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Taste of Little Piece of Hawaii

By: Elena Sinnemaki

Date Posted: 2000-08-11

When most people think of Hawaii, they think of the beaches, the luaus, and the tropical atmosphere. Lost in thought over such a paradise, many never think about the wonderful foods of the islands. If they do, their immediate thoughts may go to the exotic fruits or roasted pigs. Authentic Hawaiian cuisine is something everyone should experience at least once.

Puna Puna Seaside Café Terrace located in Mihama offers an amazing selection of Hawaiian food to Okinawa. Situated within a quick walk to Sunset Beach, Puna Puna’s location not only gives you the feel of being in a tropical paradise, its atmosphere, décor and attentive staff donned in flowered shirts and dresses will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into Maui. Tiki torches light the entrance day or night and you are welcomed by warm smiles and the gentle sounds of Hapa Haole (Hawaiian music). Tropical plants and flowers hang from the walls and are draped over tables; ornaments and knickknacks symbolizing the Hawaiian culture and images of the islands deck the walls and make you feel quite at home. The terrace is lined with Tiki torches and umbrella covered tables for dining under the stars or in the afternoon shade. The distant sound of the ocean roaring only adds to the romance of the restaurant.

If you’re planning the perfect evening, then the dinner menu at Puna Puna will not disappoint. They offer an extensive menu of appetizers, meats, fish, desserts, and drinks to satisfy your palate. Seafood lovers can enjoy a wide array of appetizers including sashimi, prawns, crab, muscles, and scallops as a starter. Of course if you don’t care for seafood appetizers, there are many other choices available. For your main course you can enjoy Hawaiian Teriyaki Steak at 1,900 yen a plate or the Waimea Steak smothered in wine sauce and mushrooms at only 2,000 yen. All meals are served with choice of rice or potato, soup, and salad. My personal recommendation would be the Maunakea Steak. It is an 8-ounce filet mignon topped with mushrooms, gratin, and red wine shiitake sauce. It is perfectly cooked, full of flavor, and very filling. At only 2,200 yen it is very reasonably priced and you’re sure to leave quite satisfied.

If you have a craving for fish then you have your choice of several different Mahi Mahi platters as well as shrimp and salmon which ranged between 1,500 and 1,700 yen per meal. They also serve a variety of chicken dishes prepared, of course, “Hawaiian Style”.

The cocktail menu is immense. The drinks named and spelled exotically and brought to your table colorfully decorated in fruit and umbrellas. You have your choice of the Moskow Mule, Karibeann Night, Matador, Shima-Maitai, and of course the Blue Hawaii, only to name a few. They range between 600 and 800 yen and are absolutely delicious.

Puna Puna is also a great spot for a relaxing lunch during a hectic week. Their international lunch buffet is a great deal at only 1,000 yen and features a variety of foods from select countries around the world. On my particular visit, there was a feast of American, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish cuisine that was overwhelming. Sautéed pork and squid, Ni Ku Ja Ga, curry soup, tacos, tropical fruits and desserts were only a few of the victuals offered on the beautiful buffet spread. Iced tea, iced coffee, and soft drinks were served and once again the atmosphere along with an extremely helpful and friendly staff made you feel quite relaxed.

I don’t recommend bringing children to this restaurant. They don’t serve kid’s meals or foods children typically prefer and the seating would be difficult to accommodate small children.

I would definitely have to say that Puna Puna is one of the best restaurants on Okinawa if you’re looking for a nice, quiet evening alone with someone special or even among friends. With a mouth-watering menu, an amazing staff and the perfect atmosphere, Puna Puna guarantees the perfect dining experience, whether it is your anniversary, first date, or just a well-deserved night away.

Puna Puna is located in Mihama, just behind the Cineplex. If you are coming from KAB Gate 1, travel south toward Camp Lester. Make a right turn as if going to Jusco or Americaya and you will find Puna Puna Seaside Terrace nestled between the back of the Cineplex and Sunset Beach. The international lunch buffet is served between 1130 and 1430 and dinner is served from 1700 until 2300, with the last order taken at 2230. It would be wise to make reservations and you can do so by calling 926-3008.

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