Veg out at Noah Style Organic Cafe in Naha

Veg out at Noah Style Organic Cafe in Naha

by Selena Hoy

In a quiet residential area behind a stylish but unassuming façade, Noah Style Organic Café is creating wholesome tasty vegetarian food five days a week.

Some of the first things you'll see when you enter are baskets of organic vegetables for sale and pamphlets and flyers telling you about other healthy local ventures around the area. Noah Style promotes LOHAS, or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, and compared to some other places that just give lip service but don't do much aside from decorating in earth tones, Noah Style practices what they preach.

The café uses pesticide free organic vegetable raised in traditional Okinawan crop rotation farming, which uses seaweed in its compost. They have relationships with the farmers that produce their vegetables, like Mr. Tomohito Sakae, who is pictured on their website.

After being seated upstairs, in the handsome wooden dining area with polished hardwood floors and rough hewn benches, we sampled the daily lunch set, which came with 11 types of food, in addition to miso soup, beverages, and dessert. Highlighting local ingredients, the delicious kuruma-fu cutlet (a kind of gluten product that is popular in Japan) was accompanied by brown rice, hijiki salad, vinegared beets, goya tempura, and urizun-mame ("winged beans"). Dessert was a small morsel of brown sugar cake with sesame paste, each mouthful suffused with fragrant spices and delicate, never-dry crumb. It was over too soon.

In the small back garden, you are welcome to switch into slippers and try to make friends with some of the house denizens, which include a few brown bunny rabbits chewing on greenery and an enormous tortoise who can often be found alternately sunning itself and relaxing in the shade under the deck.

The house also holds a tiny shop selling clothing and cloth goods made from natural and organic cotton. Pretty shawls, baby toys, and flowy linen tops abound. In the next alcove is a small selection of eco-friendly products, like chemical-free soaps and cleaners. Next to the cash register is a selection of house-made sweets, with things like rustic oatmeal raisin cookies, whole grain scones, and savory vegan cakes made with island vegetables like okra, kabocha squash, and moroheiya - a kind of local green. A display case holds tempting offers like coconut banana raisin cake and small glass bottles of soy milk pudding.

Noah style is a great place to take kids, meet friends, or have a calming solo lunch that will nourish you and send you back out into the world energized and refreshed.



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