As Japan reopens from coronavirus related closures, it’s refreshing to get back outside and meet people. This month we introduce someone for which the impact of COVID-19 seems to have had a silver lining.
Travis Mactier hails from Vancouver Island, Canada, but moved to Tokyo in 1995 to work for a company to bring Japanese students to Canada. More importantly, he met his wife, and soon after, they moved to Masuda, Shimane Prefecture, where they began to raise their two daughters. In 2006, they moved to Tsuyazaki, just east of Fukuoka City, where Travis operates the Blue Planet English School.
All was going well. Travis was loving the laid-back life of living near the beach, rice fields, and mountains close to Tsuyazaki. He particularly enjoyed teaching English language food classes in his kitchen. But, that might have been too much of a good thing as in 2018 found himself in the hospital for open-heart surgery. He survived, but the experience only strengthened his attraction to food and fulfilling his dreams.
It turns out, one of his dreams was to operate a food truck. With the support of his wife, friends, and neighbors on February 2 this year, he opened Canada Kitchen on the parking lot in front of his house. What was initially planned to be a kitchen trailer that he’d drive to other locations turned out to be a parked trailer? That had its benefits, as it has running water and is coded as a regular kitchen, allowing him much more flexibility with regulations on what he can cook and serve. The trailer was purchased off an American military base, and Travis did much of the reform work himself. Painted in the colors of the Canadian flag, it sparkles and is impossible to miss next to green rice fields in front of his house.
The menu features various takeout comfort foods such as Chicken or Beef/Pork Burrito, Falafel Sandwiches, Fish & Chips, Fish Burger, and freshly baked scones. To drink, there is Canada Dry ginger ale (of course), soft drinks, lemonade, and a hot or cold spicy chai tea. We had the Fish & Chips (Canadian size!) served with a generous portion of large Canadian fries (McCains). For the fish and chips, Travis uses tilapia, a white fish, and a handmade batter of half beer and half soda water that even his fussy British friends approve of. Nothing is surprising about that; he is from “British” Columbia as he likes to point out. The same deep-fried filet can be enjoyed as a burger made with focaccia sourced from a nearby bakery. Travis and his crew make whatever they can on-site, even the hummus which he substitutes soybeans for chickpeas is tasty. Oh, and be sure to grab some scones. At least three varieties are available each day, of which the double chocolate and honey nut are currently most popular.
Canada Kitchen is open Thursdays, Fridays, 11:00 ~ 14:00 and Saturdays, and Sundays 11:00 ~ 16:00 and national holidays. Weekends have been hectic recently. Keep that in mind before driving out. Free parking for eight cars. Takeout only. Advance orders by phone accepted. Scroll down for address and contact information.
Disclaimer: By posting information about places to visit or things to do, Fukuoka Now is NOT encouraging people to do anything unsafe. The situation regarding COVID-19 changes daily. Please follow the advice and direction of local authorities by practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and by following other recommended guidance.