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



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

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

 

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

Gourmet doughnuts

After spending half a day at the American Village in Chatan, I made my way down to a chic little doughnut shop- Ball Donut Park, located on Kokusai’s side street, for a bit of afternoon treat. As the name implies, the doughnuts come in a bite-size ball shape. Moreover, the donuts are made to order. These gourmet doughnuts come in various fun flavors such as tropical, apple cinnamon, and taco … yes, I said taco, the first of its kind doughnut with meat in Japan.

I settled for the store’s bestselling flavor, ‘lemon and sugar,’ and I can see why it’s the bestseller. It smelled like lemon muffins fresh out of the oven. It was light, citrusy, and sweet; it had the right amount of lemon and sugar. The doughnuts had a chewier texture than the standard donut rings, not greasy. I fell in love with these doughnuts at first bite.

Lemon and sugar
single: 420 yen (8 balls)
double: 770 yen (16 balls)

I wished I had visited this place at the beginning of my trip, then I would have had more time to go back for more.

Ball Donut Park

Website: http://www.balldonutpark.com/

Telephone: +81 98-988-9249

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 20:00 p.m.

Address: 1 Chome-1-39 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 900-0013, Japan

A&W

One of my fondest memories as a child was going to A&W to have waffles and the root beer float with the family. I loved the crispy golden fluffy waffles with syrup and root beer float. It has been a long time since I have had A&W waffles, and I was really craving it.

I was excited to find out that there are A&W restaurants in Okinawa. There are several branches in Naha. I went to the A&W branch on Kokusai street. It is located on the second floor of the building. You definitely get the A&W vibe with the orange and brown counters, chairs, and tables when you enter the restaurant. I was greatly disappointed when waffles were not available, only waffle sundae. Anyhow, at least there is still the root beer float. So I ordered a root beer float and an apple pie.

To my dismay, the root beer float came in a plastic cup when it should be served in a chilled mug. Furthermore, there was too much ice cream and too little root beer. Finally, the apple pie was too sweet, and the crust was too thick and overdone.

Despite my disappointment, A&W is quite popular among the locals and foreigners.

 

A&W (Kokusai street)

Website: https://www.awok.co.jp/

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 22:30 p.m.

Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 900-0014, Japan