“Fig Tempura” at “Kiki” in Tenjin and “Yamanokotobuki Mansaku Junmaishu”


Good day!
This is a report by a special correspondent “N” from Fukuoka.
Today I’d like to report a good combination of “figs” and sake.


Japanese sake and foods – Kiki


The restaurant which I introduce you today is “Wa no Osake, Wa no Gohan – Kiki”.
The board at the right of the door is the introduction of the restaurant.


Even though it locates in Fukuoka’s busy street of Tenjin area, the place is quiet and calm.
In the restaurant, there is a counter and a small table seats for 2 people on the first floor.
On the second floor, there are some private rooms for 4 – 8 people.

This is a kind of restaurant which is comfortable for visitors who come alone.

There was a lady at the counter seat who was having foods and drinks alone.
I adore a person who can enjoy this kind of restaurant by herself/himself.

The food menus are various.
There are small dishes like snacks and also main dishes.
The shop owner is the only person who cooks, so customers need time to wait for the foods to arrive.


The first “Fig Tempura” in my life!

It was the second restaurant on that night.
I was full when I entered the restaurant, but I found a menu in “Recommendation of the day” which stimulated my appetite.
It was “Fig Tempura”.

! ! !
I must try this!!!

I’m a “fig freak”.
I love any figs – raw figs, dried figs, and fig jam.

We see some western foods using figs such as figs served with prosciutto.
On the other hand, I don’t see Japanese foods using figs. (Well, I can make it by myself, but it is difficult because I cannot help eating the figs before cooking them….)

My friend who was with me was not so excited about it, saying “Go on, but it doesn’t sound so delicious….”


“Which sake matches figs?”

We ordered fig tempura and drinks, and searched for a sake.


This is their sake menu. Most of them are from Fukuoka or other places in Kyushu.
I asked the owner, “Which one matches fig dishes?”.
He said that “Mansaku” would be nice.


This is “Yamanokotobuki Mansaku Jumaishu” (brewed by Yamanokotobuki Shuzo in Fukuoka).

The letters of “FUKUOKA LIMITED” on the label means that it’s only distributed in Fukuoka.
This is made from Fukuoka’s local rice “Yumeikkon” which are polished until they become 60 % of their original quantity.

The location of the brewery is the traditional sake production area, Kurume City in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The brewery was established in 1818, so it has a long history of 200 years.

The brewery, “Yamanokotobuki Shuzo”, lost their brewing factory in the typhoon in 1991.
Their facilities such as sake tanks and rice steamers became unable to use, and it became difficult to keep their business.
However, they worked hard to revive the business, and they managed it after 2 years.


“Fig Tempura” with melting texture & Sake

After a while, a sound of Tempura being fried in the oil reached our ears from the kitchen.
My expectation became higher with the sound.


“Now it’s here!!!!”
People who don’t see figs so often might not get what this is, but those who love figs like me can tell right away “this is it”.
It is tempura of figs cut in half.
It’s seasoned with salt and pepper.

I cut them with my chopsticks.


The inside was so juicy!
It looked as if it was shining for me.
I had a bite, and I felt a texture like just-made fig jam, and fig’s unique sweetness which should have been stronger than raw ones.


The strengthened sweetness of the fruit is different from that of sake.
The difference made an interesting combination!

“Mansaku” made the fig’s strong sweetness a little weak and “moderate”, but the sake’s taste didn’t remain in the throat.
The aftertaste was just fig’s flavor.

The salt and pepper were good accents.
It should have made it match the sake, too.

If the sake was sweeter, the combination would be too sweet.
The mild sweetness of “Mansaku” was just appropriate.


It was more than happy for me to have fig (tempura) with Sake.
It was such a great time for me.
I could eat them all even though I was full.

This is all from a restaurant “Kiki”!


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