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Cool Breeze, Reggae Theme and View of the Sea

By: Stephen Carr

Date Posted: 2000-09-01

Don-Na-Mise is a seaside bar with a reggae music theme. The owner Katsumi Yosinori used to run a pub in Hokkaido and he gets many of his fresh ingredients from there such as fish, crab and lamb. This place has an arts and crafts type décor, with hanging beads and a mask collage with shells, mounted on the walls. There are fishermens’ nets slung from the ceiling, studded with fairy lights. The furniture is dark bamboo and there are wooden lamps lit red and green, hanging over the tables. Don-Na-Mise has a pleasant, breezy location on its first floor, overlooking the seawall at Sunabe. Diners can eat outside on the balcony with a great view of the sea. They can also have their food cooked on the table in front of them, if they choose.

The night DG and his friends went there, most of the customers were locals. Only one other table was occupied by Caucasians. Katsumi would like more foreign customers which should not be too difficult an ambition in a location so popular with divers. He thinks people from the bases should like the reggae atmosphere and says nobody should be embarrassed about coming into the restaurant alone.

The waitresses were friendly at Don-Na-Mise and the menu extensive. Here is a selection. Snacks include potato chips, mixed nuts, salty squid and Korean seaweed. They cost ¥299. For ¥399 there is green salad, mashed potato and fried cheese, smoked fish and others. There is eggplant stir fry, spring roll and garlic chicken at ¥499. The ¥599 menu has grilled lamb, hamburger steak and mixed pork fry eggs, raw tuna sashimi, smoked salmon and vinegar crab.

If you want rice dishes you can get them here from ¥599 to ¥999. They come with grilled lamb, crab, sashimi and one containing salmon, crab and raw tuna. There are also scrambled eggs in various combinations with chicken, pork and mashed potato between ¥399 and ¥699.

Okinawan specialities get a look-in too, with bitter melon stir-fry and eggplant stir-fry, both with rice and costing ¥599.

There is a combination menu with various bases to choose from: hamburger steak, curry rice, omlette and cheese meat. Vegetable meat and cheese side dishes to go with these bases are from ¥100 to ¥300.

The beer list, from ¥399 to ¥599, is pretty standard but includes MGO and Corona. Cocktails are ¥499 or ¥599 and include Gin and Tonic, Screwdriver, Salty Dog, Moscow Mule, Kahlua and Milk. Red or white wine at ¥399 a glass. Two brands of Awamori, Zanpa and Kumesen, come in black white and brown varieties and cost ¥2499 a bottle. Whisky and brandy includes CC, Jack Daniels, Suntory VSOP and Hennessy. Prices range from ¥399 to ¥599 a shot; ¥699 to ¥1599 for a double and ¥5999 to ¥14999 for a bottle. There is also plum and apricot liquor, Beefeater gin, Myers Rum, Smirnoff Vodka and Cuervo Gold Tequila at ¥399 and ¥499 a glass. There is a selection of soft drinks, tea and coffee too.

A Happy Hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. offers all alcoholic drinks at half price until the end of September. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Ladies’ Nights. Females can get cocktails and wines for ¥200 or $2. This restaurant accepts dollars, sets the rate at $1 to ¥100 and gives change in yen.

DG’s group sampled the grilled lamb which tasted as if it was still gamboling in the field. The fried chicken with salad was fine as was the omelette with rice and a hamburger side dish. The cheese meat base with chicken side dish was an unusual combination that was tasty and filling.

Lunch, including dessert, is from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. and dinner is from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Directions: Go down Hwy 58 towards Naha. Opposite Kadena Gate 1 is a US Auto dealer and a traffic light. Turn right and go all the way down to the sea wall. Don-Ba-Mise is two hundred yards along the sea wall road on the right.

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