Kokusai Dori Yatai-mura is a gourmet spot that opened on June 19, 2015. Here, 20 food vendors and restaurants serve great food with local ingredients. Deep fried foods, sushi, tempura, Okinawa soba, gelato and more are available to enjoy. There is also a Chinese bar and an awamori (Okinawan sake) bar are open for people who want to enjoy food and alcohol even in the daytime.
I would like to introduce one of the restaurants today. Murasaki Soba from Tokashiki specializes in food made from ingredients from Tokashiki Island. – the largest of the Kerama Islands.
Kiyoya Toyama, the owner used to work at a tourist area of Tokashiki Village where he was in charge of advertising for the village. He decided to open the restaurant to bring life to his hometown. He participated in an outer island fair in 2014 – the purpose of which was to share products and culture and to interact with people from other islands. The fair was his inspiration to start his own business. “I wanted to make something memorable related to a fact that Kerama Islands were designated as a national park in March, 2014.” said Toyama. He mixed black rice with buckwheat flour to make noodles and marketed them as Murasaki Soba at the fair. He found an ad inviting vendors to join Kokusai Dori Yatai-mura and sent in his application. He didn’t have any experiences as chef but had learned cooking from his mother who used to prepare the food at the inn owned by his family.
The signature dish is of course Murasaki soba (hot or cold) at the restaurant. A carbonara using the buckwheat and black rice noodle is also a popular item. The special noodles have a mild, chewy texture and slide smoothly down your throat to stomach. Ramen is very popular after drinking alcohol, but Murasaki soba is actually better because it is easy on your stomach.
Cone rice using black rice is a great addition to the menu. The black rice comes from Toyama's father’s own rice field.
You also can’t miss local tuna dishes. Simmered tuna tail is a great dish with beer or awamori. It’s got the perfect richness.
Tokashiki-no-Kaze is an alcoholic beverage with black turmeric, morella rubra and organic black rice. It is sweet and great for awamori beginners.
Toyama has been a competitive athlete since 2013. He may pose for photos with you if you make a request. His dishes are as unique and impressive as his personality. By all means, stop by the shop the next time you're on Kokusai Street You will love this home-style cooking.
Murasaki Soba from Tokashiki
Address: 3-11-17 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa