In December 2017, Hakata Ozora was opened by Yasuki Matsumura, a disciple of Ginza Ozora—a tan tan men shop with roots in the long-standing Western-style restaurant Candle in Tokyo’s posh Ginza district. The soup looks innocently creamy, but be aware, it packs plenty of punch! “Ozora turned tan tan men on its head,” says Matsumura. The rich soup is made from a mixture of chicken bone broth and a secret-recipe sesame paste. The “spicy hot” flavor is from the Sichuan pepper, while the “spicy aromatic” flavor is courtesy of the handmade chili oil. One taste of this combination and you’ll be hooked. The coriander and peanuts add extra flavor and texture to the mix. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, the staff can turn down the heat. Or for a different meal altogether, try their soupless sesame tan tan men, developed especially for the Hakata shop. Ordering is a breeze with the ticket machine and the shop is conveniently located behind the Hotel New Otani.
Menu: Sesame tan tan men ¥950, soupless sesame tan tan men ¥900, spicy mapo ramen ¥950, spicy mapo rice ¥850, steamed gyoza ¥480, beef and miso on rice ¥380, fried pork ¥500, seared pork ¥300, bottled beer ¥500
*Foreign language menus: English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese / Cash only / Reservations not required / No smoking
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn242, Feb. 2019)