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Big Daichan (formerly Popeye) still serving delicious food with king size portions

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-07-24

One of Okinawa's landmark eateries has undergone a few changes recently. Most noticably, has been the change in name from "Popeye" to "Big Daichan". The popular ramen shop underwent the name change due to legal problems over a copyright held on the "Popeye" name and character by an American chain restaurant. Complying with the demands of the lawyers representing the American restaurant chain, the ramen shop (Chinese noodle restaurant) changed its name and re-opened on July 10.

Although the name has changed, the delicious food, which the ramen shop was known for during the last twelve years, remains every bit as good as before. Now, "Big Daichan" offers even more selections on its huge menu, and customers can still expect the huge king size portions that helped to make it famous in the past. Still under the same ownership, "Big Daichan" remains one of the best bargains for your money when it comes to food. Patrons from the past may be surprised at the renovations that have taken place both inside and outside, but they will be happy to know that the same great service is still available.

Keeping their legendary combination lunch and dinner sets on the menu, "Big Daichan" is sure to satisfy many new customers, as well as bring back many of the repeaters, who have been patiently waiting for the restaurant's re-opening. The most well known and frequently ordered dish has to be the "Big Ramen" set. For just 650 you get an enormous bowl of ramen, rice, salad, pickled radish, a small bowl of seaweed and other vegetables in a vinegar dressing; and your choice of either chicken, gyoza, or spring rolls. It is enough to satisfy any big appetite, and in most cases it will easily feed two people. Even more unbelievable is the special campaign price of 350 from July 29 until July 31.

With approximately 29 different versions of ramen on their menu, there is definitely a selection that will satisfy everyone's tastes. All ramens can be ordered as a single dish, and prices range from 500 to 700. There is also a kid's size ramen for 380 available. Some of your choices include vegetable ramen for 650, garlic ramen for 650, and beef ramen for 700.

Besides the "Big Ramen" combination set, you also have a choice of either a "miso", "shoyu", or "shio" ramen set. All are priced at 600 and include rice, salad, seaweed in vinegar, and pickled radish. You can also order ramen and fried rice for 750, ramen and chicken cutlet for 800, and if you're adventurous, ramen and pigs feet for 750. All the same combinations are also available with soba.

If noodles is not what you're looking for, you can choose from the many different Chinese dishes available. Seafood chowmein is 780, sweet and sour fish is 780, Chili shrimp is 700 and ginger pork is priced at 650. There are also many other choices, and all include rice, soup, salad, and marinated seaweed.

We sampled the "Big Ramen' set, and chose the chicken. True to its reputation, the portions were unbelievable. You have to actually see it for yourself to believe it. There are very few places in Japan, or anywhere else, where you can get so much to eat on your plate. However, plenty to eat was not the only nice surprise. The food is also very good.

You will also be happy with the friendly staff and very welcoming atmosphere. The English menu makes ordering very easy.

Treat yourself, or your whole family to a Chinese feast which is very kind to your wallet. To get there, walk down Gate 2 Street and cross over Route 330 to the other side, at the corner of Ryukyu Bank. Once you have crossed 330, turn left onto the small street that runs behind 330. Follow this tiny road and you will see "Big Daichan" on your right. Do not confuse it with the smaller ramen shop two doors before it. Big Daichan is open everyday from 11 am until 5 pm. You can also try "Big Daichan's" other restaurant in Misato, which features the same menu plus sashimi, tempura, and udon. To get there, head north on 330 from Gate 2 Street. Look for the Mr. Doughnuts on your right, and turn left at the corner. Big Daichan will be on your left about 500 meters down the road.

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