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Enjoying a Bahn Mi and the Ocean View on Okinawa at [Café NY] (Yomitan Village)
post : 2020.01.16 07:00
The weather in Okinawa often changes quickly and the weather forecasts are at times quite unreliable. It’s been raining all morning today, and so, thinking that “it’ll stop some time soon,” I decided to tidy up a little around my home-office while I waited for the rain to stop. On a day like this when the time seems to pass by slower, I thought I’d attach a Leica lens, Leitz Elmar 50mm F3.5, on my camera.
This lens was made in Germany in the 1930s and photographs turn out very soft and gentle with a slightly hazy touch, which I like very much. I saw that the rain had let up and feeling excited, I went out the door to the beach across the street. Since I moved to Okinawa, it was my dream to live right by the ocean, and in November of 2019, my dream came true. I moved to a house where I can jump in the water in ten seconds after stepping out my front door.
As I walked along the seawall, I spotted the signboard for [Café NY] and saw that they were open. I glanced over at the shop and the owner, Kanako-san was there, and we made eye contact. As always, she was so pleasant, her face beaming with a warm smile. I couldn’t find a reason to not have a Banh Mi at this point and headed over to the shop.
I ordered the usual, the Banh Mi that they’re popular for, and their new menu item, the Pho. There’re several things at [Café NY] that I’m quite fond of. One of them is the pleasant sounds. Because the kitchen is situated pretty near the tables, you can hear the clinking of plates and cups, the sound of the toaster oven, and other comfortable noise. In addition to these familiar sounds were new sounds of Pho being prepared. And of course, Kanako-san’s gentle and sweet voice was ever present. I was completely relaxed, surrounded by the melodies. Yep, I really like this place.
[Café NY] recently reopened after going through some new touches, like an additional eat-in space, and introducing Pho noodles in their menu. Kanako-san pointed to a spot and said, “I love the view from here.” I looked out the window and saw the beautiful light blue of the Okinawan sea in the winter, under a cloudy sky.
My Banh Mi and Pho were ready in about ten minutes and the aroma of spices filled the air, stimulating my appetite. Pho has a variety of spices and herbs, and as an herb-lover, it’s one of my favorite foods.
The new eat-in space was great, too, but I decided to have my meal at a seat in an area that wasn’t renovated but which also gave me a great view of the ocean. Kanako-san not only has great culinary style but is also a great listener. I often find myself confiding in her and asking her for advice. That day, too, I opened about some work issues, and as usual, she sat there, gently smiling and listening to everything. Soon, I felt so much better, happily full and fulfilled in my stomach and heart.
I decided to call my colleagues over to join me and we all enjoyed our Banh Mi as we looked out to the ocean. In 2019, I welcomed two new staff and our work environment has become lively and fun, more than ever. In 2020, we’ll be expanding and opening a second location which – lucky for me – is a 2-minute walk from [Café NY]. I have a pretty good feeling that I’ll be come here quite a bit for lunches and breaks this year.
As I got up to get back to work for the afternoon, I called out, “Kanako-san, you’ll be seeing a lot more of us this year!” My colleagues too, seemed very satisfied with their Banh Mi lunch.
If you’re planning a trip to Okinawa in 2020, I hope you’ll visit [Café NY] to enjoy their Banh Mi and more, as you enjoy the sights of the sparkling emerald-blue waters on clear days, or the calming blue waters on cloudy days. You’ll find an indescribable warmth and kindness of Okinawa here.
Address: 135-3 Nagahama, Yomitan Village, Nakagami, Okinawa
Hours: From 11:30, until sold out
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Yu Murakami