Whether you’re a motsunabe nut or novice, we recommend making your way to Ganso Hakata Mentaiju come October 1. They are adding a new and original dish to their menu, the Jiyojiru Nabe, and Fukuoka Now was invited to take it for a test taste.
This nabe (hot pot) dish uses a sweet Kyushu-style shoyu (soy sauce) mixed with fish stock (made from flying fish, kelp, mentaiko and shiitake mushrooms) for its base. Added to this are tofu, beef, green and Welsh onions, and dumplings made with mentaiko (spicy pollock roe) and rice. All of these are placed in a ceramic pot and heated at your table on a hot plate.
They recommend that your inaugural sip be of the soup only, and with good reason; this way you fully appreciate the delicate sweetness of the soup before swooping upon the melt-in the-mouth beef, the tender leeks and the spicy, chewy dumplings.
Patrons are encouraged to experiment with the three flavourings provided: ginger, garlic and a spicy mentaiko paste. Those who like a delicate dish should opt for the ginger, but lovers of a smoky kick will enjoy the garlic. If, however, you are feeling adventurous, you should try the mentaiko paste: this red paste uses pollock roe, chilli and yuzu, and it will certainly clear your head!
Jiyojiru Nabe roughly translates as “Nutrition Soup Hot Pot”, and it definitely feels healthy. The light soup is flavourful, yet doesn’t count on fatty foods for its moreish quality; it just relies on quality ingredients. You can order either a two person or a one person pot (we ordered a two person pot), which works out at ¥1,980 per person either way.
An attentive server is on hand to offer assistance in cooking and serving your Jiyojiru Nabe. So never fear if you’re a hot pot virgin, you can ask them to do most of the legwork (or rather, spoon-work).
Jiyojiru Nabe will be available from 10/1.
Ganso Hakata Mentaiju
Address: 6-15 Nishi-nakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: 9:00~24:00 (L.O. 23:30)
Read Fukuoka Now’s gourmet report on Ganso Hakata Mentaiju (March, 2014) here: http://fukuoka-now.com/en/food/gansohakatamentaiju/