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Gourmet Town

By: Kotoko Chinen

Date Posted: 1999-03-14

When Riki Matsuyama first got the idea to operate a restaurant of his own, he was sure of one thing: He wanted to create an eatery where customers could enjoy as wide variety of cuisine as possible. Like many restaurant owners that I have interviewed, Matsuyama loves to eat out a lot with his girlfriend and friends. However, many times in the past, his party had hard time deciding where to go.

"When I felt like going for BBQ, my girlfriend wanted to have pasta or something. And when some of our friends felt like having something oriental, others wanted something western. So, there was always someone who had to give up what he or she wanted when we went out to eat. I wished there was a place that serves everything." Matsuyama said. Such an innocent wish of the 22-year-old entrepreneurer led him to open the restaurant of his own. His dream restaurant, Gourmet Town, opened in Mihama, Chatan last April.

The Gourmet Town is the evidence of the desire of Matsuyama to offer something new and different from any other eateries in the area. The restaurant is set up like the food courts in American shopping malls and consists of nine individual tenant restaurants. At this "one-stop-restaurant", a variety of different tastes including American, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian dishes can be shared at one table.

The array of the stores starts with a BBQ joint. As its name describes, "BBQ Heaven" offers finger-licking BBQ meals at reasonable prices. Popular entrees include BBQ chicken 500 to 800, BBQ spare ribs 600 - 1,000, and the Spare Rib Dinner (1,300).

"Gin-no-komugi" serves pasta dishes including Cream Sauce Pasta (780) and tomato sauce pasta (680). Gumbo (500), Burrito (400), and Chili Dog (300) are favorites at "Tacos De Riki."

For those who crave for oriental taste, try Japanese restaurant "Kinmatsu-Tei" or the Chinese restaurant "Shei Shei." At "Kinmatsu-Tei," Japanese side dishes are available from 100. Sea Food Mix (1,000) is one of the most requested entrees.

"Shei Shei" meaning "Thank You" in Chinese, serves stable items such as Yamucha, Dim Sum, Noodles (600), and Egg Rolls(380).

To satisfy the sweet tooth, "Sweet" is the place to go. There patrons can indulge in various kinds of cakes, parfaits, and crepes.

There is a small bar serving cocktials, beers, and Okinawan spirits. The best time to visit the bar is Wednesday. After 1am every Wednesday, the bar welcomes all patrons to drink anything that is served and as much as they want for a fee of 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. Also, on Wednesday nights, if a female customer beats a staff member in the game of scissors-paper-rock, the charge will be discounted to half. Beat one more, the customer decides how much to pay!

The Gourmet Town is open daily except on Mondays. Business hours are 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dollars and yen accepted, English speaking staff and English menus are available.

To get to the Gourmet Town, take Route 58 heading towards Mihama, Chatan. At the second traffic light counting from the KAB main gate, turn right, and then left at first light again and go straight a few blocks. You'll see the Gourmet Town neon sign on your left. For information, call 937-8553

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