Cuisine that is significant to dining in this area—filling each plate with feeling,
by Hiroyuki Honda of Hanakomachi
Hanakomachi opened in 2004 in Uekicho in Kumamoto City’s Kita Ward. Owner and chef Hiroyuki Honda plies his skills at the restaurant’s open counter, where diners can be warmed by a fire of Kumamoto wood.
After graduating from high school, Chef Honda trained at French restaurants in Kumamoto and Tokyo. At the age of 26, he ventured out on his own and founded what is now Hanakomachi. He welcomes guests from both within Kumamoto and even outside the prefecture with his cuisine unique to Kumamoto. He has totally redesigned the dishes, saying, “There is only one way to make the most of Kumamoto ingredients, which is by using unique local techniques to prepare them.”
Chef Honda is one of Kumamoto’s foremost chefs, and JR Kyushu recently contracted him to provide on-board meals for the D&S sightseeing train 36 Plus 3, which runs from Hakata through Kumamoto to Kagoshima.
Chef Honda’s obsession is to just “feel Kumamoto.”
He makes everything by hand from scratch using Kumamoto ingredients, encompassing animal products, seafood, vegetables, dairy products, game, and sauces and seasonings. He even makes his own pasta, using flour made of wheat that he has grown himself.
He is also a “producer,” as he will not hesitate to tell you. According to him, “The thoughts and attitudes of the producer are expressed in the individuality of their foods.” He frequently works in his fields and pastures. Meeting with reputable producers is the key foundation of Hanakomachi. Chef Honda is constantly in pursuit of cuisine that will maximize the pleasures of the ingredients that these producers have cultivated.
Chef Honda’s Premium Menu uses seasonal ingredients from Kumamoto that he has sourced as the result of extensive discussions with producers over many years. “It’s not enough to just gather high-quality ingredients. The courses in this meal have been designed using delicious ingredients that even locals don’t know about, in addition to ingredients that are part of everyday Kumamoto cuisine, resulting in food that makes one feel relaxed and at home.” Each plate contains only a small amount of food, and there are many courses. Diners will find themselves wanting to keep on eating and then still have more. At the end of the meal, they will notice that they have consumed countless local ingredients, and they certainly get a sense of the abundance of Kumamoto’s foods.
Numerous Kumamoto potters, glass makers, and woodworkers have designed objects specifically for the Premium Menu. Tableware and art objects that evoke Kumamoto’s land, wind, sea, water, and nature are a must-see. Guests are encouraged to try out the bamboo chopsticks from the town of Nankan, which are covered in rich domestic lacquer, and other superb articles only available through the Premium Menu.
Address:266-22, Uekimachi Iwano, Kita-ku, Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture 〒861-0136
Business hours:Fri.-Mon, 11:30–14:00 (last order) *Reservations suggested and 18:00–21:30 (last order) *Reservations required Open on Sunday Closed on an irregular basis (posted on social media)
Reservations for the Premium Menu
Each restaurant has different ingredients in its Premium Menu, so diners may enjoy Kumamoto’s seasonal dishes. Please directly contact the restaurant for details.
Hanakomachi Premium Menu *Reserve five days in advance
Price:25,000 yen per person