Everything we ate on our 5 day trip to OKINAWA

4 Nights 5 Days – Family of 6

For those who have not yet read our other Okinawa posts, my family an my in-laws went on a 5 day trip to Okinawa. Our main goal was to relax and do nothing – which we accomplished, but we still managed to take photos of the food we had so that we can share them with YOU!

Day 1 – Arrival – Lunch

We arrived at Naha Airport about half past 12. Since it was over an hour ride to our hotel, Busena Terrace, we decided to take a detour to the Ashibinaa Outlet to get some lunch.

Okinawa outlet family kids

Okinawa outlet family kids

 

Day 1 – Lunch – Okinawa Soba

King of Okinawa cuisine, Okinawa Soba can be found literally everywhere in Okinawa. Although the word “soba” is used, it is a completely different dish from your regular “soba”. The noodles are made of flour (like udon), but the texture of the noodle and soup is closer to ramen. If you’re not familiar with the different types of noodles in Japan, my explanation may mean nothing to you , so here it is. It looks like this.

 

Okinawa soba food lunch family kids

 

What is Okinawa Soba?

Okinawa Soba is a regional soup noodle of Okinawa, with flour noodles and clear pork / and dried bonito stock soup. Some use kelp stock instead of bonito stock

There are 3 main types of Okinawa Soba.

  1. Standard Okinawa Soba – A simple Okinawa Soba usually topped with pork (usually a san-mai-niku– a three layered pork meat slice) and scallions.
  2. Soki Soba- Soba topped with extra pork spare ribs (see photo above)
  3. Tebichi Soba – Soba topped with pig trotters… (I can see your expressions…)

My wife and I almost always order So-ki Soba, but since we thought some of you reading this might be curious, we (my in-laws) ordered the Tebichi Soba as well.

 

Okinawa soba food lunch family kids

 

For the kids

Okinawa Soba is actually great for kids, and our kids LOVED it. They shared one bowl, and also ordered some sushi (this wasn’t too delicious, although it looks pretty good in the photo)

Okinawa sushi food lunch family kids

 

Green Caviar ?

As a side order, we ordered my wife’s favorite Okinawa dish – Umi Budo – Translates as “Sea Grapes”, but is actually a kind of seaweed. It is also known as green caviar, which I think is a bit of a stretch. BUT, it is really delicious. It has a salty flavor with a popping texture, and it goes really well with beer and of course, awamori, an Okinawa style sake.

 

Okinawa umi budo food lunch family kids

 

You can have the above meals HERE

Okinawa food lunch family kids

General Information and Comments

Name: Rafu Okinawa

Address: 1-188, Toyosaki, Tomigusuku-shi, Okinawa-ken, 901-0225 (2nd Floor of Ashibinaa Outlet)

Website

Pricing:

Soki Soba – ¥831

Tebichi Soba – ¥864

Baby Friendly?: 5/5

Toddler Friendly?: 5/5

Child Friendly? : 5/5

Family Friendly? : 5/5

Comments:

The soba was surprisingly good for a very casual restaurant in a shopping mall. The sushi was not too great, and neither was the service. The staff were very young part timers (No offense to hard working young part-timers), especially the waitress at our table seemed busy and irritated. We requested our children’s bowl of soba in two separate bowls, and she “had to ask the manager” and came back with the answer, “no“.  This is a very sad reality in Japan, where restaurants do not add extra (even if we say we’ll pay) add-ons, change toppings or side dishes, nor take unwanted things off the plate! How hard is it to put a bowl of noodles into 2 bowls instead of 1? My wife and I experience this ALL THE TIME, and we when we do have the time, we ask the “managers” why it’s so hard to do things like taking french fries off the side of my wife’s hamburger (this really happened!!).

Worth a Visit? – Despite the bad service we experienced, the quality of the Okinawa Soba was not bad at all. If you are in the area and want to eat good Okinawa Soba, then, the answer is YES

 

Day 1 – Dinner – Gourmet Seafood Dinner

We have a whole post dedicated to Rumble Fish at Busena Terrace . Check it out!

Okinawa food lunch family kids seafood

 

General Information and Comments

Name : Rumble Fish at Busena Terrace Okinawa

Address : 

Website

Stroller Friendly?: 5/5

Baby Friendly?: 5/5

Toddler Friendly?: 5/5

Child Friendly? : 5/5

Comments: 

Please see the comments in the original post!

Worth a Visit? – If you are staying at the Busena Terrace or have a fairly flexible budget, YES FOR SURE!

 

Day 2 – Lunch by the Beach with the Clearest Water

We have a post dedicated to Sesoko Beach . Check it out!

