To make people’s minds and bodies happy by providing safe, healthy and, most of all, delicious food. That’s how owner Yin Yu describes why she opened Yakuzen in 2010. The menu is based on the traditional Chinese medicinal cooking principles of choosing ingredients that match your current physical condition and selecting seasonal foods that suit the local environment. This focus on ingredients is evident in each beautifully presented dish, the effects of which are listed in the menu. You can really taste the flavor and texture of each ingredient as well as how they all work together in delicious harmony. Start with some natto-infused ginseng juice to soothe your stomach or a glass of blood flow-boosting Chinese medicinal wine, followed by a hors d’oeuvre containing caterpillar fungus. Don’t let the name put you off, this highly-esteemed natural remedy is claimed to fight aging (and tastes great with a little sesame oil!). Main courses include stir-fried seasonal vegetables, with added health-boosting ingredients such as cassia bark, lily bulb and wood ear mushrooms. If you’re not sure what to order, the manager is always happy to assist, or you can try one of their set meals (for 2 people or more, from ¥3,500). Yin Yu also runs Kyushu’s only Chinese medicinal cookery academy where you can learn the art for yourself.
Address: 7F BuLaLa 1-9-19 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Hours: Lunch 11:30~ L.O. 14:00, 18:00~ L.O. 22:00
Yakuzen rice porridge set lunch ¥750, Seasonal vegetable stir-fry ¥1,000, Caterpillar fungus hors d’oeuvre ¥1,000, Pot of Yakuzen blend tea (6 varieties) ¥500 each, Wine ¥500 per glass
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn169, Jan. 2013)