Q: I had an afternoon in Fukuoka to kill and it was a glorious warm spring day, so what do you think I did?
A: Go cafe hunting of course!
After doing a little bit of light shopping, I scoured the local cafe sites to find just what I was looking for- a cool, mildly secluded hideaway, with a bit of foliage, in the middle of a semi-concrete jungle. I found that exact thing in dai-tu, a cute little cafe in central Fukuoka.
Shamelessly with my head-down, following my iPhone’s GPS, it took me about 15mins to walk from Nishitetsu-Fukuoka station. That being said, I’m sure it would take less time for anyone familiar with the streets of Fukuoka (I’m definitely not yet).
Note- My phone directed me to the back of the building, but I sussed out that the entrance was in fact on the other side (I’m so intelligent ;P).
Upon arrival, I was greeted by my serve of greenery, along with a clean-cut indie/artsy feel. The all-popular cafe furnishings of a concrete floor and warehouse-style ceiling was accompanied by unusual light fittings and motivational English sayings. Don’t get me wrong, even though these style of cafes seem to be scattered throughout all medium-to-large size cities in Japan nowadays, Dai-tu really became my sanctuary out of the sun and away from the chaos of the big city.
Hungry as per usual, I promptly scoured the menu and ordered the ‘Dry-cured ham and mozzarella cheese salad’ with zesty lemon dressing (生ハムとモッツァレラチーズのサラダ) and a cold-brew coffee (水出しアイスコーヒー).
The salad totally satisfied my cravings; the tartness of the lemon dressing countered the creamy-ness of the mozzarella cheese perfectly (which I suspect to be homemade). Coupled with the nutty background flavour from the mixed leaves and smokey highlights from the ham was surprisingly refreshing. The portion size was also fulfilling- the ideal size for a light spring lunch.
I’m not usually an ‘iced coffee’* person, but I wasn’t in the mood for milky coffee today, so I gave the cold-brew coffee a try. The gum sugar helped to take the edge off the bitterness and I was pleasantly surprised! I’m not sure what kind of coffee they use at Dai-tu, but it had a really mellow flavour to it.
I was a little disappointed of the lack of fruit-based desserts, as I would have loved something berry or citrus to cut through the heat of the day, but the banana milk smoothie (バナナミルク) I ordered partially made up for that! It was pretty much like any banana-and-milk blended drink, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. Even though it was a public holiday, the cafe wasn’t too busy, so I was able to nibble on my salad and enjoy my beverages whilst catching up on some textbook study.
Dai-tu also play hosts to live bands and small-scale art exhibitions, but unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to check any out this time. However upon stalking their Instagram tags, they also hold theme nights (like Halloween and St Valentine’s Day) with guest DJs too. By the looks of it, the warehouse feel really helps it become an outlet for pop-up artists to showcase their talent. I’d love to get back there for their next event!
During the early afternoon, the overall ambiance of Dai-tu was really peaceful and I was easily able to study along to the background music. The waiter even let me move seats so I could charge my phone as I hit my books. I was really happy I made the trip to check out Dai-tu, and I recommend it to anyone who is around the area. I’ll be back 🙂
*’Iced coffee’ in Japan is like a long black on ice. You get sugar gum syrup and cream to put in it, but there’s none of this whipped-cream business like there is back in Australia. Delicious, but rather different from what’s expected back home.
13-4 Haruyoshi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
[Open] 12 noon – 1am (Mon – Thur)
12 noon – 3am (Fri, Sat & Days before national holidays)
12 noon – 9pm (Sun & national holidays)
Blog: dai-tsu.com Twitter: daitu_caffe Facebook: Dai-tu