Food and Food: Asia and japan29 Jan 2011 01:21 pm

Pork Satay from Kurukuma

Everyone raves about Cafe Kurukuma.

Everyone. The parents of my students. Fellow teachers (JETs and Japanese), parents of JET teachers, blogs, travel guides… the list goes on. With this much hype the restaurant had more expectations tied to it than my wedding day. Although Mike retained ownership of his pants and the temperatures were much colder, we reined in our expectations and headed off to dine at Kurukuma. We also brought my mom along, even though she will be eating legit Thai food for the next four months in Thailand.

Most people talk about the view when they talk about this restaurant. And, to be fair, it is pretty fantastic. Birds eye view of the Philippine Sea in all its glory. The sun even found it fit to peek out for a few minutes, creating some beautiful dappling on the water.

But the food…my god, the food.

Mike and I have been dying for spicy food the last few weeks in particular, and so with great hesitation we ordered two “spicy” dishes; a red curry and the mainstay for us at southeast Asian restaurants, lahp. My mom got gai-yan (BBQ chicken), her go-to dish, and we got some pork satay to bolster what we expected to be a medium sized lunch.

What we got was amazingly prik, or spicy, and in near table-buckling amounts.

There was a mountain of pork lahp on top of lettuce. A deep dish of curry. Half a chicken on my mom’s plate. And then several skewers of pork satay. With an odd statement on their menu saying they did not allow salad takeaway, we ploughed through the fresh, kicky lahp, and saved most of the curry to take home.

The servings are huge by Japanese and standard Thai restaurant size measurements (cup of rice and half a bowl of curry, anyone?) and you can easily order one dish for two people. Although you will likely want to try many of the dishes, save them for take out or for future visits…because you WILL come here again.


The lahp was definitely the spiciest dish, and although the curry was not mild to say the least, it was not the fiery hot you can expect from many red curries. There are a number of dishes with several chilis denoting heat, and I would say do not use your Japan heat meter as a guide when ordering here. Use your experiences in Thai restaurants on the streets of Bangkok instead.

The food came out lightning fast (creepily so) but I imagine this is to appease people who may have waited hours for a table. Yes, I have heard of people waiting hours for a seat at this restaurant. Luckily, there is an interesting display of fossils, an herb garden, and of the course the view to occupy your time. Or you can just go at an off time like we did and be seated and eating almost immediately. (TIP: That is Saturday afternoon at 2, on a very miserable winter day)

Kurukuma can be difficult to find, but with GPS on my phone and Google Maps, it was not difficult at all. The view is stunning, but the food is too, and this restaurant is well worth a visit for anyone spending time on Okinawa. Great for heat seeker and sunset watchers alike.

Red curry

Garlic chicken

Pork satay with two dipping sauces

My mom mastering chop sticks. Mike and I used the traditional Thai fork and spoon combination.

Mostly empty restaurant mid afternoon on a Saturday. Do not be deceived, I heard this place gets PACKED.

Post lunch photo.

There is a large garden and dinosaur fossil display set up to browse if your wait for a table will be a while.

Cafe Kurukuma (Cafe Curucuma)
Open 10-22:00, closed Tuesdays
(10-20:00 November until February)

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