Foodies of Fukuoka, prepare to get very excited. Dean and DeLuca are opening their largest Asian store right here in Fukuoka, and the doors open this Saturday, April 25! Fukuoka Now was invited to their exclusive pre-opening event, and that is not the kind of offer you refuse.
The line was daunting when we first arrived, both because of its size, snaking round itself and out the door, but also because of the expensively fashionable nature of its members. Yet we persevered. Donning our complimentary aprons, we descended to the second level of the basement. What was once a loading bay has been utterly transformed; the classic Dean & DeLuca touches (Carrarra marble, white subway tiles and vintage light fixtures), instantly transported you to luxurious Manhattan, home of the original store. The mirage was completed by the smooth jazz group jamming in the background, as well as by the champagne offered upon entry.
We’re not going to come down either side of the debate regarding the existence of an afterlife, but if there is a heaven, we got a sneak preview that night in the form of the D&D food. A special selection of hot dishes was put on for the event, including ginger root wrapped in pork, beef so tender it was like biting into a delicious, salty cloud, and parmesan risotto prepared by pouring hot risotto rice into a huge wheel of Italian parmigiano. The salad and sandwich bar was an array of local produce mixed in delectable combinations, all of which change according to the season. Some of the salads we got a sneak peek of (or rather, sneak taste of) included mushroom confit, white celery and smoked salmon, yellow tomato and yari-ika (squid), and pork with green mustard and cresson sauce. The cake counter was filled with offerings from local patisseries, such as Patisserie Georges Marceau and Nico Patisserie, but also cakes from Matsunosuke of Tokyo.
This Dean and DeLuca has a Market Table, something they’ve only previously tried in Osaka, which brings a selection of fresh produce to its diners every day. All the kitchen are either open, or closed off only by glass, as D&D want you to fully understand that your food will be “authentic”; i.e., not a microwave or deep fat fryer in sight. For those more focused on a liquid lunch, there are 20 draft beers available and an equally varied wine selection.
The philosophy of Dean and DeLuca is to mix the finest of local produce with the best that the world of international gastronomic delight has to offer. They themselves promote a collective world palette by developing items specific to each store, and then sharing them across their international chain of stores if they’re successful. This means that each store is a collection of the best gourmet dishes from around the world.
We could go on about the coffee bar or the extensive candy selection, but you don’t have all day, and we’re beginning to salivate, so you’re just going to have to go discover them for yourself.
Dean & Deluca Fukuoka
• B2F Solaria Plaza (2-2-43 Tenjin, Chuo-ku)
• Open: Shop 10:00~22:00 / Restaurant 11:00~16:00 (L.O. 15:00), 17:00~23:00 (L.O. 22:00)
• Tel: 092-739-0207