Done exploring the central and northern part of Okinawa, Japan, my BFFs and I spent the last three days in Naha, the capital city of the prefecture. After the memorable dinner at Rinken's Kitchen, we decided to discover more of Okinawan cuisine at Machinu-Ya, which is walkable from Miebashi monorail station.
I don't think there's an English menu there, so I'm going to give a simple translation of each dish, on top of providing its actual name. Melon asks, "Are you ready, guys?" :D
Sliced Yam ¥400 (~S$4.90)
The actual name of the dish is 山いもザクザク. The julienned Japanese mountain yam, topped with katsuobushi (Japanese dried bonito flakes), spring onions and seaweed, was juicy, fresh and crunchy. Don't forget to drizzle it with shoyu (Japanese soy sauce).
Fermented Tofu ¥400 (~S$4.90)
The actual name of the dish is とうふよう. Used to be eaten only by the royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom and a few privileged nobles in the region, the tofu was highly creamy like cheese and intensely alcoholic, having been fermented in awamori (Okinawan alcohol made of long grain indica rice). BTW, it was that small. Haha...
Chicken Skewer ¥350 (~S$4.30)
The actual name of the dish is the simple, universally-known yakitori (やきとり). Different from those that can be found in food kiosks here in Singapore, the chicken skewers were sans the sweet teriyaki sauce. Sprinkled with a bit of salt and lemon juice, the white meat was truly succulent with an adequate amount of fats that melted in the mouth.
Yam Tempura ¥600 (~S$7.40)
The actual name of the dish is どぅる天. Different from tempura (Japanese battered and deep-fried assortments) in other parts of the country with thin, plain batter, those in Okinawa have thicker, seasoned batter. While it was pretty oily, each deep-fried yam patty was pretty crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Pork Belly ¥600 (~S$7.40)
The actual name of the dish is ラフテー. Similar to its Chinese counterpart, the stewed pork belly, which appeared to be really fat, was really tender and luscious. The dark sauce was enjoyably sweet, permeating into every layer of the meat well. What a really sinful dish!
Butter Squid ¥600 (~S$7.40)
The actual name of the dish is イカバター. It was a pretty comforting food of stir-fried squid and lots of vegetables with butter that made the entire dish fragrant. The squid was fresh; none of the cuts was rubbery. Overall, it wasn't too oily.
Fried Rice ¥600 (~S$7.40)
The actual name of the dish is チャーハン. Fluffy short-grain rice met pork cubes, carrots and eggs on the wok before being transferred to a plate and sprinkled with a generous amount of aromatic spring onions.
After settling the bill, the friendly male server asked us not to go off so fast. In a jiffy, he brought pineapple slices to our table. They were so juicy and heavenly sweet.
Taste: 8.5/10Ambience: 9/10
Pika's advice: For those who like to drink, the bar offers a huge plethora of alcoholic beverages, some of which I've never seen before. Check it out! I'm sure it's not just me, but the tavern seems easy to miss due to its appearance. Its exterior can be seen in the picture below.
The interior? Awesome. Imagine dining inside a secret room in a tree trunk. Throughout the dinner, it was really peaceful as there weren't many people that evening.
(Mon-Sat: 5.30pm - 12 midnight)
*Prices quoted are nett prices.
Have a nice meal,Cliff(y)