Editor’s Note: [Establishment] was originally reviewed on Okinawa Hai on August 28, 2008; you can read a PDF copy of that original review HERE. The post below is an updated take on this attraction, published April 25, 2016.

CONTRIBUTED BY LOUISE DUPUY

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Arin Krin is like a Tardis (Doctor Who fans know where I’m going with this). Small on the outside (and with limited parking, more on that later); deceptively big inside. But what is Arin Krin? Allow me to explain, and then tempt you in to visit.

Better known as the ‘garlic restaurant’, you’ll find it sat on a corner plot along Highway 58, in the Makiminato area of Urasoe (find it here:. First off, parking is limited. They have about 4 spaces right out front, but if you have anything bigger than a sedan, you might be out of luck (one parking space is behind a post, and is tiny! Definitely more suited to Cube car or smaller). You can park along the street, but again it’s pretty limited. This is a shame because Arin Krin is perfect for large group dining.

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See what I mean about large group friendly? If you’ve ever been to a Bavarian bar, this is sort of what it looks like, except the decor is muted, with little hints of Okinawa here and there (big awamori pots mostly, but also some wall art). I quite liked the simplicity. Take your seats, or benches, and prepare to be amazed at what you can do with garlic.

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Once you’ve figured out parking (or gotten a taxi and done away with that bother entirely), enter the garlic house! It’s called this for a very good reason: practically everything on the menu has garlic in it somewhere. More on this later. It’s a decent sized space with two dining areas, one with conventional tables and chairs, the other (closest to the kitchen) has larger tables and long benches.

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And with that, we are on to the best bit; the food. It’s insane how much choice you have. If you hate garlic, you’re in the wrong place! Almost every dish has garlic of some form in it, the clue is in the name! It’s tough to choose because everything looks and smells delicious. I went in a small group, and we decided to just order a few things each and share the garlicky love. This turned out to be a great idea because it meant we all got to try a sample!

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In particular, the tacos pizza, fried chicken, garlic beef, eggplant gratin, and fried mashed potatoes were my favorite.

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The fried mashed potatoes! Medium sized balls of soft, gooey mash, with a cheesy center, ensconced in a light, fried batter. They were magical.

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Everything we tried was good though, and a lot of items had a subtle undertone, rather than a full-on vampire killing strength garlic taste, which is nice. They do, however, have items with a stronger flavor, if that’s what you’re after. The garlic pizza is ideal for this. It had cheese and herbs on it, but honestly, all you can taste is the garlic.

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Drinks-wise, you can either go soft or alcoholic. They have sodas, fruit juices, wines and beers, something for everyone. Plus you get unlimited refills on water. Everyone in my party went with fruit juice or soda, due to driving and work the next day, but you don’t need to drink to have fun!

 

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(Photo Credit: Aviva)

Price will vary depending on what you eat, and how much of it. I think altogether we paid just under $100, but that’s four people with over 10 dishes and drinks, a steal if you ask me. You can pay with yen or a credit card. It was a great night. Quiet, relaxed atmosphere, great service, great food, and great company. A winning formula.


Arin Krin

Hours: Open 5pm-1am

Phone: (098) 877-3971

Address: 1 Chome-9-11 Makiminato, Urasoe

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.2662328, 127.72420390000002

Directions: Head south on HWY 58. After Camp Foster (and before Kinser) 58 will split and the middle lanes go up into an overpass/bridge thing. Don’t go up, stay to the left passing an A & W. At the first light where the overpass ends you’ll see Arin Karin on the corner on your left. It’s covered with crazy drawings of little garlic men. (There’s a big Pachinko Parlor with a Micky D’s on the right.)

Parking: Parking here is quite difficult as the restaurant has only about four spaces. Make sure you don’t park at the building across the street. I usually park on the street around the corner (along the chainlink fence.)

50 COMMENTS

  1. My husband and I are visiting from Texas and we were told to eat at the Garlic House. I will say that the food was good. I had the fried rice with bacon and beef and vegetables. My husband had the beef and broccoli and shrimp spring rolls. For starters, we ordered the garlic bread. Everything was delicious and the prices were incredible. I hope to go back before we leave Okinawa. I highly recommend this restaurant. God Bless to our military members and their families.

  2. When my wife and I heard there was a restraint with the word garlic in it name we were super excited. We have tried this place twice now and I think we’ve finally decided it’s not for us. We’ve ordered most things on the menu and every item is just boring/bland. The fried garlic nuggets didn’t even taste like garlic. We were super bummed with the food we got, but it seems like a lot of people like it.

