Monday, November 30, 2015

きしもと食堂 (Kishimoto Shokudo in Okinawa)

きしもと食堂

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With only one free day in Okinawa, I had to make the most of it. Now, if my life was only about the ramen, I probably would have stayed in Naha, slurping at the spots that people had recommended. I had a list of a few of those.

But the empty, ocean-side roads and promise of Okinawa's more local noodle dish were all I could think about. Motobu is a city just about an hour from Naha, and is considered the home of sokisoba. Sokisoba is a simple dish; udon-like noodles in a very light dashi soup, topped with soki (stewed pork spareribs), sanmainiku (stewed pork belly), and kamaboko (fish cake).

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Kishimoto and Yanbaru are the two shops that seem to get the most exposure. Lucky for me, both shops serve small size bowls, and both shops are a five minute drive from each other.

Wake up, eat two bowls of sokisoba, then spend the rest of the day riding around on a fast motorcycle. Did I mention that Okinawa was a lovely 29 degrees C, while Tokyo was around 15?

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500 yen is a steal! Be warned that the small bowls are more like a normal bowl, and the normal bowls are massive.

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To be honest, I'm not big on these type of noodles. They are more of an udon style, and they lack the bite and ability to soak up soup that ramen noodles often have. But those toppings! Fatty pieces of stewed pork and some simple fish cakes. For me, and everyone I know, this is the real allure of Okinawan soba. Of course, you can get stewed pork belly at most Okinawan restaurants, but I really like that the light soup cuts the sweetness of the meat.

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If you find yourself in Motobu (it's where the famous aquarium is), do yourself a favor and check out some soki, you won't regret it.

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And go in November! I stopped on my way back to Naha to watch the sun set from a fancy resort, and I was the only person on the beach.

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I should also not that this one isn't the honten. The original shop is just a few blocks away, but I was confused!

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Map of 350-1 Inoha, Motobu-chō, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-0228

沖縄県国頭郡本部町伊野波350-1
Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Motobo-cho, Inoha 350-1
Closest station: None

Open 11:00-19:00