White House Restaurant

CONTRIBUTED BY JACKIE LEWIS

Living in Okinawa has afforded us many unique experiences. But after nearly three years in one place, we began to notice that, with respect to Okinawan food, we had been-there-done-that. We were visiting our favorite places repeatedly, and we had become ‘regulars’ at one or two restaurants in particular. So the question of where to go for something new and not necessarily local for this month’s hot date had us googling for French restaurants on Okinawa, with a careful eye for authenticity. I occasionally enjoy the novelty of ethnic food prepared with Okinawa versions of traditional ingredients, but that was specifically not what I wanted for this date night.

White House boasts a few tables for two or four, in a very white, very intimate dining room; only two servers, and a chef and sous chef, seen but not heard, through the window behind the stocked bar. Seemingly there just for us. Our server brought the menu, just in time to distract us from the scene out the window (that of the ubiquitous flashing lights and taxi stand of, what else? a pachinko parlor) asking if we could speak Japanese. She had no trouble explaining the menu in English, though, and asked if we had any allergies or preferences for foods we don’t like. We chose the larger of the two courses for 4800 yen each. She did tell us the chef’s plans for the main item of each of the eight courses, but every plate was a surprise, and each item thoughtfully identified by the server as it arrived, a la Top Chef.

On this night, the chef prepared a smoked salmon salad, amuse bouche of octopus and potato in phyllo, a slice of duck breast on risotto, a fish entree, and a veal entree, cheese tray with nuts and dried fruits, a dessert of layered strawberries, cream and pastry and a bit of strawberry ice, edible pansy petals strewn on the plate, and a beautiful coffee service with a few miniature sweets.

White Salmon

The smaller course, for 3600 yen, allowed a choice of meat or fish for the main course. Both courses included authentic crusty French bread, and the wine list appeared extensive, but as it was written in katakana, I settled for simplicity with a house red at 550 yen a glass. A small 500ml bottle of the house wine was listed at 1550 yen.

White Duck Risotto

Each course followed the one before slowly, yet just in time. The portions were quintessentially tiny, yet with eight courses in all, we left stuffed nearly two hours later. White House provides the distinct feel of an artist presenting his works especially for our enjoyment. The experience will be different every time, as no two works of art are alike.

White Veal

The ingredients of this delectable meal, so fresh they were obviously procured locally, were certainly in keeping with the basic French-ness. It’s one of those special places where the price takes into account the chef’s expertise, the overall experience, and reflects the quality of the food more than the quantity.  Consider a meal at White House to be a once in a lifetime outing!

White Shrimp

Hours:  Lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 -14:00 (last order) dining room closes at 15:30; Dinner -Tuesday through Saturday 18:00 through 21:30 (last order);  Brunch Sunday 11:00 through 15:00 (last order)

Phone:  098-943-0789

Payment: Payment in Yen or Visa/Master Card

Address: 2-1-13 Ojana Ginowan City Okinawa

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.2631289, 127.74032420000003

Directions:   Take Hwy 58 south to Ojana, and turn left. Restaurant is up the hill on the left, across from a pachinko parlor.  Parking in front.

 


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6 Comments
  • July 3, 2013

    Recently spent our 10 year anniversary here for dinner! Ordered the 7 course meal: wow! Enough food for sure, there were a few items I wish I could have changed, the beef cheek not a huge fan of that flavor and the “spam” style dish. Those two were ok? We plan on heading back up when the parents come into town and will definitely order off the menu! The seared scallops, the duck- amazing!!!

    Robin
    Reply
  • April 27, 2013

    We decided on the White House at the last minute for dinner tonight. Our first date night without the 3 year old in over a month. We were the first diners to arrive at the 6pm opening time, but the small dining room was full by 8pm when we left. We decided on the 7 course set meal and were not disappointed. For 5500 yen per person it was well worth it. The meal started with warm bread and smoked salmon appetizer with a delicate variety of lettuces, then pan fried scallop, followed by an amazing pastry they called a lobster pillow. The fish course was snapper, followed by a melt in your mouth cut of beef cheek. Two very well paired cheeses with crostini, fig and walnut. Finally homemade ice cream and strawberries sandwiched between two thin candied sugar wafers. Oh, with a quite decent cup of coffee which we needed to keep our full bellies awake for the drive home. This is the best meal we’ve had since leaving DC four years ago and being stuck in north Florida for the last tour. Highly recommend. Service was impeccable. Hurry in if you want to get the full experience, it sounded like they will only be open for take out this summer during renovations and reopening in August. Enjoy!

    Courtney
    Reply
  • January 27, 2013

    Just had dinner here for Bday with wife on January 25, 2013. Overall we thought food was ok. Ambience was nice and service was outstanding. We were the only ones eating there for a Friday night, so hopefully business is ok. We were seated at 19:00 and stayed until 22:00.

    We ordered the 7 course meal and some of the meals were again ok. One of the meals was a “pork pate” but tasted like Spam out of the can…. Also we had a bourgandy beef which was not the best. Overall nice meal but not that amazing meal we were looking for. I would recommend it though given the ambience and service.

    Update on Directions: From Kadena, Lester, Foster, head south on 58 and turn left at the 34. This is the same turn that goes to the #2 Exit on the Expressway so 34 is a major road. You will go up the hill and it is right across the street from a Casino-Pachinko. there is a very small parking lot in front for about 4 small cars with more parking in back. Hope this helps.

    brent B
    Reply
  • April 28, 2012

    This place was fantastic. We hadn’t had Western-prepared duck in a year and were pleasantly surprised. Our sea scallops appetizer came out with a perfectly prepared coating that made them look like beautiful coral, to match the beautiful taste of this dish! We only had time for the 4-course meal and left full. Highly recommended.

    AsiaFan
    Reply
  • September 30, 2011

    My wife and just returned from a night away from the kids at this wonderful restaurant. We both enjoyed the course meal as well and some of the house Merlot. We would both highly recommend both the food and the service!

    The hostess and the chef speak English, although the hostess was not able to give directions in English, which is difficult even when you speak the same language. She was, however, able to describe each of the courses and let us know what was on our plate, which is always a bonus in Japan.

    It was not an inexpensive meal, but considering what a decent French meal would cost anywhere in the US with wine, dessert, and tip thrown in, it’s certainly comparable even with the exchange rate.

    Bon Appétit!

    Here is a link to the restaurant’s location in Google Maps:
    http://maps.google.co.jp/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=ja&geocode=&q=沖縄県宜野湾市大謝名2丁目1−13&aq=&sll=26.262977,127.740243&sspn=0.001066,0.001918&brcurrent=3,0x34e56c93dd45b8c7:0x6aba206f507842ce,0,0x34e56c93ebae2629:0xd2551aa0b7a8e95d&ttype=dep&date=11/03/24&time=11:43&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=time&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=沖縄県宜野湾市大謝名2丁目1−13&view=map

    Darren
    Reply
  • April 12, 2011

    Nice review, it gave a peak into what is offered without spoiling the fun for us. Simple, but good!

    Have been wanting to try this place for awhile as it reminds me of what local “French” restaurants do on mainland. And from what you shared, I know I won’t be disappointed.

    I hope there are more posts about restaurants of this quality of OkiHai, as they are somewhat lacking.

    I’ll write more once I can go!

    tito
    Reply