CONTRIBUTED BY DAPHNE SHAFER-REPASS
One of the wonderful distinctions Okinawan restaurants has is individuality, something unique in design or style that sets it apart. I mean, you can get soba anywhere, but what makes you return to your favorite soba shop?
Among the numerous home-restaurants in Ishikawa is Exit Café. With only a few places to park, and about five tables to sit, it’s worth it to claim your spot. And the distinction of this restaurant is….wait for it….shoes! Yes, stacked neatly at the front counter are boxes of pretty, high-quality shoes. Take-out menu?
The Y1000 set menu gets you soup, salad, drink, main dish, and dessert. There was so much food, my daughter and I really should have shared one set, but my husband was glad we brought home the leftovers! Offerings include chicken or seafood gratins on rice or in bread, curry and cheese in bread, pizza, pasta, a Korean rice bowl, and a daily special.
My café au lait was one of the best I’ve had on island, my Korean rice bowl was authentic and spicy, and my daughter’s curry and cheese bread was a tasty twist on Japanese curry. My son had a very tasty ham pizza.
For dessert you get a scoop of vanilla ice cream with your choice of seven toppings: chocolate, caramel, maple, blueberries or strawberries (real ones!), shikuwasa (yum), and black sugar.
The décor is an interesting mix of pretty pinks and purples against a clean white background, and bottles and toy horses along the windowsills. One really great touch are the pink blankets at every table, which were so cozy on our laps! I also enjoyed hearing ABBA’s greatest hits as we ate, even swayed a bit to their candy-pop melodies.
Kenichi-san greeted us and made sure we had everything we needed. He and Momo-san took care of us as though we were guests, not customers. We’ve been there twice now, and with a points card, it will easy to return! With a view of the sea, and a pair of shoes to go, Exit Café will have you entering again!
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00-3:00, 5:00-11:00; Saturday-Sunday 11:00-8:00; closed Monday.
Payment: Yen only for now, but they expect to take credit cards in February.
Directions: From Courtney Commissary gate, make a left onto 75 towards Hansen. Take that right at the light in front of the driving range (the Hansen shortcut). Wind down the road a bit about a mile or so; Exit Café is on the left side of the road, directly across from Soupcon Café. Their menu is posted at the end of their driveway. Turn left up that tiny road and park right there on the left in front of the restaurant.
This post was featured in Stripes Okinawa!