Nabe (hot pot) is a dish where everything is boiled in one pot, and it's a beloved dish in Hakata, Fukuoka. Motsunabe, made with beef or pork giblets, and mizutaki made with chicken are particularly famous. Here are 5 restaurants with nabe you should definitely taste.
1. Motsunabe Kobayashi
This restaurant specializes in Japanese wagyu beef from Kagoshima, and the motsu from high-quality beef has a tender texture. Also, the secret soup is made with ingredients like beef bones, kombu seaweed, vegetables, and stewed for a few hours. The soup is light yet has a characteristic richness that the vegetables and motsu take well, so it's a flavor you won't get tired of. The motsunabe (1,200 JPY (excl. tax)) has 4 types of soup flavors to choose from: miso, soy sauce, jjigae Korean stew, and curry, but the most popular is miso. Try it!
This mizutaki restaurant offers the light yet rich flavors of chicken. The chicken used, 90 day old Akadori brand chicken, isn't gamey and is full of deliciousness. The clear soup is taken from fresh chicken bones, and the chicken flavors completely melt into it. The waitstaff will help you with the nabe at your table, so first why not try the mizutaki set (2,300 JPY (incl. tax)) with the best service available?
3. Hakata Motsunabe Dokoro Fukurou
This restaurant uses carefully selected beef small intestine that have been screened for freshness, taste, and texture. Their Fukurou Yukimi Nabe (1,480 JPY for one person (incl. tax)) is made with a clear seafood and salt soup topped with sticky tororo, made from ground Japanese yam. They also have nabe in miso and soy sauce flavors, as well as steamed nabe with no soup. Also, for people that don't like motsu, they have other ingredients available such as pork, bone-in chicken, chicken meatballs called tsukune, French duck, and more. However, nabe can only be ordered for 2 or more people, so please come with a friend.
This restaurant offers both all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink for 2-3 hours. There are 130 items to choose from, with 50 plates and 80 drinks. It's also surprisingly reasonable, starting at 2,280 JPY (incl. tax). You can choose from 3 types of soup for the motsunabe: the soy sauce flavor, which balances light Chinese and Japanese flavors with the richness of motsu, the light salt flavor, or the Korean-style spicy miso tonkotsu flavor. Which soup do you want to try? The Toroteba, made with stewed chicken wings, is also popular.
5. Motsunabe Showraku Hakata Station Branch
This motsunabe specialty shop only uses the best motsu from Japanese cows from Kyushu. Their motsu is a great blend of beef small intestine, mino (rumen), and senmai (book tripe). The soup has been handed down since the opening of the restaurant 30 years ago, and it's made with a secret soup base made from chicken bones, seasoned with various seasonings and comes in three flavors: soy sauce, miso, and salt. They're also quite picky about their vegetables, and they're known for adding burdock root, an ingredient that's actually pretty rare for motsunabe. The lunch menu is also varied, and the motsunabe set (1,070 JPY (excl. tax)) is recommended!
All of these restaurants carefully choose their meat as well as the vegetables. Being able to eat a ton of vegetables is one of the best parts about nabe. In most cases, nabe ends up being all about the type of meat used, so please make sure you savor the vegetables as well!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.