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Enjoy a view of Shurijo Castle at Tundaa Bar & Dining, Shuri's hidden treasure
post : 2017.09.24 07:00
Shurijo Castle is a popular destination for any trip to Okinawa. Did you know there is a hidden place where you can enjoy a view of the whole castle from just in front?
Tundaa Bar & Dining is located in a condominium in Shuri Town. The name is derived from Tundaabon, one of the gudanuutuimuchi, or traditional royal cuisines of Ryukyu Kingdom period. The dish was served in a hexagonal lacquer dish as an appetizer and was accompanied by Okinawa’s traditional sake ,awamori.
You need to make your reservation for a Tundaabon dinner course at least one day in advance.
Fine lacquer ware and an exclusive menu were once used to welcome royal envoys from China during Ryukyu Kingdom period. Tundaabon’s dinner course is a modified version of that traditional food culture still served on Tundaabon lacquer ware made by Bankaku Shikki, which has been in business for over 120 years. The experience of dining on traditional Ryukyu cuisine on traditional lacquer ware makes for fitting, royal meal while enjoying the view of Shurijo Castle, the ancient capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom. The menu is available to see on their website.
The restaurant has 12 table seats and four seats at the counter. The cozy space creates a pleasant, relaxing ambience that is perfect for adults. Shurijo Castle is very near to the wide windows.
Chef-/Ryoko Iha handles the whole process of meal preparations, including, from purchasing ingredients to cooking. "Local vegetables from local soil, water and sun are best." Said Iha. Her husband, the bartender, grows the fresh vegetables used in the course meals and a la carte dishes. "The winter squash, daikon radishes and potatoes taste different from store-bought ones,” said Iha. “Our carrots are subtle, sweet and tender. Local garlic is small and hard to peal, but they are flavorful and spicy." The restaurant features many items using fresh, local vegetables available for you to sample.
A hot pot dish of chicken thighs with local hot peppers, for instance, brings for the flavor of "dad" who grew the vegetables.
When you see the menu, you might think it is a fancy restaurant. But the friendly owners have created a casual space so you can be yourself as you enjoy your food and drinks. Other than the chicken hot pot, deep-fried gurukun (the prefectural fish of Okinawa), seaweed and spicy cod roe omelets and other individual specialties go great with your drinks.
Mr. Iha’s Cocktails are one of the charms of Tundaa Bar & Dining. He has been tending bar for 14 years in such places as Ebisu, Shirogane and Ginza (in Tokyo) and can make an ordinary Mojito very special with two kinds of rum (see photo). The cocktail is very lively so that you can enjoy more than just the alcohol.
A large selection of alcoholic beverages from most of the breweries and distilleries in Okinawa including the neighboring islands are available. Ask for recommendations and they will help you find your favorite.
Food is served on Yachimun (traditional Okinawan ceramic wares) while drinks come in Baccarat Ryukyu sake glasses by Bankaku Shikki, letting diners enjoy their Ryukyuan experience at Tundaa Bar & Dining. You may feel like royalty as you sip your aged awamori from a lacquer cup. The panoramic view of Shurijo Castle beautifully lit up at night is outstanding. This is a wonderful restaurant in many ways.
Tundaa Bar & Dining
Address: Castle View 402, 2-13 Shuri Tounokura Town, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (reservation required by 18:00 night before)
Dinner 18:00-21:00 (last order 20:45)
Closed: Sunday, first and third Monday
Parking: Please use nearby public parking
Okinawa CLIP photo writer: Aya Asakura