Looking for top quality sushi at an incredibly low price in the capital of Okinawa? This hidden gem will tick all your boxes.
Recently, our journalists visited some of the main tourist destinations in the country and asked taxi drivers to take them to the most recommended restaurants. However, on a recent trip to Okinawa, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma was minding his own business in a taxi when the driver casually mentioned a place to eat without him having to ask at all.
The driver was a graduate of Naha Junior High School, so he was a long-time resident of the capital who knew all the secret places that visitors didn’t. According to him, there was a popular restaurant in town that had an amazing lunchtime sushi offering, called the Mega Nigiri 20 pieces.
The restaurant was directly run by a fishmonger which makes the sushi top notch. and super cheap, it’s like the wanted unicorn in the world of sushi. Masanuki is always hungry for nigiri sushi, as hand-molded sushi is known, so the prospect of feasting on Mega Nigiri was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
▼ So he asked the driver to drop him off at the restaurant.
The restaurant, called Uomaru, is about a seven to eight-minute walk from Miebashi Station on the Yui Rail monorail line. It’s down a side street in a fairly run-down building, making it one of those little-known places that get by on word-of-mouth recommendations rather than fanciful writings in travel guides.
While the facade of the building may look dilapidated, the restaurant itself is not, and unlike many places, they serve lunch well after the usual cut-off time of around 2pm.
Diners here can order the lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which was convenient for Masanuki, who arrived here around three o’clock. The driver told him that it was a good time to have a late lunch/early dinner here, because the restaurant is usually crowded around noon, and when he arrived, Masanuki didn’t have to wait at all, because he was guided to a seat. immediately at the counter.
▼ Looking through the menu, Masanuki found what he had come for – the Mega Nigiri 20 Piece, priced at…1,298 yen?!?
This equates to $9.72, which is cheap even with today’s crazy conversion rates, and a remarkable offer for 20 hand-molded sushi. Still, Masanuki decided not to get too excited about lunch until he saw it in person, but as soon as the platter arrived in front of him, his eyes opened in surprise and his sushi-loving heart missed a beat. beat, because this is what he saw:
▼ It was a big deal, okay!
The cost of eating 20 sushi at a restaurant in a conveyor belt chain would probably work out to about the same price as this meal, but since conveyor belt restaurants serve their sushi two at a time, you’ll only be eating 10 different types. of sushi.
▼ Here, however, you receive 20 different types of top quality nigiri, hand molded by a sushi chef behind the counter.
The range includes standard favorites like Tuna and Salmonand more specialty offers like surf clams, St. Jacques shells, octopus, steamed shrimpand eel.
Every piece of this platter was absolutely delicious – the sushi rice and neta toppings were served at just the right temperature, allowing the textures and flavors to shine.
▼ Look at the quality of this sushi! It’s like something you would eat at an expensive sushi restaurant.
Masanuki was absolutely blown away by this sushi offering, and when he later told a friend about it in Okinawa, they told him that the restaurant also had a branch near the airport and he always took friends there. during their visit.
Where else in the world can you get such a fresh, fishmonger-prepared sushi meal for under $10? These places are like unicorns, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area, and don’t forget to try this other taxi driver-recommended restaurant while you’re there!
Uomaru / 魚屋直営すし食堂魚まる
Address: Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Maejima 2-19-10
Opening hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (lunch) / 4 p.m.-9 p.m. (dinner); hours are subject to change
Close on Sunday