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After visiting Shuri-yo Castle which is one of the main tourist attraction in Okinawa, it’s time for our lunch!
Just 5 minutes from Shuri-yo Castle, we had our lunch at Ryukyu Sabo Ashibiuna. This restaurant provides great ambience with delicious traditional Okinawan cuisine!
We went at 1.45 pm for a late lunch! Since it is after lunch hour, we didn’t expect it to be crowded but there were around 5 groups queuing before us.
Initially, we were quite worried that the waiting time would be long as it seems like a small restaurant from the outside. However, we were surprised by the interior of the restaurant. The small entrance makes the restaurant looks mini, but within, it hides a huge restaurant with many tables!
There were 2 types of seating: indoor & outdoor. There were more tables indoor and only about 8 tables facing the garden. We didn’t have to wait long for a table to be available but it was the indoor seating. Therefore, we decided to wait for a little longer, so that we can have a table facing the garden.
It was so serene and relaxing. Their Japanese garden is really impressive, the plants, trees, flowers and even sand is so well designed and decorated. The indoor and outdoor garden seating had a totally different atmosphere. If you have the chance, sit outside!
This restaurant serves various Okinawan and regional dishes! While we were waiting for the table, we observed what most people ordered. Based on our observation, the no 1 dish on every table is Goya Chumpuru Set (stir-fried bitter melon). Apart from this, we ordered another 2 dishes, Okinawan Soba Set and Ikasumi Yakisoba Set.
We followed the rest and ordered Goya Chumpuru Set (stir-fried bitter melon) – ¥820. Just like the rest, this is also our favourite dish! This is also a Okinawan specialty so I would recommend you to get this! It is Okinawan bitter gourd stir-fried with sliced pork, egg and tofu! Don’t worry! It’s not bitter! It’s such a healthy and delicious dish at the same time!
Next, we had Okinawa Soba Set ¥810. Anyone who visits Okinawa must try the Okinawan soba which is widely loved by locals. It’s nice to have a hot bowl of soba during winter!
On another note, the texture of the noodle is not really to my liking as it is the thicker noodle and had a hint of ammonia. The pork was good! But there were only 2 slices, wish there were more slices of pork!
Another noodle dish, Ikasumi Yakisoba Set (Fried Squid Ink Noodle) ¥880 which is also delicious. Some may find it blend as the seasoning is quite light and not too salty.
We find that the Yakisoba is quite simple to cook but we still like it. There are lots of bean sprout stir fry together with the noodle and a few squid!
We ordered the set meal for all 3 dishes. The set meal comes with sashimi, mozuke seaweed with vinegar, pickles, rice (white or jyushi which is Okinawan mixed rice), and fruits. We love the Okinawan mixed rice as it was full of fragrance.
I would recommend you to get the set meal as it cost around ¥200 more, depending on the individual dishes.
Add another ¥200 for drinks (either soft drink or sherbet).
I feel that Ryukyu Sabo Ashibiuna restaurant is quite popular among tourist. There was a few group of tourist together with us. There were English menus and the staff could speak basic English.
The total bill for the 3 set amount to ¥2926! This is an incredible deal for such exquisite meal and with the garden view, it makes a perfect combination! It is really super worth it considering our dinner yesterday at 居酒屋 was ¥6,820 for the 8 small dishes and 2 beer.
Enjoying flavorsome traditional Okinawan cuisine while admiring the zen Japanese garden was simply an unforgettable experience. Most importantly, the price is reasonable too! It was indeed satisfying for body, mind and tummy.
Things to note:
If you park behind the restaurant (Lawson mart along the main road before turning into the road leading to the University of Art Shuri Tonokura campus) during lunch hours (11:00-15:100), you can get a parking discount ticket.
You can also make a reservation but we didn’t as we weren’t sure of the timing that we would be visiting so we decided to just go after we are done exploring Shuri-yo Castle!
Ryukyu Sabo Ashibiuna
2 Chome-13 Shuritōnokurachō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 903-0812
Phone for reservations: 098-884-0035