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 December, featuring Cafe Yu, a gorgeous cafe/pottery workshop; Whisky Bar Leichhardt, with over 1,200 bottles of whisky inhouse and Tsukiyoshi, one of the city’s most delicious noodle spots. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!
In everything it does, Cafe Yu attempts to make the customer feel like they are in a mountain village. Despite being located deep in the winding streets of Daimyo, the cafe feels spacious, and its greenery sets it apart from the concrete landscape outside. The shop is divided between its cafe (1F) and its pottery studio (2F). All of the cafe’s crockery is made inhouse and you can personalise your drink by choosing from a wide selection of handmade cups and saucers. If you want the full pottery experience, take your drink upstairs to participate in one of the studio’s pottery courses.
Teriyaki Chicken Donburi ¥850, Hot Sandwich: ¥500, Coffee: ¥500, Cafe Latte: ¥600, Maccha Pudding Set: ¥900
Whisky Bar Leichhardt
Walking into Whisky Bar Leichhardt is a similar experience to stepping onto the set of a Bond film. The atmosphere is one of pure sophistication and the counter is carefully attended by the bar’s gently-spoken, tux-clad owner, Yu Sumiyoshi. Yu is a whisky specialist and has spent the last ten years tasting, collecting and perfecting his knowledge of the drink. In fluent English or Japanese, Yu will guide you through the intricacies of any bottle that piques your interest. With over 3,000 whiskies in his collection, including 1,000 pure-blooded Japanese bottles, one certainly will.
Table Charge: ¥600, Taketsuru Pure Malt: ¥700, Iwai Traditional Wine Cask¥700, The Glenlivet 12: ¥900, Gin & Tonic: ¥1,000; Mention Fukuoka Now to avoid the ¥600 table charge!
At Tsukiyoshi, the style is less izakaya and more old school noodle joint. You snack while you drink and save the udon for last. This was a deliberate choice by owner Yoshihiko Inoue who, once upon a time, left the rat race to train at a fishmonger’s shop. His life changed when he tried his hand at making Sanuki udon, the famous square-edged udon from Shikoku. Realizing he had a knack for noodle making, he left the fish business and opened Tsukiyoshi in 2003. The shop’s menu is extensive and, in addition to the Sanuki staple, kamatama udon (boiled udon mixed with raw egg and soy sauce), Inoue also offers a wide range of his own udon concoctions. Inoue is a one-man operation: from simple fried dishes and stir fries to sashimi platters and udon, he prepares pretty much everything himself. What’s more, his prices can’t be beaten! For just ¥500, you can enjoy five slices of quality sashimi that would cost you double anywhere else. Go with a Japanese speaker; no foreign language menus.
Originally published in the Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn216, Dec. 2016)