BioSmile Cafe: A little piece of vegetarian heaven

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLYERACE

On Monday, I thought I was going to be uncharacteristically diligent and write my post a couple of days in advance. Here it is though, Wednesday night, past 9 pm and I am just now taking my place in front of the computer, coffee by my side, trying not to watch “The Carrier” out of the corner of my eye. The usual routine.

But I’ve got things to write about. Lots of things. Many of you guys have sent in reviews or pictures or suggestions of places you’d like written up on the website. This is exciting stuff. To think that just a month or two ago, I worried that I might be running out of new and good places to write about. Not so. There are good eats in our future thanks to you good readers. And I’ll be posting them up in the next few weeks, while I am in the States, dining on Chik-Fil-A, North Carolina BBQ and all the New Mexican, honey doused sopapillas I can handle.

For now though, I actually want to re-visit a place that you might remember from recommendations scattered in various discussions on the blog and from a post back in the autumn, when one of my ESL students, Maki, wrote about vegetarian restaurants and mentioned one that she cooks at called “BioSmile”. An organic, vegetarian, macrobiotic restaurant located near the Red Bridge on the way to Torii Station.

Biosmile_outside

Now I don’t know about you guys, but me, the words “organic” and “macrobiotic”, do not cause my salivary glands to go into overdrive the way say, “juicy” and “hamburger” would. So my planned visit to BioSmile often lost out to Gordies or my beloved pancake house. But then, a couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to honor my year-old promise to Maki to visit. And it was good. Guys, it was really good. Organic. And Macrobiotic. And health-o-licious.

Okay, nix the word “health”. Just imagine if Paula Deen were Japanese and a vegetarian and macrobiotic…that’s the kind of food BioSmile is to me. It tasted like comfort food. I left feeling full. Tastebuds satisfied. Even craving more. I couldn’t wait to call my husband and tell him about my awesome food experience.

Nori_set

Here’s a pic of what I had the second time I went. The menu changes up weekly, but it seems to be variations of the same kind of thing. For example, I got the nori-roll both times I went, but it had different stuff in it each time. Here you see it with “cheese” (it’s tofu that tastes like cheese), carrots, seaweed and some other stuff. There on the upper left is this amazing fried gluten. Yes, I put “gluten” and “amazing” in the same sentence. But it was. So savory. I’ve been thinking about it for two days now. In the middle there is some tofu, then there are some steamed veggies with a peanut sauce and in the lower corner a tomato/vegetable soup.

For dessert I had fake tiramasu. Ummm…yummy. How do they do that? Last time I had a fake cheesecake made out of tofu, which was so good. I’m not lying, y’all. Fake cheesecake was good. Anyway, for the set I had above (which doesn’t include desert), it only cost 900 yen.

Img_6492_2

900 yen, plus the place is cute. It’s in a house. Well, an apartment, to be exact. Anytime a dining establishment is in a house, I feel it’s a major plus. Wins serious points for atmosphere. And take a look. They also sell packaged food.

Grains

Now, there is a drawback. The second time I went, even with the fan going, it was hot. But, as I got up to pay I saw there was a big ‘ole air conditioning unit on the wall. A working one. I need only have asked them to turn it on.

BioSmile is really close to the new Aeon complex near the Red Bridge. Look…see how close?

View_to_stripmall

So close that they are losing customers to the strip mall chain restaurants, according to Maki. Which is a shame. Especially as your lunch/coffee at BioSmile will be a much more special experience than your sandwich at Starbucks.

Hours:
Closed Friday-Saturday
Open Sunday-Thursday 11:30-5:00 (last order 4:30)

Address: 176 Furugen, Yomitan

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.3674611, 127.75016099999993

Directions: 

(First the abridged version): From 58, head to Torii Station like you are going the Red Bridge way. Biosmile is diagonally across from Starbucks, across the street from the big shisa gas station and next to a brown wooden building…which, incidentally, serves organic soba. You’ll see the sign outside.

(Now the longer version). Head north on Rte 58. Pass Kadena Gate 1. Get in your left lane when you see McDonalds, Cocos. You are going to make your first left right after the bus stop/over pass and right before the police station. Go all the way down the windy road and over a red bridge. After the Red Bridge, you’ll see a Starbucks/Max Value strip mall on your left. Make a right at the first light right after that. BioSmile is immediately on your left, next to a wooden building, across from big shisa gas station.

