Photos: Daniel Ahn
Hakata TonTon originally opened in the West Village back in 2008 as a Japanese soul food destination. Now with the help of Hand Hospitality (Her Name Is Han, Jua, Atomix, and Atoboy) it is making a comeback. Originally restarted as a pop-up it will now be a full-service restaurant in Midtown South with an izakaya-style menu. Longtime chef Koji Hagihara returns to lead the kitchen at Hakata TonTon. The menu will continue to spotlight the cuisine from Hakata, a melting pot city in Southern Japan with influence from China and Korea.
New menu highlights include Bloomed Tomato, a dish of pickled tomato with onion, carrot, and scallion; Goma Hamachi, an appetizer that features baby yellowtail, scallion, seaweed, and sesame sauce; Black Pepper Chicken Wings; Shake Shake Ramen, a chilled ramen noodle dish with chicken, mixed vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, shaken with a spicy sesame sauce right in front of the guest; and Koji Mabo Tofu with minced pork, fermented bean, and chili paste.
Old favorites like the TonTon Hot Pot (Spicy Miso Tonsoku Broth, Chicken Thigh, Pork Trotter, Pork Belly, Dumplings, Tofu, Cabbage, Spinach, Chives, Goji Berries, Garlic, and Jalapeno); the Dashi Tonsoku (Grilled Pork Trotter, Mentaiko, Bonito Broth); and the TonTon Gyoza (Handmade Dumpling with Tonsoku), served on a traditional teppan, remain on the menu.
Cocktails include the Yuzu with two types of dark rum, pineapple, yuzu, and almond; the Wasabi with Roku gin, lime, cucumber, wasabi, Korean chili, and sugar; and the Ume, a Daiquiri-inspired libation with white rum, pickled ume, lime, and cherry blossom. There is also Japanese beer, sake, shochu, and whisky, as well as a selection of sake, shochu and whisky from Fukuoka, specifically.
Each table is outfitted with a built-in induction plate to cook the hot pots. The design is modern-industrial, blending building materials with raw architectural elements. Sleek, polished steel is mixed with natural, white oak and blue square tiling to create a space that feels inviting yet urban, while an exposed ceiling that speaks to the restaurant’s modern industrial design. Vintage neon graphics add drama and character.
Hakata TonTon is located at 35 W 35th St (5th & 6th Aves), New York, NY (917) 261-6536
For more information. visit www.hakatatonton.net