Gen: Try variety of Japanese dishes in Chatan
If you want to enjoy a large selection and portions of Japanese cuisine at reasonable prices, Gen restaurant is the place for you.
Gen boasts more than 80 menu items, ranging from tempura, fried rice, beef, chicken, mahi-mahi teriyaki, Okinawan noodles and ramen to sashimi, nigiri (hand-shaped) sushi and various California rolls. You can sample virtually any type of Okinawan and Japanese dish at this restaurant.
But that’s not keeping the restaurant from adding one or more dishes to their menu every month.
“Increasing menu items may make it hard for our customers to select one for their lunch or dinner,” said Gen owner Naoki Tsukayama. “But, we really want to satisfy the taste buds of any customer with a variety of food.”
Located next to Camp Foster’s Fire Station Gate, Gen has been a popular eatery among those in U.S. military community since it opened 8 years ago. In fact, Tsukayama said that more than 60 percent of his customers are from the military community, which is why most on his staff speak English and the menu is in both Japanese and English and includes a photo of each dish for your convenience.
Although located pricey center of Chatan Town, the shop can serve quality dishes for a reasonable price, according to Tsukayama. “I am confident that our dishes are much more reasonable than any other restaurant in town,” he said.
Seafood and vegetables at the restaurant are very fresh, as they always use local products landed or harvested in the morning, Tsukayama said.
The shop has a traditional façade with many shisa (Okinawan lion statues) on the roof. Its interior features natural black wood-grain walls, which creates a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, according to Tsukayama, who said the restaurant has seating for about 50 customers and there are 10 parking spaces available outside.
A self-service water and ice tea station is available.
Tsukayama said the butter-fried fish set for 1,280 yen ($10) or the tempura set for 1,150 yen ($9) are some of the most popular dishes at the restaurant. You can also enjoy sushi and noodles by ordering th Okinawa soba and nigiri sushi set or the “ramen and California rolls set for 880 yen ($7).
All of these popular dishes are served in large portions, sometimes too large for locals to finish, according to Tsukayama. “I am sure that even a big-eating American will be satisfied with the portion,” he said.
Since Gen is a very popular eatery, you may need to wait outside in a line between 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. “If you want to enjoy our dishes in a relaxing atmosphere, please avoid these times and visit us between 3 p.m.-5 p.m.,” Tsukayama said.
Open: 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Location: 642-2 Omura, Chatan Town (next to Camp Foster’s Fire Station Gate)
Website (in Japanese): tabelog.com/okinawa/A4703/A470304/47003055/