Seasonal Foods of Okinawa Restaurant, Sakae Ryouri-ten 榮料理店

CONTRIBUTED BY JOY BARNES

Seasonal Exterior

Although I do enjoy a good bowl of soba soup, a plate of taco rice, and yes, even some goya champuru, there is a restaurant in Ishikawa that brings Okinawan food to a whole new level of delicious.  Sakae Ryouriten or “Seasonal Foods of Okinawa” uses traditional Okinawan ingredients to create flavorful dishes completely new to my American palate.

Seasonal Joy w Food The first time my husband and I went to “Seasonal Foods,” the Japanese woman at the table next to us must have seen the perplexed look on my face as I read the menu.  Although it was in English, some of the options seemed so strange that I wasn’t sure what to order.  The woman leaned over and, pretty assertively, told us what to order. Not really knowing what to do, we took her advice and now, after returning many times, the dishes she suggested are still some of our favorites there.

One of her suggestions was the beni imo shell stuffed with pork.  It can best be described as a dumpling made of mashed beni imo (Okinawan purple sweet potatoes) filled with a mixture of ground pork and green onion.  The dumpling is fried so in addition to being delicious, it has a superb texture of crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Seasonal Beniimo

Like the dumplings, many of the dishes at Seasonal Foods have a unique texture.  Really, there is no other restaurant that I’ve been to where the texture of the food is as great as the presentation and the taste.  Take the Charcoal Grilled Beef, for example… it is so tasty and with just the right amount of fat, the beef feels like it melts in your mouth!  The Deep-fried Peanut Tofu (also a suggestion from the Japanese lady on our first visit) is another dish that, in addition to having a great tasting sauce, has a great texture of lightly crunchy on the outside and gooey-creamy inside.

One of our other favorite dishes is the Eggplant with Pungent Red Pepper Miso. I have to admit, I’m not usually a fan of eggplant, but this eggplant is cooked so well- not too firm and not too mushy.  It is served with small bits of tofu and has a subtle spicy after taste.

Seasonal Eggplant

In addition to great food, this quaint restaurant has an intimate feel of an old-style Okinawan home.  The low ceilings and exposed timber beams are great architectural features that add to the intimate feel.  While we have brought our children here before, my husband and I prefer this setting for a nice date-night outing.

Seasonal Interior

As for cost, it is a little more on the pricey side– but nothing out of the ordinary for great food. They have some set menus for 2000-3500 yen per person, but we typically order al a cart (including alcohol) and end up spending about the same.

Additional information:  Seasonal Foods has a great selection of Awamori if you want to try some of the unique Okinawan spirits! There is a nice-sized banquet room that could sit a large party if you are organizing an event.

Payment:  They take only Yen (no dollars) and I’m pretty certain they don’t take credit cards.

Hours: 5 pm- midnight, Closed Tuesdays

Website: http://niraicuisine.com/index.html

Phone: 098-964-7733

Address: 1 Chome-27-35 Ishikawa, Uruma

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.4288178, 127.82743679999999

Directions:  Seasonal Foods is located on 329 in the heart of downtown Ishikawa (not the 329 by-pass).  From Kadena, go straight out Gate 3 and follow 26 until you can take a left onto 329.  From the Courtney main gate, take 75 towards Ishikawa and take a right onto 329.  The restaurant is 3 km past the intersection of 75 & 329.    OR, take the Okinawa Expressway to the Ishikawa Exit.  Take 329 South for about 1 km and the restaurant will be on your right.  The best landmark to look for is the large “Tomato” Karaoke Bar which is on the same block, across the street from the restaurant.  Seasonal Foods is on the first floor of an otherwise, unassuming, white building.  Parking is across the street.

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. We’ve been able to pay with credit card here. It’s an amazing restaurant, I highly recommend it for a special occasion dinner!

  2. We just got back from this restaurant and loved it! Although a few menu items were a little pricey, we don’t think it was any worse than Arin Krin prices. We brought our 4 month old and they brought her a cup and her own hand towel even though she couldn’t use them. The service was great and we can’t wait to get a babysitter so we can stay longer next time!

  3. I am so glad someone posted on this restaurant! My husband and I have lived about a block away for a year now and have been two or three times. I can’t remember what we normally order, but I do recall the strange menu…I also remember that it’s yummy!

  4. Thanks for writing this up–I’m SO glad to know about this restaurant! We went there tonight and will be going back soon. The food was delicious and the feel of the place was cozy with cute Japanese families and rowdy groups of friends. This is what we were hoping to find when we moved to Japan 😉

  5. This is down the road from my house and my husband and I went with our 9 month old and they were very accommodating. The food, although somewhat pricey, was fabulous! We definitely want to go back when we have a babysitter. It was a great experience and worth the extra money!

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