With little custom of eating breakfast out in Japan, there are few morning spots in Fukuoka to start your day. But what is even harder to fathom is the lack of sit-down places where you can enjoy the famous local specialty mentaiko (spicy cod roe). That’s where Ganso Hakata Mentaiju comes in. The specialty here is mentaiju—a piece of kombu-wrapped mentaiko served over white rice topped with nori seaweed, all seasoned with a special sauce and served in an elegant white box. If that’s not enough, you can add an order of mentai-sui, a mentaiko-filled soup.
With the fall weather on the way, you might want to try the mentai-nikomi tsuke-men (dipping noodles). The dipping sauce is a rich soup made from a whole mentaiko broiled in bonito broth with vegetables. The shop also carries other Fukuoka faves, including okiuto (jelly-like seaweed) and goma saba (mackerel with sesame). The restaurant is located in a unique wooden box-like building next to the old Prefectural Guest Hall in Suijo Park.
Ganso Hakata Mentaiju
Address: 6-15 Nishi-nakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka (click for map)
Open: 07:00~22:30 (L.O.: 22:00)
Full set (mentaiju + tsuke-men + soup) ¥3,380, mentaiju ¥1,680, mentai-nikomi tsuke-men ¥1,680, mentai-sui ¥780, kombu-wrapped mentaiko tempura ¥1,180, pudding ¥680, draft beer ¥680, soft drinks ¥480 ea., sake (1 cup) ¥680~