Fukuoka may be famous for ramen, but actually, “champon” (a dish made by noodles, meat, vegetables and other ingredients and then boiling them in soup) is also one of this region’s most popular dishes. Here are five recommended champon shops in Fukuoka that you have to try if you happen to go there.
1. Ide Champon Tenjin Branch
Ide Champon is a famous restaurant specializing in champon that is headquartered in Saga, the prefecture right next to Fukuoka. Here, the champon has a mild-tasting creamy soup made from tonkotsu (pork bones), so it goes perfectly well with pork, kamaboko (boiled fish paste), bean sprouts, cabbage and spring onions. This shop’s champon is healthy as it comes with a heaping amount of vegetables, while its thick noodles can be quite filling. Their champon is already delicious as it is, but you can season it your liking with the condiments found on the table, so you can enjoy it up to the last drop. Ide Champon serves champon in three sizes, small (650 JPY (incl. tax)), regular (700 JPY (incl. tax)), and large (880 JPY (incl. tax)). The servings are generally big, so when you order, it would probably be best to go for the moderate size.
※Photo shows the Chikushino Haruda shop
2. Nagasakitei – Yakuin Shop
Nagasakitei is a Chinese restaurant that is famous for its Champon (600 JPY), a soup dish that is filled with the tasty flavors of seafood. The soup of this champon excellently balances the flavors of chicken bones and seafood with the sweetness of stir-fried vegetables to create a robust kind of deliciousness that you will never get tired of easily. The crunchy texture of the vegetables and the soft noodles are a perfect match! If you like, you can even add raw egg on top, making the taste of the soup a little milder. And for those who find themselves wanting some more, you can order a ball of noodles for just 100 JPY (the type of noodles that will be served will change to ramen noodles, from champon noodles). The Gyoza (dumplings) (300 JPY for six pieces), with their thin wrappers and juicy fillings, are also recommended. You have to try them with the champon.
※Photo shows Nagasakitei
3. Onga Ramen Hosomen Champon Hozonkai
This is a ramen shop that is famous for its Champon (Regular) (700 JPY) whose mild soup, despite being made from boiling pork belly and bones, will get you addicted. The usual champon uses thick noodles, but in this shop, they use thin noodles. Here, the champon is characterized by the tonkotsu-based soup, the large amount of homegrown organic vegetables, and freshly caught squid and other seafood from the nearby seas. Aside from the regular champon, they also serve slightly different champon variants, such as the Char Siu Champon (champon with roasted pork) (950 JPY) and Curry Champon (800 JPY). So, make sure to try the flavors that locals love!
The next shop on the list is a famous champon shop where guests get to enjoy Tobata Champon, the local champon of the Tobata district of Kitakyushu. The Tobata Champon is distinct for using noodles that are steamed first before they are boiled. The chewy noodles are perfectly penetrated by the tonkotsu-based soup that has a mild taste, and are topped with large amounts of cabbage and other vegetables and pork. Halfway through eating your bowl of noodles, you can try to change the taste of your food by adding the special sauce that has been prepared separately. Now aside from the Tobata Champon (630 JPY), this shop is also popular for its special champon dishes that are topped with gobo (burdock) and squid tempura, and stewed pork cubes.
Atchantei is a shop where you can taste authentic Nagasaki-style champon from Nagasaki, which is the home of champon, and Nagasaki Sara-Udon (a dish of noodles with various toppings). Here, the champon that contains 11 ingredients, including seafood, perfectly fuses the richness of the chicken bone soup that was boiled for 10 hours and the flavors of seafood to produce such outstanding flavor. The springy noodles are moderately entwined with the soup, and once you try this dish, you surely get hooked. Aside from the Champon (200g) (780 JPY), the other recommended dishes here are the Ganso Miso Champon (900 JPY) with the robust taste of miso, and the Ganso Curry Champon (900 JPY) with a curry flavor to stimulate your appetite.
※Photo is for illustration purposes
Fukuoka is home to many restaurants and shops that serve the local champon, from shops that specialize in champon up to Chinese restaurants and ramen joints. So, try to find that one shop that serves the flavors you like!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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