CONTRIBUTED BY LEAH MAGID

Daikon Food
Daikon Food

When we first came to Okinawa just over a year ago, we were pretty trepidetious about trying new foods. Partially impeded by the profound language barrier and partially worried about the fact that we didn’t know what was actually in some dishes, we tried our best but didn’t get terribly far.

One of our strategies in finding new restaurants became to identify a destination where we knew what we were getting (Primo Kitchen to the North, King Taco to the South for instance) and then look for other options along the way. If we felt enticed, or brave enough, we might experience a new restaurant that day. If nothing caught our eye or if we were not feeling adventurous, we knew we would end up somewhere familiar that had food we enjoyed. Win-win, as it were.

On one of our many, many trips from Kombu (north of Courtney) down 75 towards “Town” (Foster), I finally turned the car into a parking lot that I had been eyeing for a while. My reasoning that it had huge, colorful pictures of food on it was well-accepted by my family and we parked. We went up the stairs and found ourselves in the welcoming ante room of Daikon No Hana (the Radish Flower). We were completely delighted to see that the food all had signs on it with little pictures indicating whether the plates included pork, chicken, fish, dairy, etc., and that each sign had English. Even more exciting was the fact that the sprawling buffets had so many choices.

Japanese people are taught to try to eat about 30 different foods a day for balance and health. At Daikon No Hana, this is absolutely possible. Each diner is given a large wooden dish. Some people load their food directly onto the dish, but almost everyone that I have seen uses the small, colorful dishes provided on the food line. This makes it easy to try new foods in small portions; there is no limit as to how many foods a person can try, or how many times they can return to the buffet.

We encountered several kinds of rice, soup and tea. There was sushi, tempura and tofu. There were Okinawan stewed pork and American-style roast beef, four kinds of salads and three gratins. There were fried chicken nuggets, tiny fried fish, fruit dishes and bright vegetables with light seasoning. Tea (hot or cold), several juice and water are all included in the price, but beer is available as well. The desserts ranged from fruit jelly to ice cream to a chocolate fountain, and there were several other selections as well The selection is different every time because the restaurant uses only organic ingredients, local whenever possible. So it’s like eating in a new restaurant every time you go.

Also noteworthy – while this is not a vegetarian restaurant, there are quite a few vegetarian selections, and quite a few vegan selections as well. But just because something has tofu, doesn’t mean it is devoid of pork, too. Just pay careful attention to the signs and you’ll be fine if you are concerned with what you might eat.

There are three locations, two meal services and several prices. (I have only been to the location on 75, so I do not know if the others have English signs on the food).

Daikon Exterior
Daikon Exterior

Hours & Price: Lunch runs from 11:30-1600 (last order at 14:30).  Adults: Y1450/Kids Y750/Under 4 yrs Y450/Over 65 Y1350. (No alcohol served at lunch).  Dinner starts 17:30-22:30 (last order at 21:00). Adults: Y1750/Kids Y950/Under 4 yrs Y500/Over 65 Y1500.

Phone:  098-929-3133

Payment:  Yen, Visa, JCB, Edy

Directions:  Just north of where 330 turns into 75 (before 85 if coming from Kadena/Foster; after 85 if coming from McT/Courtney), the Daikon no Hana is on the East side of the road, same side of 75 as an A&W. It has a stone facade on the street level and pictures of food on the upper level. Parking is underneath and behind.

The Naha location is between the Naha International Airport and the Japanese base towards Itoman.

Website:  http://okinawa-restaurant-daikon.blogspot.com/

*Map Pin below is for location on 75.  Other locations can be found on their website HERE.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Went here for lunch today and it was terrific! Paid 1,540 Yen and it was worth every yenny. Lots of meat dishes, soups/curry, MANY salads and vegetarian dishes, and yummy desserts. They had a variety of cold and hot drinks/teas to choose from. The food tasted super fresh and I thought it was great value for all you can eat/drink buffet. Great environment, child friendly as well. Will definitely be going back!

  2. Ate here tonight and…OMG….this place is fabulous! This vegetarian family left stuffed after 1.5 hours 🙂
    It was so wonderful that even our 28 month old enjoyed it and did not get fussy or antsy. Absolutely amazing buffet!

  3. One of my favorite restaurants on Okinawa! Everything is fresh and delicious.
    Be advised that they don’t open for dinner until 1800 on week nights (1730 on weekends). We found out by showing up just a touch too early one night.
    It has been a couple of months since I had been here last, and they have updates the allergy info signs so they are even easier to read!

  4. This place is fantastic! Highly recommended for local, fresh, authentic healthy food! We were the first customers there when they opened for dinner on a Fri at 1800 and were seated promptly without a reservation. We had an out of town friend and her 2 year old with us and all the staff were super friendly. One man walked through the buffet with us and recommended dishes and explained some as best he could. There are no English signs so you have to be a little adventurous but everything was so delicious. They have tons of per made dishes, soups, sushi and salads and a create your own Soba station. They also came around to the table offering speciallyade pizza and deserts. The desert spread is also impressive! Definitely not your typical mass produced buffet! A must try for anyone looking for a little bit of everything.

  5. We went to this restaurant tonight, we thought it was okay. I don’t think we would go there again. I would rather have Korean BBQ. Some of the dishes were good but hard to know what they were since everything was in Japanese. The price is a little high as well.

  6. The allergy cards are the best bet. There are grilled meats including chicken and beef sometimes. There is also sushi.

  7. Does anyone know if they have any dishes for people with gluten intolerance? Is everything fried and has soy sauce or there are grilled meats aswell?

    Me and my husband want to try this and since I have celiac disease I don’t know if I could eat anything…

    • If I remember correctly there are NO meats other then some fish and a pig knuckle here or there. It is hard to tell what will be there from time to time because they change so often.

      As for your gluten i would say that you should buy an allergy card in Japanese that says you’re allergic to Gluten. We took some friends to this restaurant who were vegan and allergic to fish they both had the cards and it worked just fine for us 🙂

  8. For Min: Go out KAB Gate #2 until you come to the big intersection (Goya 4 Corners). Turn Left onto 330 heading north. Keep going all the way down, 330 eventually turns into 75. You will pass Central Park Ave, a bowling alley and several lights later, you’ll come to a big intersection with an A&W on your far right corner. Daikon No Hana is on your right corner across from the A&W. Turn right at the light, then turn right into the parking lot right behind (or under) the building.

  9. can someone please post directions from KAB? I am a little confused by the description of the location of the restaurant as written above. THX!

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