Whether its Sushi or Somen, Karaage or Kinako Mochi, Japanese cuisine has so much variety that it offers something for everyone. But having lived in Japan for a while, sometimes my appetite forgets all this. Sometimes, I get the urge for absolutely anything, as long as it’s NOT Japanese food.
At these times a spicy Green Curry, a Chicken Aloo Baigan or some Gado Gado can help soothe my raging appetite and put a smile on my face. I doubt I am the only person that feels like this from time to time. Luckily, for its size Fukuoka has an incredible amount of foreign restaurants for you to choose from.
Here are four of my favourites; all of which serve delicious food at an affordable price, right in the heart of the city.
Raan Gan Een
The name of this small Thai restaurant features the name of its owner, Gan; a young chef who always seems to have a smile on his face. Gan may look young but his food suggests plenty of cooking experience. Classic Thai dishes such as Pad Thai, Tom Yam Goong and Ga Pao, are all on the menu, and I personally can’t get enough of the Thai green curry here.
But what makes Raan Gan Een special is the dishes Gan has brought with him from his home region of Isan. Dishes like Nam Tok Mu, a fresh, aromatic salad with succulent pork are specific to this area of Thailand, giving the customer a chance to eat authentic Thai food in the heart of Fukuoka.
Top Recommendation: Green Chicken Curry
Address: 〒810-0041福岡県福岡市中央区 大名 1丁目−10−21 大名エイトビル
Opening Hours: 11.30-15.00 and 17.00-10.30
Coming from Britain I don’t have the same relationship with Mexican food that some foreigners do because the UK just doesn’t have that many Mexican restaurants. For many of my friends though, Mexican food is a key part of their diet and it’s these people that first recommended El Borracho to me.
With a head chef who spent several years cooking his way around Mexico, learning specialties from different regions of the country, you know you are getting great Mexican food at its best. El Borracho’s Enchiladas have just the right amount of sauce, their salsa just the right amount of kick and the most ordered food, the Pastor Tacos, are truly delicious.
I came to Japan without much interest in Mexican food, but thanks to El Borracho, it has become a real favourite of mine!
Top Recommendation: Fried Plantain Dessert
Address; 〒810-0041 福岡県福岡市中央区 大名2丁目3−2 大名リバティビル 2F
Opening hours: 17.30-01.00.
Like all the restaurants on this list Ayu Werdhi is a small, independently run restaurant. It’s also a restaurant that serves fantastic Indonesian food for both Fukuoka’s Indonesian expatriate community and its local population. I first checked this restaurant out just after I got back off a vacation to Indonesia and was blown away by the quality.
The Ayam Soup was just as good as any I had on my holiday and the Gado Gado was even better; fresh and full of flavour. The best reason to eat at Ayu Werdhi though, is because Indonesian people do. Whenever I eat at Ayu Werdhi there always seems to be a table full of Indonesian people getting a taste of home. If the food is good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me!
Top Recommendation: Gado Gado
Address; 〒810-0041 福岡県福岡市中央区 大名2丁目3−2 大名リバティビル 6F
Opening Hours: 18:00-04.00 (Closed Mondays)
Hungry Heaven is a burger joint. Can a burger really be classed as a foreign food in Japan? Maybe… possibly… probably not! But what Hungry Heaven lacks in exoticness, it more than makes up for in taste, because the burgers here are the best in Fukuoka. It’s a bold claim, but it’s also a claim backed up by the Avocado Burger with extra bacon; the most delicious burger I have ever eaten.
These burgers are lovingly made, and with a menu that includes a Teriyaki burger, a Curry burger and a Chilli Beans burger, as well as the option to personalize your order by adding Avocado, Bacon, Egg, Jalapeños and Mozzarella Cheese, you can make sure you get a burger that is perfect for you. Best of all, as all burger connoisseurs know, the best thing to have with a great burger is a cold, fizzy drink and Hungry Heaven have everything you could want too. For me it’s either a bottle of Red Stripe beer, or a Doctor Pepper… Either way the food will be delicious!
Top Recommendation: The Avocado Burger
Address; 〒810-0021福岡市中央区今泉1-17-14-1 1F
Opening Hours; 11.30-01.00