Get a taste of traditional Okinawan cuisine and arts at Doumu
Tucked away in the tiny city of Itoman, Okinawa, Doumu Cafe and Shop serves a select but incredibly satisfying selection of Okinawan-style lunches.
Situated a short drive away from the popular Southern Beach Hotel and Heiwakinen Memorial Park, the cafe is small without seeming cramped and very tastefully decorated, with arty wooden chairs and traditional Okinawan pottery and glassware displayed throughout. The cafe focuses on health and freshness, serving Okinawan ingredients in a simple style. For 1,100 yen, you can choose either a vegetable and fish lunch set, or a vegetarian bean coconut curry. This includes a cup of tea and coffee and for 300 yen extra, a dessert.
I chose the vegetable and fish lunch set which included a piece of grilled fish with a creamy sauce, Okinawan goya vegetables, Okinawan seaweed, carrot kinpira and sweet tofu. The food was of an excellent standard and incredibly healthy, particularly the tofu, which I will be returning for. Although the ingredients are light, the portions are large enough to make for a substantial lunch or a light dinner. The food and drink are all served on traditional Okinawan pottery, with no two items the same. This coupled with the charming decor and quiet atmosphere makes Doumu the perfect spot to meet up with a friend, whilst experiencing traditional Okinawan cuisine and arts in a off-the-beaten-track environment. There is a small shop attached to the cafe which sells pottery and other Okinawan-style decorations and art, perfect for tasteful souvenirs and gifts.
The cafe is slightly pricey for the simplicity of its meals, with only two set meal choices, so it is not recommended for picky eaters. The lunch menu is only available in Japanese but does have pictures of the food. The staff are friendly and efficient, whilst still giving you enough space to enjoy your food and chat at your own pace. It's perfect for those who don't want to visit another beach or museum, whilst still retaining a uniquely Okinawan feel. Overall I highly recommend this cafe for people seeking a different taste of Okinawa, both culinary and visually.