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Feast on the Dumangitan (Shocking) Steak and Enjoy Live Okinawan Entertainment at Steakhouse Mr. Mike
post : 2019.02.22 16:00
One of the most popular items in the Okinawa gourmet scene is steak, with many local steakhouses especially on the main island of Okinawa. The western part of Naha in particular is the place to go for steak, with many establishments to choose from.
At many steakhouses, you eat, and then leave right after. At Steakhouse Mr. Mike in Tsuji, Naha City, that’s not the case. At Mr. Mike’s there’s a relaxed atmosphere distinctive of Uchina (Okinawan) way of life where you can sit back and relax after your awesome meal.
Steakhouse Mr. Mike opened in 2003 and after 15 years, they have a large following of customers of all ages, from solo diners who casually swing by, families, and groups who come by to enjoy drinks together. There are tourists and people on the island on business among the customers, but the clientele is largely local.
The Jumbo Steak (300g) is popular with their male customers. At right is their Mushroom Soup, a must-have in Okinawan steakhouses. All the food is carefully handmade in-house.
Mr. Mike’s is particular about serving all their items carefully prepared by hand, from their soup, side dishes, steak sauce, taco shells, and everything in between.
Their Uchinanchu staff says, “The steak sauce is a house original, made with fruits and onions. We want to serve our main item of steak as tender as we can, so we take careful measures in preparations like ridding the tendons, and to serve each order with all our hearts.” This staff has been with the restaurant since its beginning and how she said “with all our hearts,” was just like all the loving Uchina Anma (mothers) here on the island.
There’s a soup and salad bar, and what’s more, they also have live Okinawan Minyo folk music performances. The restaurant is spacious and accommodates large groups. There are 11 tables for 4 people, and 2 tables that seat 7 people. The 7-person table is popular with families and groups.
Their set menu items come with a self-serve soup and salad bar.
There are about 10 items at the salad bar which includes Kinpira Gobo, a traditional burdock root dish, carefully prepared like how grandmothers make them. They also had Harusame vermicelli salad along with fresh Okinawan vegetables. For dessert, they had the local Okinawan favorite, the sweet bean Zenzai.
You can choose from Today’s Soup or Mushroom Soup. In Okinawan steakhouses, mushroom soup is a fixture.
The same Anma staff tells me, “Our mushroom soup is light and delicious. The ingredients in the soup are chopped fine so that everyone, including our older customers and young children, can enjoy it.”
If you feel like something light, try the Mister Steak (150g), a nice red meat.
For something very Okinawan, they have a dish called Dumangitan Steak. In the Okinawan language, “Dumangitan” means “shocking!” or “surprising!” and this red meat steak is a shocking 500 grams which completely covers the hot plate. People say, “I don’t know if I could eat 500 grams!” but even slender ladies enjoy it to the last bite.
A 500 gram steak with a very Okinawan name, the Dumangitan Steak is a delicious red meat steak popular with all the customers.
The Okinawan beauties above ordered several varieties of steak to share, and when asked which was their favorite, one of them said, “The Dumangitan Steak, because it has a good, firm texture.” The other ladies all agreed, “I think the Dumangitan Steak is the most delicious.”
So if you’re not sure what to order, take it from these Okinawan beauties and go for the Dumangitan Steak.
Another great thing about Mr. Mike’s is you can enjoy live Okinawan folk music performances. It’s a surprising combination, to see and hear folk music at a steakhouse. I think Mr. Mike’s is the only steakhouse in all of Okinawa that collaborates steak and Okinawan folk music.
The main performer is Jun Uehara, an Okinawan folk musician from Itoman. Many various artists involved in Kumiodori, Okinawan plays, Ryukyu Buyo dance and other performing arts gather here to show their talents in the Minyo performances at Mr. Mike’s.
There are two Minyo performances, at 8:00 and 9:00 in the evening. Some customers leisurely enjoy their dinner and stay for both performances. Then there are some who skip the steak and order side dishes to accompany their beer or Awamori while they enjoy the show. One Okinawan gentleman said, “Having the sounds of the Sanshin around you here in Okinawa is very nice,” and looked very satisfied.
Once the performance begins, some customers get up and join in on the Kachashi dancing.
Mr. Mike’s is a steakhouse, to be sure, but they also have karaoke equipment. After the live performance, groups relax with their drinks and engage in friendly Yuntaku (chitchat), and some pick up the microphone to sing a tune.
Going beyond a typical steakhouse and collaborating steak, beer, Awamori, Minyo folk music performance, and karaoke is so unique and the “anything goes” style is distinctively Okinawan. Being there and feeling the gentle passing of time in a relaxed atmosphere where we could just be ourselves, was also truly Okinawan.
As a souvenir, you’ll receive homemade Sata Andagi, or Okinawan donuts. It’s the little things like this that’s heartwarming.
With mainly local regulars and also a wide range of customers of all ages, Steakhouse Mr. Mike’s is a very comfortable place to be, like at home with family. Although it has an American name, it’s full of Okinawan goodness, too. Why don’t you visit Steakhouse Mr. Mike to enjoy it all?
Their Yokubari Set comes with a mini lobster with homemade Uni (sea urchin) sauce, 150 gram hanging tender steak, and Okinawan sea perch fish. You can enjoy both steak and seafood.
Steakhouse Mr. Mike
Address: 2-4-1 Tsuji, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders at 22:30)
Open All Year (Except for the Week of Kyu-Obon)
Parking: Paid Parking Nearby (Free Parking Ticket Available for 1.5 Hrs.)
Okinawan Music Performances: Twice a day (at 20:00 & 21:00)
*No live entertainment on Thursdays.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Mika Asaka