Ganso Hakata Mentaiju
This stylish restaurant serves the type of traditional Fukuoka food that has been loved by locals for generations. The most popular dish on the menu is, of course, Hakata mentaiju (¥780), from which the restaurant takes its name. It consists of a box of rice topped with a layer of seaweed, on which lies spiced and salted cod roe wrapped in kelp. The cod roe are soaked in a sauce made from oyster and scallop extracts, giving them a deep umami taste, with just a hint of sesame and perilla for extra flavor. When ordering sashimi, the accompanying soy sauce contains a dash of cod roe, which is great for those who like a touch of extra spiciness. Of course, there’s much more on the menu than just cod roe, such as the hakata zoni soup (¥680), normally only eaten at New Year, or the nukamisodaki (fish cooked in fermented rice bran, ¥980), which is a specialty of nearby Kitakyushu. As the perfect accompaniment to all this local food, there are also several varieties of locally-produced shochu. This is a great place if you want to go beyond the usual sushi, tempura and ramen, and try Japanese food with more local flavor.
Hakata dobin mizutaki (stew cooked in an earthenware teapot) ¥980
Gameni (boiled chicken and root vegetables) ¥880
Sweet Japanese omelet ¥780
6-15 Nishinakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka