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Najimi Shokudo an amazing treat

Date Posted: 1998-08-07

Kaoru Teruya's Najimi Shokudo, is truly a treasure. When you walk in his restaurant, he and his staff most of whom are also members of his family, first serve you with a full dose of warmth and hospitality. Then after handing you a menu, you are given a cool, refreshing glass of ice water while you contemplate your feast. While the term, 'feast', may sound tasty but not very healthy, at Najimi Shokudo, the negative consequences often associated with following a good time are minimized.

The way Kaoru-Ni (big brother Kaoru) expressed his feeling about his food was, 'Hey, I'm personally a big vegetable eater, and very particular about the type of meat that I eat. So, I use the minimum amount of spices, only enough to help accent the natural, aji (flavor) of our fresh ingredients.' At the same time, he's very familiar with American tastes. Before starting up his own enterprise, Teruya spent over 20 years pleasing the palates of American service members while he was a chef on the base. It was when his family continued to grow, that he decided to take a chance and venture off on his own.

What he also did, was to take time out of his busy order filling schedule and teach me a few boiling, steaming, and stir fry techniques to separate a good portion of fat from the meat being prepared for one of his legendary dishes. He humbly stated that most of his healthy cooking methods weren't all of his own creation, but that many are commonly shared among most cooks and chefs in Okinawa. Actually, In the past few years, the health and longevity factors associated with Ryukyuan (Okinawan) food and its methods of preparation have become a hot topic by scientists and the general media.

In addition to the health benefit of Teruya's food, Najimi Shokudo is better known for another aspect of the food. Its inexpensive, and the portions are BIG.

At Najimi Shokudo even a chaa ka mii (human garbage disposal) would have a hard time feeling empty inside after one of his combination sets. The lunch sets (ranging from 500 to 800) all come with soup and rice included. Souki no Nitsuke (650), Beef and Vegetable combo(650), or renowned Tonkatsu set (600) are world famous in military circles for its large serving size. Teruya occasionally proudly spoke of many first-time customers being referred to Najimi Shokudo while in the United States, from some of Kaoru-Ni's loyal and satisfied patrons whom have already transferred back stateside.

Najimi Shokudo is open from 11:30 a.m. through 9:30 p.m., closed on Mondays. To get there go north on Highway 58 from Camp Foster, or south from Kadena Gate # 1, until you get to the corner where you see the pastel pink colored Chatan Sega Center, Toyo Hanten Chinese Restaurant, Pizza House Junior restaurant and Microplus computer store. Turn down the road, continuing straight towards Sunabe Seawall. As you travel past the large Toyota dealer on the right, continue straight until you the next traffic light. To the left of the traffic signal, you will see a green telephone booth standing next to Najimi Shokudo's parking lot. See you there.

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