Upuraya

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA

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Crispy breadsticks!


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Hearty Pasta!
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UPURAYA!
Upuraya is a good gosh darn restaurant–one I’m adding to my rotation of regulars.  For even on a gloomy day when my body and soul felt like a wadded up kleenex, it provided me comfort–in its homey atmosphere (aahhh…the warm glow of the fake fireplace); its rich and satisfying food; and that most comforting of fragrances… garlic. As soon as I opened the door garlic pulled me inside like an old friend.  Practically pouring me a glass of red wine.  Heck even, Upuraya’s name, translated to me as something like “Big Person Place” in Hogan, makes me feel welcomed.

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If you haven’t noticed from the pictures, Upuraya is an Italian restaurant. The couple times I’ve visited Upuraya it’s been pretty jumpin’ with customers.  Always a good sign.  The dining area is small, maybe seven tables, with an open kitchen and a little room off to the side with sliding doors, presumably for private parties.  At lunch you can choose from a variety of sets that include an assortment of fresh salads and antipasti from the buffet.

The day I took these pictures I had chicken and spinach pasta with cream sauce.  It was REALLY creamy, which I like, and with a nice kick of pepper.  It came with a tomato soup and that gorgeous cake/ice cream combo which had that typical more beautiful than tasty quality.  But I think it gets extra points for presentation, no? Oh, I’ve also had the herb chicken which was mighty delish.

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Doggone it if I didn’t forget the lunchtime set price.  I’ll dig around for it.  It was about 1000 yen.  The same set for dinner is 1750 yen though, but you can also order a la carte; things like mushroom and gorganzola pasta, chorizo pizza (920 yen), “nyokki omlette” (gnocchi?) (900 yen), sauteed whitefish with balsalmic sauce and salad( 900 yen).  That was all from the dinner menu, but there is a whole lot more.

Upuraya isn’t kid friendly in that they don’t have high chairs or kids meals.  It is kid friendly in that they will give you smiles as your child toddles around and even present him with a special plate of fresh potato croquettes.  (Kinda doubting that’s standard.  Maybe my unbathed harried look made them feel sorry for me?)  Next time I go though, it’ll be for a date night.  My husband is not into fancy restaurants, but to me, Upuraya is the perfect compromise between the “five forks to choose from” kinda place and the “read the menu from board over the counter” place.  Will it pass the hubby test?  I’ll get back to you and letcha know.


Upuraya

Payment: Upuraya accepts $.  They also have a special menu for parties!

Hours: Closed Tuesdays.

Lunch:  11:30am-3pm,  Dinner 6pm-11pm  (last orders 30min prior)

Address: 110 Hamagawa, Chatan

GPS Coordinates: 26.32771, 127.75150370000006

Directions: From 58 heading south: Pass Kadena Gate 1. Turn RIGHT at the light where you see the Toyohanten Chinese restaurant and American Restaurant (it’s the road w/ the Hamagawa Lodge). Make an IMMEDIATE RIGHT after that where there’s a Lawson’s on the Corner. (If you are turning right at the light w/ the Pizza Jr. on the corner, that’s one too far). Go down the street and up the hill passing some tombs and a Pepsi sign painted on a building side. You’ll see Upuraya on the left after that w/ a purple awning and a sign w/ an Italian flag. Parking is VERY limited — only three spots. I parked in the street in front and was okay, but I’d consider carpooling if it’s a group.


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19 Comments
  • September 18, 2016

    This is a favorite dining spot for my wife and I. At lunchtime there is a tasty antipasto/ japanese style soup and salad bar included. There are about 10 entrees offered during lunch including fish, pasta, chicken, beef and pork with all of them being excellent. When available it’s a must to try the gnocchi (so good!). If you are in the mood for authentic Italian, I highly recommend this stylish and friendly restaurant!

    David
    Reply
  • April 20, 2013

    This is by far the BEST Italian restaurant in the whole island! Authentic Italian cuisine at its finest.

    We were station in Italy and we missed the food, the smells and the flavor. The chef actually studied in Italy and it shows in every dish.

    Let me start by saying this, if you want real, authentic Italian then this is it. I’m not talking pizzeria food or a so-called “Italian restaurants” from around the area. This is the real deal.

    Remember that scene in Ratatouille when the critic took a bite of the dish and all these lost memories of his childhood came back?! That’s how it was for me.

    Italy came back rushing all at once. I was impressed by every dish. But if you’re looking for big American size dinners, with tons of salt and garlic that they call “Real Italian” then this is not for you, nor Italy would be for that matter.

    The price is just right for 2 people $60 and the ambient is very romantic and quiet so I recommend this place for a well deserved romantic dinner for 2…in other words bring no kids.

