Plaza House Restaurant provides tasty Cantonese food on Okinawa
China’s influence lies just beneath the surface in many facets of Okinawan life, with Chinese and Japanese heritage colliding with Ryukyu traditions. The food is no different, and the Plaza House Restaurant is where their culinary styles deliciously collide.
Located conveniently in Okinawa City about halfway between Camp Foster and Kadena Air Base on Highway 330, the Plaza House offers a wide selection of authentic Cantonese cuisine at affordable prices. The heaping portions, generally starting at just over 1,000 yen (less than $10), are meant to be shared by friends and family.
Founded more than 50 years ago, the restaurant claims to be the first authentic Chinese restaurant on the island. The claim isn’t easily confirmed, but when it comes to quality, the Plaza House puts their food where your mouth is. Over the years, they have served a wide variety of celebrities and political figures.
Finding good Chinese food in America is often like playing with a hand grenade. Sometimes it is so inauthentic, greasy and just plain disgusting it can blow up in your face, not to mention leave you hungry less than an hour later.
The real deal is often delicious and healthy, and Plaza House sticks to that recipe.
The fried rice is a respectable take on an old classic. It comes with clean pieces of finely chopped meat and egg, but no grease.
The meat in the sweet and sour pork, a real bargain for 1,850 yen, was clean, fresh and tender. It came lightly battered and fried to crispy, delicious perfection, drizzled in a sublime sweet and tangy sauce, coupled with large chunks of onion, green pepper and tomato that stole the show.
The spring rolls, beef and tomato on rice, shrimp and scrambled egg on rice, and stir-fried beef with vegetables also come highly recommended.
The Plaza House additionally offers fusion cuisine like jellied pig ear in a hot pepper awamori sauce, stir-fried Nago royal pork with Shanxi dark vinegar and Aosa seaweed with king crab soup. The local produce is strikingly fresh.
The Plaza House caters to families and functions with large dining and private function rooms, complete with Cantonese decor, and a course menu for any special occasion. The course selection offers a wide array of dishes, from simple and cheap to robust and exotic, starting at 6,200 yen for two and reaching 48,500 yen for five.
The menu also features a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages, including a selection of juices for the kids. For the adults, there is Japanese and Chinese beer, sake, awamori and Chinese wine by the glass or bottle.
The Plaza House carries on their tradition with a welcoming and friendly staff that is quick to recommend their favorite dishes and provide an English-language menu.
Plaza House Restaurant
Location: Okinawa City, halfway between Camp Foster and Kadena Air Base, off Highway 330, in the Plaza House Shopping Center.
Cost: Varies, with appetizers starting at under $10. Entrees generally cost upwards of $10. They offer a course menu for parties of more than one.
Website: plazahouse.net/shop/data/67 (in Japanese)