Okinawa food lunch family kids

General Information and Comments

Name: Sesoko Beach Umi no Ie (Beach Shack)

Address: 5583-1, Sesoko, Kunigamigun Motobuchou, Okinawa 905-0227

Baby Friendly?: 0/5

Toddler Friendly?: 1/5

Child Friendly?: 3/5

Family Friendly?: 3/5

Comments: I forgot to write down how much the food cost here (sorry!), but I am sure that it was around ¥500 average for each meal. There is a post about the whole beach experience, but not much about the beach shack. It is a really small place with light meals and snacks. The quality is average, but my wife and kids really liked the fried noodles. My wife and I were satisfied because we didn’t expect to have lunch in the middle of nowhere, and we couldn’t be bothered to dress the kids, and come back to the beach again.

Worth a Visit? Not Necessarily for the beach house, but YES for the beach

 

Day 2 – Dinner – Aguu Pork Shabu Shabu

I am not sure where to start. Aguu Pork, or Shabu Shabu. Let me start with a quick recap of Shabu Shabu.

Shabu Shabu – Is a traditional Japanese hot pot meal. Usually, chosen between beef / pork (sometimes both!), you dip the thin-sliced piece of beef / pork in boiling hot water. Everybody at the table cook their own piece of meat one by one.

Aguu Pork – Pronouced “Aguuuu” with a long “oooo” sound, is a regional brand pork. It has a high percentage of fat, but the fat is sweet and flavorful. The meat part is tender, and the meat just melts in your mouth. If you are like my wife and prefers lean meat, you may not be a big fan of Aguu Pork (at least the fatty part of Aguu Pork).

We found a shabu shabu place near our hotel, “Kafuu”.

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

Time to Shabu Shabu

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Left – Pork Loin

Right – Pork Belly

For one order, you can only choose 1 type of meat, but since we ordered 4 servings, we ordered both!

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Clockwise from the bottom

  • Leek
  • Pea Sprouts
  • Enoki Mushrooms
  • Handama Leaf
  • Madeira Vine

This is not how you eat Shabu Shabu

If you want to eat Shabu Shabu the right way, you’re not supposed to let go of the pork, but it’s ok to improvise.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

Last is the Best

When you are finished eating the pork and vegetables, the soup is rich with pork and veggie stock. Add some salt in the soup and noodles (okinawa soba), and you will be surprised. This is the BEST part of Shabu Shabu!

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

General Information and Comments

Name: Kafuu

Address: 2217-1, Nakama, Onnason, Kunigamigun, Okinawa-ken 904-0401

Website (Japanese website)

Pricing: 

• Aguu Pork Shabu Shabu (1 person) – ¥2,300

Baby Friendly?: 4/5

Toddler Friendly?: 5/5

Child Friendly?: 5/5

Family Friendly?: 5/5

Comments: Shabu Shabu was good, and the pricing was very reasonable. I tip for those who want to dine here: When ordering the Shabu Shabu, the staff will ask you to choose from 3 or 4 different types of dip. We all tried the Soy-sauce based dip, but it was too thick for my wife and mother in law, and we asked if we could change it. The staff wanted us to pay ¥100 for another type of dip. We said ok, but it might be a good idea to ask to taste the dips first (maybe they might charge you 5 yen per lick…) I’m not kidding. Honestly, my wife and I agree that some Japanese stores / restaurants can be extremely stingy.

Worth a Visit? Not Necessarily. If you are staying close and want to try Aguu Shabu Shabu, then, I wouldn’t advise against it.

 

Day 3 – Lunch – Junk food

Our third day in Okinawa didn’t go as planned. Details aside, we (just my wife and I) didn’t have time to eat lunch. So, we asked grandma and pa to watch the kids, drove around to see if we can snack on something, and found an A&W.

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Old-School Drive-thru!!

Look at this! It’s like we time-slipped to the 70’s!

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

My wife was so excited

My wife and I are not fans of fast food, (we haven’t had McDonald’s in 6 years), but in Japan, the only place you can get A&W is in Okinawa, and we happened to randomly stumble upon it.

Here’s a short history lesson – After the Japanese surrender of World War II in 1945, Okinawa was under US military possession until 1972, and still remains a location for numerous US Army, Marine, and Air force bases. There are still many architecture stores that resemble retro American design, and this is one of them. This one was built in 1969.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

Root Beer, Chili Dog, and Hamburger

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

General Information and Comments

Name: A&W Makiminato

Address: 4-9-1 Makiminato, Urasoeshi, Okinawa-ken, 901-2131

Website

Pricing: A&W Burger – ¥650

Baby Friendly?: 3/5 (Honestly, we didn’t really take a good look inside s/a restrooms)

Toddler Friendly?: 4/5

Child Friendly?: 4/5

Family Friendly?: 5/5

Worth a Visit? – This is totally up to you but No from me!

