Japanese seafood kushiyaki
Japan is the epicentre of food heaven and we are working our way up through Japanese culinary comfortzones. Tonight we felt like going a bit further out to have dinner. In terms of leaving the comfy distance from our apartment but also in terms of trying out new Japanese dishes.
New for us but a Japanese classic, kushiyaki (or yakitori) can be skewered meats, seafood or vegetables. We went for the pescetarian version with seafood at the new and stylish shopping complex at Hakata Station.
Opened in March 2011, Jr Hakata City is one of the hippest shopping complexes in Fukuoka, home to Hakata Hankyu, Tokyu Hands, Amu Plaza, a multiplex cinema.
Hakata Station has the largest train station with the Shinkansen and other intercity lines passing through.
There was even a wooden ramp especially created for a photospot!
I liked this graceful statue.
Floor 9 and 10 of JR Hakata City shopping complex are dedicated solely to provide stunning food porn. Actually, so is floor 1 and 2, as well as the basement floor.
In the lower floors you get street vendor style restaurants. Prices are cheap. Meals are around 500 yen here.
Tonight we were going to dine top end – literally on the highest floor. We walked around for a while before we had looked at all the restaurants and inspected for a lot of seafood and less meat choices, until we found Hisago (if I read correctly). A place specialising in seafood and vegetable skewers.
As kushiyaki beginners we went for a mix of 10 skewers (one serving approx. 2.500 yen) and a seafood salad with drinks.
The complimentary starter was salmon with fermented cabbage on the side. I ordered a sweet cassis drink (I came to like cassis cocktails a lot – never actually had them before I came to Japan). Most of the times you will always get a wet towel to clean your hands before a meal in Japan.
The seafood salad was excellent. Just the right mix of various green salads, vegetables and sashimi. This is so Japan. If you are going to order a meal, it is going to the best of its kind.
We also received another complimentary salad with fresh veggies and a tuna mayonnaise topping. So Good.
The set of 10 skewers was to be served on individual plates, designated for each of the kushiyaki. No randomness. Each kushiyaki was presented on a different thin, long, circular… dish. We were instructed to use various kinds of salt (three samples are on the plate) with each skewer.
The pieces of fish and vegetables were prepared like it was the most precious thing in the world. The skewered veggies were mushrooms and mini-corn.
I love it how each plate is selected accordingly to support the dish. Fried fish tempura style.
The waiters would present the next plate and then introduce us to the kind of seafood by showing a matching picture in the menu and pointing to the English name. I don’t remember what was what but we had scallops, squid (the softest I ever ate), salmon, tuna and other kinds of fish. What a dining experience!
There was a wooden cup especially for used skewers.
The itsy bitsy servings were so delicious. It was incredible. One of the best culinary experiences of my life (yeah, I am from the western food world and I may add: so far – I hope to expand my culinary horizon to more sophisticated bites from now on – there is a whole world out there in Japan I have not tasted yet!).
Three cooks were preparing our meals. I could see them pampering our food from our table.
Each seat had a basket to put your stuff – so useful… I never know what to do with my bag.
And the toilets – they were not the restaurant’s but public toilets for the whole shopping complex.
The atearai (polite way of saying toilet in Japan) looks a lot better than our apartment ofuroba (another way to say bathroom in Japanese).
Another post ending in a Japanese restroom. Or so to say: a post with a happy ending!