Fukuoka Daimyo: International
Nishimura-ya (Fukuoka Daimyo: International)
Open 11am-3, 5:30-9pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

In addition to preparing first-rate modern French fare, Michelin-starred chef Nishimura likes to dabble in haute-cuisine versions of ramen. He opened this casual spot as a place where diners can enjoy both. You can choose from attractively priced prix-fixe menus with creative French small dishes, or just pop in for a fantastic bowl of noodles.

The small "mini-course" menu (Y2,500) is a good introduction - it starts with an unexpectedly fancy six-part appetizer spread followed by ramen noodles and dessert. Among the appetizer highlights during a recent visit were a mini Croque Madame served on a soft brioche roll, and a fantastic carpaccio complemented by an herb-infused jelly.

For our noodle dish we opted for the intriguing Carbonara Tsukemen. The helping of thin, curly noodles was buried beneath a layer of tasty grated parmesan, with first-rate home-made bacon and ham piled on top.

We were advised to leave a portion of the dipping sauce for the next course. This was a do-it-yourself risotto made by adding rice to the remaining dipping sauce and stirring in lots of additional cheese and a spicy yuzu condiment. It might be hard going back to ordinary ramen after this magnificent bowl.

At night the nine-course prix-fixe dinner menu (Y5,500) features a bigger spread of items like Fava Bean Spring Rolls, Tuna Tartare, and Beef with Red Daikon Sauce, again followed by your choice of noodle dish. (The smaller "mini-course" is also available at dinnertime.)

If you don't have time for a full-course meal you can just order ramen. Besides Carbonara Tsukemen, other options are Creamy Pork (tonkotsu style), Nishimura Noodles with Porcini Mushrooms (soy sauce style), spicy Tantanmen (summer only), and Mentaiko Carbonara Tsukemen, featuring the chef's own special mentaiko.

The dining room is very casual and stylishly minimalist, with comfortable counter seating and a handful of small tables. You can reserve seats online, for both lunch and dinner, if you're coming at a busy time, but late lunch on weekdays doesn't seem to be very crowded.

by Robb Satterwhite

Fukuoka Daimyo
Fukuoka, Chuo-ku, Daimyo 2-6-50, Garden City 2F.
s喼2-6-50 K[fVeB2F

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended