Takeshi Fukuyama (pictured) with head chef Hiroshi Ando
What makes it special: Hidden down a small alleyway off Fukuoka’s Nishinakasu street, La Maison de La Nature Goh is a quiet, stylish restaurant serving omakase (or ‘chef’s choice’) – a six or seven-course menu created by talented chef-owner Takeshi Fukuyama.
On the menu: A typical omakase at Maison Goh can include Wagyu beef from Kyushu island and Kyushu vegetables, mackerel with grapes and the signature prawn, shiitake mushroom and brown butter sauce – each precisely presented with great attention to detail and often topped with colourful petals. Fukuyama’s signature dish is sautéed foie gras with seasonal vegetables.
About the chef: Chef Fukuyama has spent his whole life in Fukuoka on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, starting his career as a trainee chef at Ile de France and working up to head chef at Mercury wine bar and restaurant. He founded La Maison de la Nature Goh in 2002.
Getting in: The restaurant, particularly popular with wealthy overseas visitors to this resort city, is almost always fully booked, but it’s worth persevering to meet the charming Fukuyama, who personally greets guests while cooking for them from behind the counter.
Future plans: Fukuyama and Gaggan Anand, chef-owner of the four-time Best Restaurant in Asia, Gaggan, both plan to close their restaurants in 2020, making way for a new restaurant run by both cooks in Fukuoka.