Let your taste for pork live high on hog on Okinawa
If you have not had a chance to taste Okinawan-bred aguu pork there is a perfect place to sample this premium meat at its finest on the northern part of the island: Okinawa Tonkatsu Shokudo Shimabutaya restaurant.
This eatery prides itself on using the highest quality pork from aguu hogs raised in the Yanbaru wilds of northern Okinawa for its dishes. Aguu pork has less fat and cholesterol than other pork, and more glutamic acid and other savory components that make it tasty and healthy, according to the Okinawa prefectural government.
Okinawa Tonkatsu Shokudo’s “tonkatsu,” or pork roast cutlets, are breaded with natural yeast breadcrumbs made from its own homemade bread; then they are deep fried to a golden brown in 100 percent aguu lard. The cutlets are crispy and tender enough to cut with your chopsticks. The meat is juicy and bursting with flavor.
“Shabu shabu,” thinly sliced meat individually boiled at the table and eaten with dipping sauces, is another popular dish there. At this eatery, the dipping sauces are also made from aguu pork, so you can enjoy the authentic taste of this delicacy in all its fullness.
Lunchtime offerings include the pork roast cutlet set or the mille feuille cutlet comprised of thinly sliced pork delicately layered, breaded and deep fried for 1,800 yen ($18). There is also a cutlet sandwich for only 780 yen.
For dinner, there is the shabu shabu and deep-fried “kushi katsu” kebab course for 3,500 yen. The dinner menu also features the highly recommended Premium Roast Cutlet set for 2,800 yen and a shabu shabu set for 1,800 yen. These courses and sets include a buffet of homemade “yushi dofu” tofu curd and pickled vegetables.
In addition to the high-grade pork dishes, you can enjoy “awamori,” a traditional Okinawan liquor, flavored with local fruits, such as pineapple, green “shekwasha” tangerine and acerola (Barbados cherry).
The unique interior of this restaurant serves to round out an authentic Okinawan dining experience. It features hundreds of dragon fruit-shaped illuminations made from Ryukyu-glass and scores of Okinawan three-stringed “sanshin” on display that welcome visitors into festive native atmosphere.
Okinawa Tonkatsu Shokudo is located near Moon Beach, and it offers terrace seats that allow for dining in swimwear. So, you can enjoy a great meal here right after a swim at the beach.
Although the restaurant can accommodate 65 people, it is very popular and always crowded; reservations are highly recommended. English-language menus are available, and credit cards are accepted.
Visit Okinawa Tonkatsu Shokudo Shimabutaya and enjoy premium pork in the Okinawan atmosphere that is sure to make for a memorable dining experience.
Okinawa Tonkatsu Shokudo Shimabutaya
Hours: Thursday-Tuesday (close Wednesdays), 12 p.m.-12 a.m. (last order at 11 p.m.)
Address: 96-1, aza-Maeganeku, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun (In front of the Moon Beach bus stop; 5-minute drive from Ishikawa I.C. off Okinawa Jidoshado Expressway)
URL (in Japanese): r.gnavi.co.jp/f316203
To make reservations (recommended) in Japanese, call: 098-923-1518