Welcome to Fukuoka Now! Since 1998 our team of local experts have been introducing the best of Fukuoka to the world. Here are our This Month picks for the month of November, featuring a beautiful cafe/pen-shop, a bar with a vertical garden and a fantastic noodle spot. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!
Ka-Ku is a rather special cafe-cum-pen shop. You’ll recognize it by its streetside exhibition of pens and assorted stationery, giving just a hint of what lies within. Inside, the shop has some 300 exquisitely-crafted designer fountain and ballpoint pens amongst other fine stationery. At its “Ink Labo” you can mix your own ink from 24 base colors in just 30 minutes. The cafe is the only one in Kyushu to serve ‘Ice Brewed Coffee’ (¥500); its rich flavor perfectly compliments a lengthy writing session. The cafe has Wi-Fi, an outdoor terrace and a power outlet at each table.
Menu: (excl. tax): “Labo” ¥2,000 (30ml/bottle, incl. 1 drink), cold brew coffee ¥500, iced coffee ¥450, lemon yogurt cake ¥380
Address: 1F 1-10-5 Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Located in the jungle of eateries and apparel shops that is Daimyo, Wall derives its name from its “Vertical Garden” wall decoration. Created on commission by the French modern artist/botanist Patrick Blanc, it is comprised of 110 plant varieties. Concrete is featured prominently in the urban interior of this bar, but the atmosphere is relaxed. Part of the Italian fashion house CoSTUME NATIONAL’s Fukuoka shop, Wall offers private label wines by CN founder & designer Ennio Capasa, and a wide range of champagnes. On display is contemporary art by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans and several other other artists.
Table charge ¥1,000, glass wine ¥1,300, glass champagne ¥1,800, Heartland beer ¥800, dried fruits ¥700, Yamazaki whisky ¥1,600
For 71 years, Isshintei Honten has been a mainstay of the Nagahama ramen district. Now considered the soul food of Hakata, Nagahama ramen was first conceived in the 1940s for locals who wanted something delicious that could fill them up quickly and cheaply. A typical bowl comes with ultra-thin noodles and is topped simply with green onions and chashu (broiled pork). You can also order kaedama (noodle refills)—as long as you have some leftover soup! The tonkotsu (pork bone) soup takes 10 hours to prepare and is mixed with a “secret sauce” to create a mellow bowl of delicious ramen. There are 48 seats and, from the counter, you can watch the chefs make your ramen with skill and speed. The thin, homemade noodles are additive-free and cook quickly. In Fukuoka, many folk like to finish the night with a bowl of ramen. Open till 03:00 on weekdays and just a 15-minute walk from Tenjin, Isshintei is the perfect place to do just that.
Ramen ¥490, ramen w/ poached egg (¥540), ramen w/ bean sprouts (¥590), large ramen (¥590), chashu ramen (¥770), oden (¥100 ea.), pig’s foot (¥230), sumotsu (boiled beef intestines with ponzu) (¥200), noodle refill (¥100), rice (¥150), rice ball (¥150), gyoza (¥280), beer (reg.) (¥500), shochu (¥250)
Lunch – A set (ramen + gyoza) ¥720, B set (ramen + gyoza + rice ball) ¥870
Address: 1F NK Kitatenjin Bldg., 1-4-22 Nagahama, Chuo-ku
Open: 11:00~03:00 (L.O.), Sun. & Hol. ~02:00 (L.O.)
Originally published in the Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn215, Nov. 2016)