A Gentle Forest Time in a Homemade Setting. At Café Bean’s in Tamagusuku, Nanjo City
post : 2020.03.29 19:00
Along the coast of the Hyakuna area in Tamagusuku, Nanjo City, are a number of popular Okinawan-style cafes that take advantage of the spectacular view that can be enjoyed there. On a small hill that extends from the beach, and at the end of a quiet residential area is a café that feels like it’s in the middle of a forest.
This café is Café Bean’s, which opened around 2007 and is owned by three sisters who are very close. From the picture frame-like windows, you can see the large banyan tree that grows in the garden. The sisters worked on everything from scratch, starting with the interior of the café, and first and foremost, a farm! They set out to grow the ingredients they wanted to use in the food they offer.
As you peek out the window, you’ll see the terrace seats that look comfortable and inviting. Regular customers often come and sit outside, enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book.
The vegetables and herbs in the dishes they offer are all grown on their farm with tender loving care. I first ordered Today’s Soup (¥250) which had delicious vegetables of the season. The soup was a minestrone with local Okinawan pumpkin.
Next came this wonderful dish that I’ll never forget, the Fuchiba (mugwort) Cream Pasta (¥700). The delicate combination of the Fuchiba paste and cream was new and fantastic!
The balance of the cream and flavor of the mugwort was excellent, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to describe it as an Okinawan version of pasta with Genovese sauce. The soft French bread that accompanied the pasta dish was exceptional, too, baked with Shirakami Kodama Yeast, produced in the beautiful mountain range of Shirakami Sanchi.
The three sisters are Okinawan beauties, and you can hear their cheerful laughter from the kitchen as you enjoy their food. On the day I visited, however, one of the sisters had other commitments, and there were only two of them, but their smiles were certainly contagious.
Just as charming as their smiles was this plate of edible flowers, with delicate and pretty petals. Of course, these too, are grown by the sisters. The flowers added beauty and color to the cookies and cakes placed on the dishes.
In the Cake Set (¥650) that I ordered for dessert, I chose the Brown Sugar Baked Cheese Cake. The brown sugar is homemade by the sisters, using sugarcane juice compressed from the sugarcane grown by their parents.
The gentle sunlight from the large windows was so comfortable, I asked to move my seat by the window and enjoyed a relaxing tea time. Light, shadows, and colors. The small work of art created on the table by these three things was eye-catching, and I found myself lost in the calm beauty of it. To accompany your dessert, I recommend their homemade herbal tea that they blend daily according to season.
I also wanted to try their pizza, with the dough and sauce also made from scratch, but I was too full (chuckle) so I asked for it to go. The seasonal pizza of the day had Okinawan shallots! They said they spread the basil sauce and top it off with Okinawan shallots before baking it in the oven, and the gentle and delicious aroma was amazing.
A small café in the forest where three sisters await to welcome you with their smiles like the warmth of sunlight, in a delightful setting where the time flows gently by.
Address: 986-2 Hyakuna, Tamagusuku, Nanjo City, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 17:30 (Tue, Thu-Sun), 14:00 to 17:30 (Wed)
Closed: Mondays & 1st and 3rd Sundays
*May be irregularly closed, so please call before going.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Naoko Tsuruta