I’ve heard many good stories about the beauty of Okinawa, in particular its rich history and magnificent islands. Many people (including the media) have also positioned Okinawa as having a unique food culture that uses different ingredients to the mainland due to its subtropical climate. On top of that, it is famed for the long lifespans of its residents (largely attributed to their traditional/healthy diet of eating vegetables and avoiding processed food). The best way to know more about Okinawa (uncover their secrets of longevity) is probably flying there and experience the local culture by yourself but if you’re stuck in Singapore like me (too much work on hand), the Okinawa Menu Fair in Singapore this March might be the closest you can get to know all about Okinawa. In fact, 5 participating restaurants in Singapore will be carefully-curating a special menu respectively using the freshest seasonal ingredients from Okinawa such as Motobu Wagyu Beef, Shikuwasa Citrus, and Okinawan Brown Sugar. I’ll only be sharing two of them – mainly Kinsa Sushi & Kabuke and hopefully you can treat this article as a preview to Okinawa. Oh yes! The special Okinawa menu will be running from now til 28 March 2018 and PLEASE bring your loved ones along to these restaurants before the fair is over!
The special Okinawa Menu at both Kinsa Sushi and Kabuke definitely exceeded my expectations. I can see and feel the effort of each restaurant in trying their very best to incorporate the Okinawa spirit and element into their dishes. And I must say they are all worth the try! Menu was really well-thought off and well-executed! Kudos to Kinsa Sushi & Kabuke!
Situated within HillV2, Kinsa Sushi is well-known for its inexpensive and popular Wagyu Don and Purple Rice Sushi/Maki Rolls. For this Okinawa Menu Fair, Kinsa Sushi has rolled out the ‘Taste of Okinawa’ ($39.90++) which comes with a 1) BBQ Motobu Gyudon, 2) 1 Pot of Refreshing Shikuwasa Cooler and 3) Okinawa Brown Sugar Aburi Frozen S’mores Cake. The set was really very value-for-money!
My saliva was forming inside my mouth when the staff served us the set. How to resist this man?
Let’s start with the drink! This cooler is made mainly using Shikuwasa fruit (a sour-citrus fruit in Okinawa) mixed with lime and water. Kinsa Sushi has kindly added some syrup into the drink to make it sweeter (cater to the Singaporeans’ tastebuds). I really liked the drink; it was refreshing, not overly sweet, and has a citrusy flavour similar to Yuzu. So good, I couldn’t stop myself from keep filling it up my cup. Perfect for the hot weather!
BBQ Motobu Gyudon
Here comes the highlight of the set – Huge and flavourful bowl of Wagyu Don. Needless to say, the egg was super well-cooked and on point. Really enjoyed the melty and runny texture which was so tasty when mixed with the rice. The Motobu Wagyu Beef Skewers were cooked to perfection – tender and juicy, and finished with a hint of salt to bring out its flavour. Oh yes, it had a really nice charred flavour as well! Hmm, my stomach was so darn satisfied!
Okinawa Brown Sugar Aburi Frozen S’mores Cake
Get you camera ready as you’re about to see some ‘Torching’ action! S’mores had a really nice tofu texture. Also, it wasn’t too sweet. The flavour of the brown sugar wasn’t too overwhelming, but leaves a subtle aroma in your mouth when you chew on the s’mores. What a great way to end off the meal!
Even though Kabuke is fairly new to the F&B scene, it has already made a name for itself in less than a year. It has been featured in several traditional and online magazines for its Japanese tapas and sake. Situated within Telok Ayer, Kabuke is a great hideout, away from the hustle and bustle. I’ve been there twice and I’m still loving it! For this Okinawa Menu Fair, Kabuke has created a 3 course set which comprises of 1) Goya Tempura with Umibudoh, 2) Rafute with Awamori and 3) Sata Andagi at $50. On top of that, you can also purchase a glass of Awamori – Zanpa White Sake to pair with your meal.
The Fries and Chicken Wings are not included in the set but you can order them because they are really good! I’ve #triedandtested twice!
Awamori – Zanpa White
Not usually a sake-lover but this sake was so smooth and fragrant. It didn’t burn my throat. Easy to drink and goes really well with the Okinawa menu!
Goya Tempura with Umibudoh
Don’t eat Bitter Melon? You better think twice! This is one of the reason why residents in Okinawa has such a long lifespans! The bitter melon is well-battered, filled with cream cheese and bacon to neutralise the bitterness and finished with Shikuwasa Honey Ponzu to give it a little sweetness. Oh, by the way, this paired really well with the sake!
Rafute with Awamori
This was so so good! Pork belly was really well-braised in soy sauce and Okinawa brown sugar. It wasn’t overly sweet and the pork belly was so tender that it disintegrates in the mouth. Can I have more of this?
I’m not going to say No to this dessert even though I’m on a strict diet. The donuts paired really well with the sea salt ice cream as well as the purple sweet potato sauce. Sweet and savoury combination were so awesome. Definitely calories worth gaining!
If you are still hungry and would love to other other side dishes from Kabuke, you can try their Fries and Chicken Wings!
So, head to Kinsa Sushi and Kabuke from now till 28 March and enjoy the special Okinawa menu!
Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)