- Enjoy Charbroiled Premium Tarama Gyu Beef at DOUG’S GRILL (in Miyako Island)
- Rediscover Okinawa through a Traditional Karate Experience at ASATO DOJO (in Naha)
Authentic Peruvian Cuisine at INKA CHICKEN in the Heart of Koza (in Okinawa City), the International Town
post : 2019.01.15 06:00
Home to the largest US Air Force Base in all of Asia, the Koza area (another name for the central Okinawa City area, located in the central region of Okinawa Island) is alive with an international energy. On its main strip known by the locals as Gate Street, the neon signs in English shine bright and give off a very exotic feel unseen in other municipalities on the island. In such a unique setting is INKA CHICKEN, an authentic Peruvian restaurant operated by a Japanese-Peruvian.
The interior of the restaurant seats 24, and is long and narrow, with an eye-catching orange pillar and other lively items and posters on display♪ You definitely won’t be bored while you wait for your order.
The most popular and recommended item on the menu is their Roast Chicken Set (850 yen including tax. All prices mentioned in this article include tax.). It’s probably the most well-known Peruvian dish, and here, they serve a quarter sized chicken (domestic) with French fries and salad.
The chicken is prepared with great care, rotating in a special oven. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the chicken is perfect♪ Not only is the texture great, but the seasoning is exceptional, too. They carefully select and import herbs, spices and seasonings from Peru to offer an authentic taste.
Their condiments are noteworthy as well. There’s ketchup in one container, and the other two hold special condiments that are tastes of home in Peruvian households. The cream-colored sauce looks like mayonnaise, but it’s a tartar sauce with a distinctive sweet and spicy flavor. The other is known as “the green sauce”, made with generous portions of Huacatay, a Peruvian black mint. It’s an original sauce made in-house, with a touch of cheese. The sauce is like a gem of concentrated flavor of the faraway land of Peru.
Their rice dishes are also great, and the most popular is the spicy and delicious beef dish shown below (1,200 yen. The passionfruit juice is sold separately at 350 yen.) This is another popular taste of Peruvian home-cooking and is served with French fries. It will surely hit the spot!
A favorite among those more familiar with Peruvian cuisine is their Papa Rellena Set (850 yen). “Papa” is Spanish for potatoes, and “rellenar” means to fill, and the dish is exactly that. It’s like a Peruvian potato croquette, without the panko. The potatoes are mashed and shaped into a patty (size of about 50x70x35mm), filled with ground beef, onions, hard-boiled egg, olives, cilantro, etc., and cooked over low heat. The variety of spices added to the ingredients give layers and waves of tastes in one bite. Even if it’s your first time trying this dish, it has a nostalgic, home-cooked goodness to it. It’s also served with rice and salad so it’s very filling.
Their drink menu offers beverages that aren’t commonly available in Japan. Their most popular selections are the Cristal and Cusquena Beer (550 yen each, 330ml bottle). For non-alcoholic drinks, there’s the famous Inca Cola (230 yen/355ml bottle), and they also serve a variety of juices using passion fruits and other fruits originally from Peru.
We can’t forget about the most famous beverage among the Peruvians, the Chicha Morada (350 yen). It’s made from purple corn which has a high antocyanin content, and is said to have antioxidant effects. The purple corn is boiled and blended with apples and cinnamon to round off the taste. It’s refreshing and delicious.
The owner is Hiroshi Koga, a young Peruvian-Japanese man in his early 20s whose father is Peruvian and mother is Japanese (originally from Kumamoto Prefecture). His teenaged sister, Akemi, was also born and raised in the Peruvian capital of Lima. In 2000, the family of four moved to Shiga Prefecture where they ran a Peruvian food delivery business. They wanted to live somewhere warmer, so the family moved to Okinawa in March 2014. Hiroshi spent six months preparing to open his business where he wanted his customers to “really enjoy the authentic tastes of Peru.” He finally opened for business in August of 2014, and using his Spanish, English, and Japanese skills, has satisfied the appetites of the people in the multicultural city of Koza.
Hiroshi says, “We have a kids’ space, and the restaurant is a very comfortable and cozy place. Local moms with various cultural backgrounds gather here from around noon and into the afternoon with their kids. It’s a great place for tourists to come with their kids, too. We’ve seen many visitors to Okinawa who make friends right here, in my restaurant. I hope to see you all here!”
Enjoying the authentic tastes of Peru in a very exotic atmosphere in one of Okinawa’s lively international locations. A stop here will be a great experience, and definitely off the beaten track.
Address: 1-11-5 Chuo, Okinawa City, Okinawa
Business Hours: 14:00-22:00
Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays
Parking: N/A (1 Hour Free Parking Ticket available for the nearby Ichibangai Parking)
*Prices current as of November 2018.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)