Where to eat

Food and Travel (UK) - - Gourmet Traveller -

Prices are per per­son for three cour­ses, with­out wine un­less stated

Bistro Ya­mashir­ogyu Beef boiled com­mu­nally at the ta­ble is spe­cial here, with cuts from lo­cally reared live­stock. The shikuwasa (cit­rus) sour to drink with the meal is re­fresh­ing – and ad­dic­tive. From £45. 029 900-0032 Naha, 00 81 98 988 9161, gu­runavi.com/en/f397001/rst Café Gara­man­jyaku Kiyoko’s Ryukyu restau­rant is re­fined – take that for granted: the cedar­wood walls, the lush gar­den set­ting and the care and at­ten­tion taken over ev­ery de­tail of dec­o­ra­tion. The fo­cus, how­ever, is on her sublime cook­ing. The spe­cials com­prise dishes bal­anced for tex­ture and colour that re­flect 40 years of ex­per­i­ment­ing with wild plants and herbs. Your miso dip may well have been in­fused with over 30 herbs, veg­eta­bles and fruits. From £35. 10507-4 Kin, Ku­nigami District,

00 81 98 968 8846, gara­man­jyaku.ti-da.net

Café Soy Labo In­ter­est­ing neigh­bour­hood diner that’s the an­nex of an ar­ti­sanal tofu fac­tory. There’s a play­room for kids, low ta­bles and a loun­ge­like space for mid­dle-class mums. The mainly veg­gie food is tasty too. From £18. 86-1 Ikeda, Nishi­hara Town, 00 81 98 943 2230

Chura-Hana Pick your fish at Mak­ishi Mar­ket, then take it to Chura-Hana, the best of the food-court eat­ing places, to pre­pare. From £15. Naha Emi-no-Mise In Ogimi vil­lage, this restau­rant’s pa­tronne Emi is a rel­a­tive baby at 68. She’s writ­ten a cook­ery book fea­tur­ing the most an­cient vil­lagers’ recipes and sev­eral fig­ure on her ‘longevity menu’. From £40.

61 Okane­hisa, Ogimi Vil­lage, 00 81 98 044 3220

Mi­someshiya Maru­tama Mr Ta­manaha’s nephew runs a diner that show­cases miso. Dishes are as much in­flu­enced by the West as Ja­pan. From £25. 1F, 2-4-3, Izu­mizaki, Naha, 00 81 98 831 7656 Na­gadoya Omoro­machi This shabu-shabu restau­rant spe­cialises in Ok­i­nawa agu pork. If you’ve eaten shabu-shabu in Europe, don’t be put off – this is the real deal. From £25. 4-17-17 Omoro­machi, Ogimi Vil­lage; 1-2F Hi­rayama Bldg, Naha, 00 81 98 917 0206

Shimujo Ok­i­nawan soba is made with wheat, and the noo­dles here are made with wa­ter pu­ri­fied over ash from banyan trees. The dashi mixed with pork stock is rich and well-flavoured. Cheapish and de­li­cious. From £25. 2-124-1 Shuri Sueyoshi­cho, Naha, 00 81 98 884 1933

Urizun Open for 40 years, it’s still vi­brant, mod­ern and packed with the cool set of Naha. It stocks awamori from ev­ery dis­tiller on the is­lands, with one that’s 70% ABV. The food is as tasty as it comes on Ok­i­nawa’s main is­land. From £35, in­clud­ing a 160ml pitcher of awamori. Get a Ja­panese speaker to make the book­ing. Asato 388-5, Naha, 00 81 98 885 2178

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