  3. Came here last night with reservations (party of 8). We arrived about 20 mins early and had no problem waiting outside for them to open. Parking can be tight and tricky, which I had read on reviews, so we took our smaller, compact car. We all ordered a bit of everything and had no problem passing the plates around 🙂 Garlic pizza was probably my favorite, but in all honesty, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like that I tried.
    Would recommend getting there right at opening (5pm) to get a good parking spot. I could not imagine driving around the block a few times with the traffic and stop lights 🙂

  4. Finally got a chance to try this place out tonight. We thought was very delicious and the prices were so cheap! We got garlic pizza, spicy fries, gyoza roll, and the baked garlic. We just got water for drinks and thankfully the left a whole pitcher for refills. They don’t have high chairs at the restaurant and most off base places don’t have them or it’s just a seat with nothing to secure them. We bought a portable chair that hooks onto the table so my 17 month old was contained and not trying to run around. We also got ice cream after and it was really refreshing after all the garlic. The worst thing is the parking. There was one spot left but someone had park sideways in the way of the driveway and we couldn’t get in. We attempted several times to park with no luck but thankfully after circling around the block a few times a better spot opened up. Overall an enjoyable experience and we will definitely go back.

  5. Family and friends went to the Garlic House last night and here is the review! The food was really good but the al-a-cart thing can be a little spendy. We made a reservation and parking was a challenge but the service was outstanding. The food was excellent but the pasta was real oily. Your meal does not come with rice or bread so you must order those separately. The seating is not very condusive for large parties, there were six of us at a picnic table setup and we quickly ran out of room. Around $50 for the four in my family seems a little steep but I’m cheap according to my spouse! Overall will go back to feed the garlic craving, particularly liked the garlic fries and garlic pork Kimchi and garlic bread!

  6. They’re pizza, bacon pasta, and French fries are good. I haven’t tried a bunch of different things there… there’s better places to eat on island, but the prices here are good and I like the place. And whoever doesn’t like garlic is just crazy. I’m looking forward to going back to try more dishes.

  7. In my 6 years here on island, I’ve spent lots of time & a bit of money at Arin Krin. My friends and I always order a few favorites: radish salad (w/o fish flakes, aka bonito), spinach w/ garlic, garlic pizza, cheese mashed potatoes (kind of like a croquette), baked whole garlic w/ corn, radish salad, garlic mushroom pasta, baked eggplant w/ cheese & marinara sauce, and did I mention the radish salad?!?!
    A few of my NOT-so-fave’s included the gyoza roll, taco pizza, and eggplant with miso. I think my friends liked the beef & broccoli dish.
    Great value, kid & large group friendly, terrible parking, but totally worth it for the yummy food! They take $, ¥, and credit cards, but are only open for dinner. They are currently open 7 nights a week. Their phone # is 098-877-3971, reservations on weekends are a must!

  8. The food is great! Takes about 45 minutes in traffic from kadena. My husband and I love this place. However tonight we took our kids for the first time and NO high chairs. Just a heads up. Great date place, reservations are the best way to to here, it is always busy.

  9. Good stuff! We ate here last night and really enjoyed it. We ordered the tuna avocado salad, fried shrimp spring rolls, octopus & asparagus with garlic, garlic fried rice and garlic pizza. All of it was good! We parked right in front of the restaurant.
    Just plug their phone number into your iPhone map (with the spaces and no dashes) for directions.

  10. 80% Less then Horrible Sams & Four Seasons and 90% Better. I go here once a month. (I have to limit myself or ill eat there every week)

  11. Baylee- Yes, they do take out orders. I do it all the time especially when I don’t want to cook or sit-in a restaurant to eat.

  12. Went for the first time with the kids. We made reservations. Our 4 y/o ate the garlic pizza and the 22 month old enjoyed the garlic fried rice. We will definitely go back for more.

  13. We tried this place last night for the first time. It was FABULOUS!! A group of 8 of us went and ordered 17 different items and shared everything. This is my new favorite place to eat and the prices were really reasonable for the amount of food we got. We split a little over 16000 Y between all of us. We will most certainly be eating here many times in the next 2 years.

  14. Devin-if you click on the picture of the menu, it will enlarge it and you may be able to make out the prices. I was able to see them. Hope that helps!

  15. Not a fan, I dont get why everyone likes it so much. I went there with a group so we ordered a lot of different dishes to try it all out and the only thing I liked was the garlic pizza and spicey fires. I’m not a picky eater but this restaurant definitly did NOT meet my expectations and I wont be back.

