Food and Food: Asia and General and japan30 Dec 2010 10:18 pm

Our search for great dim sum on Okinawa continues. A few months back we made our way to a small Chinese restaurant in a very residential neighbourhood of west Naha.

Unlike Tong Tong, Eva Kui offers a more complete dim sum experience with special teas, the requisite lazy susan tables and offerings beyond dumplings. We got a set menu which provided tea, soup, salad, shu mai, har gao, sticky rice and pudding as well as sesame balls.

The server taught us the best way to brew our own tea after elaborately preparing the pot and cups for our golden liquid. I am not sure what kind of tea we got (perhaps pur-eh?), but it was a fine one, and beyond the norm. Not on the level of the Mariages Freres we had in Bangkok at China House, but still great.

We had a small pot of constantly hot water to make pot after pot of the tea with which was much more preferable than signaling down an always rushing server at a large dim sum restaurant for some bitter tea. Some would say that is the only way, but I liked having executive control over our tea.


We started with a seafood salad, then moved onto a clear broth speckled with green onions. Then the steamed items came out, super hot and fresh; pork buns, har gao, three kinds of shu mai and a glutinous, flavourful steamed rice in banana leaf.

Tender, hot char siu bau, or BBQ pork buns. Three different kinds, at once dense and light, sweet and savoury. They are one of my favourite dim sum items. Unfortunately not every place decorates them to look like beautiful peaches, however.

This sticky rice was well balanced, and not too sticky and gloppy. It smelled of its leaf wrapper and was fresh and warm. Normally I think of this item as filler that is stuffed with sub par ingredients and MSG, but the rice at Eva Kui was amazing.

Some of the shu mai had little pockets of ginger in them, adding to the flavour explosion. Some were pork and others were shrimp.

Wonderful har gau, with tender wrappings and crisp plump shrimp inside.

Finally pudding and some molten, freshly fried sesame balls that crackled as you bit into them, giving way to glutinous bean paste filling. The greasy, cold gluey balls you get at most Asian bakeries and restaurants do not hold a candle to this. It makes me very excited to hop over to Hong Kong one day and get dim sum straight from the source.

The pudding is addictive, and there is never enough. It is often called tofu pudding, but there is no tofu in it at all! Almond based, it is silky and smooth and I have to scrape the bottom of the bowl every time I get it.

I highly recommend Eva Kui. There is very little English, but if you have an idea of what to expect from dim sum, you will know what to expect and will have a good idea of what should be coming out if you get a set menu.

The food is above average and the atmosphere is authentic, with emerald green carpet, large rosewood tables with glass lazy susans, jade scupltures and groups of Chinese ladies. It is worth the effort to find, and very affordable.

Eva Kui Taiwanese Teahouse
Oroku, Naha
沖縄県 那覇市 小禄 5-15-22
Closed Monday, open 11am – 3pm, 6pm to midnight.

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