Yakitori – skewers of chicken and veggies grilled to perfection over smokey charcoal, washed down with cold beer after a hard day’s work is a delectable Japanese standard. Now, imagine a gourmet version served in a stylish setting and you’re getting close to yakitori ・la Hachibei. The first restaurant opened 23 years ago in sleepy Maebaru, then six years ago a second opened in Tenjin. Now this third stylish and somewhat upscale venue has opened on Shoninbashi-dori between Daimyo and Yakuin. So well respected, the restaurant won a highly competitive bid to open in an ultra-exclusive development in Ventura, California this month. Everything is good, but here are the standouts: sukiyaki-kushi, enoki mushrooms and spinach wrapped in sliced beef on skewers. Dip them in raw egg and you’re one step closer to heaven. Sasami-umenoshio, chicken breast fillet lightly grilled, splashed with sake then topped with a tangy plum paste is another must. Pictured here is endomame croquette, a lightly breaded deep fried ball of mashed green beans – sublime! Assuming you have room for dessert, choose from five homemade treats… or give into temptation with the dessert assortment plate!
1-4-27 Kego, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
MenuTable charge: 500 yen, Endomame Croquette 250 yen, Sasami-ume no shio 230 yen, Caesar’s salad 950 yen, Sukiyaki Rolls 500 yen, Japanese beef ribs 600 yen, Draft beer 600 yen plus an extensive wine list.
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn80, Aug. 2005)