It’s said the origin of tempura, one of Japan’s most widely recognized cuisines, dates back to the mid-sixteenth century when early Portuguese and Spanish missionaries and traders introduced batter-coated deep-fried fish. After centuries of refinement one would think that every means of enjoying tempura had been discovered – but wait. Rakuten-an, located in Maizuru, just a short walk from Oyafuko-dori, is one of only a few restaurants in Japan to offer DIY tempura. It’s a brand new way to enjoy this traditional favorite. That’s right, the customers do the cooking and it’s a lot of fun! Each table is equipped with a special iron pot filled with stones to retain heat and a unique blend of vegetable and sesame oil. You can order skewers of vegetables, fish, or meat a-la-carte, or keep things simple and order one of three set meals. The beauty of this system is you can eat what you want and when you want. After cooking your shrimp to golden perfection dab it into your choice of three natural salts, plum, green tea, pepper, or dip it into their light tempura sauce. Like Swiss fondue, sharing a pot of tempura is ideal for breaking the ice on a date, but the self-serve aesthetic is also great for small groups of friends, or even for families with children. Sets begin at ¥1,659 per person, making for an affordable meal that is as fun as it is tasty.
1F 2-8-23, Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
17:00 ~ 23:00 (L.O. 22:30) Closed: Never Course A: (shrimp, squid, Kyushu free-range chicken, chikuwa, kisu sillago fish, crab, Kagoshima pork fillet, 2 seasonal vegetables) ¥1,659 ~, Rakuten-an Salad ¥525, Draft Beer ¥578