Fukuoka is famous for its abundance of affordable and tasty eateries, but many of these places fall into the traditional izakaya category: colorful, compact and literally hives of energy, they can be a bit too noisy and too casual for certain occasions. This issue we introduce you to Hakatarou located on the 5th floor of South Side Terrace in Daimyo. As the name suggests, Hakatarou offers an izakaya-style menu, with an emphasis on seasonal Hakata-styled dishes prepared with carefully selected ingredients. As you get off the elevator the kimono-clad okami escorts you to your choice of counter, table seating in the ultra-high ceilinged hall, or into one of seven private rooms. The interior is spacious and stylish. Great attention has been paid to the details including tableware and the service is very professional. An order of sashimi is an excellent way to begin. Pictured here is the healthy mizutaki hot pot, featuring tender Arita-brand chicken; locals love it and it’s a must-try for visiting tourists. The menu also contains playful adaptations of other local dishes, such as the Hakata Ramen Salad, also pictured here. A full range of sake, shochu, fruit liqueurs, and a sophisticated selection of French wines (selected by local sommelier Nicolas Sudre) are on offer. All that and reasonably priced; highly recommended for locals and especially visitors to Fukuoka.
Menu (tax excl.): Mizutaki hot pot ¥4,800 per 2 persons portion, seasonal sashimi ¥2,480, squid ikizukuri ¥2,000~, original Hakata ramen salad ¥880, draft beer ¥620 *table charge ¥300
*Prices to change from Oct. 1, 2019 following tax increase
*Foreign language menu: English / Credit cards possible / Reservations possible / smoking seats only for dinner
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn121, Jan. 2009)