Review: Hiyama

9 March 2017

I woke up happy and sad. I had a wonderful evening the previous night; it was a date night so I didn’t want to do a full review, but safe to say I will be returning to 1-Michelin kaiseki Totoya Uoshin next time I’m in Tokyo. Excellent seafood, from a fabulous nodoguro to a rather nicely-presented and delicious sazae. Sad, as I was heading to Narita in a few hours to fly out.

I had already finished packing up, but there was one more meal to be had — and it was a meaty one. I checked out of my room and headed off to the train for a few stops to my lunch destination, Hiyama.

This 1-Michelin place is above a butcher shop that sells some fabulous meats. I didn’t anticipate getting a whole tatami room, but that seems to be the way this place is structured. I looked over the menu and they recommended the wagyu rump from their special herd, so I went with it — in butter-yaki style.

I chilled as I had some sake and they brought the pot and various vegetables — and the meat…

rump

My server started up the pot and started cooking some of the vegetables. Then added one piece of the beef, and this was the first bowl…

1st bowl

Mmmm, excellent beef indeed, and some good asparagus and onions. Good stuff. As I was finishing, my server returned and started up again, cooking a second bowl…

2nd bowl

Agian, very good, lovely flavours with the generous use of butter. I enjoyed it, and she returnd with a full tray of things for the third bowl, cooking the rest of the vegetables.

3rd bowl set

Good, and I enjoyed this lunch. But I thought, I didn’t want to eat on the plane (don’t want to be poisoned by Delta like coming over) so wanted to fill up beforehand since I won’t be eating for another probably 20 hours (1.5 hours to Narita, 2 hours at Narita, 12 hours to Detroit, 2 hours in Detroit, 1 hour to Baltimore, 1.5 hours home from BWI), so I asked to order one more dish…

NOPE! Got dinged. They said they needed the space. I left rather unhappily…I was just an early space-filler apparently. Sigh… So I headed back to my hotel, but was way early for my bus to Narita… In any case, I ended up going to a nearby izakaya, Zen, had a big ol’ excellent grilled saba (mackerel). Damn that was good. That helped fuel me for my long, long trek home…

Sad to go, but had to go. Was a hellish trek home, but worth all the headache, stress and pain of cattle class travel to come to Japan. I’ll miss Japan, but will be back sooner than later.

Hiyama [日山]
2-5-1 Nihonbashiningyocho, Chuo-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Review: Miyaba

8 March 2017

I woke up in a bit of pain and my knee was purple, but oh well…the sun is out today for my final full day in Tokyo. A bit melancholic because of that, but it’s been fun. I headed out towards Hamamatsucho for my lunch today — another sushi meal, third in a row.

Today’s destination is another highly-rated sushiya on Tabelog, Miyaba. A bit old-school, cash-only place conveniently near a busy railway station. I got there as it opened and wasn’t very busy at 11.30am as we went into the sushi course. They seem to have a limited course for lunch, but I soon forgot that when the first piece came out…

01-baby tuna

Wow, this baby tuna was just gorgeous, melt-in-your-mouth stuff. Lovely. Then another treat, some wild hon-maguro (bluefin)…

02-hon-maguro

Wow again, lovely stuff. Felt a little guily about this, but it was delicious. Then some hirame (flounder).

03-hirame

A bit back down to earth, but good. So far much better than the sushi at either Umi last night or Ichiyanagi for lunch yesterday. Next up, hiramasa (wild yellowtail).

04-hiramasa

Ugh, really hard. What is going on with the yellowtails? Yesterday’s kampachi was dreadful, now this… Anyway, then we get a marinated katsuo (bonito).

05-katsuo

Ah, much better than yesterday’s mess. In fact, it was very tasty. Next up, sayuri (halfbeak).

06-sayuri

A bit too much ginger here, it robbed the fish of its natural flavour. I’m never a big ginger fan, I only use it as a palate cleanser. This just took out the fish, sadly… Next up, kohada (gizzard shad).

07-kohada

A susprisingly good piece, I’m amazed I actually noted this fish I usually find boring (and for visuals only). But this was excellent. Then some uni.

08-uni

Tasty stuff, then already some eel…

09-eel

Geez, are we done? Good, but I guess that’s it? No wonder it was so (relatively) cheap. Then a closing set of rolls…

10-maki

Frankly I was happy with this lunch. This is a place I like to come back for a dinner course, as the fish has been good and the sushi-making was good. Old school and it worked well. I had some errands to run out in Odaiba, so I didn’t ask for more pieces.

