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Weekend Lunches! Enjoy Okinawa Chicken Pota Soba Noodles at DIRTY MARTINI (Naha City)
post : 2019.02.17 16:00
“What? This is Okinawa Soba?” When I first saw this bowl of white soup with beautiful pink “chashu” or grilled pork toppings, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
When we hear “Okinawa Soba,” most of us imagine a bowl with a lightly colored but transparent soup of dried bonito and Tonkotsu (pork bones) broth, with noodles topped with Sanmai-niku (boneless pork back ribs) and pickled ginger.
What I found at DIRTY MARTINI, an establishment along the Kumoji River in Naha City, was something totally different.
The restaurant & bar DIRTY MARTINI used to be only open at night, but starting in August of 2016, they started offering Okinawa Chicken Pota Soba lunches only on the weekends. This menu was actually a very popular dish that was only made for the staff for their meals during or after their shifts. Because it was so good, they decided to put it on their menu.
The soup base is chicken Paitan, a special chicken broth that they spend about eight hours in cooking. Chicken Paitan soup is like the pork Tonkotsu, only it’s made from chicken. The white, milky soup has a nice thickness and also the flavor and depth that are distinctive to chicken. They also add Chiyu, the oils extracted from heating the chicken skin, and the aroma and taste are exceptional!
This alone makes a great soup already, but they also add onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic and other vegetables in a thick potage and simmer the mixture. At the end, a hand-blender is used for the foam to top it off, and is finally ready to serve.
The foam is light like clouds and is pleasant on the palate. The soup is like a potato potage or a light white stew and after a few spoons of soup, you won’t believe that this is Okinawa Soba (lol). You’ll be convinced that, indeed, this is Okinawa Soba, only after slurping a mouthful of noodles.
The rounded and slightly curled Motobu Seijuku-men noodles had a firm texture, and yes, this sure is an Okinawa Soba dish. The noodles were nicely covered with the thick soup with every bite.
This western style Okinawa Chicken Pota Soba is a new genre of Okinawa Soba. Customers who try this dish for the first time are impressed and are certain that this is going to be the next big thing.
The generous portions of Chashu pork that blankets the noodles are made with boston butt of Okinawan pork. To prepare it medium rare, they cook it at low heat, at 59 degrees over 140 minutes, and the texture is surprisingly tender and moist.
A good portion of roughly ground black pepper is sprinkled on top and really brings together the tastes and flavors. You can add the hot chili oil to your liking, too.
At Soba restaurants in Okinawa, many people order a bowl of Jushii rice (Okinawan style seasoned rice) together with their noodles, but at Dirty Martini, people order the Chicken Curry with Soft-Boiled Egg for an additional 200 yen. Even if you’re full from the noodles, the curry has just the right amount of spiciness that you can’t help but enjoy it to the last spoonful.
The establishment has a posh finish, with a bar counter made from a single plank of wood that’s ten meters long, the table seats have leather sofas, and the sound system uses JBL speakers….”We hope to have our customers enjoy a casual atmosphere during the weekend lunchtimes. Of course, families are welcome, too!”
The staff, Shintaku Moromizato and Kota Yamakawa enhance the overall delight of the establishment, and they create a place where anyone and everyone, even girls out on the town alone, will instantly feel comfortable here.
How about experiencing a new genre of Okinawa Soba for lunch in a luxurious atmosphere?
Address: 2-24-14 Kumoji, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: Mon-Sat: 18:00-02:00 (Last Call @ 01:00) & Sundays 18:00-Midnight
Weekend Lunch: Fri, Sat, Sun 12:00-15:00 (Last Orders @ 14:00)
*They close at 14:00 if there are no customers at that time.
Closed: Please check their Facebook page.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko