Country buffet serves up dairy delights, more

Restaurant Guide

Country buffet serves up dairy delights, more

by: Takahiro Takiguchi | Stripes Okinawa | March 21, 2016
Calcium CafeCuisine: International, Japanese
Price: n/a
Review: n/a
Hours: Tuesday: 11:30-16:00
Thursday: 11:30-16:00
Saturday - Sunday: 11:30-16:00
Address:
418-1, Maekawa, Tamagusuku,
901-0616 Nanjo-shi , 47
Japan
Phone: 050-5890- 6989
Email:
Menu: n/a

If you’ve not yet been to Calcium Café in Nanjo City, you are definitely missing out on what an Okinawan country-style lunch buffet has to offer. This includes fresh-tasting dairy products and pastries made from milk produced at the café’s own farm. 

“Originally we are a dairy farmer, so we can serve up fresh and delicious milk and dairy sweets such as yogurt, roll-cakes and ice cream – all rich in calcium,” said Calcium Café owner, Taeko Chinen.

She started the lunch buffet five years ago because Okinawans consume the least amount of real milk in Japan, and most of the milk her farm sold was used in artificially processed dairy-based products. The buffet is a way to introduce fresh dairy products along with local foods to people in Nanjo City, she said.

Calcium Café offers only one menu, an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for 1,200 yen ($12). It is only 700 yen for high school students, while middle school students and younger eat for free.

The lunch buffet provides a plenty of meat, fish and Okinawan dishes, as well as curry, bread and fried foods. It also boasts “nankotsu soki,” or Okinawan stewed spare ribs and cartilage and tempura-fried local vegetables.

“We carefully choose the best in-season ingredients and the buffet contents change every day,” Chinen said. “So, we can’t tell you exactly what we are going to have on offer at our lunch buffet until you actually come in.

“Today, for example, we are serving a lot of different potatoes that are at their best during the spring season,” she added.

The buffet includes homemade desserts, such as “zenzai”, a Japanese bean dish made of small red adzuki beans boiled and sweetened with sugar, as well as fresh and tasty sweets made with their own dairy-farm milk. Chinen said that their yogurt is unusually thick and heavy, and goes best with dark molasses.  And the café’s most popular soft-serve ice cream is very creamy, rich and decadent.

If you’re going to go all out on fat and calories – this is the ideal place to do it. 

As new dishes are brought out to the buffet one after another, you have to be careful not to eat too much at once so as to save room for the next culinary surprise to be unveiled at the buffet table. Just take your time and enjoy slow meandering lunch in the café’s rural ambience accented with country-style wooden furniture, antique knickknacks and cozy American oldies music in the background.  The view of gray-green olive trees in the garden from the windows add to the effect. 

Calcium Café is located only a couple of minutes drive from Okinawa World cultural theme park. So, you can drop by this café and enjoy its buffet lunch on the way to or from the popular attraction.

If you want to enjoy a rural and cozy atmosphere where you can eat till your heart’s content, Calcium Café is the right place to go. As the café is popular and often crowded, reservations are highly recommended. The café can also be reserved for dinner parties.