Monday, April 28, 2014

Hiroshou Hakata Tempura, Yokohama Center Minami (ひろしょう)

Hey, you're special to me, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just by appearing in this uncredited picture (or reading this otherwise pedestrian blog entry), you've done a service to humanity. So don't think you don't count. Everyone is special.

Hiroshou is pretty special too. Who even knew there was such a thing as Hakata tempura? Now someone and I do. This place may be new, because the branch doesn't feature on Hiroshou's web site. If you're in the otherwise godforsaken Center Minami station neighborhood (notable in my mind now only for the big baby goods stores there), this is a great choice for lunch or dinner.
Because they hook you up, OK? The table set comes with the tempura trays, bowls of dip with extra gratings of radish, a cup of pickles, and a cup of their signature mentaiko/seaweed blend.

Did I say 'a bottomless cup'? Cuz that's what it is.
That's because they're trying to sell stuff too. Maybe the few stores they have are an ad for their mail order business? They have these yuzukosho sauces on every table (thinner than what you and I are used to, or in fact the genuine Fukuoka products I've had, but shakeable), and for sale at the desk along with various forms of mentaiko.

We only had two cups each of pickles and mentai. Sensible eating, wot.
Nice tables with a view over the huge square that defines the area. Decent counter. Sort of an attempt to make it feel gritty and Fukuoka even though it's in the middle of a brand-new, totally sterile town. We walked around for 15 minutes looking for ramen, didn't see a single one, and gave up. But ending up at this place was a definite win.
Because the Y1k lunch set includes super-sized rice, soup, the aforementioned pickles and mentai, and all this. A big slice of squid (because deep fried food with a side of fish eggs doesn't have enough cholesterol), a shrimp, an eggplant slice.

The style of frying is odd - it's very light in color and texture, and they didn't have the oil quite hot enough for it to stay clean.
Green pepper and pumpkin. Not surprisingly, the pumpkin was tasty. It always is, expecially when battered and fried.
White fish (in the back) and a thin slice of pork. I guess this is the other thing that's 'Hakata' about the food? You'd never get meats like this in Edomae tempura, just lots of fish. Their separate-item menu on the wall had this pork cutlet, chicken tenders, and chicken thighs as meat options. The pork is a decent idea, although I had to drain some oil off it first to feel wholesome. Although the oil was very clean, so who cares.
For American readers, this is super-sized rice. And it usually costs Y50 extra, but they do it as a special deal at lunch. Everyone around us was getting it. That's a bargain in Japan, where almost nothing is free, and if it is it comes with fanfare.

Putting as much mentai on your rice is close to priceless though. That's the biggest deal of all as far as I'm concerned.

Recommended if you're in the area, although I don't know why you would be. We looked at each other after the first bite to say "OMFG" and by the end of lunch we were stuffed and very happy. Perhaps not this happy, but happy.

Two links for you since I can't find a web page or phone # for this shop.

1 comment:

  1. This got me interested so I went snooping. Looks like it may be called Hakata Tempura Takao plus Chaon. The phone number is 045-530-3010. I have not been to that part of Tokyo for centuries. Maybe I'll go.