Miyama Shabu-shabu: 美山しゃぶしゃぶ

My husband wanted to try a shabu-shabu place for lunch. It is a chain from the mainland called Miyama Shabu-shabu. There is only 1 in Okinawa, located in the Haebaru Aeon Mall (southern part of the island).

They offer a cheap lunch course for 1000-something yen, though the menu has various combinations with varying degrees of price (things like beef, or all-you-can-eat meat). The cheap lunch course though, comes with 2 trays of (imported) pork, thinly sliced with 8 slices per tray; since I don’t eat pork this means my husband will get 4 trays. The lunch course comes with all-you-eat eat vegetables, noodles, rice, pickles, etc. For one half of the pot you also choose 1 of the 4 types of soup for cooking (the other half you get a default basic water with konbu in it); we went with the Korean-style “spicy” which was not really that spicy at all. For an additional 250yen you can also get the soft drink bar. As a fair warning, the menu is all in Japanese but there are some pictures which might help.

Anyway, we got seated and ordered without any difficulty. Luckily we were seated in a back corner so no one could stare at my husband while he ate all the meat and I just stuck the veggies. At the table were ponzu ポン酢 (shoyu+citrus) and goma-dare ごまだれ (sesame dipping sauce). We were also given extra peppers and spicy sauce since we ordered the Korean-style broth. The veggies, noodle, rice, salad, etc. were all self-serve. It was all quite good, and I enjoyed a variety of noodles and veggies with my shabu-shabu. There were Okinawa soba noodles, udon noodles, cellophane (bean thread) noodles, and somen.

Even just eating veggies, noodles, salad, rice, and pickles I felt I got a decent deal. My husband said that 3 boxes would have been perfect and 4 was a little too many, but he ate (and enjoyed) it all anyway. So we both left happy, even though one of us doesn’t eat meat.

address: https://goo.gl/maps/VahHmS42mbC2

Shabu Shabu: しゃぶしゃぶ

しゃぶしゃぶ: shabu shabu, a style of hotpot dish. The name comes from the sound the ingredients make swishing in the pot.

In Okinawa, there are a few places to try shabu shabu dining. This weekend, we found an amazing place up north. Yanbaru Dining Churashima Kitchen (YANBARU DINING 美ら島キッチン) in Motobu. It is mixed in with the Nago Agri Park, located behind the NeoPark Okinawa. It is in the back corner of the lot, and you will walk by some small stores and cafes to get there.

During lunch, prices are reasonable (1580yen per person): it comes with 100g of meat (Okinawa agu pork and chicken, which I just gave to my husband) and all you can eat veggies, rice, side dishes, soft drinks, etc. This place was great because it featured all Yanbaru produce and greens… there was so much fresh variety. You just grab a tray and fill up bowls with the veggies you want for cooking and they will bring out the broth and the meat (they also have some “specialty veggies” which they will bring out in separate bowls, so if they ask you any questions, just say YES = HAI!). Get some rice, dipping sauces, some side dishes, a salad… then get to work cooking and eating. Once your pot is boiling add veggies or meat as you like– the leafy veggies will cook very quickly, the thicker veggies and meat will take longer. Just use you hashi (chopsticks) to add and fish out the pieces you like. Dip in the sauce of your choice and it is ready to eat.

The menu is in Japanese, so you can order extra meat, but I am not sure you would need it. The workers also only spoke Japanese from my interactions with them, which again, should be fine since it is not so complicated. Just remember the large bar of veggies is for cooking, and the smaller table is for salad use (it says サラダ用 on it). There were many amazing Okinawa veggies, like handama, sakuna, fuchiba, and more.

Everything was delicious and we were quite full leaving. I didn’t get any pictures of the meat or cooking, I was too busy eating…

address: https://goo.gl/maps/TRTRxSu7HYM2