C&C breakfast

C&C breakfast cafe is located opposite the famous Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten shop. The cafe offers an array of healthy breakfast dishes, such as pancakes and french toast with local fruits, acai bowls, sandwiches, omelets, salads,  fresh juices, and smoothies.

The cafe is small but cozy. It is popular with locals and tourists, so it fills up fast, so best to get there early.  I was lucky the day I went, there weren’t many customers. I got there a little after 9 a.m. English menu is available, and the staff is friendly.

I ordered the Lilikoi sauce souffle pancake ( Lilikoi butter, cream, and passion fruit sauce)(800 yen). The souffle was airy and soft. However, the tart taste of the passionfruit sauce was more pronounced than I would like it. The cream helps balance out the tartness a little.

**Lilikoi butter is a curd of passion fruit juice, egg, butter, and sugar.

If you are in the area, this is a cute spot for breakfast or brunch.

 

 

C&C breakfast

Website: https://www.ccbokinawa.com/

Opening hours: Weekdays 9:00 a.m. – 14:00p.m. , close on Tuesdays
Weekends 8:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m.

Telephone: 0989279295

Address: Japan, 〒900-0014 Okinawa, Naha, Matsuo, 2 Chome−9−6 タカミネビル 1F



Nakamura soba

Nakamura soba is a no-frills restaurant serving Okinawan soba. The restaurant is located along Onna Sunset Coast road between ANA Intercontinental Manza Beach Resort and Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island resort and offers a panoramic view of the sea. There is outdoor seating at the back of the restaurant.

It is an excellent place for a quick lunch.

 

 

 

After a hearty meal, you can stroll on the beach across from the restaurant; it’s a quiet beach.

 

 

 

There are 6 different toppings to choose from –

  1. Ahsa soba – seaweed soba noodles topped with seaweed, stewed pork belly, and boiled fish pastes.
  2. So-ki soba – plain soba noodles topped with stewed pork ribs
  3. Nakamura soba- plain soba noodles topped with stewed pork belly and pork ribs
  4. Okinawa soba- plain soba noodles topped with pork belly and boiled fish pastes.
  5. Sanmainiku soba- plain soba noodles topped with three thick slices of pork belly.
  6. Tebichi soba – plain soba noodles topped with pig trotters.

The noodles come in two sizes – medium and large. In addition, you can add a side of fried rice or Inari sushi for an extra 200 yen.

I went for the medium-sized So-Ki soba( 800 yen) with a side of fried rice and Inari sushi. The food came out fast, and the staff was friendly. The pork was tender and flavorful. The noodles are chewy with an al dente texture, and the broth is light and aromatic. Delicious!

 

 

Nakamura Soba

Website: http://www.ii-okinawa.ne.jp/people/menmen/

Opening hours: Daily 10:30 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.

Telephone: (098) 966-8005

Address: Serakaki1669-1, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun 904-0404 Okinawa Prefecture

Taco rice with a seafront view

 

Taco rice is an iconic Okinawan dish that is a fusion of Japanese and Texmex. It is ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomato served on a bed of rice.

I stumbled upon this taco rice cafe as I looked for a place to have lunch, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a cozy little shop on the 2nd floor with beach vibes overlooking the beautiful emerald blue sea. There is a small terrace seating area which is the perfect spot to enjoy the meal while taking in the breathtaking view of the ocean.

Customers can choose from a selection of 14 different toppings. Omutaco is the cafe’s original creation which is taco rice topped with fluffy eggs and is one of its popular dishes. I ordered the taco rice with avocado (860yen). The beef was well-seasoned with a generous helping of cheese and fresh, crisp lettuce –Oishi!

 

Sadly, the diamond beach shop where I had the taco rice has been relocated to Onna village next to the Onna village elementary school. The new shop is located on the ground floor and has a modern cafe vibe and decor.

Taco Rice Cafe Kijimuna Onna Village Branch

Website: https://www.omutaco.com/

Opening hours: Daily 11:30 a.m. – 20:00 p.m.

Telephone: 098-966-8389

Address: 6092-1 Onna, Onna-mura, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0411

 

Hawaiian Pancakes House Paanilani

The Hawaiian pancake house is a famous pancake shop located along Onna sunset coast road near the diamond beach. The shop serves generous portions of sweet and savory pancakes.  I recommend going early.

I got myself an Iced cafe au lait and the King bacon pancake topped with scrambled eggs and whipped cream. The pancakes were fluffy and buttery. The bacon was succulent and soft.

The perfect breakfast to start the day!

King bacon pancake 1100 yen

Scrambled egg 150 yen

Whipped cream 500 yen

Iced cafe au lait 500 yen

 

Hawaiian Pancakes House

Opening hours: Daily 7:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.