    This place is now our favorite restaurant until we leave the island.

    Ortiz
    Reply
    • April 20, 2013

      Forgot to mention that we were stationed in Italy before.

      Ortiz
      Reply
  • April 6, 2013

    Great little restaurant. Went with a friend one late night. The waiter was courteous and the food was really good. I cannot remember what I had but it was delicious. My friend’s meal was good as well. The atmosphere was really nice as well.

    Maketa
    Reply
  • June 9, 2012

    Never mind! I found the phone number! It is 098-936-6901

    Hhoffmanksugrad
    Reply
  • June 9, 2012

    Hi! Does anyone have a phone # for Upuraya? Thanks!

    Hhoffmanksugrad
    Reply
  • February 11, 2012

    This place is DELICIOUS!! It will be visited by us often. Great date or special occasion place.

    Page
    Reply
  • October 13, 2011

    We dined here tonight! As soon as we got back home we wanted to make sure this place was listed here! It was amazing … above our expectations of an Italian restaurant on Okinawa. We had the 2 person dinner with 2 anti pastas (smoked salmon and tuna carpaccio), 1 pasta (penne)and 2 main meals (salmon and chicken cacchatorie) and desserts (chocolate cake, raspberries and ice cream) for both. Proportions were nice sized if not “generous”. The service was excellent. The house wines (white and red) were pretty good too. We got out of there for 7250 yen for everything. Pretty great for a couple, great for a date night or a high quality meal/evening with a small group.

    Kevin & Erica
    Reply
  • March 20, 2011

    Delish- but more of a special occasion place. Artistic dishes and I left still a bit hungry… but will definitely go back.

    Konnie
    Reply
  • June 12, 2010

    Went here for dinner tonight and it was so yummy! The atmosphere was great for a date night and the food was delicious. My husband and I each got a different pasta set and both were delicious. Loved the presentation too. This felt like a restaurant that would be in Tokyo, not Okinawa! Loved it!

    Amber
    Reply
  • January 20, 2010

    I ate at Upuraya this week, to be exact. I think the menu may have changed a little bit. I ordered the sphagetti with mushroom tomato suace. Other menu items were pork, chicken in cheese sauce, gnocchi (potato dumplings), whitefish, and beef in red wine sauce. Each set came with a very yummy bowl of potato soup, and the waiter informed me that lunch included a trip to the little salad bar for free. At the salad bar, there was a strange (but not bad) assorment of cold pastas, vegetables, and potatoes. The salad was actually the finely chopped cabbage that is so typical on Okinawa with corn, of course, as the topping. Complimentary drinks were also offered at the little salad bar to include ice water, iced tea, iced coffee, and orange juice. I had the iced coffee and it was very good with sugar. We all ordered something different and I noticed the portions were definitely not what I would call “generous”. It was enough food for us ladies but I don’t think my husband would walk away full. My total bill was 1,000 yen, but they had lunch sets that ranged from 1,000 to about 1,900 yen. At the bottom of the menu it said that cake and icecream were available as well, but we were all pressed for time and couldn’t indulge.

    Not Bad
    Reply
  • June 12, 2009

    This is a great little traditional Italian restaurant. The food is great and perfect for a date night!

    Frank
    Reply
  • May 13, 2009

    I loved Bouno Bouno and was so disappointed when I tried to bring my husband there and it was closed. I’m glad to know that they’ve reopened as Upuraya… can’t wait to finally bring the hubby there!

    Joy
    Reply
  • May 8, 2009

    It’s always nice to find an Italian restaurant in Japan that has good food.

    I have found many are closer to noodle shops than Italian food. In other words the sauce is more like a soup and sometimes tastes like soy sauce.

    I have actually had some of my Japanese friends tell me they like Japanese Italian “food” better than the food they ate in Italy.

    So it is nice to know there is a place to go to get some good eats on the Island I will have to try it out soon

    Reply
  • May 7, 2009

    Amy, thanks for sharing. Always good to hear others’ experiences. Looking forward to trying the wine next time!

    Larissa, Carmen and Rene, let us know how you like it!

    kellyerace
    Reply
  • May 7, 2009

    Upuraya’s is great. My husband and I went on Valentines day and enjoyed it. Great food, great atmoshphere, great wine!

    Amy
    Reply
  • May 7, 2009

    Ahhh, I was just craving Italian earlier today and of course, I open this page! Have to put it on my list 🙂

    Carmen
    Reply
  • May 7, 2009

    Sounds like a great place to take our Saturday night crew – we love checking out new places and Italian is always a fan favorite!!!!

    Larissa
    Reply
  • May 7, 2009

    looks yummy and can’t wait to try it!!!!

    rene
    Reply