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Treehouse restaurant specializes in Shabu-shabu

Date Posted: 2011-09-17

Dining at Gajumaru in Naha City’s Onoyama district is an experience that offers ambience, a fantastic view of sunsets over the harbor, and Shabu-shabu.
Gajumaru is very unique from an architectural standpoint, as it is built on top of a large man-made concrete Malayan banyan tree. The enchantment builds with a mythological Okinawan Kijimuna greeting customers in the elevator inside the “tree” trunk that takes the customers to the restaurant.

Shabu-shabu, a Japanese traditional style food cooked in a pot on the table, is a Gajumaru specialty which the diners share and eat a little bit like a fondue.
It’s similar to a Sukiyaki, related to Sukiyaki in style, in that both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables and are usually served with dipping sauces.

Daizo Yoshimoto, Gajumaru’s manager, explains Shabu-shabu is eaten by dunking each piece of the boiled meat in sesame sauce with vegetables. To make it easy for foreigners, Gajumaru has an English menu that explains how-to-eat Shabu-shabu. Even for the first-timer, says Yoshimoto, it’s a snap.

Shabu-shabu’s prepared from both chicken and pork, with the pork served in Gajumaru a very special and famous local breed called “Ryukyu-Agu”. Gajumaru’s menu extends beyond Shabu-shabu, though, and includes a Millefeuille cutlet that is layered and fried pork, and BBQ chicken that is grilled like spareribs.

Gajumaru is open 11:30 a.m. ~ 3:30 p.m. daily for lunch, with set menu specials under 1,000. The salad bar and drink bar are included in the set menu. Dinner is from 5:30 p.m. ~ midnight daily, with both course menus and ala carte dishes available..

Manager Yoshimoto says “We welcome couples and groups, and would for you to enjoy eating a Japanese traditional dish while soaking up the beautiful sea view at Gajumaru.” Gajumaru has an extensive bar, including beers, cocktails, awamori and shochu. Gajumaru accepts credit cards, and can accept reservations in English at (098) 859-6530.
Gajumaru is located across the street from Naha Military Port next to a FamilyMart convenience store. Free parking is available behind the “tree.”

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