I headed out pretty happy, finally a good sushi meal out of the last 3-in-a-row. Recommended, but remember it’s cash only! Would be excellent for a cheeky last lunch if you fly out of Haneda (the Monorail to the airport is just steps away).

Miyaba [宮葉]
2-11-8 Hamamatsucho, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Review: Umi

7 March 2017

It was an exhausting afternoon trekking through Tama Cemetery, which is large and a bit out of town. Lucky my dinner wasn’t until late tonight, as Umi didn’t have a space until 9pm. I was still in a bit of pain from that ugly wipe-out on some marble…

I got to the 2-Michelin sushiya just before 9pm and it was empty. I guess they did seatings and ran everyone at the same time. But everyone arrived pretty much on time and they started the service. A bit energetic I must say, as the shouting reminds me too much of a modern US kitchen, full of orders being repeated by everyone…

Honestly felt a bit squeezed at the edge of the sushi bar, but that’s life… First up was some seaweed topped by uni.

01-uni seaweed

Nice start, essence of the sea. Then we start full force with a piece of chu-toro sushi…

02-chu-toro

Talk about mixing things up, a beautiful piece of bluefin belly. Just melt-in-your-mouth stuff. Wow. Then a bit down hill…

03

Hmmm, flavoured a bit oddly from the cooking, couldn’t pin it down. Then we get a skewer of hotaru-ika (firefly squid).

hhh

Love these things, these were especially good. Then the weird mix-up continues with another sushi, aji (horse mackerel).

05-aji

Not bad, and the progression kept us on our toes with the next item, grilled menuke (rockfish).

06-menuke

Very good, full of oily flavour. I enjoyed picking off the flesh from the bones as those were the tastiest bits. Nice! Then torigai (surf clam).

07-torigai

Good, though chef did a huge production whacking these clams into shape. There’s a lot of showmanship here, perhaps some of the appeal. But that didn’t work quite for me. More booze…and more fish.

08-kampachi

Ugh…this was an awful kampachi (yellowtail). I was shocked. Terrible quality fish, no taste, horrible texture. What happend? Sigh… Anyway, next up some tako (octopus).

09-tako

Not bad, tho not as good as lunch today. Next up was some custard with crab…

10-custard with crab

Meh to be honest. A few poor items in a row and I was taking down the sake a bit faster. Next up, shiroebi (white shrimp).

11-shiroebi

Beautiful but never one of my favourites… Then a rather novel way of serving uni at a top sushiya

12-uni

It’s kinda a fish market way of serving it, and it was pretty good. Then another weak dish…

13-katsuo

Marinated katsuo (bonito), really boring. The flavours did not get into the fish. Really disappointing… What’s going on, have we peaked? I was starting to worry… Then we have sumi-ika (cuttlefish).

14-sumi-ika

Oh dear the rice was horrible on this piece. What happened all of a sudden? Sigh… So far not so good… Then we continue on…

15

At this point I was just concerned but soon we shift back to seriousness with some nairagi (striped marlin).

16-nairagi

Excellent stuff, finally the fish is winning. Then we get some tsuke

17-tsuke

The marinated lean tuna was far better than the horrible marinated stuff earlier but still pretty meh. Then the o-toro

18-o-toro

Really good, but preferred that chu-toro that came early in the meal. A few of my fellow diners (Americans) were gushing very vocally… In any case, then the usual follow-up kohada (gizzard shad).

19-kohada

Meh-ish, but then the next piece was fabulous — saba (mackerel).

20-saba

Lovely stuff, one of the best pieces of the night. At this point everyone was watching them clean the kurumaebi (prawn), as these were monstrous sized…

21c-kurumaebi

Some sushiyalike Masuda — breaks these things into 2 pieces but they made it huge…again, for show. Terribly hard to eat like that. It’s all a show here…

I gobbled the monster down and took a big swig of sake and looked at the clock…last trains are just around midnight, but things are moving pretty well, thank goodness. This meal wasn’t worth missing the last train for, to be honest… Then some uni.

22-uni

Excellent Hokkaido stuff, tasty. Then we’re at an end with the hamaguri.

23-hamaguri

Wee bit of sauce and we are at the close. Tamago

24-tamago

And an unexpected eel roll…

25

And the course was done. They asked if we wanted anything else, and most diners asked for one of the toro. My first two choices were nixed as they supposedly ran out…then why are you serving it to locals? Fine. I asked for a saba (mackerel) and the bill.

