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The Mysterious Combination of Ingredients. Vegan Lunch at “Arcade Resort Okinawa HOTEL&CAFÉ” in Okinawa City
post : 2018.03.02 18:00
Okinawa City, a.k.a. Koza. This city is referred to as “the town of music,” “lively spot in nighttime,” or “nostalgic spot.” Recently, many cafes and hotels have opened in this city.
Especially, “Ichibangai” is known as a unique spot where features retrospect and modern atmosphere. It has opened as the first arcade in Okinawa in 1975, and knickknack store, kimono store, craft store, coworking space, and more are gathered here.
On May 2017, “Arcade Resort Okinawa HOTEL&CAFÉ” has opened on Ichibangai. Several types of rooms are available for guests, and some rooms for 1 or more parties, rooms for large number of groups, and Japanese-style rooms (up to 3 parties) are available on the 2F and 3F.
A café on the 1F is open for non-guests.
Vegan lunches with no animal product are served at the café, and this is A-lunch called “Taiwanese Vegan Deli Plate (800 yen).” A-lunch will be differed depending on a period of time. “Taiwan Fair” took place at the time I visited the café, so the special A-lunch was served then.
Dishes including stir-fried dish with gluten, eggplant, paprika, and green pepper (seasoned with Taiwanese soy sauce, Doubanjiang, and seasoning with tofu and koji), mash potato with coconut milk (topped with Taiwanese fried onion), marinated persimmon with white sauce, and marinated papaya and chili sauce topped with olive.
This is B-lunch, “Vegetable Gumbo (800 yen).” Gumbo is a stew with tomato. Usually the stock of stew is cooked by boiling seafood and meat, but chef of the café cooks it without using animal product. The chef uses okra, winter melon, paprika, chickpea, sesame paste, and cumin instead. This exotic Gumbo has been attracting many customers.
I was amazed that the chef can create its rich taste with no meat, fish, or dairy product.
Mami Asahina and Tomomi Miyagi work at the kitchen. Asahina cooks dishes, and Miyagi is in charge for making sweets. They have similar careers and formed a unit called “New Yoake.” They did catering work and set up a booth for certain events before they started working at this café.
Since Asahina has a little child, she uses only ingredients that children can eat safely. She said, “of course deliciousness is important, but I want my customers to try eating something new.” She continued, “For example, marinated goya and fruits with sesame. Not many people have opportunities to eat such dish at home.”
After the lunch, try “Raw Sweets” without flour, dairy product, egg, sugar, and heat. Sweets include “Raw Tarte with Dragon Fruit and Shikuwasa” and “Raw Chocolate Tarte with Okinawan Banana.” These healthy raw tartes are not heated, so each ingredient tastes very fresh, and it melts quickly once you put it in your mouth.
I personally ate many kinds of food including vegan food, but these dishes I had this time were new to me.
Even non-vegan people can be attracted to this vegan lunch.
Not many tourists visit Okinawa City, so this is a good spot for them to discover more attractive part of Okinawa. How about walking around the arcade after having a vegan lunch?
Arcade Resort Okinawa HOTEL&CAFÉ
Address: 1-8-5 Chuo, Okinawa City
Business Hours: Morning 10:30 - 11:30 / Lunch 11:30 - 15:00 (final order) / Café & Bar 15:00 - 21:00 (open until 23:00 on Fri & Sat)
*Price of the dishes referred as of January 2018.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer Sachiko Tachi