  16. Yeah, you have to push the button if you want them to come to you. (They’ll still come if you don’t push it, but only once they realize that you don’t know to push it.) They ask your name when taking your order so that it is written on the check. When you’re done eating, simply walk up to the counter, tell them your name, & pay. Also, about the water situation. Simply ask for a pitcher of water when you are seated so that you can refill at your own pace. We do this every time, and have never had problems.

  17. There are buzzers there. That way they know exactly when you need something… I personally wish all restaurants in the states had them. Anytime you go to a local restaurant, look for some kind of button or bell to ring. They won’t come check you you regularly because that’s what the button/bell is for (ordering food, drink refills, to go boxes, etc.).

  18. There was a thing on the table and my Husband kept messing with it wondering what it was. Come to think of it I accidentally pressed the button on it trying to figure it out and that’s when the woman came over to ask us for our order. I thought about it at the time but then thought that maybe it was just a coincidence that she came over then. Thanks for clearing that up for us lol.

  19. There may have been the little buzzer that sits at the table that you are to press..like at Coco’s Curry. We went there for the first time and had similar experience but after visiting other restaurants on island..some restaurants have these so that they come only when you need them to. Any others out there that can confirm this or not-we were very new to island also at the time so I didn’t pay attention and know until after the fact. We also enjoyed the food and may have to go once more before leaving island!

  20. My Husband and I made our way to the Garlic Restaurant last night for the first time. We both thought the food was good. I got the Baked Fish with Garlic Sauce, He got the Beef Steak with Garlic, and then we shared the Deep Fried Garlic. Like I said the food was really good, the food came quickly, and it was very cheap in my opinion. I think the Baked Fish was 640 Yen, the Beef Steak 690 Yen, and the Deep Fried Garlic around 450 Yen. The only things we didn’t like were that it was such a small place and they cram you in there so you feel like you are dinign with everyone there really. My husband didn’t like it that we could hear everyone else’s convos and that we could hear them so well. I also made a note that when we walked in everyone’s glasses in the whole restaurant were empty, so I was slow to drink mine so I didn’t run out before the meal. They never came back to refil drinks or even ask us. Then we had trouble understanding if we got a check at our table or just went up to pay at the counter, we waited forever for our check and it never came. So my Husband went up and asked the guy at the counter and he didn’t seem to understand, so we just payed it there but were still not sure how it works. They just seemed too busy to bother after you got your food in my opinion. We probably will go back but not all of the time. we parked a street or two over behind the auto place. There weren’t any kids there when we went.

  21. OMG!!! I love this restaurant!!! I had the french fries with garlic, seafood salad (shared both with hubby),deep fried garlic shrimp, and we shared the garlic pizza. Hubby had the steak and it was all delicious!!! The portions were just right that I wasn’t stuffed afterwards, just comfortable. I forgot to go get the ice cream! I remembered the next day when I passed the Big Dip off the [email protected] There were a couple of kids there too.

  22. Arin Krin is one of our favorite restaurants! We usually park at McDonalds though or in the parking garage for the Pachinko. We live on Kinser, so we go frequently. It’s so yummy! We get the garlic pizza, sweet and sour chicken, spicy chicken bites, garlic pasta (kids LOVE this), gyoza, garlic fried rice, and the beef and brocolli – which is to die for! We have never had a bad meal there and the service is super quick. If you haven’t tried it already, it’s a must!

  23. Just a piece of advice- they do not have high chairs so be sure to bring a clamp-on one if you have it or be prepared to hold your baby while you eat!! Oh and of course this place is beyond delish!! I am a huge garlic fan so this was like heaven to me.

  24. My boyfriend and I read about Arin Krin on here and just HAD to try it. We just got back home after eating there and I just have to say WOW! We ordered tons of food (way more than two people should eat) but it was worth it. We tried the fried garlic, cheese mashed potatoes, garlic pizza, and the eggplant pasta. Each dish was amazing and we left there feeling great (which was a surprise to us after eating all of that). They let us pay in US dollars and our bill only came out to about 2,300 yen. The waiter gladly converted the price to US dollars and I was shocked at how cheap our wonderful dinner was. The atmosphere was relaxing and it made for great conversation. It wasn’t too loud or overly crowded like some restaurants tend to be. The atmosphere allowed me and my boyfriend to talk easily and it was very spacious so we weren’t bumping into any other table as we ate.

    I highly recommend this place to anyone living on Okinawa or just visiting a loved one who is stationed here (like I am). Thanks to all of you for the great advice!

