Oita-Usa karaage specialty store Tengatori opens in Kagoshima.

PUBLISHED Jan 5, 2023

The exterior of Tengatori Kagoshima Somuta

On December 12, Tengatori Kagoshima Somuta, a takeout store specializing in karaage fried chicken, opened in Somuta, Kagoshima City.

The store offers Oita-Usa style karaage. Michihiro Nakao, the owner himself is a karaage enthusiast, opened the restaurant with his wife. Nakao worked in restaurants in and outside Kagoshima Prefecture for about 20 years. He returned to Kagoshima and opened the restaurant wishing to offer authentic karaage.

Tenkatori is a takeout joint owned and operated by Rairaiken, a long-established Chinese restaurant in Usa City, Oita Prefecture, which is said to be the first place in Japan where karaage specialty restaurants were born. In Japan, it has a flagship restaurant in Usa and a restaurant in Miyazaki. The Kagoshima outlet is the third store in Japan and the sixth worldwide. Nakao trained at the Miyazaki store in preparation for the opening of the Kagoshima branch.

The store has six chairs for customers to sit on while they wait. The kitchen is open style so that customers can see the process of preparing the meat and enjoy the experience.

The menu includes Boneless Thighs (300 yen per 100 grams); Boneless Breasts (300 yen per 100 grams); Sunazuri, or gizzard, (250 yen per 100 grams); Chicken Skin; Wings; Jumbo Bone-in Thighs; and other single items. It also offers Family Packs (from 2,300 yen) and Hors d’oeuvres (from 3,500 yen). The store also offers boxed lunches, including Thigh Karaage Bento (from 580 yen), Breast Karaage Bento (from 580 yen), Mixed Bento (730 yen), and Spicy Bento. It plans to add more bento items to its menu in January. Nakao says that his karaage “tastes great even when it is cold.”

Nakao added, “While maintaining the traditional taste of Oita-Usa karaage, we want to create the one and only Tenkatori Kagoshima.”

Opening hours: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays. The parking is for 2 to 3 cars. Tenkatori encourages customers to order in advance by phone as the food is prepared after receiving an order.

  • Inside Tengatori Kagoshima Somuta

  • Example of karaage from Tengatori Kagoshima Somuta

  • Example of Spicy Bento from Tengatori Kagoshima Somuta

  • Description of Jumbo Bone-in Thighs