An expensive late night sushi, and it was again mixed. Some highlights, like the opening chu-toro and the menuke, as well as the nairagi. But there were some really awful items like the kampachi. Too much show here, from the shouting to the obese kurumaebi.

I for one find this sushiya a once-and-done, as it didn’t impress me as much as others. I don’t need a show. I need solid stuff. But when there’s issues with rice (tho not as much as lunch at Ichiyanagi) and especially with fish (that horrible kampachi) it’s not worth trying again. I have limited time in Tokyo and it’s never good to leave dinner with mixed feelings.

Made the late train with plenty of time and frankly if I wasn’t so tired I’d go somewhere, but I was still in pain from that damn wipe-out… Ugh…

Umi [海味]
3-2-8 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Review: Ichiyanagi

7 March 2017

Now being a bit of a veteran of Tokyo dining, I rely far more on the excellent Tabelog than other guides, including Michelin. I always found the latter wanting, especially after that terrible “1-Star” experience at Ryo last night. So for this trip I chose a few highly-ranked sushi places. And for lunch today? Ichiyanagi.

I walked out to the tail end of Ginza and was led into the sushi bar. I always found it strange how they like to crowd people together when there are open spaces at the sushi bar. This was particularly bad as the space between seats is even narrower than the Tokyo usual. Plus, the sushi bar is pretty large for a high-end place, but let’s see how it goes.

I chilled out and ordered some sake and soon we began with some noresore (baby eel).

01-noresore

Excellent start, tho it was hard to eat with chopsticks for someone as chopstick-fatigued as I am! As I was finishing it off, a slice of tai (red snapper).

02-tai

Nice, very clean tasting. Then some hotaru-ika (firefly squid)…

03-hotaru-ika

Again, very nice, love these. Then another sashimi…

04-baby tuna

Oh my, this baby tuna is quite nice. I like this mixing-it-up style. And next up was something handed to me…

05-tairagai

Tairagai (penshell clam), which is often served like this. Excellent meaty stuff. Nice!

06-tako

Then we have some marinated tako (octopus), which was very flavourful and soft — tho not too soft, which is perfect. So far so good! Then a real treat…

07-ankimo

Another good serving of ankimo (monkfish liver), which I love. Not quite as nice as from Masuda the other day, but darn good. Then we have some fugu no shirako.

08-shirako

Already bursting at the seam, this was burning hot as it should be. Very nice. Then some grilled hirame (flounder).

09-hirame

Very nice, with a boatload of daikon under the fish. Very nice. Then next up was another wee treat, awabi (abalone).

10-awabi & himo

Not just the abalone, which was very tasty, but also the himo (liver). Very tasty stuff. So far rather impressed. Then another cooked item, sawara (Spanish mackerel).

11-sawara

Oh this was fantastic, really oily and nice! Then a wee palate cleanser of seaweed…

12-seaweed

Now we shift into the sushi segment. First up, hirame (flounder) again…

13-hirame

Uh…I really had trouble enjoying the fish because the rice was STEAMING HOT. Huh? Now I understand different sushi chefs have different takes on rice temperature, but this was a bit extreme for me. It was actually a distraction. Did something go awry or was this the intention? Next up was kinmedai (goldeneye snapper).

14-kinmedai

Good fish, but again the rice was very hot — tho cooling off a little. Not as hot as before…geez, are they just running slow and cooked the rice quickly? This was disappointing!

We moved to the tuna segment and first up was some tsuke — marinated lean tuna.

15-tsuke

Nice, and finally the rice seemed to have cooled enough not to be a distraction. Still noticeably warm, but now not bugging me. Then the chu-toro.

16-chu-toro

This was fabulous, lovely stuff, full of oily goodness. Then a bit unexpected for lunch, o-toro.

17-o-toro

Excellent, but I don’t know why these days I so much prefer the chu-toro over the o-toro. In any case, an excellent trio there. Next up, sumi-ika (cuttlefish).

18-sumi-ika

Uh, what happened? There was WAY TOO MUCH SALT dumped onto this thing, was almost difficult to eat. This is a messy lunch! For all the nice bits, there are some inexplicable stuff for a high-class sushiya… Then kohada (gizzard shad).

19-kohada

Far better than usual for a fish I don’t really care for. Then next, aji (horse mackerel).

20-aji

Not bad, through the flavouring really was overwhelming. Again, a bit sloppy sushi-making here. Disappointing. Then we got some uni.

21-uni

Tasty as usual, and it held up well. Then we shifted to some kurumaebi (prawn).