Telephone: +81989661154

Address: 698 Serakaki, Onna, Kunigami District, Okinawa 904-0404, Japan

Jack’s steak house

Jack’s steak house is a long-established restaurant in Naha that opened in 1953. It used to be an “A-sign” restaurant that was an approved establishment for the US military personnel when Okinawa was still under American rule. The restaurant has maintained its retro old American diner decor. There are no reservations available; however, service is fast, and you won’t have to wait long for a seat.

I arrived at the restaurant around 6 pm, and it was already packed. There are three kinds of steak on the menu – tenderloin steak, New York steak, and hamburger steak. The tenderloin steak is available in three sizes; small, medium, large, while the New York steak and hamburger steak comes in two sizes; large and small. All steaks come with a side of potato wedges and onions, soup, two toasted buttered buns, and salad. I opted for the medium tenderloin steak.

The soup was bland. It was a very light cream of corn soup. The steak was well done, but I was not impressed with the flavor. It was good but not outstanding. It lacked that rich smokey beef flavor.

 

Tenderloin steak (medium) ¥ 2,500

 

Jack’s steakhouse

Website: https://www.steak.co.jp/

Opening hours: Daily 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m (except for the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month)

Telephone: (098)868-2408

Address: 1-7-3 Nishi, Naha City

A humble Shokudo and Teishoku restaurant

 

I visited Tokashiki island in December. As it was not a peak tourist period, many shops and restaurants were closed. I took a taxi from Tokashiki port to Aharen beach. The taxi lady was kind to show me the open restaurants.

After a lovely soak in the sun and sea, I headed to a family-run Shokudo and Teishoku restaurant that the taxi lady recommended for lunch. Teishoku is a restaurant serving set menus, and Shokudo is a restaurant that serves a variety of inexpensive Japanese dishes. The interior of the restaurant was basic, with wooden tables and benches.

 

I ordered stir fry vegetables on Okinawa soba (700 yen). I opted to sit outside as it was a beautiful day with cool weather. The dish tasted home-cooked. The broth was flavorful. It was a simple yet satisfying meal.

 

喰呑屋バラック

Telephone: +81 98-987-3108

Opening hours:  Open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 13:30 p.m. , 17:30p.m. – 20:00 p.m.

Address: 145ー1 Aharen, Tokashiki, Shimajiri District, Okinawa 901-3502, Japan

Okinawa soba in a 150 year old house

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When one thinks of soba noodles, the first thing that comes to mind is the thin buckwheat noodles served with a dipping sauce. Okinawa soba is entirely different. Okinawa soba noodles are thicker, resembling the Chinese ramen noodles, and are served in a hot broth.

Udunyama is a soba noodle house located in a 150-year-old house surrounded by lush greens on top of a hill in the Shuri district. There are two other branches in Naha and one in Fukuchi.

I rented an electric bike from a bike shop a few feet away from the Shuri station. As the area is quite hilly, I’m glad I rented an electrically assisted bicycle. It would have been taxing trying to cycle up the slope on a conventional bike. The bike ride was less than 10 minutes; I followed google map’s directions, it was not hard to find.

You have to take your shoes off before entering the restaurant. The restaurant has a homey feel, serene and relaxing. This is probably the most peaceful noodle house I have been to. Occasionally, there was a gentle breeze. There are tatami-style seatings indoors and a few tables and benches outdoors.

The waitress who served me was friendly. She told me how to eat the soba noodles in the Okinawan way, which is to eat the noodles with pickled ginger.

The restaurant serves four kinds of toppings for the soba. First, there is the Okinawa soba (soba with two slices of pork belly and fish cake), Nankotsu Soki Soba (Soba with pork cartilage sparerib), Yasai soba (vegetable soba), and Yushi tofu soba (soba with local fluffy tofu). There is also the special set meal: the Udunyama set, which consists of Okinawa soba, Okinawan rice, Okinawan pork rib, and a small dish (which changes seasonally).

There are two choices of noodles – white noodles or wheat noodles. Both noodles are made using the Banyan tree ash water. I read that it is a troublesome process to make this ash water, and this goes to show Uduyama’s dedication to making a good bowl of soba.

I went for the Udunyama set, which cost 1580 yen. The noodles had a nice chew and springiness to them, with a delicious umami broth. The pork belly was tender and flavorful. The pickled ginger further elevated the flavors of the soup. The fried rice was lightly seasoned, allowing each component to stand out on its own.

This was one of the memorable places I have eaten at in Naha – Great location and ambiance, delicious food, and excellent service.

Udunyama

Website: http://udunyama.com/

Opening hours: Every day except Monday – 11:30 a.m. to 16:30 p.m.

