Between the bars, the bakeries and the chocolate shops, there are a lot of sinful things you can wolf down in Fukuoka's trendy Daimyo neighborhood. Evah Dining, a macrobiotic cafe, gives you the chance to do something good for your body, without sacrificing taste or too much money.
Evah Dining is open all day but it's worth stopping by over the lunch hour to take advantage of their extremely affordable set meals. There are usually three to four options of set lunches on the menu, all of whose mains and sides change according to what ingredients are available. (Many of the vegetables are sourced from a farm in nearby Saga prefecture.)
For my lunch, I chose the Evah set, with the addition of a glass of organic white wine for a mere 300 yen more. The meal began with a fresh salad, topped with a dressing that reminded me of a lighter version of the popular goma (sesame) dressing. Miso soup with chopped daikon (radish) and other veggies followed, accompanied by a large bowl of brown rice sprinkled with furikake (a slightly salty seasoning).
The main dish was the one I had been looking forward to the most - a "mille feuille", layered tofu patty and vegetables topped with tomato sauce and crisped onion. It came with four tiny sides, a variety of fresh vegetables in various sauces and presentations. Overall, the meal was more than filling, but I managed to find room for the included dessert, a slightly sweet cinnamon muffin with pumpkin cream. All meals come with strong cups of coffee ... or what tastes like coffee but turned out to be a blend of chicory, malt, barley and a few other items. I'm not a dedicated coffee drinker, but I could barely taste the difference!
Evah Dining is located on the western edge of the Daimyo neighborhood, just next to a cat cafe and a short walk from the Akasaka metro station. If you can't make it to the cafe itself, a small outlet of Evah Dining is located in the halls of the Hakata City building at JR Hakata Station, where you can pick up a macrobiotic bento for the road.