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Savor famous Ie Island beef with an Ie Burger at casual restaurant Ace Burger
post : 2017.08.29 07:00
Ie Island is about a 30-minute ferry ride from Motobu Peninsula in the northwest part of the main island of Okinawa. On Ie, there are many places to visit such as Mount Tacchuu or Ie Beach. You can have a great time, touring on a bicycle as the circumference is only 22.4 kilometers and there aren’t many hills. You might be hungry for meat after a cruise around the island.
Ace Burger has been in business for 41 years and is located near the city office at the center are of the island. The casual eatery is not rightly called a café or dining room; it is, at its heart, a Western style restaurant that has satisfied the appetites of local residents for a long time. Its brick-trimmed appearance retains the classic and relaxing style of the Showa Period.
Ace serves various food items including burgers, hamburger steaks, beefsteak, taco rice, Okinawa soba and more. Their specialty is, of course, the Ace Burger (350 yen. All prices include tax). This burger is made of Ie beef and is available at no other place on the island. You shouldn’t pass it up.
On Ie, cattle are raised grazing on grassy fields, rich with plenty of sea breeze-born minerals. The meat patty features tenderness and rich flavor from its great balance of fat and rich, red, 100 percent ground Ie beef, making for a truly luxurious “fast food.” The juiciness of the meat matches the fluffy buns and fresh island vegetables – like cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers – perfectly. The Ace Burger has been a featured item for 18 years and its taste and the popularity have remained unchanged.
If you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, try the Ie Beef Hamburger Steak Set with soup, salad and rice (1,200 yen) if you have time to eat in. You will love the unadulterated rich flavor concentrated in the burger. A fried egg makes a great accompaniment to the hamburger.
There is another item that I need to mention here. Rib Roast Steak with soup, salad, rice (1,700 yen) is an owner’ s recommended item. Just look at the juice dripping from the one-centimeter-plus steak. This is really what you can call “meat without a doubt!”
The special steak sauce has a complex flavor... and, a secret recipe. Butter and lemon on top add even more flavor. Or, you can use A-1 sauce if you prefer. The huge portion (300g) is wonderful if you are super hungry. The satisfying feeling after filling up on a meal like this is beyond imagination. The most luxurious item is the 250g Ie Beef Steak (4,000 yen), which must ordered one day in advance.
I watched as they prepared the steak at the kitchen. First the chef scored the meat along its length and width so the meat would cook quickly. After setting it on the hot iron grill, he applied sauce and cooked for 1-2 minutes before flipping it over. As the lovely meat sizzled, my mouth began to water from the sound and the aroma. The anticipation was almost painful. Mr. Arakawa, the owner and the chef performed beautifully – the way pros do.
I noticed a drive through area in the back with locals coming and going during lunchtime. It seemed very busy. Since all burgers are made fresh to order, you should know that you may have to wait for 15 minutes or so. It’ s a good idea to phone in orders in advance if your schedule is tight.
If you find yourself hungry on Ie Island, please grab some takeout Ie burgers and enjoy them at the top of Tacchuu.
*Note: Currently Ie beef is known as Okinawa Wagyu (Okinawa black beef), which is regulated by the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Okinawa. However, in this article, we refer to the special beef raised on the island as Ie beef.
Address: 136 Kabira, Ie Village, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00-14:00, 17:00-21:00
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)