Real Handmade Chocolate

American Village in Chatan has a new chocolate cafe that you can’t miss.  It’s on the 2nd floor of Zhyvago Coffee.   They handmake everything from bean to bar in the house.  I didn’t know what that exactly means until the owner Hayashi-san explained to me later.   They all looked good, but we had to skip it because it was just before dinner.   I had a hot chocolate. YuYu had a Cacao Pulp Juice.  Never heard of cacao pulp juice…  I didn’t even know cacao beans had pulp, and enough pulp you can get juice out of.  It says it’s 100% cacao pulp juice.   Oh my goodness!! […]

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The Best Value Hotel Lunch Buffet

EM Costa Vista Hotel and Spa in Kita Nakagusuku provides the best value Hotel lunch buffet on the island daily. This lunch buffet has been loved by locals since I was founded in 2005, and now by the domestic tourists, and international.  It’s very popular.  Popular buffet runs well and keeps foods fresh on the table, so it’s even better.   EM stands for Effective Microorganisms.  When put in foods, EM turns it to cheese, yogurt, bread, soy sauce and miso, while non-EM gets them rotten.  When put in soils or water, EM purifies and enriches the environment. Professor Higa of University of Ryukyus has engineered to extract EM and exclude non-EM.  Now it’s a big […]

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Red Hot Sichuan Cuisine

YuYu picked me up at the airport and swang by to one of our favorite restaurants in Naha.         Now that looks good.  Sichuan “Mala” Hot Pot.  I’m up for the hot spicy today. “Mala” is a Sichuan flavor of hot.  Red pepper and Sichuan pepper.  To me, red pepper is like spanking hot, and Sichuan pepper is like stinging hot.  When combined, it really feels like being hit by boiling water or something.   Starting off with our favorite salad.  Pressed tofu, coriander and sprouts in Japanese pepper oil.  Just a unique combination of flavors.   She loves Heartland Beer.  100% malt beer from Kirin.   […]

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A New Sushi Bar in Naha

  We heard that there is a new sushi place that opened this year in Naha.  We went check it out.   A low-profile, sharp-looking door is sitting on the quite street near Tomari port.   Sushi Izumi is the name.   Only one sushi chef, one assistant chef, 9 guests, and a counter.  That’s all in this place. Reservation is strongly recommended. The sushi chef is apparently Okinawan local.  He will serve a Edo-style sushi.  I like seeing that.     8 Nigiri + 1 roll, JPY3500. 5 Sakana dishes + 8 Nigiri + 1 roll, JPY6000.   A clean, well prepared kitchen. There’s no electrics.  It’s probably some […]

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Sweets of the Week

Just hanging out to my neighbor to pick up some breakfast for the next couples of days. Kino Store opens on Thu, Fri, and Sat.   They change menu weekly.  Usually they all sell out before late afternoon.  A lot of people buy the weekly choice by mails regularly too. You can freeze them without losing quality.  You can buy a whole package to last for the next couples of weeks.   Apple Muffin.  JPY200 This is my favorite muffin.  Loaded with braised apple chunks with cinnamon.   Pitaya Bowl Muffin.  JPY200. This is another one I’ve never had.  Okinawan dragon fruit, island banana, blue berries, and topped with Kino Store […]

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Our Favorite Steak

When we want to get a steak, we come here. We don’t go to a steak house.  We don’t go to a Teppanyaki place. When we want serious red meat, Bistro Kato Shokudo is it for us.   Of course this place is fantastic for a lot of other dishes, but today we are here to celebrate with serious steak… As always.   The house starter to kick off my appetite.   French plate from today’s special. Recently the owner chef family took a trip to Europe.  France and Basque region of Spain.  Our favorite place to visit.  And they brought back some serious stuff.  We can’t miss this plate.  It […]

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Okinawan Seafood in Yomitan

Ohki Seafood is located on Route 6 in Yomitan.  Operated by one of the old fish suppliers in Okinawa, this restaurant is a good place to eat fresh local seafood in very local cooking.   Plenty of tables.  80 people capacity.  There are private rooms too. Reservation is recommended to make before you come.   Chaotic decoration, which is pretty common, almost a characteristic feature, for Okinawan traditional restaurants.   The only thing we don’t like about this place is smoking is allowed.   Soumen Champuru.  JPY500. Soumen is a Japanese angle hair pasta, pretty common throughout the nation.  But it’s rare that Okinawa people like to have it in stir fry […]

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Shaved Ice in a Hot Day

It was late afternoon in a hot day.  We came to Sans Souci in Kita Nakagusuku. We bumped into the owner, Ganta-san.   It was 14:30.  They stop serving lunch meals at 15:00.  Starts dinner at 17:30.  They serve only sweets in the afternoon between. They were going to close for the day at 15:00 this day.   This place is always crowded with long line at lunch time.  But now only a couple of people waiting.  Slipping ourselves in for our lunch.         Here’s the co-owner and main chef, Makoto-san.   At lunch time, you can add JPY300 for drink and a side dish to your […]

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Casual but Serious Sushi

As our exploration for good sushi bars in Okinawa continue, one came up to ring our bell finally.   Sushi Kawaji in Matsuyama, Naha.   Beautiful sushi counter.  They have private rooms as well.   It looks good.  You can tell the diligent preparation.   A young sushi chef who served us.  He said they fly in their fish from Tsukiji, Tokyo central fish market.  Nowadays, the fish at the morning market can be in Okinawa in the afternoon on the same day.   Yuyu ordered standard sushi course, JPY2000.  I ordered deluxe, JPY2500.  Omakase course is from JPY3500.   My #1.  Red snapper.  A nice work with the washed skin […]

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Okinawa’s Best Pork

We’ve done a series of long business trips.  And we missed my birthday during the trip. Now we came to Manmi to celebrate.   We always book the counter.   Here’s Yuichi-san, the manager.   Rosemary salt, kombu and sesame salt, and soy base kombu sauce.   Ebisu beer.   Cheers!   Crispy salad, JPY580.   Housemade ham.  So juicy and packed with flavor. All the pork here is fresh from local farm.  They buy the whole pig from Ganaha farm and prepare everything themselves.  They have specific ways to prepare each parts, especially with offals.   Pork Tongue, JPY1250.  This is a must to order when it’s available.   Grill on […]

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All Handmade Burger

We heard that there is a burger restaurant near Naha airport. Let’s check it out!   It was about 15-minute drive from the airport.  This place is open till 23:00.  Hoping it will save us when we arrive on a late night flight.  There are plenty of parking spaces underground.   The name is Woody’s.   Looks like a bar.   So it’s all housemade.  Buns, patty, bacon, fries, and sauce.   The board shows enthusiasm of the Canadian owner chef.   Here is Chris.   Nice grill. The staffs were all friendly.  I liked the atomosphere of this place.   They have 4 kinds of burgers.  They are all […]

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Savory fresh noodle

I was meeting up with one of my friends for lunch, and he took me to this place.  I’ve heard of this place, and I’m glad to visit for my first time.   Jagaru Soba in Chatan area.   Okinawa Soba is not Japanese Soba. Japanese soba uses buckwheat.  The history goes a long way, all the way back to 7th century. Okinawa soba uses wheat.  It was something a chef from China started in Naha in 19th century, just like other Chinese chefs started noodles in the main islands around the same time and became the origin of Ramen there. The noodle is originally made of wheat, water, salt, and ash of […]

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