Sunday, November 26, 2017

Japan Kyushu Food Guide

In this blog post, we are sharing with you some of the delicious food that we had during our trip in Kyushu (Japan) in June 2017.

Tonkutsu Ramen and Mentaiko (明太子)

Tonkutsu (pork bone) ramen is a speciality in Kyushu. The soup base is made of pork bone which is boiled over a long period of time, so it is thick and creamy!

Another specialty in Hakata is mentaiko, which is small fish roe. It is very salty on its own, therefore, it is usually eaten with rice, omelette or spaghetti. 

In Japan, some of the famous ramen restaurant chains include Ichiran (一蘭), Ikkousha (一幸舍), Ippudo (一風堂) and so on. In fact, some of them have outlets in Singapore. Anyway, since we were at Hakata, we would like to try the original Hakata ramen! We had tried Ichiran in Hong Kong, and had attended ramen and gyoza cooking class at Ippudo on our second day in Kyushu, therefore, we tried out Ikkousha at Hakata. We ordered Tonkutsu special (extra slices of char siew) and Mentai don. Our children had their first experience to order food using the machine! It was thoughtful of the restaurant to serve free flow of iced tea to quench the thirst!

Yatai  (屋台)

In the evening, you would see small mobile food stalls at Tenjin (天神), Nakasu (中洲) and Nagahama (長浜) in Fukuoka. Due to hygienic reason, they serve only cooked food, so please don't expect to have sashimi at the yatai.

It was a pity that we didn't have experience to dine at yatai! We were full after eating Japanese souffle pancakes at Gram when we saw the yatai at Tenjin area!

Information about yatai in Fukuoka:

Gram Cafe and Pancake 

"Wow!" We exclaimed when we saw the premium pancakes at Gram Cafe and Pancake. The pancakes were so thick and fluffy! 

To make it even more special, the premium pancakes are not served throughout the day - there are only 3 time slots daily, at 11 am, 3 pm and 6 pm, and there are only 20 sets of premium pancakes available at each time slot! We reached the branch at Tenjin at 5.30 pm, and thought that we were super early, but guess what, we were not the first one who ordered the premium pancakes! We were the fourth in the queue!

If you are planning to have these premium pancakes, please take note you have to take photo very fast, as the upper layer would slide down! In addition, each person in your group has to order at least one item.

Tempura Style Fried Chicken (とり天) and Dango Jiro (だんご汁)

Tempura Style Fried Chicken and Dango Jiro are specialty in Oita Prefecture. What is Dango Jiro? It is something like mee hoon kueh in Singapore, and the soup base is made of miso. There is also pork slices and bean curd skin, as well as plenty of scallion.

We had both specialty in a set meal at Bungo Chaya (豊後茶屋), located at Beppu Station. We met Singaporeans there on the two evenings when we had dinner! DaDi even met his ex-colleague there!

Beef Tongue

As I was researching on Kyushu trip, I read a few Taiwanese blogs that raved about たんや at Hakata Station. They shared that the breakfast set was value for money. But we didn't try the breakfast set since we had free breakfast at our hotel Toyoko Inn, so we visited たんや for dinner.

The amount of grilled beef tongue was rather generous. However, this became a problem to me as my teeth were not sharp enough to chew the grilled beef tongue. The rice was special, it consisted of rolled oat. To eat the rice, we had to mix it with the grated yam and raw egg. I would say it was an acquired taste.

We also ordered beef tongue stew. It was very delicious! The beef tongue was very tender. I was surprised that this yummy dish was not mentioned by those Taiwanese blogs.

Aso Milk

Aso milk was so fresh and delicious! Unlike the one that I drank in Okinawa, which had a strong "cow smell" when I opened the packet, Aso milk had a nice fragrance.


Try some special croquettes that you don't get to eat in Singapore! For example, horse meat croquette and sea urchin croquette in Kumamoto, and Bungo beef croquette at Yufuin.

horse meat croquette

sea urchin croquette

croquettes in Yufuin

Conveyor Belt Sushi

To be honest, I don't have patience to keep my eyes on the sushi on the conveyor belt, and "catch" it when it appears (or "lose" it when the patron next to me has taken it off the conveyor belt right in front of my eyes)! I prefer dining at sushi restaurants in which we can order food directly. We chanced upon  魚べい ヨドバシ博多店 next to Hakata Station, this is under Genki Sushi group.

Ordering food from the tablet is quite easy, there are English and Chinese menu, so don't worry even if you don't understand Japanese. The sushi is served in an interesting manner, it takes a train or car! Some of the sushi on the menu is only 100 yen (SGD1.25) per plate! And there is unlimited flow of green tea!


For seafood lovers, do visit Karato Fish Market at Shimonoseki (Honshu), which is near the northern part of Kyushu. Read our adventure at Mojiko and Shimonoseki in this post.

One seafood that you would not want to miss - pufferfish! It is so much cheaper at Karato Fish Market than at other parts of Japan!

Lotteria (Fast Food)

When we were at Beppu, we had breakfast at Lotteria at Beppu Station for two mornings! The children love the chocolate drink!

We were amazed by the efficiency of the staff, who single-handedly managed the ordering, serving and making drink!


We visited Calbee Plus outlets at Okinawa and Hong Kong, and found that different outlets have different menu. So when we saw the outlet at Hakata Station, we would not give it a miss! We ordered Kyushu soy-sauce flavour potato chips, they were piping hot as they were freshly prepared upon order. How I wished more potato chips were given to us at that price!

Hattendo Cream Bun

The custard cream is mixed with fresh cream, it is not too sweet.


Eating out in Japan is not cheap. To prevent our wallet from having a big hole, we dined at Yoshinoya, which offers food at affordable price. Some food that is served at Yoshinoya in Japan is not found in Singapore's menu, for example, unagi juu, beef and salmon set meal, as well as black curry with natto.

Food from Convenience Stores

Another place to find food at affordable price - convenience stores! They offer bento, sandwiches, fried chicken, oden and so on! We visited the convenience stores every day when we were in Japan! 

During our visit in June 2017, I was glad to have the limited Uchi Cafe Sweets X Godiva chocolate roll cake. It was a heaven for chocolate lovers!

Sweet Treats at Yufuin

If you have a sweet tooth like me, you would like to visit Yufuin for the variety of sweet treats! Read our travelogue at Yufuin!

Our Japan (June 2017) Travelogue

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