September in Fukuoka is Asian Month, so why not explore one of Asia’s hottest attractions-spicy food. Our spice-loving challengers explore the city to try out hot cuisine from all over the world!
Challenger Number 1:
My name is Eleazar and I’m from Mexico, said to be the original home of the chili pepper. It’s believed that chili pepper cultivation began around 5000 BC. This month, I plan to try all kinds of fiery flavors from around Asia!
Challenger Number 2:
I’m Mesbah, and I once was the champion at a green-chili eating contest in my home of Bangladesh. At the time, my doctor advised me to quit eating them, but I couldn’t. After all, I was born to eat spicy foods!
Where will today’s spices come from?
As Japan’s gateway to Asia, Fukuoka has a long history as a crossroads of cultures, and food is no exception. The chili pepper has found its way into Japan from exotic locales such as Korea, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, although each variety has its own taste and flavor. Garam masala, a blend of spices found in India, is used in Japan to make a variety of curries with original flavors and heat levels. Even Fukuoka’s famous mentaiko, the spicy fish-egg dish, has origins in Korea. Dining in Fukuoka, it is apparent how much Asian cultures are intertwined through food. Explore the city to discover countless international restaurants, the best of which are featured in this issue. Not convinced that spice is the best way to soak up Asian culture? Heat up for your health: capsaicin, the compound responsible for heat in chili peppers, is said to stimulate hormones that trigger fat burning, cause sweating, and increase the appetite. Can’t take the heat? In many countries, yoghurt, tea, or lemon is used to cool down. With all your worries put to rest, let us go forth into the streets of Fukuoka in search of spicy food – Asian Month is upon us!
Featured dish: Piro Mutton 893 yen
Shop’s comment: People think that Nepalese cuisine is just like Indian food, but a taste test will prove that this is not the case at all. The secret of its flavor is jyanmara, which is spicy enough to kill you!
Taster’s comment: It’s the taste of Nepal itself, so I hope you’ll try it. Because the spices are cooked together with the meat, the whole dish is deliciously tender and flavorful.
Address: 2F Omaru Bldg., 2-8-1 Watanabe-dori, Fukuoka-city
Open: 11:00~15:00, 17:30~23:00 (~25:00 Thu, Fri and Sat)
Featured dish: Chicken curry with rice 1,010 yen
Shop’s comment: Indian spices are so healthy that they are used in Chinese herbal medicine. Milan’s curries are made from 36 spices as well as black salt from Nepal. You can choose your desired strength, from calm 0 to fiery 50.
Taster’s comment: I tried level 40 – an explosion of different spices on my tongue! Might this be too spicy for Japanese tastes?
Address: 1-11-11 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-city
Open: 11:00~15:00, 17:30~23:00
Featured dish: Jyukei Hinabe Basic Combo
Shop’s comment: This is one of the few truly authentic Szechuan restaurants in western Japan. It’s said that if it’s not spicy, it’s not Szechuan! We offer only the very best dishes by a prizewinning chef of the World Championship of Chinese Cuisine.
Taster’s comment: Taste the difference between Hinabejo’s two kinds of soups. The spicy power of Szechuan pepper really comes through in the red broth!
Address: 6F BiVi, 4-1-36 Watanabe-dori, Fukuoka-city
Open: 11:00~14:00, 17:00~23:00 Mon.-Fri., 11:00~15:00, 17:00~23:00 Sat., Sun., and Hol.
Featured dish: Beef (co-ru-ma) Curry 1,200 yen
Shop’s comment: Our curry is made from halal meat, popular in Pakistan as it is permitted under Islamic law. The spiciness, and also the unique flavor, comes from my own original blend of garam masala.
Taster’s comment: It’s very spicy at first, but the complexity of the flavor keeps me coming back for more. With savory, tender meat, this is the best curry I’ve ever tasted!
Address: 7F Nishijin Praliva, 4-1-1 Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka-city
Open: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~20:00
Featured dish: Kopchangtang 1,260 yen/ serving
Shop’s comment: Kopchangtang is a boiled dish made with horumon (intestines). The secret to this spice is a special sauce with chili from Busan. The restaurant has a cafe style atmosphere, but the food is truly Korean-we have a lot of native Korean customers.
Taster’s comment: I thought Korean food was just spicy, but this Kopchangtang has excellent flavor. The soft-yet-chewy texture of the horumon is great!
Korean Dining Lock Stock
Address: 4F Liberty, 2-3-2 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-city
Featured dish: Green Curry with Rice,
850 yen for Lunch 1,050 yen for Dinner
Shop’s comment: The major characteristic of Thai food is the complexity created by a blend of spicy, sweet, and sour flavors. At our restaurant, we serve green curry made with herbs and coconut milk, using the best Thai jasmine rice. Please try our 16 kinds of noodles!
Taster’s comment: There are a lot of Thai restaurants in Singapore. Thai food is usually spicy but this green curry is so mild I can eat many servings!
Address: 1-23-21 Ohashi, Minami-ku, Fukuoka-city
Open: 11:30~14:00, 18:00~24:00
Featured dish: Sri Lankan Curry 840 yen
Shop’s comment: Did you know that Sri Lankan curries are made with coconut milk, while Indians use curd? A plate of vegetable curry, potato curry, spiced rice, and chicken with an optional ﾒRed Curry” at Tunapaha will really fire you up! No attempt is made to adjust to local palettes here ﾐ this is the real deal.
Taster’s comment: It doesn’t seem so spicy at first, but it really kicks in later. This may be spicier than Korean food, but with a sweetness hidden in the flavor ﾐ try it!
Address: 5F Nomiya Bldg. 2-1-1 Daimyo, Fukuoka-city
Other Spicy Options!
Tel: 092-715-1516 (Oyafuko)
comment: Sizzling ishiyaki bibimba, spicy Korean noodles. Cheap, fast and popular!
Jan Jan (Indian)
comment: Indian, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan curries and more. Super-delicious nan!
comment: Sophisticated atmosphere for tasty Thai cusine with flair and elegance.
Warn Bali (Indonesian)
comment: Indonesian cook serving classics like Nasi Goreng and Coconut Curry.
comment: 37 kinds of curry and 15 varities of nan prepared by expert native chefs.