meat in order to bring out the respective flavors. We also recommend the Greek-style fried octopus, and don’t forget to order the focaccia bread—it’s baked fresh in the Congrats kitchen.
Address: 1-15-33 Hakataekiminami, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: Lunch: 11:30~15:00 (Mon~Fri), Dinner: 18:00~24:00 (~2:00 on Fri., Sat. and before Hol.)
Menu: Steak of the day (300g) ¥1,760, Moroccan lamb brochette ¥1,210, Greek-style fried octopus ¥1,080, homemade focaccia ¥220, Yebisu draft beer ¥600, sangria ¥880, garden herb and parmesan salad ¥940, bitter chocolate mousse ¥600, glass wine (red/white/rose) ¥550 ea.,
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Originally published in Fukuoka Now (fn189, Sep. 2014)