  25. Thank you sooo much ladies! A group of us had wanted to go last weekend but heard it was closed. We ended up at Four Seasons and our chef was kind enough to oblige our garlic craving. Whoo hoo, I know where we’re going this weekend!

    P.S. Sorry for the scare! Tho, I am very glad I asked. If I ever want to know anything about the island, I know I can get the info here. OkinawaHai rocks!

  26. We were just there on the 6th for my husband’s birthday, so if they’ve closed it’s been very recently.

    I can’t imagine why they would though, they seem to do really good business.

  27. I just heard this restaurant is now closed. Does anyone know if this is true?? I hope not since we wanted to try it out when my husband got back from being deployed.

  28. I just heard this restaurant is now closed. Does anyone know if this is true?? I hope not since we wanted to try it out when my husband got back from being deployed.

  29. I just heard this restaurant is now closed. Does anyone know if this is true?? I hope not since we wanted to try it out when my husband got back from being deployed.

  30. we usually park at the chinese resturant parking right on the left hand side of the street. once you make that left and arin krin is on your right, the parking lot you are looking for is the 1st left after the resturant. i’ve been here for awhile now and we have never gotten a ticket for parking there. we just don’t snag all the good spots that are close to the entrance, that wouldn’t be fair since we aren’t going to their resturant. my must have on the menu is baked garlic with the corn. yuumm

  31. You HAVE to try the radish salad. Sounds strange but it’s Delish. Also love the fried mashed potatoes with cheese inside, baked fish was good, basically everything mentioned except my husband had a beef stir fry and it was ok but somewhat bland, but everything else there I’ve tried was so good!

  32. NO problemo Kelly! Arin Krin is one of my top five MOST favorite dining establishments on this island.
    The beef with veggies and the sweet and sour chicken are two great non-garlic dishes.
    Also, keep in mind that you will walk out of Arin krin reaking of garlic so don’t wear anything that you can’t throw in the wash when you get home. No dry clean only!

  33. OMG! Best place ever on Okinawa. Must have menu: Garlic Chicken Mushroom Pizza, Deep Fried Garlic with Garlic Aoili, & Shrimp Spring Rolls with Chili Sauce. I can be there in 24 hours…I so wish. I go back to Oki in a heartbeat for some Arin Krin!

  34. My favorite is the Baked fish with garlic butter! It is fabulous and I always get the very cheesy and spicy spring rolls, which are actually shaped like triangles! YUM

  35. We love ordering the cheese-in-mashed potato, a pizza or two and I’m especially fond of the garlic baked fish (vaguely healthy and very user friendly, no bones or weird bits).

    Unless we can score a car park out front we usually park in The Autobacs/Chinese Restaurant across the street. Sometimes we will go to Autobacs and buy something small so we are technically a customer 😉 We’ve never got a ticket there though.

    I’ve just started my second stamp card – I feel very proud of myself but vaguely gluttonous.

  36. The deep fried garlic-cheese mashed potatoes! YUMMMMM. Arin Krin is one of our favorite places to go for super cheap eats. We usually go on Friday and always have a reservation, so the wait has never been an issue.

    Parking…we’ve parked at the Chinese restaurant, and the Pachinko parlour across the highway with no problems. The last couple times though, we’ve looped around the block and parked in an alley about a block south of the restaurant. One of these times I’m sure we’re going to walk out and see a big ticket smacked to our window.

  37. Hands down…The Garlic Pizza. I agree, why even go if you’re not going to order the Garlic Pizza?! Yum-O! I myself, do enjoy the Deep Fried Garlic also. Nobody else at the table will eat it but me. There’s usually no make-out sessions scheduled for after Arin Krin.

  38. I LOVE Arin Krin. We are going next week. We always have reservations, a must. Our favorite is the spicy fries and we always order something new. We have to try everything on the menu.
    As far as parking…. I don’t think we have ever parked legally ::shhh:: because everwhere says, “No Arin Krin Parking!”. We park at SkyLark or Autobacs across the street (same side as the restaurant).

  39. I love this place. I highly recommend the garlic rice and the shrimp spring rolls. I also enjoy the garlic steak. Ok so I really love almost everything that is on the menu. I usually do the not so legal thing and park in the lot that is for the Chinese restaurant. Other than that I believe there is a parking garage somewhere in that area, not positive though.

  40. I love this place. I highly recommend the garlic rice and the shrimp spring rolls. I also enjoy the garlic steak. Ok so I really love almost everything that is on the menu. I usually do the not so legal thing and park in the lot that is for the Chinese restaurant. Other than that I believe there is a parking garage somewhere in that area, not positive though.

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