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Nouvelle Ague specializes in heart-healthy pork

Date Posted: 2009-02-13

Pork has always been a staple in traditional Okinawan diets, a food eaten in one form or another almost every day, but today’s pigs are much different from the past.

The traditional Okinawan breed of pig -- “Ague” -- originally came from China, and almost disappeared as farmers replacing them with fatter and faster growing western breeds. Everyone didn’t embrace the switch, though, and a few years back farmers in Nakijin Village set up a foundation to revive the breed, and they registered “Ague” as its protected trademark.

Today…enter Restaurant Nouvelle Ague, which specializes in innovative dishes that use the local ‘Ague’ pork. According to an association spokesman, the meat of “Ague” contains just one-fourth of the cholesterol normal pork, and also contains more amino acids beneficial to human health. To top it off, Ague pork being served by owners Ikuyo and Yoshiyuki Takaesu at the half-year-old Restaurant Nouvelle Ague has more than double the glutamate that makes it more delicious to human taste.

Ague specials that virtually jump off the attractive food menus include Ague Shabu-Shabu, Ague Sukiyaki and Ague Samgyopsal, a Korean-style broiled Ague meat with kimchi for \980. Ague sirloin steak is \1,280.

Aside from Ague specialties, the menu includes other equally tasty dishes, also prepared with original flavors that include Yambaru Chicken Kushiyaki (chicken on a stick) \480, beef tongue \780, Rainbow roll sushi \980, and even horse meat sashimi and traditional Okinawan foods.

The Restaurant Nouvelle Ague menu also includes three course dinners for groups of four or more people. The Ague special course is \4,500, Okinawan seafood and traditional dinner course costs \4,000, and Ague and kimchi chige course is only \3,000. All set course meals include beer, awamori, sour, cocktails or soft drinks. Every meal is prepared by an experienced chef using handpicked ingredients. There is even a special menu of Korean dishes that was created by a professional Korean chef, using spices imported from Korea.

Owner Ikuyo Takaesu and all staff really want foreigner to have a taste of their Okinawan Ague dishes. As an added incentive, they’re offering a free drink to all who bring the Nouvelle Ague ad from this week’s Japan Update, or the same ad from the first and third week’s papers.

An English language menu and free parking are available. Reservations at Nouvelle Ague may be made at 098-926-3443. Nouvelle Ague is located in Chatan. about 30 meters towards the ocean from Hwy 58, across the street from the new Okinawa Bank office outside Camp Foster.

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