Go local at the Yatai Street Stalls of Fukuoka
We watched the sun set in Fukuoka, and observed the riverside in Nakasu (中洲) area come alive.
We observed the riverside lighting up and transforming into a bustling scene.
Charcoal smoke was spewing from Yatai with the accompanying aroma of grilled meat.
As we near the Yatai, the faint murmurs of chatter turn into boisterous laughter from local salary-man ( サラリーマン) huddled close together to wind-down the workday.
In our attempt to find empty seats, we must have passed 20 Yatai, most barely fitting 10 customers.
We finally found seats at one of the stalls and we plonked ourselves down.
Every seat in the house was a front-row seat, providing you a full raw view of the entire workings of the kitchen.
The stall keeper would be scurrying from grilling kushiyaki skewers (串焼き) to drowning boiled ramen with rich pork broth to fill glasses with sake or sochu.
We never found ourselves to be bored for the time we sat at the Yatai!
Things to order at a Yatai
Are the Yatai merely a novelty?
After the novelty of chowing and chugging at a Yatai has subsided, I realised what we had were just overpriced food of mediocre quality.
We experienced a pretty brash service as the stall keeper would subtly rush customers by clearing empty dishes and showing us the bill, probably to quicken the turnover.
Prices at the Yatai could cost more than restaurants, but we still recommend giving it a go just for the local Fukuoka experience and food culture.
We probably still prefer chilling at Izakayas as the environment is usually more relaxed and the locals are more interactive.
We found getting to the Yatai easy and the nearest metro station to Nakasu island is Nakasukawabata.
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