22-kurumaebi

A bit fibrous to be honest, perhaps wee overcooked. In any case, I knew we were starting to wind down with the next item, hamaguri (clam).

23-hamaguri

Glazed with a bit of sauce, not bad. Then the anago.

24-anago

Again glazed with a lot of sauce, pretty good. Then we have some concluding tamago.

25-tamago

I was a bitdisappointed by this lunch. Some real highlights here, from the baby eel to the chu-toro. But the hot rice thing was really odd, as was the messy prep on some pieces like the cuttlefish. Just seems sloppy for a top sushiya to be honest. I doubt I’ll be back, the competition is too great out there. This was not that great in sushi-making, nor was it very comfortable. Next…

Ichiyanagi [一柳]
1-5-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tokyo, Japan

* Stupid me I forgot to wash my hands and it reeked of fish as I trekked out to Tama. Lucky I got caught in a downpour so that rinsed it away…as well as wiping out badly on some ultra-slick marble that left me with a seemingly random set of bruises on my lower body…

Review: Bettei

6 March 2017

I was frustrated after that meal at Ryo and still had room in my stomach so after 1 stop on the Hibiya Line I decided to jump off the train. There are many places to eat around Ebisu and I had looked at several over the last few trips, but one stood out — Bettei.

After that duck shabu during the kaiseki course at Kojyulast week I was dying for some more — and Bettei is one of the few duck specialty places in Tokyo. I got there and it was boiling hot inside but a nice atmosphere. The host, Iwasa-San, was extremely friendly and spoke amazing English. So he explained the menu to me and poured me some interesting sakes with the amuse — fried shirasu (whitebait).

amuse

Nice fish snacks. I accepted the host’s recommendations and chilled out with some sake. Then soon the first item was ready, the salad.

fish salad

Very tasty, excellent dressing — a wee fusiony in taste away from the usual miso/sesame-based stuff in Japan. And the shirasu was a great addition. Lovely start. They they set up the shabu…

shabu set

Oh my…the duck looks fantastic. From Aomori Prefecture in the north. The key is to cook it quickly…

duck

Fantastic, lovely duck. Why people don’t eat duck here is beyond me. Cute, sure, but tasty too. I finished it off pretty quickly and enjoyed some fresh veggies in the broth too. Then as my host poured me another sake, the guy behind the kitchen counter took the broth and rendered it down and made a bowl of noodles…

noodles

Nice end to the second dinner of the night. I chilled and chatted with them a little before taking my leave, promising to come back for a full meal next trip.

Rescued a bad night here, so I’m very appreciative. But had to run for the last train, so that sucked a bit…

Bettei [ベッテイ]
3f, 1-14-15 Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Review: Ryo

6 March 2017

I got back to Tokyo from Okinawa with amazing efficiency. From the time I boarded my flight in Naha to the time I walked into my hotel room, it took LESS THAN 3 HOURS. Considering the flight was just over 2? Wow. A little luck too with the train waiting times (none for both the Monorail from Haneda Airport and the Oedo Line to the hotel).

Being back earlier than I expected, I did some unpacking and other things I thought I had to put off — like ironing clothes. But then I got ready for dinner and headed out. A little headachy to get to this corner of Tokyo, but tonight’s dinner is in Naka-Meguro at a place I read some interesting tidbits about, Ryo.

This is apparently an eel-specialty place that also specialise in sake pairings for the tasting menu. Nice, and it’s garnered a Michelin too. So I went to check it out.

A cool space with good music on, but I was confused when I saw the menu…this isn’t an eel place? Of the 7 dishes listed I only see 3 with eel. Really? That was extremely disappointing. I was hoping this was like a refined Kabuto (oh, I need to go back to that place…). So this didn’t start well.

Service was hiccupy as they are trying to do everyone at the same time, but fell out of rhythm as some ate fast and some were slow. The first course came out with an odd pairing of a cocktail made from sake, tequila and Perrier…

01b-shrimp

Shrimp with potato. Not quite what I expected, but it was pretty good. The cocktail was also okay. But this odd turn of the menu isn’t sitting too well with me. Honestly I would not have booked this place if I knew most of the menu was not eel… Anyway, let’s see what’s next…

02a-sashimi

A sashimi dish with tachiuo (scabbard fish) and makajiki (marlin). Both were excellent, I must say, especially the latter. The sake was a warm one, which I’ve started to dislike over the years. But they seem very deliberate about it, so… But the fish was excellent.

So far so good, but I was looking forward to getting some eel, which came up next.

