This week, Our Man Sietsema tests the waters at Hakata Tonton, the Japanese restaurant which took over the old Taka space on Grove Street. But this is not just another sushi restaurant. It’s not another izakaya or ramen shop, or yakitori spot, either. If you think you’re an expert on Japanese cuisine, you might have to do a little more studying, because chances are you haven’t spent a lot of time in the Hakata neighborhood in Fukuoka, a prefecture on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. Have you?
If so, you know they have a bit of a pig foot (tonsoku) fetish, and Hakata Tonton is trying to bring it to the West Village. “In fact, these porcine extremities occur in 33 of the 39 dishes on the menu—and of the six that don’t contain pig feet, three are desserts,” Our Man tells us.
Sietsema most enjoyed the tonsoku hot-pot, various dumplings, the spaghetti carbonara, and a pig foot broth with Japanese sweet potatoes. We have to admit, fan of piggy ears as we are, we’re not well-versed in the toes. We’ll have to make a foray into the nutsy stuff soon.
61 Grove Street