When one thinks of Okinawan cuisine, one thinks of Okinawan soba noodles, pig’s feet, and rafte (stewed pork). But if you want to get a deeper taste of Okinawa, don’t stop there. There are ingredients that have been eaten by Okinawans for a long time and can be called “advanced Okinawan cuisine”…
Gushikenya｜You can’t get this kind of food in Tokyo or Osaka… Core Okinawan cuisine experienced at a deep izakaya in the center of Naha City
The food is said to be nutritious and good for the body, but even among the local Okinawans, there is a sharp divide between those who like it and those who don’t. Those who don’t like it don’t even want to take a bite…but those who do like it become such enthusiastic fans that they could eat it every day and never get tired of it.
Why are there so many different likes and dislikes of this food? Is it because it looks grotesque? Then, is the foodstuff a snake? No, it is not. It is not a grotesque food, so don’t worry. However, this ingredient is not easily found in Okinawan restaurants in metropolitan areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. It is a food that can only be found in Okinawa. It is basically a food that can only be eaten in Okinawa.
So this time, I tried this food at an izakaya located near Kokusai-dori in the center of Naha City.
The izakaya “Gushiken-ke” is a four-minute walk from Yui Rail Asahibashi Station. The restaurant has the image of a deep, old-fashioned izakaya, with a row of counter seats in a long, narrow space and a wired broadcasting system playing songs from the 1980s inside the restaurant.
A seat at the counter to which I was shown. An alcohol-soaked Alpino? s hub, soaked in alcohol, welcomes you. I stare at the hub, sip a sip of Orion beer, chat with the mother sitting next to me, and wait patiently for the food to be served.
And here is today’s main course that came out…
It is long and thin in the shape of a crescent moon, half of it is gelatinous, and the rest of the pink part looks like meat. This is goat meat sashimi…in other words, goat sashimi (1,200 yen). The part that looks like gelatinous is goat skin. It is crispy and has a fresh texture different from that of red meat sashimi.
The other half of the meat is soft and light tasting. What the heck, it’s totally good…” I was making room for it when I came to the end. The smell of animal smell, similar to that of mutton, wafted from the back of my nose. This is probably the reason why some people like it more than others.
However, the goat sashimi at this restaurant is well-prepared, so it is not as fishy as that served at other restaurants. The smell is lessened if you eat it with the mugwort leaves provided, but mugwort itself is bitter, so I guess it doesn’t make a difference in terms of palatability…
In addition to goat sashimi, there is also goat soup (1,500 yen), but the madam next to me told me not to try it. I heard that the smell of the animal is even stronger than that of the goat sashimi. I didn’t get to try it this time, but if you are a mutton lover, you may want to try the goat soup directly.
If you have come all the way to Okinawa, why not try goat? To get to Gushiken-ke, walk 4 minutes from the nearest station, Asahibashi Station on the Okinawa Yui Rail.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant.
Address: 1-4-7 Kumoji, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan
Phone number: 098-867-0475
Business hours: 17:00-24:00
By the way, I would like to add that major dishes such as raftae and chanpuru are also delicious and hearty. Coming from the interior, it seems very cosy. I recommend it even if you are not traveling alone.
P.S. There is also this healing cafe near the Gushiken-ke…