If you’re looking for traditional Okinawan cuisine and the phantom of Agu pork, Ufuya (大家 うふやー) is the place to go! Located in Nakayama, Nago city (mid-north of Okinawa), the restaurant was revamped from an old traditional Okinawan folk house that was built in 1901. The restaurant is really popular among the tourists, as well as the locals. It is recommended that you make the reservations, otherwise expect an hour wait!
Before seeing the actual restaurant, you’ll pass through the souvenir shop first. Then, you’ll see a sign directing you to the restaurant on the right hand side of the souvenir shop. We arrived a bit early, thought that we would just chill in the car. However, the restaurant is more than just a restaurant! There’s a spacious playground in the front, so don’t worry if you are going with children. They won’t get bored even if you have to wait. There’s also a small mountain at the back, which I didn’t get a chance to explore. Since I’ve made the reservation online, and have chosen the courses online, we were seated right away as soon as they open, and luckily, we got a table outside next to a waterfall!
Ufuya is opened for lunch and dinner, but with completely different menu. During lunch, they mainly serve lunch set, such as the Agu pork soba set, the Agu pork grilled with ginger over rice, and the Agu tonkatsu cutlet set meal. For dinner, Ufuya offers special multi-course meal, which consists of various Agu dishes that is widely popular for the fine flavor of pork. It features a lot of Okinawan/Ryukyu cuisine.
Shima tofu is one of Okinawan cuisine’s staple, and is served in various forms. Tofuyo, a type of fermented tofu, is made from shima tofu that has been fermented with malted rice. You might not fancy the first bite, because it has a distinctively rich cheese-like texture and smell, but try having it with a little bit of awamori (Japanese wine/sake) and you’ll be able to understand why the locals here love this fermented tofu and why some can’t stop having this tofu daily!
Rafute, a traditional Okinawan dish in which chopped pork belly is slowly simmered with soy sauce, brown sugar and awamori. The pork was so tender and free of extra fat because of the long cooking time! It became so delicate that I could easily break it with chopsticks.
Agu pork is a Okinawan delicacy. It is comparable to Ishigaki beef. What’s so special about it? The Agu pigs are a little smaller in size compared to other pigs. The Agu pig has a very slow growing speed, and very low birth ratio. They are grown and raised in limited numbers in order to give close attention to each pig. Also, it only consists a quarter of the cholesterol compared to normal pork! It doesn’t have the distinct pig smell and has little scum.
Besides Agu pork, Ufuya also has Ishigaki beef that is only limited to 20 portions per day! Japan is known for some high quality premium beef, such as Wagyu and Kobe beef. I don’t eat beef, so won’t be able to comment further, but my brother and father really liked it!
The vegetable and Okinawan noodle plate comes with the shabu-shabu set. Every set meal comes with a guide, which teaches you how to eat it and the order of the dish! The shabu-shabu set is designed for 2 people, but you can definitely order extra meat, vegetables and other items a la carte.
Dessert is included in the set meal, but we also ordered an additional cream puff! My mom was already eyeing on it on the way into the restaurant. It was pretty good! The exterior was soft yet a bit crispy, and the custard inside was very rich and creamy.
The sun has set by the time we finished our dinner, and found out that they have a special area for people to sit and chill while waiting for their tables! Overall, this spot is perfect for travelers who drive, and are not spending a lot of time in Okinawa. You’ll be able to get most of the Okinawan delicacies in one spot!
Ufuya (大家 うふやー)
90 Nakayama, Nago City, Okinawa
Tel: + (81) 980-53-0280 (Reservation strongly recommended)