Saturday, June 14, 2008

Okinawa

A friend of ours told us that there was a very unique Japanese restaurant near our home. At first we were not too excited because in Bangkok, there are millions of Japanese restaurants. I think there is one in every corner of the city. It is due to the enourmous Japanese ex-pat population. But, when our friend told us this special restaurant specialised in Okinawan food; this got our interest going. We never had Okinawan food; so we were ready.

The restaurant is called...yes, it is called Okinawa. It is on Sukhumvit soi 69. There used to be a post office in the corner of the soi, but is gone now. The restaurant is in a normal shop house, like any other on the soi. The decor is simple and has lots of photos of Okinawa on the walls.

We sat down and looked at the menu; while trying to decide what to order, the staff brought us an amuse bouche. It was kind of a home-made sweet doughnut. What was strange about this is that it was sweet. Normally, you get a savoury amuse bouche to get you ready for your dinner. However, I did like the thing.










The second dish was a very unique dish indeed. I never had something like this before and I thought the presentation was great. It was tofu cut into squares and each tofu square was topped with a very flavourful topping. They were seaweed, bamboo shoot, inards (I did not want to know exactly what), pork miso, sour plum, salmon eggs, mini-fish and squid. I did not get to taste all the tofu since we were sharing the dish. But the ones I did try were interesting. Of course, I had to end up with the inards, and I have to say it was not my favourite.


The third dish was a very fresh fish, steamed with ginger and plum wine. Fantastic! The fish was cooked perfectly (we really hate fish overcooked) and the flavour of the plum wine & ginger sauce was amazing, a winning combination.










The fourth dish was another amazing find. Black pig over rice (cooked almost like a katsudon). This one we were all fascinated with since you cannot get black pig in Bangkok. The black pig was very tender and tasty. It reminded us of the black pig in Spain.


The fifth dish was pork belly (sorry for the unfocused photo). I normally do not like this dish because I do not like the fatty texture of this dish. However, I can over come it if there is a lot of meat under the fat. To my joy, there was a lot of meat and it was so tender that you could cut into it like it was butter.










The sixth dish was black squid ink soba. Another unsual dish, and again very tasty. This has got to be one of the ugliest dishes to eat. It looks like a giant plate of black worms. And after you eat it, you are one of the ugliest sights to behold with your black teeth and lips. Its always funny to have a discussion with your friends after eating a dish like this. The soba noodles were cooked perfectly (I liked the texture soba has on this dish compared to say spaghetti) and the black ink sauce (which normally has no taste) had a kick to it.


The seventh dish was the typical gyoza in any Japanese restaurant. We did not know what else to order, so this is usually a safe bet. They turned out to be very good. You could tell they were home made vs. the frozen kind you can buy in the supermarkets. They had a very tasty filling of minced pork and spices. Fried nicely and crispy on one side and chewy on the other. The skin was not too thick.










The eight dish was tekka makki sushi. We usually order this dish to test the restaurant for the freshness of its tuna. Since, every Japanese restaurant serves this dish, we can also compare which one is better or worse than the other one. This dish was just ok, the tuna was fresh but did was not so flavourful and the rice was a disappointment. It was too mushy or wet.


The ninth dish was vegetable soba soup. This was a simple dish but a very good one. The soba noodles were nice, the vegetables fresh and crunchy and the bouillon was clear and flavourful. Any vegetarian would have been very happy to have one of these.










The tenth dish was dessert. It was gelatin blob filled with red bean. I was pretty stuffed by this time and I did not feel like adding a dessert that looked like it would sit in my stomach for a while. However, I had to have a taste. The flavour was nice, but I was not a fan of the texture. My friend; however, loved it and ate everyone's dessert. Lucky we had him at this dinner.


A great place. I highly recommend you to try this place. The parking is practically non-existent and you will have to find a parking somewhere on the street. The chef is a very nice Thai woman. She was very friendly and helpful. She was very patient with us explaining most of the dishes to us. We did have a lot of questions for her.

Family Restaurant Okinawa, 24/1 Sukhumvit soi 69, 02-711-0536

1 comment:

Uniquely Chic Creations said...

tofu looks amazing!