The Comfort Food of Okinawa Following Taco rice! "ICARICE VENDOR" Urasoe-city
post : 2016.06.01 09:00
Unique and new comfort food is now about to get popular. That is "ICARICE"! Not only the naming is cool, but how it looks and the cooker.
The name, "ICA" of ICARICE means squid but there is no squid on it, but there is chicken instead.
One of the most popular local foods in Okinawa is taco rice with black minced beef on it. This white and black combination is like squid and octopus.
Humor of the owner, Mr. Ikeshiro made this unique menu. Asked him how the menu is made.
About two years ago, my wife and me were hooked on green curry. Every time we go out to eat green curry again and again. So one time we kind of sick of curry and try taco rice. Though, we still want curry too! Then, we just make it our original one! That's the beginning of "ICARICE" which combined taco rice and green curry.
Not only the naming of ICARICE is like a joke, but how it was made. The owner, Mr. Ikeshiro looks unique person who is actually popular creator of art among some people.
After graduating an engineering university, he was involved designing of automobile projects. Later, switched to a sign maker. Had touched and crafted many kinds of materials of natural to chemical. So that his creative talent was wakened.
Next, he tried to study in Italy, but language barrier was unbreakable. Spent a year in England instead where his brother lived at the time, and back to Okinawa.
Turned-craftsman of Bingata which is one of the most popular traditional craft in Okinawa. And one year later, turned-advertising copywriter for a few years. After spending years like merry-go-round, it seems he discovered something in his life. "I want to create something by myself and provide them". This is what pumping fresh blood to the comfort foods of Okinawa, and showing my respect to taco rice.
He made up his mind and opened a restaurant Icarice Vendor in July, 2015 in above photo. The fresh taste tickles your nose, and later spice punches you. Chopped seasonal green leafy vegetables on the dish looks fresh, and the combination of chopped peanuts and cheese gives rich taste. addition to it, the pepper of Gaban helps the green pepper to sharpen deeply.
He was trained by Mr. Ikeshiro(Yasunobu), owner of "Biba-chi Kitchen" popular restaurant in Naha, and took a half year to complete his own dish. The taste of "Icarice" is greater than I expected.
"I always wanting to make one that people eat easily as fast food. Not like fashionable and fancy one in a nice café. It's like younger sister of taco rice.
First impression is "fresh and healthy". There is enough volume with spice, but something pazzazz. There are more women customers than men.
Not only Icarice, but clam chowder is solid menu. Original onion pickles are recommended for people who really like spicy food. "I would like to grow this food like taco rice is every where in Okinawa" the owner, Mr. Ikeshiro says.
It doesn't look like he puts too much pressure on himself, while he was telling his goals in future. Take it easy with some humor and work hard when needed, that's what I impressed of "Icarice Vendor". Accessible closely from Naha, just in front of National Theater Okinawa. Please try it!
Address: 1F of Yuino Machi in Industrial Development Center, 4-13-1 Jicchaku, Urasoe
Open hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Okinawa CLIP Photographer/Writer Nobuya Fukuda