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Laid-Back Time with Books and Burgers at "BABYBABY HAMBURGER & BOOKS" in Naha
post : 2017.11.30 18:00
In Okinawa, there seem to be more people than any other region that are very much into burgers, probably because of the American rule in the past. Not only franchised fast food restaurants but also small shops run by individual owners. They
serve very unique tasty burgers and “BABYBABY HAMBURGER & BOOKS” is one of them, opened in July last year,
located in Sakurazaka area in Naha.
I was referred to this shop by Mr. Murogami, an owner of bakery in Miyako Island, insisting that I should go there. According to him, the burger shop is "Very nice place.” (“Moja’s Bakery” http://okinawaclip.com/ja/detail/1199). Recommended like that, I was easily persuaded to be there at the “BABYBABY HAMBURGER&BOOKS” and tasted their burger that was made from scratch by owner, Mr. Hino.
It was tasty indeed. Its meat patty was made from scratch, off course with Angus beef chopped up with knife and blended with house made bacon. Butter-rich flavored buns are light-type brioche, that are baked daily at the shop. Hamburgers are fried slowly,
it takes more than 10 minutes to prepare from taking order and flavored with only spice and mineral-rich salt. They don’t depend
on ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard too much. That is probably why the meat has a deep, tasty flavor and rich aroma.
"For burgers, its appearance matters very much. I would like to serve it neatly so I will take time to make one." Hino said. He tears lettuce leaves by fingers and fold them before tucking them between buns. Tomatoes are cut after taking order. And he makes some adjustments with ingredients accordingly how the buns are baked. He prefers to wait on smaller group rather than big party because he can't handle serving food for many people at a time. Though it is just burgers, what he serves is slow food, not fast food.
There are seven variations. One recommendation is Grilled Tomato Cheese Burger. You can enjoy tasty tomato he found after he tried many varieties from different production areas visiting greengrocers. Brutus Burger of new combination of Ume and bacon is also good. Okinawa Teriyaki Burger with teriyaki sauce made with local ginger and brown sugar, Ogimi-produced shikwasa citrus.
You can have Wet Tomato Burger if you are lucky. A burger with grilled crushed tomato flavored with garlic, Parmigiano cheese and Chèvre cheese.
The owner, Mr. Hino is another delight to add. According to him, each cooking process is done from scratch. He has a spirit of a true workman and a trait that is somewhat unique . His copy for his shop is “Eat, Think and Share a moment of solitude“, which is rather unusual for burger shop. Hino loved reading since childhood and he used to spend much of his time in library, always was in top ranking in elementary school’s avid reader’s list. “ I love reading. Books always took me to the unknown journey and world.“
When Hino decided to open his own shop, the very first idea on his mind was a hybrid form of book shop and burger shop. “It may sound disjointed taste but for me, burgers and books were always in one place.“ In his book collection, you can find Japanese manga book “The Rose of Versailles” or the work of Saisei Muro’s, Meiji-era born novelist “Hisui”, books from design field and
zine, privately printed magazines.
"Basically my shop caters to those who enjoy one’s own solitude yet I would like anyone to come to my shop from elementary school kids, grandmothers or people of social-able type or solitaries. I just would like to create a place for encounter for them somehow, and want them to stop by casually." Hino said.
Hino desires to please and satisfy every single person though he sometimes finds it difficult to serve his customers well, especially with people he first meets. He might be a bit awkward and somber, however his customers seem to like his personality very much. Because after a year and three months since opening, there are more and more regular customers.
Address: Makishi 3-11-12 Naha City, Okinawa
Phone: 080-3952-0416（not always available )
Open hours: 12:00 p.m. - 9::00 p.m.
Shop holidays: Monday
Web site: http://babybabyhamburgerandbooks.com