Daruma "Ugly Man" Restaurant
CONTRIBUTED BY SUZIE SMITH
As a newbie to Okinawa, I’m always looking for a new place to enjoy Japanese cuisine. Normally I’m a little shy when it comes to trying out places that no one seems to know about, but this endeavor was different. I’d seen the Daruma Restaurant several times while traveling from Kadena to Foster and it caught my interest. Funny enough it wasn’t because of the delicious food that it had advertised, but because of the “Ugly Man.”
One afternoon with the girls, we decided to check the place out. I was unsure of what to expect but pleasantly surprised by what we found. The set up is very similar to Arashi (the “vending machine” ramen shop). Once you walk in there is a HUGE menu with pictures for you to choose from. There dishes range from soba to curry to stir fry and even includes kid’s meals! On top of that, the meals were very inexpensive.
Only 780 yen for a pork cutlet on fried rice with soup and a salad and my kid’s meal was only 380 yen.
Once we decided on what we wanted we put our yen into the vending machine and selected our dishes. Once our tickets printed we chose our seats, traditional Japanese seating and American style are available. The waitress took our tickets and brought us a pitcher of water and cups. Then the real surprise happened. The plates they brought to us were massive! I was shocked. We paid so little (compared to most Japanese places I’ve been to) and got so much. We couldn’t finish all of it and had to take some home. Be advised: They will charge you for takeout boxes, but you can bring your own if you’d like.
All in all, a great find. Delicious, generous meals with all the awkwardness of ordering taken away; definitely my new go-to place, affectionately called the “Ugly Man” Restaurant.
Hours: 11:00- 23:00 – Closed Sundays
Payment: Yen Only!
Directions: From Kadena Gate 2, turn right onto the 85. At the third stoplight, the street before Gate 5, turn left (still the 85). Follow until the 5th stoplight. The restaurant is on your left. Parking is limited and a bit awkward so please be careful.