03a-shirayaki

Kabayaki, sadly completely unseasoned. Fine, grilled with sake, but I really wish they gave me some seasoning (like salt) instead of me having to dunk it in soy. The consistency of the eel was not strong enough to be dipped like this to be honest. Then another hot sake, a rather new one, which wasn’t bad. A bit disappointed with the eel quality…

That worried me a bit especially as I saw on the menu the next course was tempura — that did not have any eel…

04a-tempura

Yep, it was a rather poor set of tempura, cooked rather poorly. The sole was okay, but the taranome was done really badly. Many of the vegetables were completely mis-seasoned (some totally bland, some way salty). Just really sloppy stuff by the guy that handles all the non-eel stuff. The squid-and-leek one was pretty meh too. Poor. Best part was a complex old sake…

That was a really poor dish that tasted like something in a pan-Asian place in a suburban US mall, that’s how poor it was. Sigh… But I was really looking forward to the next item.

05a-fin heart liver

A nice dish of eel parts. The fin was excellent, which is what I was hoping tonight’s meal was gonna be like. The heart was good, but the liver was overcooked. The spine was okay but it’s not like it’s special or anything when in Japan; I still remember my first visit many years ago and mentioning I loved the fried spine the eel restaurant I don’t remember where gave me a small sack of it to take with me… Anyway, a good sake. Despite the sakes being warm tonight it’s been good. I needed it for many of the dishes to be honest…

This was nowhere like Kabuto, and even when they tried they didn’t quite live up to it. And of course we get another non-eel dish — the soup.

06a-soup

A rather flavourless soup focusing on ainame (greenling) and daikon. They could have done so much better here. This would never have passed in proper kaiseki places… Sigh… Another new sake that was okay…

Honestly unhappy at this point with this meal. Again, would not have booked it if I knew it wasn’t a full eel course; it wasn’t even half eel… The sashimi was excellent, but the tempura was horrible and the soup just brought it down another step. Glad it’s almost over…

07a-unadon

The last was the eel bowl of course. Disappointing and very mediocre stuff. Again, like any US suburban mall frankly. I cannot imagine how this place managed a Michelin star with this kind of stuff. The blend of the sakes for this one of an old and new sake wasn’t bad, but by now I was just wanting to bugger off from this disaster.

Surprisingly the couple next to me got out even before I did. They didn’t seem too impressed by the food, and the lack of enthusiasm by the staff when they left said a lot. Never have I seen a supposedly serious place in Japan like this before. I quickly got the hell out of there…

Oh this was a disaster. Out of all of my trips to Japan, this may have been one of the worst experiences, from the misrepresentation on the Michelin guide to some really poor dishes. Ugh…

I really need to visit Kabuto again…

Ryo [翏]
1-9-11 Higashiyama, 2F, Meguro-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Feasting in Okinawa…Oh My!

4-5 March 2016

Many Japanese come to Okinawa to have fun, as it’s their little tropical paradise. But because of its location, it’s also inundated with Chinese (especially from Taiwan), and sometimes that’s all you hear around town. But that just makes me hunt deeper for places to eat.

After that amazing dinner at Akatafu I went around to have a few drinks and maybe to snack more. Unfortunately it being a busy Saturday night, many places (including many izakaya) were packed or booked solid, and a few places were inexplicably closed (including a goat specialty place I wanted to try). I ended up at a izakaya near one of the Monorail stations called Ganaha that had a seat at the counter.

Like most young people in Naha, due to the US military presence, my server spoke excellent English. I ordered something and kept up my awamori drinking. I didn’t realise the dish was gonna be so big…

1-Ga-tonkatsu

Wow…a huge tonkatsu set with local pork. It was delicious, lovely flavours and good breading. Not Butagumi good, but damn good. Because of that excellent local pork! Oh wow…but it nearly killed me, so I saundered back to my hotel and passed out…

The next day I explored the town during the day, just wandering around aimlessly on a lazy Sunday. I had trouble finding places open on Sunday during lunch hour, and I accidentally found a place called Nemasushi.

Now you’re probably wondering what kind of place would have a 24-hour horse-specialty izakaya…Naha is the kind of place! I enjoyed a beer and first up was a filling salmon belly bowl.

