So let’s start with some food and some confusion. One of the problems related to writing about restaurants is going to be that I have no idea of what the name of the restaurant might be nor the name of the dish nor indeed where the restaurant is.
So I go to a restaurant which is South of where I work and North of where I will eventually be living but I don’t, suppose that helps you very much.
The interior is divided into two sections. One section has Tatami mat flooring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatami_mat and low tables at which you squat, kneel, or adopt a position that does not give cramp. The second has tables and chairs. Even after all the yoga and exercise I did in San Francisco, I do not have the confidence to hit the mat so I sheepishly head for a table.
Luckily there are pictures on the menu, one of which is of a black bowl full of black liquid. I wait and wait and the servers seem to be ignoring me. I finally harumph a little and a lady immediately arrives. I have the impression that she is relieved that I have made up my mind at last and that she has been hanging around waiting, it being bad form to come to the table and ask what I want. However as with many things on Okinawa my interpretation could be very flawed.
The black liquid in the black bowl turns out to be squid soup. It is delicious: thick black fish stock with lumps of squid, onion and green vegetable of the cabbage family.
I also order Sashimi because I know what it is. It arrives looking regal on a bed of grated radish sitting on a lump of ice. Things start to go odd now. I am looking for the wasabi, which I fail to spot on the edge of the plate. There is a container thing on the table that I take to be the wasabi box. It has a white release button on top but even with repeated pressing the box does not open. I put it down just as the serving lady arrives and bows, looking inquisitive. I say very good, yum, yum and after a while she leaves. The sashimi is squid, octopus and 3 different fish. Big juicy fresh chunks of raw seafood.
Some wasabi would be nice and I struggle again to get into the box. The serving lady again shows up, bows and hangs around for a slightly uncomfortable time. She speaks but alack I can only grin and rub my stomach. All goes well as I enjoy an excellent meal. I try again to get some wasabi from the box and again the lady shows but this time she looks vaguely exercized.
The meal with a little seaweed starter and lots of green tea came to 1400 yen – $ 17? Not cheap compared to Irving St, San Francisco but well worth it. I thoroughly recommend the er, um restaurant in er, um.