Day 13. Food, Tea. Design.
I can die a happy man. I finally got a chance to eat at Hirokatsu Okutsu’s ode to food and tea, Teshimatei. Based in Fukuoka, this place is so well conceived and executed its almost unbelievable. It’s a hidden world in the middle of large city. Climbing the front stairs you are greeted warmly and led to the lounge to relax before being seated. The decor is mid century meets classical. All the windows were open letting the night air breeze in and the bar was stocked. Heaven.
We were seated for dinner at the counter which looked out into a back garden with fruit trees, palms and pine trees. We introduced ourselves to the chef and once he knew we were tea fans, he was all smiles. Hirokatsu san has pioneered 氷出し茶, or ice brewing tea. He lays large hand cut ice blocks on about 100 grams of tea and lets it slowly melt, pulling out all the flavor. We were immediately served a gyokuro, about half an ounce, that had more flavor than most soup. Amazing.
The meal was a Japanese based with french trimmings (oilless whipped mayo for example) and was great fun to watch be prepared. Later in the meal we were served the 2nd steep of the gyokuro, this time hot. We then ate the leaves with ponzu…nice.
And for dessert…Koicha on top of coconut pudding w/ coffee. yes.
If you find yourself in Fukuoka, Make this trip.