Telephone: +81 98-885-5498

Address: 1-121-2 Shuri Ishibuchicho, Naha City

Miso with a history

Tamanaha has been making miso since the Ryukyu Kingdom period. This miso warehouse is less than a 10-minute walk from the Gibo station. The warehouse has an old exterior with a white sign “味噌醤油” (miso soy sauce) on the door. The miso here is produced through natural fermentation without additives. They sell four kinds of miso, and the information is available on their website.

I was greeted by a sweet old lady. I told her that I wanted to buy miso, and she pointed to a glass display case located on the left-hand side of the entrance. There were four types of miso on display. The descriptions were all in Japanese, so I asked if she could tell me the difference between the four. She could not speak English, so she took me to a room at the back of the building filled with barrels of miso with two other ladies packaging miso.

I thought she was going to get someone who could speak English to cater to me, but instead, she handed me a leaflet with information on the miso; took a scoop of miso from one of the barrels for me to taste, and pointed to the corresponding miso on the leaflet. I went on to taste the remaining three miso.

The miso was mild and umami with depth to the flavor.

I bought the uchimiso (540 yen) and dynasty miso (860 yen). The two are similar in taste, however, the dynasty miso is richer in flavor.

I definitely recommend this miso!

 

 

Tamanaha miso

Website: http://www.tamanahamiso.co.jp/index.html (only in Japanese)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. – 17:30 p.m.

Telephone: +81 98-884-1972

Address: 1-chōme-41 Shuriōnakachō, Naha, Okinawa 903-0823, Japan

 

Bacar, Italian style pizza

Bacar is a pizzeria less than 5 minutes walk from the Prefectural Office Station. It is in a dark alley, but with its bright neon yellow sign, you can’t miss it. Both interior and exterior had a rustic European bistro feel.

I read that this place can get quite packed, so I got there right after it opened. True enough, 40 minutes later, the restaurant started to fill up.

The restaurant offers a simple menu of two kinds of pizzas (Yes, only Margherita and Marinara), appetizers, drinks, and desserts. I ordered a salad, pizza, and dessert.

I started with a green salad with thinly sliced Okinawan pork roast ham. The ham was savory with a mild smokey flavor; it enveloped each bite with a lovely umami flavor. The waiter informed me that they will start making the pizza once I finished my salad.

The pizza was cooked in a wood-fired oven. Watching the pizzaiolo make pizza was like watching an artist work on a painting. The waiter who showed me to my seat waited next to the oven, grabbed the dish as soon as the pizza hit the plate, and sprinted across the room to deliver the pizza. The Margherita pizza had a perfect balance of tomato and mozzarella cheese (flown in from Italy). There was quite a bit of olive oil on the pizza, I could see it glistening under the light. The pizza had characteristics of a Neopolitan pizza crust – smokey, crispy, tender, and chewy. Each bite is a mouthful of goodness!

I had the crema Catalina for dessert. Bacar added its own twist to this Spanish dessert by freezing it. The texture is harder, dense, and cold. The taste is similar to Crème brûlée. It was not very sweet, creamy without the heaviness with a hint of bitterness from the burnt brown sugar topping, I loved it!

The total cost of the meal was ¥2720. This is a good place to come if you are looking for Italian-style pizza.

 

Bacar

Website: http://bacar.jp/

Telephone: 098-863-5678

Opening hours: 18:00 p.m. – 23:00 p.m. (Closed on Tuesdays)

Address: 3 Chome-16-15 Kumoji, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 900-0015, Japan

 

Okinawa’s best onigiri

Pork Tamago onigiri is known to be the soul food of Okinawa. It is spam and egg wrapped in a rice ball. The popular restaurant located right by Makishi Market, Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten, has taken the traditional rice ball and added its own gourmet touches to it. There are different onigiri combinations, but with all having the same base of spam and egg. The size is quite substantial, so one will be enough to fill you up. There is a seating area across from the restaurant. If not, just order a takeaway and have a pleasant stroll through the Makishi Market.

Each onigiri is made to order so there can be quite a wait when there’s a line. It’s difficult to predict when the restaurant will be busy. I visited the restaurant at around 9:15 a.m. on two different occasions. The first time there was a queue, and the second time there wasn’t. I would recommend going early like before 9:00 a.m. if you are aiming to have onigiri for breakfast.

I ordered the fried fish tartar and pickled Okinawa shallot (400 yen). It was delicious! The fish had a lovely golden crust, and all the flavors come together so well.

This is one of the must eat breakfast in Okinawa.

Pork Tamago Onigiri Honten

Website: http://porktamago.com/

Telephone: 98 – 867 – 9550

Opening hours:  7:00 a.m. – 17:30 p.m. (except Wednesdays)

Address: 900-0014 Okinawa Prefecture Naha-shi Matsuo 2-8-35