Have fun!


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16 Comments
  • March 9, 2014

    Just so everyone knows it is still open (I am literally sitting in it right now) as a vegan (new to the island) this place is wonderful, and the atmosphere is great! Highly suggested.

    Michael
    Reply
  • December 13, 2013

    I worked on Torii for a few years when my husband was in the army, I used to go there twice a week! I noticed after one of the typhoons they closed, and remained closed for what seemed like 4-5 months, and I never had a chance to eat there again before we moved back to the states. We are moving back to Oki in January and this will be one of the first places i’m going to, I sure hope they are open!

    Christy
    Reply
  • August 20, 2013

    This place is still open but their hours have changed. I’m not sure exactly when they close, but its earlier than 5.

    P
    Reply
  • January 29, 2013

    I have tried to go here twice in the past two months, but it no longer appears to be open for business. Can anyone confirm? Thank you very much!

    Lexie
    Reply
  • April 29, 2012

    Just ate their today and had some delicious soba and my hubby had a brown rice lunch that came with different veggies. So good!

    Stephanie
    Reply
  • November 5, 2010

    This is a great restaurant to just relax and eat a very satisfying meal. The staff are friendly and willing to please. I have never had so much flavor in noodles.

    Thanks

    Lora Wuttke
    Reply
  • October 30, 2010

    I used to live in one of the apartments next to Bio Smile, their food is so awesome and so healthy too…
    Even the soba is out standing!
    I even lose some weigh, i think coz their food doesn’t make me hungry like crazy. lol

    Please say hi for me to them (Bryan Peanut’s Mom)

    Thanks!

    Bryan Long
    Reply
  • August 8, 2010

    My family and I rode our bikes up to Bio Smile today….it was great! It is now located in the brown building (probably where the Soba place was originally located). My husband and I each had the lunch set. I’m not entirely sure what anything was (other than the brown rice), but it was all very good. I think we had the fried gluten, too….whatever it was, it was wonderful!
    My daughter had the soba, and it was delicious too. Had a great flavor!
    We will definitely be visiting again.

    Tammy
    Reply
  • March 22, 2010

    Yes, this place is absolutely wonderful and I love the brown rice. They also do everything for take-out, too. The set is always great and, as stated before, changes weekly. They do have the soba now, too. Definitely a must to try and way better than the strip mall for anyone looking for something on the organic side. ~Enjoy

    Reply
  • March 22, 2010

    We went to Biosmile the other day, and got there very close to closing time (around 4:45 pm, we took a wrong turn) All that was available at that time was the noodle soup. After seeing another customers food come out I noticed bonito flakes on the top – so even though this is listed as a vegetarian restaurant, be sure to clarify that you are a vegetarian if you want to avoid all animal products.

    We’ll be going back soon to hopefully be able to choose our meal, everything sounds very yummy!

    Brianna
    Reply
  • February 6, 2009

    I went to the soba place next to BioSmile a few weeks ago and a sign on the door explained (*I THINK*) that BioSmile and the soba place will now be run out of the same soba building — offering both menus. YIPEE!

    Joelle
    Reply
  • June 19, 2008

    Thanks for the extra info, Romila! I think they may have recently translated the menu. Which reminds me to post it up. I really want to try the taco rice!

    kellyerace
    Reply
  • June 19, 2008

    To make up for my carnivorousness, I attempt meatless Mondays or tofu Tuesdays, etc. This place sounds yummy. Macrobiotic Paula Deen… Tee hee.

    Kandy
    Reply
  • June 19, 2008

    Just a note, if I remember correctly, the menu is in Japanese, so we always just ask for the “lunch set-to”. You can’t go wrong, it’s always oishii/delicious! There is 1 high chair available, and we order an extra bowl of brown rice and share tidbits of our meal with the little one (if we can part with any of it 😉

    romila
    Reply
  • June 19, 2008

    Support your local small business and venture away from the chain stores of the blasted strip mall!!!

    Snuff
    Reply
  • June 19, 2008

    I was just wondering how to get my vegetarian MIL (aka nuts&berries) here to Okinawa sometime in the next two years and 10 months, now it seems I need only to forward this post to her and she won’t be able to resist! This looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply