Hakata Tempura Takao 博多天ぷらたかお

 
(日本語は英語の後に書いてあります!)


     In the heart of Tenjin, downtown Fukuoka, lies a strip of malls connected to the Nishitetsu Station and train line. These malls, from Mitsukoshi, to Solaria, to Parco, all have different styles of shopping experiences, geared at different demographics. Mitsukoshi tends to draw in the older, more mature crowd, while Solaria is geared towards teenagers and young adults, Parco similarly appeals to youngsters, albeit those with a little more money to spend.

However, shopping aside, there’s one thing these malls have in common, and that is the underground restaurant arcade. You can walk from the basement of Mitsukoshi, all the way to Parco on the other side of the street, making your way through underground “food courts” and restaurants.

In particular, Parco has recently renovated their basement floor with all new and exciting establishments, from high-grade sushi restaurants, to casual wine and cheese establishments, there’s something for everyone in this hidden little arcade. I was particularly excited to see my favorite tempura restaurant from Canal City had opened a new store here as well:

Hakata Tempura, “Takao”, is a chain from Fukuoka, but they have also expanded to other parts of Japan as well.  There are many places to eat tempura in Japan, and Takao certainly isn’t the only place that serves hot tempura, fresh out of the fryer, and on to your plate, but Takao is my personal preference for one reason:


     When you order a “set” from Tempura Takao, you are immediately presented with two sets of “tsukemono”, pickled cabbage, and, Takao’s specialty, “konbu mentai”, or “kelp and cod roe”. Mentai, as I’ve mentioned before, is a delicacy unique to Fukuoka and, once you’ve developed a taste for it, it’s quite good, it’s spicy, with a hint of fish taste, and it just goes excellently with plain hot white rice.

Good tasting mentaiko is not very cheap,  which is why it’s surprising that these two “tsukemono” are served as “all you can eat.” Yes, you can take as much as you’d like, to eat with your rice and miso soup, as you’re waiting for your tempura to be fried.


I ordered the healthy set, by the way. This meant I got an assortment of vegetables, and one piece of chicken. I wanted to take a picture of the entire set, but since the tempura is served as it’s cooked, I had no choice but to photograph them all individually. (The cooks are reluctant to fry up and serve you the next item if you’re not clearing your plate fast enough, I realized after three pieces arrived that they were waiting for me to eat them before bringing me more.)


The “Healthy Set” cost 720 yen, and included, 5 vegetables (green pepper, pumpkin, lotus root, sweet potato, and eggplant) and one piece of chicken. Considering how oily tempura can be, especially with meat, I prefer this set the most! The vegetables are served crunchy on the outside, and hot on the inside. I love the lotus root (called “renkon”, in Japanese) the best.

Dip your piping hot tempura into the dipping sauce provided and eat it in between bites of your white rice and sips of hot miso soup, and for 720 yen, this is a very filling meal. If it gets to feel too oily, as tempura sometimes does, you can wash it all down with a refreshing glass of oolong tea, which is also unlimited by the way. Oolong tea is said to be excellent for stripping the excess oils from your body.
      And if you feel like you didn’t order enough, you can always order individual pieces of tempura at extra cost, straight from the counter. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Anyway, I felt I should write about this place because I think, considering it’s location, accessibility, atmosphere and affordability, this is a must-try place for tourists visiting Fukuoka City. It also helps that they have free, fast wifi, so it’d make a good pit-stop for travellers on the go, looking for a place to recharge and figure out their next destination.
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博多天ぷらたかお

福岡の中心である、天神とは、買物好きの方がたくさん集まる場所であります。西鉄大牟田線の福岡(天神)駅が、ショッピングモールに囲まれています。ちょっと年上の方に向けた三越のデパートから、若い人がよく買物するのソラリア、そしてパルコが、駅とともに一列に並んでいます。

それで、実は、買物好きではない方は分からないと思いますけど、三越からパルコまでの、地下1階は、全部繋がっております。天神地下街と同じ様に、三越の地下2階から、西鉄福岡の駅、そしてパルコ、そして地下鉄まであるいていけます。しかも、このルートあるくと、レストランや居酒屋、和食、洋食、デザートなどの飲食店だらけなんです。

そして、パルコの地下が最近リニューアルされて、さらにお洒落な飲食店がたくさん増えています。まだ見に行ってない方は是非、チェックしてください。(タイ料理のカオマンガイ専門店は、とくに持ち帰りを愛用しています。)

そして今日紹介したかったのは、そのパルコのしたの一つの天ぷらのお店です!「博多天ぷらのたかお」でございます! 今までは、キャナルシティの店舗しか知らなくて、キャナルシティに訪れた時はたまに寄りましたけど、天神にきて正直嬉しかったです! ほかの天ぷら屋さんより、やっぱり好きなんです、ここ!

とりあえず、おかず?漬け物?が出てくるんですけど、食べ放題なんです。キャベツと昆布明太子になっています。そうです。注文した天ぷらセットと一緒に、明太子が食べ放題です。しかも。めっちゃくちゃ。美味しいの!

(店内に明太子の販売も行っている様です。)

天ぷらを揚げている間に、お茶と白いご飯と味噌汁がでるので、明太子をご飯の上にのっけて、食べながら調理を待ちます。そして、明太子と白いごはんを美味しくたべているうちに、熱々の天ぷらが、目の前に現れます。

私はいつも、ヘルシー定食を食べています。女性には人気らしいです。五種類の野菜(ピーマン、カボチャ、レンコン、なす、サツマイモ)と、ささみ一個がついております。その値段が、味噌汁、ご飯、食べ放題の漬け物、そしてもちろん天ぷらをふくめて、なんと、720円です!

お腹いっぱいになるから、グッドプライスだと思っていますが!

そして、観光客にさらにうれしいのは、パルコの地下のレストランすべてに、無料WiFiが届いています。海外から天神にきてる観光客にとって、Parcoの無料WiFiの存在はとても大きいと思います。次の目的地を調べながら、日本らしいお食事を、リーゾナブルな値段で楽しむのは最高ではないかと思います。お店が狭いので、あんまり大勢では入れないかも知れないけど、お友達との休憩、とか、カジュアルな設定で寄ってみては良いかも知れないですね。

ということで、「博多天ぷらたかお」です!

日本の方も、参考になれると良いですね。興味あれば、是非足を運んでみてください! 本当に、明太子は嬉しかったですよ (^^)。

4 thoughts on “Hakata Tempura Takao 博多天ぷらたかお

  1. Thanks for this post. I am still figuring out what my sister and I will be up to in Fukuoka and this helps us help pick and gives us some options that are off the tourist beaten path.

  2. Thank you for information!!
    My grandfather ‘s hometown is Fukuoka.
    I love there !
    Have you been to Moji kou ?
    There is nice place.
    My recommend food is Yaki curry.
    Please try to eat !

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