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This Could be Your Favorite Italian Restaurant♪ “IBISCO” in Omoromachi, Naha City
post : 2017.08.03 18:00
Wide sky, the blue ocean, the heat of sun, and red hibiscus blooms under the sun… Usually people come up with this image when they imagine of Okinawa. “IBISCO” means hibiscus in Italian, and the owner named his restaurant after hibiscus which represents Okinawa. He opened his restaurant on November 22nd, 2015 in Omoromachi, Naha City.
The owner / chef is Yu Amuro. After he graduated from a culinary school, he trained at a hotel in Shizuoka Prefecture for 1 year, and then a historic Italian restaurant “Carmine” in Tokyo Prefecture for about 3 years. He is from Tokyo Prefecture. However, he has his roots in Okinawa.
He decided to become a chef when he was in high school. Around the time when he started to think about his future, the manager at an izakaya where he used to work said to him, “to do what we like for our living and live for the rest of our lives. Isn’t that the happiest thing in our lives?” His word triggered Yu to pursue his cooking career. His wife Sonomi is a former graphic designer. She currently designs the restaurant’s brochure, business card, and place mat. Also, she also works as a staff at the restaurant.
While he was training at “Carmine,” he started dreamt of “having his own restaurant.” Later, the dream transformed to goal and then reality. He thought about “opening his restaurant in Okinawa” when he was 16 years old. He went to Café Curcuma in Nanjo City where is famous for attracting location, and its overwhelming beautiful view grabbed his heart. And his dream was also his father’s dream. His father was born in Okinawa and moved to Tokyo in his teens. Probably he recognized the good and attractive parts of Okinawa after he moved to Tokyo.
“IBISCO is the first step of my dream. My final goal is to open an auberge on Amuro Island, a part of a deserted island on Kerama Islands, and serve for 1 pair per day. Is it too big to dream of?” Yu told me. No, not at all. Dream big and aim high. Please make your dream come true.
Thickly sliced “Okinawan Coastal Tuna Carpaccio” has gorgeous and rich flavor. The origin of carpaccio was when the inventor expressed paints of a Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio with raw beef and white sauce. He was valued for using red and white, and that was his style of painting. Yu wanted to express red and white by using ingredients of Okinawa, so he uses tuna for red, and cheese sauce for white. “Since I live in Okinawa, I want to use ingredients of Okinawa and eager to use unique ingredients of the place.” He said.
“Aged Ie Beef Tagliata” is a dish to grill the surface of beef lightly and heat it in the oven at low temperature to finish, so it takes time to be served (it takes about more than 40 minutes, so it is better to order it first). The heat brought out its delicious taste, and I was attracted to it from the first bite. Lots of meat juice came out of the soft meat, and my mouth was filled with happiness♪ Yu seasons the whole with salt of Yagaji Island because he believes it goes well with beef compared to other salts of Okinawa.
Handama (Okinawan spinach), Indian spinach, beet, beet greens, black carrot, kimbi golden carrot… Yu mainly uses vegetables and herbs of Kishimoto Farm in Itoman City to cook salad. He constantly visits the farm to get inspiration from there. “I want to use its unique ingredients and cook something that can be eat only at my restaurant.” He explained to me.
Limited number of “lasagna” is served only during lunch hour. It is a reproduce of lasagna at “Carmine,” and Yu serves it so his customers can eat the popular menu of historic restaurant where he trained at.
Meat sauce is made by boiling ground beef with red wine and tomatoes for about 3 hours, and it takes more energy, patience, and time to make Béchamel sauce. Both sauces are used to cook lasagna lavishly. I have no doubt that its rich flavor and aroma grabs everybody’s hearts.
More than 50 kinds of wines are available here, and they are all Italian wines. Yu purchased them through his original route which he developed from his long term experience. Some of them are rare, so it is hard to purchase them in Okinawa.
“Always be honest to my customers.” Yu always keeps this faith in his mind, so he only serves dishes and wines that he believes that are “good!” Would you like to have the authentic Italian dishes in Okinawa? You might feel like being in Italy when you are in this atmosphere and have tasty dishes. Let’s enjoy the Italian dishes made with Okinawan ingredients and wine until you feel fully satisfied♪
Address: 2-3-16 1F Omoromachi, Naha City
Business hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (last call 14:00) / Dinner 18:00 – 23:00 (last call 22:00)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Sachiko