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A quiet evening at "La Colline"

Date Posted: 1999-10-19

Chef Akira Ebihara has taken the best of his culinary experiences to create many original dishes at his "La Colline" restaurant in Ginowan. Aromatic herbs and spices mixed together with other ingredients form a variety of tastes that bring out the flavor of fish and beef, while attention to color and display help your eyes capture every detail. Many fine tasting wines are available, and home-made desserts also compliment every course meal as you sit overlooking one of the nicest views in central Okinawa.

Born in Tokyo, Ebihara worked at some of the top hotels in the area as a French Chef before coming to Okinawa over eighteen years ago. He spent most of his career here at the Manza Beach Hotel, where he continued to improve his cooking skills. Ebihara also traveled abroad to France, Australia, and to other foreign places, picking up knowledge and new ideas for preparing delicious food along the way.

Deciding to utilize his background in French cuisine and his skill in making other dishes, Ebihara opened "La Colline" in July of 1997. During the restaurant's two years of operation numerous Okinawans and Americans have enjoyed the quiet atmosphere and satisfying food of "La Colline."

The name of Ebihara's restaurant means "hill" when translated into English, which best describes La Colline's location. Ebihara explained that the site was one of the main motivating factors for starting his own restaurant. "This view is beautiful. There aren't many places that have this kind of view in Okinawa," he said.

A large winding stair case leads you up to the second floor dining area, where the lights of Chatan are back-dropped by the East China Sea. During early evening you can watch the sun set as twilight begins to settle over the city. By nightfall, sparkling lights twinkle in the background, making "La Colline" the perfect place for a romantic dinner.

Although the name is French, the food is a blend of many different tastes. "When people talk about real French food, there are many things that have been added and changed. Genuine French food is hard to find in restaurants," explained Ebihara. "Here, the food has many different tastes and is original."

We sampled the 3,000 course dinner which began with an appetizer of fresh ham, cheese, and a sprinkle of chocolate syrup. Vegetable soup was served next, followed by a bowl of pasta in a sweet tasting pumpkin cream sauce. The main dish was a choice of beef or fish - we chose the fish, which was pan fried together with a blend of herbs and a soy based sauce. We then had a nice crisp salad, which was topped off by a delicious plate of home-made sherbet. We were also served freshly baked bread with our dinner.

Although the portions are not large at "La Colline," you can expect to get a variety of flavors, and the course menu always changes. If you are looking for a snack to share with friends over a bottle of wine, the chef suggests Seafood Marinade 1200, Octopus and Cucumber Chinese Noodle Salad 800, or the Potato with Garlic for 600. There are also course dinners for 5000, which includes both fish and beef, and for 7000 which includes and extra dish.

If you're looking for a special place for a quiet evening, try La Colline. To get there, turn left after passing Camp Foster's main gate on Highway 58 heading south. Continue going straight and "La Colline" will be on your right inside of the tall building. Look for the sign.

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