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Mino’s Kitchen serves “Taste of Asia”

Date Posted: 2002-12-21

Okinawa has a wide variety of restaurants that offer excellent Oriental ethnic dishes. There are Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Philippine restaurants, and, of course, several different-style Chinese eateries. Mino’s Kitchen on the first floor of Eagle Lodge on Hwy 23 does not fit in any of these categories. Instead, it offers a bit of everything. It’s one place where you can find dishes of almost all Southeastern countries on the same menu, and at very reasonable prices at that. At lunchtime from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. the restaurant offers a variety of six different dishes ranging from ¥680 to ¥850 in price. All meals include the soup of the day, salad and iced tea. Take-outs are available.

We tried Singapore Chicken Rice with Goya and Mea Goreng, Asian-style Seafood Fried Noodles, both dishes costing ¥750 and truly delicious. The portions were just right size, and not too small or too large. At dinnertime from 5 p.m. to midnight (last order at 11 p.m.), the selection is much wider. Prices range from ¥750 for Kima Curry to Korean-style Fried Seafood for ¥1,800. Appetizers cost between ¥300 and ¥880. Vegetarian dishes are available upon request.

For Christmas the restaurant offers a special Christmas Dinner Course for ¥4,000 per person that includes two kinds of appetizers, fish, beef, coffee or tea and dessert. Reservations are required and accepted until Sunday, Dec. 22.

Iced tea or coffee and soft drinks cost ¥250, draft beer ¥400. Awamori is ¥2,000 to ¥3,500 per bottle, red wine ¥600 and white wine ¥500 per glass or ¥2,000 per bottle. Drinks are half-price between 5 and 7 p.m. with Mino’s ad from this paper. There’s also Mild Curry Set for children under 8 years old for only ¥180, and the price includes a glass of orange juice. The restaurant is rather small in size, but divided into small areas with wooden dividers and plants that gives diners some privacy. Nine customers can sit by the long counter.

The man behind the delicious dishes is Masanori Fukusato, a chef with 22 years of experience, last three of them at Busena Resort Hotel in Nago where he was responsible for Asian cooking. “I like to pay attention to small details when I cook that’s why I enjoy working in a small place like this. Here I can also be more creative, for example use Okinawan ingredients where I thing it would enhance the taste. Working in a big hotel restaurant is much more restrictive,” Fukusato says.

To get to Mino’s Kitchen go up Hwy 23 in Chatan from Hwy 58 towards Okinawa City. The restaurant is on the first floor of Eagle Lodge that is the first building on the left. Free parking is available in front of the restaurant and at the end of the building. Mino’s kitchen is open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m. to midnight, except on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese holidays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, except on Dec. 23 for Christmas. For more information, call 936-3472.

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