Tatsuya Yamaguchi, the owner and chef of this tiny two-story bistro located on a narrow alley in Sumiyoshi, runs a one-man show, and a popular one at that! Yamaguchi apprenticed in French restaurants here in Fukuoka and for three years in France, mostly in Alsace and Bourgogne. The first floor is his kitchen and a comfy counter for five. On the second floor there are five small tables, a wine fridge, an espresso counter and an eclectic collection of ornaments, souvenirs and nic nacks from France. Tortue means turtle in English and the name reflects Yamaguchi’s practice of serving home-style French cuisine in a slow and careful manner. Home-made sausage, the recipes of which vary by the season, are our favourite choice. The most popular item on the menu, however, is a specialty of Alsace known as Choucroute – a generous portion of ultra tender pork shins served with sauerkraut and potatoes. Enjoyed together with a fresh salad and any of Yamaguchi’s well-selected and reasonably-priced wines, it makes for a fine meal. For dessert, his original Black Beer Ice Cream is not to be missed and guaranteed to please both the gents and the ladies. For a cozy dinner with true personal attention and authentic French flavors, you’d be hard pressed to find a better spot than Bistro la Tortue.
Homemade Strasbourg style sausage ￥1,250
Black Beer Ice Cream ￥400
Pork taboule (cold appetizers of couscous and beans boiled with tomato)￥600