Of course, we all know Fukuoka is a ramen paradise, but have you ever heard of donmen? Donmen is the brainchild of Mineya, a kamaboko (fish sausage) merchant in business since 1910. Inspired by champon, it is udon served in a Japanese broth made from bonito and sardines and topped with pork, handmade kamaboko, and a hearty helping of vegetables. The udon noodles are super firm and thick—they won’t go soft!—and the whole shebang is served in a whopping 32-cm diameter bowl. The kamaboko and other ingredients add a rich flavor to the subtle Japanese broth, making donmen a healthy and nutritious treat that is sure to fill you up. Can’t handle a whole bowl? Try the mini donmen, with 30% fewer veggies and half the noodles. Located in the basement of the Fukuoka Building in downtown Tenjin, Minematsu Honke gets crowded during the weekday lunch rush, but there are also spacious private rooms if you’re dining in a group.
Menu: Donmen ¥950, mini donmen ¥800, spicy donmen ¥950, kamaboko udon ¥650, fresh fried kamaboko ¥200~, bottled beer ¥500
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn204, Dec. 2015)