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「Fukuoka’s hidden specialty?」

天神 Tenjin

A few years ago、one of my friends who does theatrical performances in Tokyo came to play in a theater in Fukuoka. He said that he wanted to eat「Japanese yam teppan-yaki」 (Japanese cooking prepared on a hot steel plate in the center of the table). I naively thought that it was a dish that you were able to eat everywhere, and took him to the nearest restaurant of our rendezvous place.

To my complete astonishment, they had no Japanese yam teppan-yaki on their menu. Impossible!
I had never been aware that there was a possibility that this dish would not be served at a restaurant.
Of course my friend from Tokyo was completely disappointed."To say that I was so looking forward to it! ". He looked so miserable that I felt really bad for him, and regretted not checking before entering the restaurant if they had it on their menu.
A few days ago the same friend came to visit me in Fukuoka, and this time I was secretly planning to take him to the best Japanese yam teppan-yaki restaurant I could find. While thinking to myself: “Isn’t this a dish that you can also eat in Tokyo anyway? For sure it’s not something that you can only find in Fukuoka!”

However…I was wrong. A few days ago, a television program apparently introduced this meal as a regional specialty from Fukuoka.

Here I am, seriously looking for a good restaurant online.
And then I came to acknowledge that there are other kinds of Japanese yam teppan-yaki: okonomiyaki style topped with mayonnaise, mixed with fish soup stock and roasted topped with ponzu (Japanese sauce made of soy sauce and citrus juice) etcetc… It depends on which shop you choose.

In the end, because it had been a long time since we had last seen each other I chose a fashionable restaurant with private separate rooms : Ozenya, and even though they didn’t have this dish on their menu they kindly accepted to make us one upon my request. We also ordered the seasonal roasted bamboo shoot dish and another very famous specialty from Hakata, the mentaiko dashimaki. My friend left Fukuoka completely satisfied. Next time I would like to take him to a grilled chicken restaurant…

Thank you, Ozenya !

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