CONTRIBUTED BY MONETTE EAMES
While on a long drive up north, we found a ‘classy looking sign’ which advertised the “Green Room Café” We happened to be coming from the Pineapple Park, and were hungry, looking for a place to eat above Nago. We decided to follow the signs for… what seemed like eternity. But isn’t that how it always seems when you’re hungry? The kids are annoyed at each other because they’re hungry, and any short road in the middle of nowhere seems too long? We were so very glad we followed the signs, though. We were definitely rewarded and the Café and the food was worth the drive!
We followed the signs all the way up a mountain, seemingly headed into the clouds. We realized we were also following the signs to Hope Hills, which is a retirement development up the mountain. We entered the development, and the restaurant was just above that. Parking at the place, we knew this would be a special, favorite location, if only for the insanely awesome view. Inside and outside the restaurant, you see a breathtaking view of the entire South China Sea, with a brilliantly blue ocean stretching out below you. It almost looks like a painting from the vantage point.
The dark wood building was filled with smooth jazz as the background music. It was just beautiful. The ambiance was elegant, vibrant, sleek, and sassy. Unique flower arrangements, utensils lined up on pieces of coral, small intricate details at every turn. This would be a perfect place for a romantic early dinner, especially if you arrive just in time to see the sunset as we did, or you could have a nice intimate wedding party here. But at the same time, it’s also fine for hungry boys like ours. There was a huge backyard with an awesome view where they could run around while we waited for our food.
Our sets started off with a very healthy pumpkin soup—you could really taste the pumpkin. It wasn’t tainted with all the ‘extras’ that we Americans usually put in. It was perfect on the cool day we visited. Then came the salad that tasted as if the leaves were just picked from a garden, it included hasu (a vegetable similar to radish), beans, carrots and greens. Just eating those two first items made me want to be a health freak – it was delicious!
We ordered a variety of items from the menu as we had a party of 10 or so, and everything was delectable. We had coconut curry, a chicken vinaigrette dish, a vegetable pizza and more. Dessert was fabulous, with scrumptious cake and treats larger than an average Japanese dessert.
After our wonderful food, we went on another adventure, driving around the growing development. This place looks like an awesome location to retire, although the homes are ‘Japanese-sized.’ One of the model homes was open to tour around, and looked amazing. And to top off the adventure, we found a great tree house right at the entrance of the development, which the kids immediately climbed to their delight!
This whole area was like a haven from the storms of daily life. The location just fills you with a sense that you can conquer anything, and the world is at peace.
Hours: 11:30am – Sunset, Closed: Tuesday
Directions From Foster or Kadena: Take the expressway North to the end, continue into Nago on 58. Turn left on Hwy 84, and continue pass the Pineapple Park. Turn right on Hwy 123. At this point, you should see signs for both Green Café and for Hope Hills. Near the top of a ridge on 123, turn left on a very small paved road headed into the mountains. Continue to follow signs for Green Café and Hope Hills through the small, winding road in the mountains. As you enter the retirement home area, continue on the main road, and there will be signs for a left hand turn leading up a steep gravel road. Green Café is at the top.