2-Ne-salmon rice

My goodness simple cheap bowls here are still better than anything I find in “Japanese” restaurants back home. Then next up, oh my…

2-Ne-basashi

I’m sorry for my readers who don’t, but I love basashi — horse sashimi. Lean and flavourful. These were almost as good as the ones in Kumamoto, where they probably originate. The lean meat sashimi was very tasty, and the tongue was fantastic. But the treat is the rib meat…the fat is like nothing you’ve ever tasted, and dare I say if there’s something better than pork belly fat it is horse fat… Just borderline orgasmic whenever I have this…

I headed out when one of the patrons lit up a really foul-smelling cigarette in the poorly-vented izakaya, thanking the staff for the excellent food. The rest of the afternoon I explored a bit more of the town and went to chill out at the hotel. I headed back out for Tamaudun, the Imperial Tombs of all the monarchs of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Nice, but too bad the chambers are off limits (so we see the photos). I rushed then to go to Shuri Castle but thanks to a ridiculous amount of Chinese tourists blocking my path, I got there too late for a ticket to get it. It closes at 1830, but apparently stops ticket sales at 1730 — which I didn’t know. Damn…so just toured the exterior.

A little frustated as I walked back to the Monorail station, so stopped at a izakaya called Shurei just in sight of the station. I went in for a beer and a few snacks. First up, after the little fish amuse, was a nice tempura plate.

3-Sh-tempura

Good quality veggies, some good fish too. Then some mussels in urchin sauce.

m

Nice, though the sauce was a little too thick. My trick? I mopped up the sauce with the tempura vegetables. Worked perfectly. I thanked them and headed out and headed to the station to get back towards the centre. I had some bad luck with places that are full/booked (again, izakaya…this town gets so busy, even on a Sunday night!), but wandered into wee place called Ouchiasobi.

I wouldn’t have stayed but the staff were so friendly and chatty. It’s a okonomiyaki place — and I don’t really like those things, even in Hiroshima when I visited, so I opted for some butter-cooked oysters…

4-Ou-oysters

Excellent, lovely flavours here. But the menu was rather limited and hard to read, so I finished my beer and thanked them. I like the self-service beer tap here!

Headed back to the hotel to chill out a bit before I re-emerged at about 2100 to another few places. First up was a place not far from my hotel called Yambarukuina. It’s a pork specialty izakaya so I went hard on the pork products…

5-Ya-sea grapes

First up was not pork, but just a big ol’ plate of sea grapes. Oh I love these, and they are a great drinking snack here in Okinawa. Then the pork started, first off boiled cartilage…

5-Ya-pork cartilage

Now I know you think that sounds boring, but boiled in a very flavourful broth I suppose, as the flavour is just beautiful. Lots of meat still connected to the soft-but-chewy cartilage. Excellent! Then next up…

5-Ya-braised pork

Oh my, more braised fatty pork! Oh my was this good… Damn, I am getting addicted to this local pork! I finished the food and my drink and thanked them. I had one more place to check out, and it just happens to be between this place and my hotel — Churasantei.

The last place was pork-centric this place was all about fresh seafood. So I went hard for seafood and enjoyed some awamuri. First up were some interesting clams as a snack — as this place had a cover charge. I guess this was worth it!

6-Ch-amuse

Tasty buggers, fresh and nice. Then all my items appeared at the same time. First up, sashimi.

6-Ch-akamachi

This is from akamachi (ruby snapper), a local delicacy. Tasty clean fish. And also, some syakogai (giant clam)…

sg

This is the local, small version of the giant clam. Enjoyable. And the last…

6-Ch-black tofu

Oh my, this was the same awamori-fermented tofu like last night but with squid ink! Oh my it was good but was a total mess to eat! Drank plenty with this one!

I had a little room in my stomach to end this, and I decided to get one last dish. So many choices, so many other fish, as well as shellfish (including huge beasts that reminded me of bay bugs in Australia). But I was too full for that, so I went…pork. What else…

6-Ch-salted pork

This is suchika, a special way of salt curing belly. And this was darn good again… Oh I’m beyond stuffed. Time to close my Naha account, go back to the hotel and collapse…

I headed out of Okinawa the next day a little sad, as it was too short to really get into it. After a last pork treat at the airport I headed back to Tokyo for the last leg of this trip… I hope to return at some point, this was a too-short eating weekend!

Ganaha [我那覇]
2-11-16 Kumoji

Nemasushi [ねま寿司]
1-8-7 Matsuyama

Shurei [守礼]
1-29 Shuriteracho

Ouchiasobi [おうちあそび]
1-8-3 Matsuyama

Yambarukuina [ヤンバルクイナ]
5-14 Higashimachi

Churasantei [ちゅらさん亭]
5-15 Higashimachi
Naha, Okinawa, Japan