May 5, 2013

Sansui Coffee in Yamada, Onna

For the past few months, I had been buying coffee beans from the Starbucks in Okinawa City, but since that means a 30-minute drive from where I live, I decided to local shops that roast their own. I live in Onna, so no matter where I buy them, I will have to drive a while to get there. Of the shops I found, one is here in Onna - Sansui Coffee in Yamada.
The shop is off of Route 6 in Yamada, but it is really easy to miss. Use your car navigation system or a smart phone.

Like other local roasters, they have a display of green coffee beans arranged near the entrance, but behind them are the bulk roasters visible behind a window. They only do large batches, but they roast almost daily, so no matter when you visit, there should be something fresh and waiting. 
Though Sansui has other shops and is sold here all over Okinawa, this is the headquarters where they roast the beans. The owner is a generous and friendly native of Okinawa who has been roasting coffee for over 20 years. She helped me choose by offering single bean samples to crunch and taste. I took a Kilimanjaro dark roast that the owner said had been done just that day. The beans were still warm.
The moment I got home, I ground the beans and tried it out. At 1.5 minutes in a French press, it was crisp and dark… clean with good body. At 3 minutes in the press it was thick and heavy, almost overwhelming, but not sour or overly bitter.

This coffee is more than worth a trip to Yamada and navigating the narrow road and tiny parking lot. Good people, good coffee, and the price per gram for most of their coffee is the same or less than I was paying at Starbucks, so consider this a guilt-free luxury. Another good thing about Sansui is that their member' s point cards do not expire, so you can slowly build up points to get free coffee.

Sansui Coffee
239 Yamada, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0416

サンスイ珈琲 会社概要
〒904-0416 沖縄県恩納村山田239(本社・焙煎工場)

Good Company Coffee Roasters

Intrigued by blog posts about locally-roasted coffee and people who roast their own beans at home, I searched the internet for nearby coffee roasters. I found a place called Good Company in Uruma City, but only by the grace of Google Maps on a smart phone. The building looks like a cottage retreat. 
Near the door was an arrangement of barrels and burlap sacks full of green coffee beans, each labeled with country of origin and price per 200 grams. Good Company is a roast-to-order coffee bean shop where you select the beans (they're actually seeds), and they roast them while you wait. 
Junko and Masaki Nakamoto have been doing this for the past 17 years. While bulk roasting with large ovens in the back of the store are probably more profitable, this single-order roasting keeps people coming back.
It is both experiment and performance art, because while you go home with any bean variety roasted any way you like, you also get to watch the owners heat, toss, cool, and clean the beans for you while enjoying a complimentary cup of coffee and a chat.
An added bonus is seeing their roasting equipment, which looks like the love child of a smithy and a steam punk barbecue grill.
I picked a Dark City Roast of their Special Blend, and it really was very nice - fresh and fruity, yet dark and smooth, with no sourness.

Good Company Coffee Roasters
1943-1 Taba, Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture
Japan 904-2213

〒904-2213 沖縄県うるま市田場1943-1

May 4, 2013

Bistro @ Shintoshin Naha

I gave up to find nice casual Bistro at Okinawa. but here it is. Named Monmartre. Nice casual and friendly bistro. I like it.

I didn't make reservation for lunch. Surprisingly inside restaurant was full before noon. So we sat the terrace seat. For us it was better to have outside seat because kids are screaming sometime :-). We visited during the Golden week, but I recommend to call restaurant before you go and ask how today is, crowded or not.

Parking place is difficult to find.  You should get in and park the next building parking shortly and ask a waiter. or if you don't want to park small parking lot, you can park DFS and walk to restaurant.

Weekend lunch is from 1980 Yen with appetizer, soup, main dish, and dessert plus drink. Probably weekday lunch have cheaper one, but we recommend 1980 Yen lunch if you drive the long distance from Onna or yomitan. 

I took steak photo after I ate 2-3 bites. I forgot to took. Steak is bigger than this photo.

ビストロモンマルトル (Bistro Montmartre)

 沖縄県那覇市字真嘉比251-2 エリタージュK 1F  (Naha makabi 251-2)

Hour 11:30-14:00 18:00-24:00


BACAR Nice napoli pizza around Naha

We miss napoli pizza around Onna area after picolino gone.
 We tried nice pizza restaurant at Naha. Yes, if you want to eat delicious one, you have to drive to south.

Restaurant name is 'Bacar'. Famous pizza restaurant at Naha.
Lunch service is only weekday. so I can't make it for the long time. During spring break, we went to the BACAR during lunch time service.
Restaurant is small. So I recommend to go there opening time 11:30 am for the lunch time.

Price is around 1200 Yen with soup, pizza and drink. or 1500 Yen with pizza, soup, appetizer and drink.

You can easily see how delicious  all foods are. No explanation. Enjoy.

  BACAR OKINAWA (バカール オキナワ)

 沖縄県那覇市久茂地3-16-15 (Naha Kumochi 3-16-15)

Hour [Mon-Fri] 11:30-14:00 (L.O 13:30) ; 18:00-22:30(L.O)
[Sat. Sun] 18:00-22:30(L.O)

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Nice nagahama view @ yomitan with Pizza

I've heard Pizza cafe was open at yomitan. So I checked out it.
Cafe name is Happy cruise cafe.
Nice luxury house and Pizza stone oven was installed.
Of course nice view from Nagahama. I like this view.

We ordered Margarita pizza and Teriyaki chicken pizza. Pizza set is 980 Yen with salad and drink. I got 100 Yen off ticket for the return visit.

Pizza craft was more bread type rather than nappoli thin craft type. but after piccoino gone around Yomitan and Onna area, any pizza restaurant is important and appreciate. 

ハッピークルーズカフェ (Happy Cruise Cafe)

 沖縄県中頭郡読谷村長浜800 (yomitan nagahama 800)
Hour  11:30~17:00
Holiday Wednesday

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