Today, while taking pictures for a job, we had a quick Okinawan lunch at Kiraku, a restaurant on the second floor in Kousetsu Fish Market, close to International Street.
You can choose to buy fish and other sea stuff on the first floor, then having them preparing it for you on the second, but we just wanted a nice quick bite.
Dish no.1: Okinawa Soba（沖縄そば）
This is one of the most common dishes in Okinawa. The recipe is very simple, buckwheat noodles in broth, topped with pork, scallion and pickled ginger. It took some time for me to get used to Okinawa Soba, but now it is one of my favorites. If you want you can add some koregusu, chile peppers soaked in Awamori, for that extra kick.
I can definitely recommend the Okinawa Soba at Kiraku. While not the best I've had, it tastes like it is supposed to. Score: 304/412
Dish no.2: Rafute（ラフテー）
Rafute is a classic Okinawan dish traditionally served to the royal family. It is pork boiled in soy sause and brown sugar, giving it a quite unique flavor. I often have a problem with rafute being quite dry, but Kiraku's rafute was really juicy and tender. I'm giving it a solid 399/412. If you don't like fat or skin, stay away from this one.
Dish no.3: Goya Chanpuru（ゴーヤチャンプルー）
Chanpuru is a mix of stir fried vegetables with meat, fish and/or tofu. Goya is bitter melon, looking like a cucumber with a really bad skin condition. I'm not a big fan of goya, mostly because it pretty much only tastes bitter, but Kiraku's goya chanpuru was pretty good. It would've been nice with slightly more other vegetables and a larger portion, but I was actually able to eat it so I'll give it a 347/412.
Dish no.4: Deep fried Gurukun（グルクン唐揚げ）
The Gurukun (not the Gherkin), or the Banana fish (Double-lined fusilier) as it's called in English is the prefectural fish of Okinawa. This little fish can be found in many restaurants and izakayas around the island and is very popular among both tourists and locals. I was a little bit disappointed with Kiraku's Gurukun as it was quite tasteless, no "wow" feeling whatsoever. Giving it a 156/412 would be too generous, so I give it a 155/412...