Akatafuu: Enjoy traditional Ryukyuan cuisine at its finest

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Ryukyu Ryori Akatafuu is a popular restaurant that serves up authentic Ryukyuan cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere.

Ryukyuan cuisine, which has roots to the Ryukyu Dynasty (1429-1879), is the local dishes cooked by using both Japanese and Chinese culinary methods, according to Ken Shiroma, a renowned chef and the owner of Akatafuu.

“In the cuisine, pork, various potatoes and konbu (kelp) and other seaweeds are main ingredients,” he said.

“We cook the dishes by using fresh local ingredients seasoned with pork broth and bonito flacks,” said Shirota, explain that Ryukyuan cuisine is not only tasty, but also good for your health. “It contains various minerals, dietary fiber and nutrition, while it is low on fat and cholesterol. Ryukyuan dishes are often considered to contribute to the longevity of Okinawans.”

Although Okinawans call Ryukyuan dishes nuchigusui, meaning life medicine, they also are the first to tell you how tasty this traditional food is.
Currently, Akatafuu offers three course sets on it menu: 7-dish course (4,000 yen), 10-dish course (5,800 yen) and 12-dish course (7,900 yen).

“The 10-dish course is the most popular set,” Shiroma said. “It includes ‘popo’ (spring roll filled with pork and miso), ‘nakamijiru’ (clear pork guts soup), ‘minudaru’ (steamed pork with sprinkled black sesame seeds), ‘kubuirichii’ (stir-fried kelp) and ‘rafutee’ (pork ribs stewed in local liquor and soy sauce).”

Shiroma renovated an Okinawan folk house and opened Akatafuu 21 years ago.  Since the restaurant is located near Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can enjoy the authentic Okinawan food after strolling around the historical site.
It is important to note that this popular restaurant can accommodate only 10 to 15 people, and you must make reservations.

Shiroma prepares the food daily based off reservations

“Even a single guest can eat by himself at the table and enjoy our dishes in our homey atmosphere without being bothered by others,” he said.

No matter how many customers, the chef promises a dinner steeped in tradition and full of flavor.

“I wish to make all of our guests feel at home and enjoy our dishes, leisurely to the heart’s content,” Shiroma said.

Ryukyu Ryori Akatafuu
Open Mon - Sat, 6 - 11 p.m. (only reservation) 
Address:  1-37 Shuriakata Town, Naha City (3-minute walk from Shuri Station of Yui-rail)
Website (in Japanese): www.akatafu.net/
Reservation or more information: 098-884-5543 (Japanese)

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