The first Okinawa cuisine is now available in Hangzhou!! Located in the little alley right next to Friendship Hotel, the owner, Mr. Tanabara Ichi, has been working in Okinawan cuisine for more than ten years. He opened his first Okinawan restaurant in Shinsaibashi, Japan. When he first came to Hangzhou, he fell in love with the city, afterwards he decided to bring his hometown food to his friends in Hangzhou. So, if you want to try Okinawan food, you must go to Chibaryo.
Okinawan cuisine incorporates influences from Chinese and southeast Asian cuisines due to its long history of trade. The food of Okinawa is very much meat-based, pork figuring the most prominent. Every part of the pig is used, from pig's feet and pig's ears to tripe. The Pig’s Ear (28RMB) here is marinated in lemon juice and lime and is crispy and sour and serve with leek (凉拌猪耳朵). Other ingredients used are native tropical vegetables and fruits. Goya, also known as bitter melon, is widely used. The Sour Orange Vinegar Goya with Bonito Flakes (酸橘醋苦瓜18RMB) doesn’t taste so bitter at all, in fact, it has a little sea salt flavour from Okinawan. Also be sure to try the Rafute (stewed pork 冲绳风五花肉 32RMB). An unusual treat for the adventurous diner is the Umi-budo (海葡萄), or "sea grapes", with its pleasingly crunchy texture. Bran is the most distinctive Okinawan food, and the Stir Fried Bran with Leek and Sprouts (麩豆芽韭菜 28RMB) made with local Okinawan rice is an easygoing dish for the summer.
We tried this sake-looking alcohol, but in fact it wasn’t sake at all; it’s called awamori, which is made from long grain indica rice and is not a direct product of brewing (like sake) but of distillation. At Chibaryo, they’ve got more than a hundred types awamori – add in a splash of orange juice, and it even makes a great cocktail. Seaweed Small Whitebait (海苔小银鱼) is great to go with it.
If Mr. Tanabara is not too busy, he sometimes gets out the kitchen and plays his shamisen for the customer. Feel free to follow the rhythm and move your body: Let’s dance Okinawa style.
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