Comments: I don’t have much to say about the quality of fast food hamburgers, but it was my first time having A&W, and it was pretty good!

 

 

There is a place… Where you can eat THIS

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

While looking at THIS!

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

THIS is Day 3 – Dinner – Sunset BBQ

At Busena Terrace, BBQ is served right by the beach.

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Ready?

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

General Information and Comments

Name: BBQ

Address: 

Website

Pricing: ¥5,000 / adult

Baby Friendly?: 2/5 (not much baby friendly food)

Toddler Friendly?: 4/5

Child Friendly? : 5/5

Family Friendly? : 5/5

Worth a Visit? YES if you are staying at or near Busena Terrace and want to enjoy BBQ with friends and family

Comments: There’s nothing to complain about eating BBQ with your family, watching the sun sink into the sea. Not to mention, an all-you-can-eat Blue Seal ice cream for dessert. The service was good too, but again, all that really mattered was the great time we had, eating and drinking by the beach.

 

Day 4 – Lunch by the Poolside

You can read more about it in this post. We wanted to spend our entire last day, spending time with our kids. So, we decided to eat by the pool, and not even set a time for dinner.

No more “hurry up and get out from your pajamas”, or “We’re leaving! Stop hitting each other! GET IN THE CAR”. (No more angry wife)

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

General Information and Comments

We ate at the poolside at the Busena Terrace Resort. Details and comments are in this post!

Baby Friendly?: 4/5

Toddler Friendly?: 5/5

Child Friendly? : 5/5

Family Friendly? : 5/5

Worth a Visit? – If you are not staying at Busena Terrace, a definite No.

 

Day 4 – Last Dinner in Okinawa

Since we wanted to spend our last day plan-free (even dinner plans), we found casual place to have Okinawa cuisine on the spot.

 

Chura Hana

Is a casual, izakaya-style Okinawa cuisine restaurant. It seemed like it was popular amongst tourists, and we saw a lot of signs in English, Korean, and Chinese.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

Izakaya-style definition – Lots of drinks to choose from

“Izakaya” is a Japanese term for “pub”, but it is more like a pub and a restaurant stuck together.

Okinawa food lunch family kids

 

Okinawa Cuisine

 

Umi Budo – Detailed explanation in the first part of this post

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Kakuni or Rafutee – slow cooked 3 layered pork belly in soy sauce glaze. Even my wife who hates fatty meat loves this (but she still scrapes off the fat) In my opinion, the slow-cooking gets rid of all the extra fat, and the only fat left is the BEST part – not too oily and flavorful. You MUST try it!

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Age Dashi Do-fu – If you are not a fan of Tofu, that’s because you probably never tried this dish. This is fried Tofu in dashi (fish-stock and soy sauce) soup, topped with grated radish, chopped scallions and seaweed.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Goya Champuruu – Stir fried bitter gourd with tofu, eggs, and spam. The Goya (bitter gourd) is very bitter. If you can’t drink a green smoothie without making a face, this dish is NOT for you.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

Okinawa Soba – Detailed explanation in the first part of this post. Although Okinawa Soba is my favorite dish, this one was not my favorite.

 

Okinawa food lunch family kids

I forgot the name of this, but it was called something like “pork soup”. It was REALLY GOOD.

 

General Information and Comments

Name: Chura Hana

Address: 111-1 Koki, Nago-shi, Okinawa-ken, 905-0025

Website

Pricing: 

Umi budo – ¥630

Goya Champuruu – ¥690

Nursing Room: Yes

Diaper Changing Space: Yes

Baby Friendly?: 5/5

Toddler Friendly?: 5/5

Child Friendly? : 5/5

Family Friendly? : 5/5

Worth a Visit? YES! It is baby / family friendly, and you can enjoy every Okinawa cuisine all at once!

Comments: My wife and I have been very critical of the quality of food, but we only dedicate a post to restaurants that we thought were worth sharing. Chura Hana had some good food, and some average quality food. By that, I mean it is not completely authentic Okinawa style food. More like a one-size-fits-all flavoring, if you know what I mean by that. If I want to go to a truly authentic Okinawa restaurant, I would have to go out of my way to get there, and will probably not be too toddler / family friendly. That mentioned, I think Chura Hana is a good place for families to enjoy drinks, and enjoy the great variety of Okinawa style food, with meals that your children can enjoy too. My recommendations are the Age Dashi Dofu, and Kakuni!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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