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Ikki: Serving the best Ishiyaki Bibimba on island

By: David Knickerbocker

Date Posted: 2002-06-09

Since being first turned onto restaurant Ikki near pipeline road in Urasoe City, Ikki has become one of my favorite restaurants anywhere and one of my most frequent stops. My fiancée first took me there three months ago to show me her favorite dish, Ishiyaki Bibimba, first-hand. Since then, I have returned to the restaurant six times, about twice a month. It's that good! Meat lovers, beware! This restaurant may become an obsession!

Ikki serves a variety of yakiniku meals including Kalbi Mix Mori (2 to 3 people) ¥1,780, Special Ikki Mori (2 to 3 people) ¥2,480, Tokutoku Ikki Mori (3 to 4 people) ¥2,980, and Variety Mori (4 to 5 people) ¥3,680, which includes a variety of meats, vegetables, and seafood! If you come to Ikki with one or two friends, I recommend the Special Ikki Mix over the Kalbi Mix Mori as it has more of a variety of meats.

As much as I love yakiniku, however, the main reason I frequent Ikki is for a broiling hot bowl of Ishiyaki Yukke Bibimba. For only ¥850, you can get a delicious serving fit for two people. Ishi means stone, Yaki means fry, and Bibimba means mixed rice, so Ishiyaki Bibimba is rice mixed with meat and vegetables fried in a hot, stone bowl. Once your Bibimba is brought to your table, pour the special sauce on top of the rice mix, stir all of the ingredients together, press the rice mix against the sides of the bowl to create a bit of a crunchy texture, mix again, and serve. Your waiter or waitress will do this for you unless you ask to do it yourself. Also, be careful: the bowl is extremely hot!

For our meal, my fiancée and I ordered a dish of Negi Shio Tan (thinly sliced beef tongue seasoned with lemon sauce) ¥750, Ikki Karubi (kalbi beef) ¥480, Oi Kimuchi (cucumber kimuchi) ¥380, and Hakusai Kimuchi for ¥350. Everything was delicious and no matter how full I got I felt I could eat more! But I'm not a glutton, so I decided to not overdo it this time and left feeling pleasant and satisfied.

The service was great, the food was outstanding as always, and I'm sure I'll probably be back in no time. There are no scary items on the menu unless you cringe at the thought of eating beef tongue. Trust me! As picky of an eater as I am, the tongue is one of the best parts of the meal. It's not thick and chewy like in other restaurants. It is thinly sliced and full of flavor when dipped in a dish of lemon juice. Everything on the menu is worth trying, so even if you can't read or speak Japanese, just point at what looks appealing on the menu (it has photos of everything) and say "onegaishimasu". I'm sure you'll be happy with what you get.

If you'd like a cold draft beer to was down your meal, frosty mugs go for ¥450, and small glasses for ¥350. Awamori sells for between ¥1,800 and ¥3,500 per bottle, ¥500 per flask (2.5 servings), and ¥500 per glass.

Driving to Ikki is fairly easy. If driving south on Rt. 58 from Ginowan City or Camp Foster, pass the Urasoe City Book Box, Mister Donut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. They'll be on your right. Further ahead you'll see Pizza House on your right and Daiei on your left. Turn left here, keeping Daiei on your left. You'll pass an AU shop on your left and a Family Mart on your right before coming to the Rt. 251 intersection. Turn right. Esso gas station will immediately be on your right after turning. Go straight and you'll pass a Zenzai gas station on your left. Up ahead you'll see another Esso gas station on your right. Ikki is the restaurant directly across the street, so turn left into the parking lot. Have a nice meal!

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